Once again the Yankees unlikely source of role players came through to pull off a 6-4 win in 10 innings against Baltimore last night. Robinson Cano might be an early season MVP candidate, but it’s his supporting cast that has this team in first place.
With the score tied at two in the 7th inning, it was the unusual cast of characters to the rescue once again. Lyle Overbay broke the tie with a solo home run in the 7th. After the Orioles reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the inning, it was Travis Hafner’s turn for the heroics in the top of the 9th. Hafner hit a home run to left center off of Orioles closer Jim Johnson to send the game to extra innings. An inning later, Vernon Wells hit what we would be the game winning double after entering the game late as a pitch hitter. As if he hadn’t already done enough in this game, Hafner drove in Wells with an RBI single to provide an insurance run on the way to victory.
This win put the Yankees at 28-16 on the year. If they were at full strength, I wouldn’t think twice about that record, but with the team the Yankees are putting on the field it is truly remarkable. They seem to be doing it with an array of smoke and mirrors with players that are similar to the “misfit toys” who no one seemed to want coming into the season. The numbers each of them are putting up thus far are more than the Yankees could have ever imagined:
Vernon Wells – .288 /10 HR / 24 RBI
Travis Hafner – .267 / 8 HR / 22 RBI
Lyle Overbay – .264 / 7 HR / 25 RBI
Curtis Granderson is the first of the teams all-stars to return to the DL. With the way these role players are producing it takes some pressure off of Granderson and others to come through right away as they rejoin the team. It what may have seemed like a fluke in the first few weeks, but we are now more than a 1/4 of the way through the season and I have no reason to doubt this group can keep the Yankees in the mix and then some.