A comeback victory over the Orioles, a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays, and then a sweep of the Cardinals, boy life is good for Yankee fans right now. The best part of this whole win streak is that we aren't even at full strength and we're kicking ass, imagine how good we'll be once Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious come back. Bright things are ahead this season and the first couple weeks of have showed us that.
The starting pitching for the Yankees has been the difference in getting off to a hot start. When the Yankees opened up the season 1-4 and fans were ready to fire Girardi, the only reason we were losing was because our starting pitchers couldn't give us quality innings, let alone starts. The one game they did the bullpen decided to blow the game, so the pitching in the beginning was awful and so were the Yankees. Over the course of the win streak Tanaka has finally returned to form, his second start wasn't great, but wasn't horrible like his first. The third start is where he finally returned to his ace form. He allowed a two run homerun early, however after that his command came back to him and he was lights out. Tanaka being the ace we need him to be is essential to our success, so for him to be back pitching studly is huge for us.
CC Sabathia has completely reinvented himself, going from power pitcher to finesse pitcher over the course of this offseason. CC hasn't had the stuff to be a power pitcher for years, although he still continued with that same approach despite not having the stuff, well this year that's all changed, and he's pitching 1000x better. If we can keep getting quality starts from CC we'll be in great shape going forward. To add to the top of the rotation dominance Michael Pineda has also finally reached the potential we all knew he was capable of. Many gave up on him after watching him implode early in a game at some point in the past, yet I always believed this day would come when he turns into an ace. Pineda has some of the filthiest stuff for a starting pitching in this league, he just could never throw strikes and keep his head straight. Now, he's doing both those things and absolutely wrecking lineups. He had a perfect game through 7 innings against the Rays and mowed through the Cardinals lineup for 7 innings last night as well. This has got to be the first time Pineda has given the Yankees back to back outstanding starts.
As if 3 solid starters isn't enough Luis Severino looks like he's finally becoming the starting pitching phenom he was expect to be when he came up last year. We saw how great he was out of the bullpen, it just never translated to his starts. Now, Severino is finally putting together quality starts and is on his way to becoming an ace in this league. Jordan Montgomery was officially named the 5th starter, he doesn't have a huge sample size, yet I still really liked what I saw out of him. If he can just be solid adding another decent lefty arm to this rotation is a nice addition. It's not like he can be any worse than our 5th starter last season and who knows maybe he'll develop into something great like an Andy Petite. Probably getting way too far ahead of myself, oh well, that's what April baseball is for.
The fact that the Yankees could potentially have 4 starters that I can trust when they take the mound is astonishing because we haven't had that luxury in ages. Sure Pineda and CC need to prove they can be consistent and continue to get batters out at the amazing clip they're currently doing. Tanaka is a sure thing as an ace, we know that, he just got into a funk early, but he seems to have broken out of it. Severino and Montgomery are the first sighting of our pitching future. Letting them gain experience and knowledge on how to get big league batters out is a great learning experience for them, which will only make them better for the future. If they bloom earlier than expected and really contribute that's only a bonus, and it's a bonus that could make us a whole lot better.
As for the bullpen aspect of the pitching staff, lights out, dominant, shut the door on em. Our bullpen is the best in baseball. Clippard, Betances, Chapman, for the 7th, 8th, and 9th I'll take that every time. They shorten the game so much for our starting pitching it's the best luxury to have in baseball. Also, Tommy Layne the lefty specialist is a solid arm and Adam Warren is another guy that can be trusted on a consistent basis. A bullpen like this is championship caliber and if we're going to do anything this season it's because of them being our anchor.
The lineup has been phenomenal too, the best part being the players that are supposed to be contributing most of the offense, aren't. Gary Sanchez has been out with injury the entire winning streak, Didi Gregorious has been out the entire season, and those are two of our best bats. Greg Bird who was supposed to mash for us has had an awful start to the season. He was 1 for 26 entering last night and then he finally broke out. Bird hit a moon shot 440 feet to the right field bleachers last night to break out of his slump. He then finished the night going 3 for 3 looking like a whole new ball player. Aaron Judge has cut down on the strike outs and the swing and misses, beginning to look like a true everyday player that can be a big contributor to this lineup for a long time. When he hits the ball it just makes a different sound and I absolutely love it.
The veterans in the lineup have been the most important, though. Chase Headley, probably the most hated Yankee by fans entering this season, is playing like an MVP. Defensively he's making all the plays and then some. Offensively he's batting over .400 and seems like he starts every rally, who would've thought Chase Headley would be the motor for our offense at any point in his stay in New York. Torreyes has done a fabulous job filling in for Didi at shortstop, he's actually doing too well, and now I don't want him to stop playing every day. Ellsbury is getting on base and stealing bases pretty frequently, maybe finally beginning to live up to that monster deal that we gave him 3 years ago. Never too late to start paying your dues, right. Aaron Hicks is also coming around quite nicely. He leads the team in homeruns and has a .500 OBP, pretty fucking good. I never questioned Hicks for a minute, I trusted the process, I trusted Cashman when he compared him to JBJ, and now I'm loving the rewards we are getting for being patient with him. Damn this lineup is good.
Seven straight and I'm hoping we make it 10 once this upcoming series with the White Sox is over. If we continue to get quality starts all season long we're winning this division without a doubt in my mind. Our lineup and bullpen are way too good to not be competing. Everyone thought this would be a down year for the Yankees, but they didn't truly realize the talent of these young kids and they doubted our veterans, shame on them for that. I want first place, I want it badly, and so does this team. Yankees are here to shock the world in our new found underdog role and I'm here to embrace every second of it. Start spreading the news, the Bronx Bombers are fucking back.