Though not quite on par with last year's eight-game winning streak, the 2010 Yankees have acquitted themselves quite nicely since coming out of the All-Star Break, going 6-3 over their last nine games.
The homestand was capped by a 12-6 win over lowly Kansas City yesterday. Phil Hughes was slightly better this time out, throwing 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball in a rain-shortened appearance, although surrendering a home run to light-hitting Scott Podsednik is borderline unacceptable. That Podsednik would go on to hit a second home run off of Joba Chamberlain in the eighth is absolutely disgraceful on the Yankees' part. There's been a lot of virtual ink spilled on Joba and his struggles of late, and at this point I'm not sure what the Yankees should do with Chamberlain. Thankfully the Scotty Pods home run came after the Yankees had padded their lead, but it would've been insanely frustrating had it tied the game. I still believe that Joba is too talented to continue having such poor results, but at some point he's going to need to start showing all of his supporters that we're not crazy.
Sean O'Sullivan was unable to replicate his "The Yankees have never faced me before" magic in his second straight outing against them, with five innings of five-run ball. That's more like it.
Nearly the entire offense got in on the action -- save Jorge Posada and his 0-5 -- highlighted by Curtis Granderson's first multi-home run game as a Yankee. There was a scare in the bottom of the eighth as Alex Rodriguez took a pitch off his hand, but thankfully it wasn't as serious as it initially appeared.
All in all, it's been a solid stretch for the Yankees, as they managed to pick up a game on the Rays. Additionally, the Yankees have done exactly what I asked them to do back on July 6 with regards to putting some distance between themselves and Boston, as the Red Sox have fallen from 3.5 games back on that day to 8 games back. I will never count Boston out until they are mathematically eliminated, but it's still nice to see such a wide gap at the present time.
Also, Dan Haren for Joe Saunders and a couple of minor leaguers? Really, Arizona? Those minor leaguers better be incredible, because otherwise this is an absurdly lopsided deal -- that practically feels like the Yankees centering a trade for Haren around Sergio Mitre.