In my last article I argued that Joe Girardi had shown the paucity of the Yankees bullpen and that it was now time for Brian Cashman to deliver if the Yankees were at all serious about catching Boston in the regular season.
In the last week, Cashman and his scouts have shown just how good they are at seeking out gems in even the most darkened and hidden corners. It’s too early to tell if they have a solution but they’ve certainly taken some large and inventive steps forward.
But first that disabled list just had to get longer, didn’t it?
By the end of the home stand they had 10 players on the DL and perhaps the most significant of them all is the Captain, Derek Jeter. Jeter is no longer at the peak of his powers but I’d been looking forward to joining in the celebrations during the time of my residence in New York and when he reached 2994, it looked like the champagne was ready to flow. And then as he ran out that single, he pulled up and spoiled the party. This had Girardi comparing the current run of injuries to 2008 – the most recent season when the Yankees had no part to play in the playoffs.
And then Flash Gordon arrived in the Bronx……. Well, not quite but the Yankees took a significant step forward.
The first positive was the arrival of Cory Wade who opted out of his contract at Triple-A Albuquerque (Dodgers) on Wednesday and found himself sent straight to the Bronx to pitch in the second game against Texas a task which he completed convincingly (and which he was to repeat with a further stint in relief on Friday in the third game).
Pitching in much more intimidating circumstances was Brian Gordon, a former outfielder, who at age 32 and with more triple A pitching experience in his kitbag than major league pitching exposure (just one brief stint with Texas, in relief, in 5 years) and never having made a major league start as a pitcher, was handed the start on Friday as a contract bonus.
Just so it could be a little more intense, the Yankees insisted on playing Queen’s “Flash” as he warmed up with its refrain about the hero who was Saviour of the Universe. No pressure then……
The good news is that for 3 innings Flash Gordon looked like the real deal and in the 4th and 5th, he did enough to
keep the Yankees in a game they eventually won in extra innings. Brett Gardner took the walk off pie after several other pitchers including Wade had spent time on the mound. But Flash Gordon, deservedly, got his share of the applause and no-one saw that one coming.
The Red Sox won their evening game to keep their advantage at one and a half games. That aside it’s all going remarkably well as the Yankees head for Chicago.
Medal for Mr Cashman?