The Yankees have taken the first 2 games of this series after losing 6 in a row and have outscored the best team in the American League 19-2 in the process. I can't explain it but I'll damn sure take it. An early Teix message was the difference last night, as Adam Warren continued to put the pieces of being a consistent, good MLB starter together.
Warren has slowly been getting better as the season has progressed and he put his best outing together last night. He had his command going from the get go and used it to retire the Royals in order the first turn through on 38 pitches. He didn't allow his first hit until the 4th and didn't allow his first run until the 6th when Paulo Orlando got him for his first home run of the year. Those 2 hits were the only hits KC would get off Warren, who exited with 1 out in the 7th. He allowed just the 1 one, struck out 5, and didn't walk a batter. He still hasn't earned Joe's trust to face a team's most dangerous hitters a third time, but last night's outing should help that cause. Warren was really good.
The Yankee lineup kept doing what it's been doing by scoring in the 1st inning and staked Warren to a quick 2-0 lead on a 2-out Mark Teixeira 2-run home run. Royals starter Jason Vargas hung a changeup and Teix smashed it. It was his 14th homer of the season, best on the team, and the 5th he's hit as a right-handed batter this season to 9 from the left side. Sexy Teix is getting it done any way you look at it, and he exemplified that with a 2-run double from the left side of the plate to make it 4-0 Yankees in the 5th. He came home to score on a Chase Headley sac fly and that was more than enough cushion.
Joe's money guys in the bullpen are better rested than they've been in a while, and he didn't play around in getting the game to them. Justin Wilson got the final 2 outs of the 7th inning to set up Deldrew Millances and that was basically all she wrote for the Royals. Betances sat them down in order in the 8th and Miller worked around a hit in a scoreless 9th. Almost exactly the way you'd draw it up in the binder if you were Joe Girardi.
- Warren's line over his last 3 starts: 19.2 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 16 K. That's pretty damn good for your 4th or 5th starter, and it's the continuation of a trend in the right direction this month. Warren might not be a top-of-the-line MLB starter, but he ain't no scrub either and his rotation spot should be safe when Tanaka returns.
- For the sake of comparison, and to point out how awesome he's been this year, Teix hit his 14th homer of last season on June 25th. Dude's been a stud this season.
- Once again, good things happen when your 3-4 hitters are producing. A-Rod goes 2-3 with 1 BB and 2 R scored and Teix goes 2-4 with the homer, the double, and 4 RBI.
- The rest of the team only had 3 hits, but you'll overlook that when you get the quality of pitching the Yanks got tonight.
- The shine is long off Chris Young at this point. He's down to .238/.292/.476 on the year, .143/.182/.262 in May, and has 2 hits, 9 strikeouts, and 0 walks in his last 10 games.
- Dellin Betances's appearance was just the second since last Tuesday and he struck out the side on 14 pitches in the 8th. Dave Schoenfield asked on Twitter last night if Wade Davis would be a Cy Young contender if he didn't give up a run all season. Better question is would Betances?