It came early this year. Usually I get emails about the Yankees later in the season, sometimes as late as July. Today I got the first inside joke email of the year about the Yankees. My buddy ended it, "PS: The Yankees are on pace to win 121.5 games." I responded appropriately: "Only 121.5?"
There has been something seriously right with the 2010 Yankees. For years now the team has looked great on paper, and then stumbled out of the gate. Something has felt different about 2010, pretty much since 2009 ended. The Bombers are right where we left them.
This seems like an excellent time to throw up some casual observations about the season. The following thoughts are in no particular order.
- Andy Pettitte is pitching out of his mind. He's off the charts in every stat this year. His ERA is 1.35. He's pitched 20 innings in three games. Hitters are batting only .211 against him. He's leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Pettitte started well last year also, but his numbers weren't this good. Given that Pettitte usually tires mid-season, the strong start is important. It could easily carry his numbers through a bad stretch or two.
- Speaking of the pitching, only mother nature could stop CC Sabathia on Friday. He struck out nine in only 6 innings of work. And we all remember his start before that. This is huge. Last season in April CC's ERA was 4.73. So far this year he's looked solid in all three of his starts. His WHIP is a crazy 0.74. That's Mariano territory. Nothing is better than watching CC work when he's on his game.
- A.J. Burnett has also looked brilliant so far this year. Most important, Burnett has only walked six so far this season. Keeping it under control could be the difference between a good or great year for A.J.
- The Yankees haven't committed an error in their last 10 games. The Texas Rangers have showed us all firsthand that good defense helps keeps runs off the board. (Although, for the record, the team has benefited from some suspect home park rulings, particularly the ball Jeter booted in the 1st on Friday.)
- Nick Johnson should be awarded first base twice every game. It'd be easier on the pitchers.
- Brett Gardner's slash line is .333/.444/.333. He's on pace to steal 112 bases.
- After Robinson Cano's sacrifice today, his batting average was actually higher than his OBP for two at-bats until he walked later in the game. Bravo Robinson, bravo. I knew you had it in you.
- The Yankees have scored 69 runs and allowed only 44. That translates to 5.75 runs scored and 3.67 allowed per game. Last season those numbers were 5.65 and 4.65, respectively. So, yeah, the team is playing better this April.
- Boston is 4-8 and has allowed 13 more runs than its scored.
- Never mind only one home run, A-Rod's slash line is .295/.415/.523. In the last 7 days it's .350/.480/.650. Does anyone else get the feeling that A-Rod is on the runway, and he just gunned the engines?
- Tex finally got into one yesterday, and he hit the ball hard in his last at-bat. While he's hitting far worse this year (.114/.291/.205) than he was through 12 games last year (.222/.345/.467), I believe he's getting close.
- Mariano Rivera is still Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees are 9-3 and they've gotten subpar performances from Nick the Walking Stick, Tex, A-Rod, and recently Nick Swisher. This ... feels pretty good.