Had we not been in Boston for the Yankees–Red Sox series — more on that experience later today — we might have let things like Nick Johnson’s injury and A.J. Burnett’s continued problems at Fenway spoil an otherwise successful weekend. But having witnessed firsthand the depressing state of Red Sox Nation right now, we’re forced to remind ourselves that while the Yankees may not be perfect, they’re a lot closer than virtually every other team in baseball.
Sure, Friday’s win — in which Nick Johnson and Robinson Cano left the game with injuries, only one of which turned out to be serious — didn’t even elicit a “Thaaaaa Yankees win” from John Sterling, but that shouldn’t take away from yet another excellent outing by Phil Hughes. (It’s rare that a team’s nominal fifth starter outperforms the rest of the rotation, but that’s what’s happening right now. That’s not meant as a knock on CC Sabathia, Burnett, or Andy Pettitte, by the way.)
Then Saturday saw big days from Francisco Cervelli and Mark Teixeira — not to mention the welcome sight of Sabathia standing up for his teammates by drilling Dustin Pedroia. While Boston’s bullpen reached the point that outfielder Jonathan Van Every was given mop-up duties, the Yankees’ bullpen didn’t allow a run after the tarp came off the field. Before Jon Lester even picked up a baseball last night — or perhaps more accurately, before Burnett even realized his fastball was going to be a problem all night — the Yankees had won the series. In the long run, that’s all they need to do.