The Yankees, Unobstructed is back after a long hiatus, and — wouldn't ya know it — it's returned just in time to acknowledge yesterday's 10-0 massacre of a certain Norwood News Managing Editor's favorite team (the Seattle Mariners).
Indeed, on a day when the Yanks needed score only one run to get by, they piled it on against the West Coast's Cleveland Indians. But alas, one blowout victory against the squad from Major League 3: Back to the Minors does not a championship make, and thus despite their win, the Yankees are facing their first major crisis of this season.
Tonight Ivan Nova, 23, will make the first start of his major league career. The Yankees have all but acknowledged that they're unsure whether the AAA ace is ready for the bigs, but what choice do they have?
The Yankees starting rotation:
C.C. Sabathia – Great
Phil Hughes – Fine
A.J. Burnett – The bane of everyone's existence
Javier Vazquez – Has foresaken confidence
Andy Pettitte – 'Ol Yeller hasn't pitched in over a month
Dustin Moseley – A reasonable facsimile of a Seattle-quality starter (dissed!)
Ivan Nova – TBA
So there ya go. Leading the division by only one game with 38 left to play, the Yankees have two quality starters, four posers and a rookie with great expectations.
So how are they supposed to hold onto that one game lead? The answer is Robinson Cano.
Say it with me: MVP! MVP! MVP!
Over the last seven games, when the Yankees have needed an offensive superhero most, Robbie has hit four home runs for 13 RBI, with a .333 avg.
Combine that with surprising hit-machine/trade-deadline acquisition Austin Kearns (14 hits in 11 games), and the Yankees have barely noticed the on-again off-again absence of Alex Rodriguez, who's struggling with a calf injury.
The Yankees will be fine as a team relying on two pitchers and two hitters until September 10, after which 16 of their final 22 games are against the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox.
NOTE: Make sure to check back every week for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's Yankees opinion column.