Record for the Week: 5-3 (39 RA, 52 RS)
Overall: (90-59, 9.5 games ahead of Boston, 11 games ahead of Toronto)
In Summary: The week, which started on a roll, ended with a stumble. The chance for the Yanks to celebrate victory on their home turf, in front of their despised rivals, was passed when the Yanks lost 3 of 4 against the Boston Red Sox in the double double headers this weekend. Still, 5-3 is a pretty good week, and the Yankees find themselves four victories away from their ninth straight division title. In spite of handily outscoring their opponents, the Yanks experienced a power outage this week, with only six homers and a .412 slugging percentage. I know, cry me a river. Let's see the awards:
Player of the Week: Robbie Cano drove in 14 runs on the week, on the strength of a .321/.333/.679 week, hitting two homers and four doubles. He's the player of the week. Close runners-up are Alex Rodriguez (.375/.467/.625, 2 HR) and Hideki Matsui (.389/.478/.556). Matsui's return is the feel-good story of the week, with Godzilla going 4-4--all singles, with a walk--in his return game on Tuesday. An even better sign of recovery was Hideki blasting a big homer on Thursday, since one of the big short-term effects of wrist injuries is usually a loss of power. The homer was Matsui's only extra-base hit on the week.
On the pitchers' side, Mike Mussina had a good week, allowing only two runs in two starts, 12 1/3 innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts. Brian Bruney showed some good stuff in four relief appearances, tossing five innings of one-hit ball, and marking up nine strikeouts in the process. He did walk in a run on Saturday, which was charged to Ron Villone. More about that below.
Dregs of the Week: Ron Villone's gotten some rest--between the Kansas City series (9/4) and this weekend's Boston action (9/16) Villone only pitched once (against the Orioles on 9/10). It doesn't seem to have done any good. He came into Chien Ming Wang's start on Saturday with a man on second and no outs, and got out of the situation handily. But in the seventh, he lost control, walking two men with one out, leaving Brian Bruney in a tough situation. Then in the Sunday's day game, Villone was brought in to pitch the seventh inning of a tie game after the Yanks got a quality start from Jaret Wright (6 IP, 2 solo homers allowed). Here he melted down completely, allowing two two-out, two-run doubles to Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, and the Yankees never recovered.
Sorry for all the detail there, since it's not like this is the only bad performance the Yankees saw this week. Octavio Dotel got beat down while trying to close out the Yanks' blowout win against the D-Rays on Tuesday; Randy Johnson pitched ugly twice in the week, picking his 17th win against the Orioles on Monday, despite allowing five runs in six innings. He wasn't even able to match that poor performance against the Red Sox. On offense, Aaron Guiel went a punchless 3-13 on the week, and Derek Jeter struggled on the tail end of a 25 game hitting streak, with a .250/.344/.250 week. Still managed to lead the team with nine runs scored.
The feature on the Yanks' roster heading to the postseason will have to wait, but could be up as soon as tonight. Next up with the Yanks? A three-game set in Toronto, where they can, at the very least, eliminate the Blue Jays, and possibly win the division.