BOSTON — The New York Yankees are built to slug the ball and that’s what they have been doing.
With 27 home runs they lead all of Major League Baseball and their ability to pound the ball out of the park is the reason they are 9-5 and in first place in the AL East.
Leading the way for the Yankees is the combo of Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada as each of the veterans has five home runs.
Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter and is hitting just .220, but five of his 11 hits have left the park accounting for most of his 14 RBIs.
With Posada, it’s really been an all-or-nothing experience in his at-bats. On the season he is 7-for-43 for a lowly .163 average but five of those hits have been homers and he also has eight RBIs.
The best pure hitter on the team and perhaps in the American League is Robinson Cano and he is motoring along with a .311 average, 11 RBIs and oh yeah, four home runs.
Manager Joe Girardi doesn’t have any problem with the home runs leading the way to date.
“A lot of our runs have come off home runs, but there’s nothing wrong with that,” Girardi said the other day. “There have been teams that have been very successful that have scored runs that way.
“You want to believe you can create runs as well. And I think we can. I think we have enough speed and we have enough guys that can do some little things that we can create runs. But so far, it’s been more — I know one game, I think, we scored four runs and didn’t hit a home run. We won the game by guys doing little things, and I think our guys are good at that.”
But they’re better at jacking the ball into the seats.
On the pitching front their rotation was thinned out when they decided to place right-hander Phil Hughes on the disabled list due to a ‘dead arm’. Hugh was experiencing a deadly drop in velocity and was getting whacked — 19 hits and 16 runs in 10 1/3 innings over three starts.
The Yankees moved Bartolo Colon out of the bullpen and back into a starting role. He’ll pitch the second game against the Jays.
In his career he has gone 8-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 18 starts against the Jays.