After the seventh-inning implosion of Joba Chamberlain on Saturday afternoon, it seems strange to say that the Yankees took three of four this weekend thanks largely to their performance in seventh innings. But on Friday night, a Robinson Cano grand slam in the seventh broke the game open; on Sunday, a three-run Mark Teixeira (!) blast capped a five-run inning that put the Yankees ahead, and yesterday Alex Rodriguez hit a seventh-inning grand slam of his own that turned a 2–1 nail-biter into a 6–1 rout.
Yesterday’s seventh inning was the most perfect of them all: After an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira — or at least, technically it was an intentional walk; it wasn’t Cleveland’s intent to walk him when the at bat began — A-Rod did what he tends to do in such a situation, which is hit a home run. (He’s five for five with eighteen RBI when teams walk Teixeira to get to him.) For good measure, the next batter, Cano, homered, too.
As usual, the three victories coincided with three more stellar pitching performances: Phil Hughes on Friday, A.J. Burnett on Sunday, and Andy Pettitte yesterday. But they’ve been getting solid starting pitching all season — it’s the reason they’ve got the second-best record in baseball. The production from the middle of the order, however, has been less consistent. Robinson Cano’s put up MVP-type numbers batting fifth, but Alex Rodriguez hasn’t hit much for power, and Mark Teixeira hasn’t hit much at all.
Imagine how much more dangerous this team will be if (when?) all three start to hit at the same time. (Batting Curtis Granderson in the two spot doesn’t hurt, either.) It’s June now. Maybe this will be the month that it finally happens.