What it means: That right now, the Yankees are a team without issues. Everyone, with the exception of Russell Martin, is healthy. Everyone, even Chris Stewart, is hitting. Phil Hughes, the last question mark in their rotation, was an exclamation point in this one. Even their RISP numbers were good in tonight's 6-4 win over the Indians. Cory Wade's horrendous ninth-inning gave the illusion that this was a close game, but it wasn't. It all adds up to a four-game winning streak and a 45-28 record, their high-water mark so far this season.
Master-Phil: Hughes rebounded from his poor outing against the Braves last week to spin eight shutout innings, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out four. Three of Hughes' four strikeouts came on nasty curveballs.
Happy Birthday, Captain: Derek Jeter celebrated No. 38 with two infield singles, raising his birthday batting average to .333 (16-48).
RISP This: The Yankees came through on their first two opportunities to hit with runners in scoring position, on back-to-back-to-back singles by Stewart (RBI), Jeter (infield hit) and Curtis Granderson (two RBIs) to take a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Sizzling Stew: Playing his third straight game with Martin (stiff lower back) still out, Stewart singled in each of his first two at-bats.
Good thing he can't bunt: For some inexplicable reason, Stewart tried to bunt on the first two pitches he saw in the second inning, even though there were runners on first and third and TWO OUT! Luckily, Stewart pulled back on the first one (a ball) and fouled the second one off before lining a 2-2 pitch off the glove of Cleveland 3B Jack Hannahan for an RBI single.
Wise guy: Dewayne Wise made a spectacular catch of Hannahan's fly ball down the left-field line, falling into the crowd to complete the play with a runner on third. Except for one minor detail: TV replays showed he never made the catch. But he popped up showing the ball to 3B ump Mike DiMuro, who made the out call. To make it worse, DiMuro ejected Hannahan for arguing. And presumably, for being right.
A-Bomb: Alex Rodriguez hit No. 13 --and No. 642 overall -- with one out in the seventh inning off reliever Tony Sipp to extend the Yankees' lead to 5-0.
Wade a minute: You want an issue? How about Wade, called upon to get the final three outs, surrendering four ninth-inning runs, three of them on a two-out, three-run homer by Jose Lopez? Wade has been alarmingly ineffective since allowing a walk-off home run in Anaheim on May 28.
Sori, Cory: Wade's failure was a chance for Rafael Soriano to pick up an easy save. Sori threw two pitches and got Lonnie Chisenhall to ground to first for his 16th save in 17 chances.
Greetings from right field: During the nightly pregame roll call, Jeter was serenaded with "Hap-py Birth-day!'' from the Bleacher Creatures.
What's coming: The always-excellent Johnette Howard is writing a birthday card to Jeter. I'll be filling the blog as well as possibly heading over to the Indians clubhouse to hear what Hannahan has to say, which could be both informative and entertaining.
Tomorrow: Series finale with the Indians at 1:05 p.m., Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.29) vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 4.59). Andrew Marchand & Co. have got you covered from the moment the clubhouse opens at 9:20 a.m. I've got the weekly Yankees live chat at noon, so please join in.