October 1st, 2006 to May 29th, 2009. It sure seems like a long time to me. Over two and a half years, 972 days to be exact. With a win last night against the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees were able to sit atop AL East for the first time since October 1st, 2006, which was the final day of the 2006 regular season.
Andy Pettitte threw 5 strong innings until he was pulled from the game for what appeared to be a strained lower back. The decision to pull Pettitte was a precautionary move by manager Joe Girardi. The Yanks will not afford to lose any starting pitcher mainly because of the struggles on Chien-Ming Wang. He is currently in the bullpen after throwing several games in the minors trying to regain his pitching touch. Phil Hughes has already made a solid contribution to the rotation and will most likely stay in it if he continues to build off his most recent success.
Catcher Jorge Posada returned to the lineup and batted 6th. He had two hits, raising his average to .325 on the season. Posada had missed the previous 22 games with a hamstring injury.
Reliever Alfredo Aceves threw three scoreless innings giving up 1 hit and striking out three. The game was then turned over to Mariano Rivera who closed it out for the victory.
With Pettitte picking up the win and Rivera getting the save, the Yanks made some history. It was the 58th time Pettitte won a ballgame that was saved by Rivera, breaking Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley’s record of 57 games.
The Red Sox have already played today and lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, giving New York a 1 game lead over their rival. The Yankees can look to increase their lead to 1.5 games when they take on the tribe once again at 7:05pm in Cleveland.
CC Sabathia will be making his first start in Cleveland as a Yankee since he was traded from the Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of last season. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the crowd. He won the Cy Young for the Indians back in 2007 and was well liked by the fans.
Now that the Yankees are back in first place, are they there to stay? Let me know what you think!