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Yankees Roll On, Without Drama

If only all Yankees games could go as smoothly as last night's: seven solid innings from the starting pitcher — in this case, Javier Vazquez — then a perfect eighth inning from Joba Chamberlain and a perfect ninth from Mariano Rivera. If this weekend's series against Toronto taught us anything, it's that that's often easier said than done, even during a series they won. On Friday, Chamberlain couldn't protect a one-run lead, and they'd lose in extra innings. Then on Sunday, Phil Hughes gave up five runs in six innings, and Rivera blew the save in the ninth, setting the stage for Marcus Thames's second walk-off pie of the season. Last night saw no such drama.

Speaking of a lack of drama, Alex Rodriguez (one of last night's defensive stars) was unfazed by Oakland's attempt to extend the idiotic Moundgate incident just a bit further by selling "Get Off My Mound" T-shirts. Over in the other dugout, however, drama queen Dallas Braden seized the chance to get his name in the paper again by complaining that no one consulted with him or the Players Association about the shirt, which he said doesn't respect the game. (If you're keeping score, things that don't respect the game include A-Rod and a T-shirt, according to a guy whose grandmother told Rodriguez to "stick it.") This stupid story will never end.

Anyway, back to things that have to do with baseball. Encouragingly, in game number 82, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira — whose first-half struggles have been well documented — served as the offensive heroes: Granderson with an RBI triple in the second (and a run scored on Francsico Cervelli's RBI single), and Teixeira with a solo home run in the sixth. Teixeira, however, looked foolish later in the night during a postgame interview with YES's Jack Curry. Curry had said their record stood at 51–31, and Teixeira corrected him to say it was 52–30. Tex was wrong; they're 51–31. Being 22 games over .500 would be nice, but being 20 over is nothing to be ashamed of.

Photo: Brad Mangin/Getty Images