The Yankees Will Really Be Something When the Stars Start Shining

Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena lead the way

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, May 5, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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The Yankees Will Really Be Something When the Stars Start Shining

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Earlier this week we argued that there wasn't much reason to blow Javier Vazquez's early struggles out of proportion because the Yankees were doing just fine without any contribution from their biggest offseason pickup.

We're recanting that argument.

Go ahead, make a big deal out of Vazquez because, frankly, there's absolutely nothing else to fret about with the Yankees this season. Since Saturday, injuries have robbed the team of Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

The result? Three straight wins that featured about as many tense moments as your average episode of "Sesame Street."

Francisco Cervelli and his helmet of doom keep picking up key hits at the bottom of the order, Brett Gardner is proving more capable than anyone imagined and Joba Chamberlain is making the whole starter/reliever debate seem sillier than just about any argument in the history of sports.

It's not just injuries, either. Mark Teixeira hasn't realized it isn't April anymore and A-Rod hasn't done anything particularly notable, but the offense just keeps humming along as if the middle of the order wasn't supposed to provide runs in bunches. Heck, Tuesday night saw three of the four runs coming on Ramiro Pena's at-bats and he didn't get a hit in any of his trips to the plate. Just like Brian Cashman drew it up over the winter! 

Admittedly, that's not a script you'd like to follow over the long term but there aren't too many baseball watchers out there that think the big guns aren't going to start firing in the very near future. We left out any mention of A.J. Burnett's brilliance in the preceding paragraphs, mostly because it stood in the way of expressing how little the Yankees have needed their biggest names but also because a good start from a non-Vazquez pitcher is yawn-inducing at this point. 

The first four starters are now 14-1 through their first 21 starts and if you're getting that kind of work on the mound it doesn't much matter who provides the handful of runs you need to win.

Before Opening Day, much was made of how the Mets needed to hold firm until their injured players made it back later in the season. Wins banked early made it easier down the road, or so the argument went. No one thought the Yankees needed such a nest egg.

They're winning at a .692 clip right now, though, which makes you wonder just how many games this team will win when they start firing on all cylinders.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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