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A Sweet Sweep

By Frank Russo ~ August 10th, 2009. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

In my last column, Let’s Get Ready To Rumble,  I outlined the simple plans that the Yankees needed to follow in order to win their series against the hated “Menace.” Well, they did all of that and more. For me, the four game sweep of the hated RSN, (Red Sox Nation for those of you living on Guam), was as satisfying as I have ever experienced during the regular season. That’s saying a lot, especially since I’ve experienced both Boston Massacre I in 1978 and Boston Massacre II in 2006.

I’ll be honest here, I was not quite sure what to expect from the Yankees before the series started, although I was extremely confident. No, I didn’t expect a sweep, but I did feel that the team was more than capable of it. The four game manhandling of Boston truly exceeded all my expectations. Chalk one up for the “Good Guys” this time around for it really was a “Seeet Sweep.”

The starting pitching was the best it has been all year. Joba, while not at his best, was still able to grind out a win on Thursday night. (Yes, there were too many walks issued by Yankee pitching, but the team still won). What more can you say about AJ and CC and Andy. Burnett and Sabathia, the two top free agent pitching acquisitions of the off-season proved to be worth every penny. Burnett’s performance was spectacular, allowing just 1 hit in 7 2/3 innings of work. CC was almost as impressive on Saturday, as he again shut out Boston with 7/2/3 scoreless innings, while adding 9 strikeouts. On Sunday, “Old Man Andy” more than held his own against Lester, pitching 7 scoreless innings.

And let’s not forget the bullpen, which except for a hiccup by Phil Coke on Sunday night, was also equally brilliant. Everyone contributed to the cause, from Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes to Brian Bruney and Dave Robertson. How great was the pitching this weekend? Well, starting with the 15 inning, 2-0 classic on Friday, Yankee pitchers kept Boston scoreless for an amazing 31 straight innings. That is absolute dominance!

Let’s not forget the hitting. Up and down the lineup, everyone contributed. From Jeter to Damon to Teixeira to ARod, it was a total team effort. The back-to-back, two out homers by Damon and Teixeira off of Daniel Bard, (whom Mike Francessa just gushes over), in the final game was especially gratifying.

So what were the consequences of the 4 game sweep? With their dominating performance, New York has put itself in the driver seat in the AL East race. They have also officially served notice that they are no longer Boston’s “whipping boys.” Yes, it was only 4 games and Boston still has an 8-4 lead in the season series, but the “worm has turned,” so to speak. New York has also served notice to the rest of baseball, (no matter how much ESPN and MLB.TV gushes over the Red Sox), that they are now the favorites to win the AL East. Simply put, the Yankees are truly a force to be reckoned with.

Against their hated rivals, “Girardi’s Minions” showed why they have been the best team in baseball since the all-star break. Now is no time for a let down though. Yankee teams of the past have often had let downs after facing Boston. This time around I have a feeling that things will be different. The first test will come on Monday vs Toronto. They will once again face rookie left hander Marc Rzepczynski, whom they didn’t exactly desecrate when they last faced him last Thursday. Girardi, who is more hands-on than his predecessor, will continue to stress to his team that there is still much work to do and that they need to continue to work and focus and take things one game at a time. Don’t look ahead and don’t linger in the past. Just keep the ball rolling and keep the line moving. That’s how winning teams think and how winning teams play.

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Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.

1 Response to A Sweet Sweep

  1. Moface

    Well said Mr. Russo. This weekend was very satisfying for all yankee fans for a couple reasons: 1)The yankees almost certainly clinched a playoff berth; and 2) RSN is in a wide state of panic right now because there is the very plauisble scenario where come playoff time, Boston will be going home.

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