Notebook: No deals, the big hit, homestand
July, 31, 2011
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
Don't worry Brian Cashman. Your left fielder didn't see any potential trades on the market either.
"Who were we going to trade for? I don't have any good ideas. I don't know who we need," Brett Gardner said about the Yankees making no deals at the the trade deadline. "Everybody has been playing pretty well and you hear people talking about; not players, teammates or coaches, but outside of it like the media, about trying to get a pitcher, but I don't see where we need one.
Our guys have been throwing the ball great and Freddy (Garcia) and Bartolo (Colon) were two great pickups in the offseason and both those guys have been tremendous. I think we're right where we need to be at."
Following a trade deadline that saw the Yankees make no deals, several Yankees did not seem surprised about the lack of activity and didn't seem to mind that there were no moves. The Yankees usually make deals every summer, whether it be small or big, but did not find one to their liking this summer.
Heading into their final 56 games, the Yankees are two games behind the Red Sox in the AL East and 6.5 games ahead of the Angels for the Wild Card. Their rotation is completely healthy and the lineup is missing just one hitter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who could return as early as the middle of August.
The team is optimistic about the future.
"The whole team has confidence," closer Mariano Rivera said. "The front office and the manager and everybody has confidence in us, so I mean, we have a great team so we have to go out there and fight and give it a shot. I think we have tremendous talent."
THE WINNING HIT: As soon as he slapped the ball down the right field line with the bases loaded in the fourth innings, there were only two options for Gardner: a single or a triple.
"Really there's no in between," Gardner said. "Really, as you're rounding first, you're hoping it doesn’t go too far foul and catch that corner sticking out over there."
Gardner ended up with a triple that cleared the bases and ultimately ended up being the game-winning hit in the game as it gave the Yankees the only runs they needed in their 4-2 win Sunday. It marked Gardner's sixth triple of the season and his most RBIs in a game since 2010.
"Anytime you get a big hit with guys on base, for sure, it ended up being the difference," Gardner said.
With Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis having a great arm, Gardner said he had to hope that ball didn't hit the corner and bounce to Markakis. The ball ended up getting lodged in the corner, which allowed Gardner to get to third easily and score Eric Chavez, Russell Martin and Eduardo Nunez.
GOOD HOMESTAND:The Yankees finished this 10-game homestand against some of the weaker teams in baseball at 7-3 and won each of the three series. While the Yankees were at one time just 4-3 in the homestand, they won the final three games to finish strong.
While the players wouldn't acknowledge that there is any more importance in beating teams like Baltimore, Seattle and Oakland, who are in last or next-to-last place in their division, Yankees manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that his team needed to be successful in the 10 games.
"It's important for our club because of where we are and what we're fighting for and where we're trying to get," Girardi said. "This was an important homestand and we ended up winning three series and we lost a tough game to Oakland and Baltimore. I thought our guys responded really well and when you're playing three games in 27 hours, to win those games, says a lot about your guys."
THIS AND THAT: The Yankees are a season-high 22 games over .500…The Yankees finished July 16-11, continuing their MLB record to 19 straight seasons of doing so…The Yankees are 9-1 vs. Baltimore this season and 33-8 in their last 41…The Yankees are 31-7 in day games, the best record in the league…Freddy Garcia has not allowed a home run in 59.2 innings, the longest current streak in baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.