Your calendar might tell you that the first day of summer is later this week, but for me it was Monday. I got out of bed at around 10:30, had a casual lunch, ran a few errands, then tried out the shiny new grill my wife got me for Father’s Day the day before. Let me tell you this with certainty — there are few things better than grilling some burgers while watching the Yanks during the late afternoon of a California summer day. (And if you’re interested, aside from the burgers the full meal included corn on the cob, fries, and a salad with the most incredible white peach balsamic vinegar for dressing.)
The only thing that could’ve made all this better, of course, was a Yankee victory — and that’s just what they delivered, cruising to their tenth straight win.
After suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees only ten minutes ago, the Braves came out determined to turn the tables and open the series with a win. Speedster Michael Bourne opened with a triple to left center, then scored on a ground out to give Atlanta an early 1-0 lead off Yankee starter CC Sabathia, and they’d add another run in the fifth to double their lead to two.
Mike Minor, meanwhile, was holding the Yankees down but good. There was a walk to Alex Rodríguez to open the second, but A-Rod was immediately erased on a 4-6-3 double play, and that was it. Minor had faced only twelve batters through the first four innings, but the Yankee bats came to life in the fifth.
A-Rod opened the inning with a line drive single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Robinson Canó followed that with a walk, and two batters later Russell Martin rifled a ground-rule double down the left field line to score A-Rod and put runners at second and third with one out. After a walk to Jayson Nix and a popout from Chris Stewart, Derek Jeter came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out and his team needing a base hit to take the lead. The Captain delivered, bouncing a grounder back up the middle to score two and move the score to 3-2.
Mark Teixeira homered to left in the next inning to push the lead to 4-2, Jeter came up with another two-out RBI with another grounder through the box in the seventh, and Canó finished the Yankee scoring with a bomb into the monuments in dead center field in the eighth. Yankees 6, Braves 2.
The story of the game, though, was Sabathia. After the game he would say that the starters had all been going so well that he didn’t want to be the one to end the streak. He might’ve given up a few things early on, but once he got the lead and smelled the victory, the Big Man was on his game. In the final four innings he allowed only a single base hit while striking out six. It was Sabathia’s first complete game of the year, and according to ESPN’s Game Score stat, it was his best outing of the season.
Ten wins in a row for the Yank, a two and half game lead in the American League East, and just half a game behind the Dodgers for the best record in baseball. Life is good.
[Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images]