Our weekly review of the good, the bad and the odd in Yankeeland
BEST OF THE BEST
On Monday night, Mark Teixeira drove in the first run of the game in the Yankees' 3-2 win over the Orioles, with a first-inning RBI double. It was the 100th RBI of the season for Teixeira and the eighth time in his nine seasons he reached the century mark in RBIs.
He is the fifth player in major-league history with eight seasons of 100-plus RBI in his first nine major-league seasons. It is also his eighth season with at least 100 RBI and 30 homers. The only other player to do that was Albert Pujols, who did it in each of his first nine seasons in the big leagues.
Most 100-RBI Seasons
First 9 MLB Seasons, All-Time
Teixeira is just the third Yankee to have 100-or-more RBI and 30-or-more homers in each of his first three seasons with the team, according to Elias. The others are Alex Rodriguez, who did it in each of his first seven seasons, and Roger Maris, who also did it in his first three seasons in pinstripes.
We've already covered the awful numbers put up by A.J. Burnett in last Friday's 12-5 loss in Baltimore, so here's one note on an Oriole who was part of the six-run second inning that did in Burnett that night.
J.J. Hardy entered the game hitless in 28 at-bats against the Yankees this year. After a flyball out in the first inning, Hardy ended the drought with a two-run homer in the second inning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hardy's 29 at-bat streak without a hit was the second-longest for any player to begin a season against the Yankees. The Indians' Hal Trosky started 0-for-30 vs New York in 1941, before rebounding with seven hits in his final 19 at-bats against the Yankees that year.
Hurricane Irene not only forced the postponement of Saturday's game, it also seemed to wreck the Yankee bats, as they dropped the first game of their doubleheader on Sunday, 2-0. They had just five hits in the loss and failed to get a runner to second base.
Zach Britton pitched seven scoreless innings for the Orioles. It's the second time this season he has pitched brilliantly against the Yankees, along with his seven-inning, zero earned run effort on May 18. (Of course he also had arguably the worst start ever against a Yankee team back on July 30 when he gave up nine runs and got only one out.)
A search of the Play Index at Baseball-Reference.com tells us that the last pitcher to have at least two starts of zero earned runs and seven innings in a season against the Yankees, at the age of 23 or younger, was the White Sox starter (and former Yankee) Britt Burns in 1981.
NOBODY BEATS NOVA
Curtis Granderson led the offensive outburst in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader, hitting two homers and driving in four runs in the Yankees 8-3 win.
Both of his homers came off lefties, giving him a MLB-leading 15 home runs against southpaws. That's the most home runs by a Yankee lefty against left-handing pitching since Don Mattingly had 18 in 1985.
Ivan Nova allowed three early runs to the O's but then settled down to earn his 14th win of the season. Nova improved to 10-0 in his last 11 starts and has won seven straight starts. The last Yankee rookie to win 10 straight decisions as a starter was Atley Donald, who won 11 in a row in 1939. The last Yankee rookie to win seven consecutive starts was Vic Raschi, who won seven in a row from 1946-47. (Thanks to Elias for both of those stats.)
FREDDY FINISHES OFF O'S
The Yankees won their second in a row against the Orioles on Monday night, 3-2. Freddy Garcia was excellent in six innings, allowing only a solo homer to Mark Reynolds.
That longball snapped a streak of 10 straight starts by Garcia with at least five innings pitched and no homers allowed. His streak was the longest of its kind by a Yankee right-hander since a similar 10-start streak by Spud Chandler in 1945.
The Orioles made another dent in the Yankee lead in the eighth inning when David Robertson allowed a solo homer to J.J. Hardy. It was the first homer allowed by Robertson since August 28 of last year, snapping a streak of 71 straight homerless appearances, which was the longest in Yankee history.
It was also the first run he had allowed on the road this season. He entered the game having made 28 straight scoreless appearances away from home, which was the longest streak of scoreless appearances on the road to start a season in Yankee history.
LUCKY TEN FOR SABATHIA
The Yankees took the opener at Fenway 5-2, as CC Sabathia battled through six innings to get his first win against Boston this year. Sabathia struck out 10 batters but allowed 10 hits during his two-run, 128-pitch night. The 10 strikeouts give him 201 for the season, the first time he has reached the 200-K milestone in pinstripes.
Most Strikeouts by LHP
Sabathia is the first Yankee pitcher to allow at least 10 hits and have 10 strikeouts in a game since David Cone did it in 1998. The last Yankee pitcher to reach double-digits in both hits and strikeouts and earn the win was Ron Guidry in 1984.
The Red Sox had a frustrating night at the plate leaving 16 men on base. My blogging colleague and perennial Guest Yankeemetrican Mark Simon tells us that the 16 men left on base matches their most in a nine-inning game against the Yankees in the last 90 seasons.
It's now happened four different times, in 1974, 1997 and twice in 2011. The Red Sox are the first team since 1920 to strand at least 16 men on base twice in a season against the Yankees.
Also, the Red Sox scored just two runs on 13 hits. According to Elias, it’s the second time in the history of the rivalry, and the first time since September 24, 1919, that the Red Sox had at least 13 hits and scored two runs or fewer in a game against the Yankees.
The Red Sox rallied for a 9-5 win on Wednesday and improved to 11-3 vs. the Yankees this season. This is just the second time in the last 35 seasons that the Red Sox have won 11 games in the rivalry in a single year. The other was 2004, when they won the season series 11-8.
Phil Hughes was rocked for the second straight start, allowing six runs on eight hits. This was the sixth time that a Yankee starter has allowed at least six earned runs against Boston this season. The only other time that has that happened in the Live Ball Era was 1950.
Derek Jeter had two hits, giving him 41 for August. That is the most hits in one month by a Yankees player age 37 or older, according to Elias. The previous mark was set by a 37-year-old Babe Ruth (38 hits in July 1932) and matched by Wade Boggs in August 1995 (also at age 37).
Curtis Granderson was hitless in three at-bats but finished the month with 10 homers and 29 RBI. The last Yankee to reach both of those totals in the month of August was Mickey Mantle, who had 13 HR and 29 RBI in August 1956.
MO CLINCHES MILESTONE WIN
The Yankees won the rubber game and the three-game series over the Red Sox with a nail-biting 4-2 victory on Thursday, as Mariano Rivera struck out Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the game.
The win was their 82nd of the year, clinching their 19th straight winning season. My blogging colleague, Mark Simon, tells us that the Yankees have now passed the Orioles, who had 18 consecutive winning seasons from 1968-85, for the second longest streak of winning seasons in major league history. The Yankees also hold the all-time record with 39, from 1926 to 1964.
History was made even before the first pitch was thrown when the lineup cards were exchanged. Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia were both were both listed as the number four hitters. The last time that two second baseman batted cleanup in a Red Sox-Yankees game was May 6, 1943 (Joe Gordon and Bobby Doerr), according to Elias.
Also, Jesus Montero made his major-league debut as the starting designated hitter. He is the fourth Yankee to start at DH in his first big-league game, joining Shelley Duncan (2007), Kevin Maas (1990) and Darryl Jones (1979).
Montero was 0-for-4 in the game, though he did score a run. Don't worry, Jesus … the last Yankee position player to go hitless in four-or-more at-bats in his major-league debut was Jeter, who was 0-for-5 on May 29, 1995.
Cano sparked the offense early with two doubles. He now has seven doubles at Fenway Park this season, becoming the fourth Yankee in the Live Ball Era to hit seven doubles there in a single season: Ben Chapman (1935), Frankie Crosetti (1936) and Bernie Williams (2002) also each had seven.
Katie Sharp is a researcher with ESPN Stats & Information