The Yankees Come Home on a Winning Streak

Another extra inning affair ends with the Yankees on top

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Swisher's homer evens everything back out.

    When the Yankees lost their first three games of the season, there were plenty of people who reacted as if they had just been swept out of the playoffs.

    To those people, admonitions that it was a long season fell on deaf ears because they would only be satisfied by spotless record with 162 wins, although such a record would be impossible in their perfect world because no Yankee hitter would ever make an out so no game could ever end.

    There's no way to please such people.

    So we imagine that they will be just as crabby as the Yankees make their way home from Baltimore for their first Yankee Stadium games of the season.

    After all, it took the Yankees extra innings to beat the Orioles in two of their three straight wins over the perennial AL East whipping boys and no Yankee team worth its salt should ever have any kind of a problem beating a bunch of twerps with birds on their hats.

    While it is always nice to see the Orioles on the schedule 18 times a season because their presence means no losing streak can get too out of hand. The years change and the names change, but Baltimore remains a place where the stadium is beautiful and baseball games are easy to win.

    This week's trip to the Orioles provided a chance to even up the record as well as a chance to readjust screens to reflect the big picture. While some ears may be deaf to that kind of talk, more reasonable observers will likely see why the long view remains the right view for this Yankee team.

    In some ways, it is that expectation of perfection that fuels the belief that things are going to wind up working out just fine for the Yankees even as they struggle in the first week of the season. After all, if you didn't think they were any good then you wouldn't find yourself upset when they didn't live up to expectations, right?

    CC Sabathia is going to be better than he's been in his first two starts, nine earned runs in 12 innings, but he's still giving the Yankees six innings and a chance to win even though he's got nothing close to his best stuff. When your worst means that kind of performance, your best is going to bear a lot of fruit.

    Wednesday night saw Sabathia labor his way through six innings, but he kept the Orioles to four runs even though he was commanding his pitches as well as Custer commanded his troops. That meant the Yankees were in position to tie the game in the seventh.

    Much griping has been heard about the Yankees' inability to hit with runners in scoring position to this point in the season, a fair enough complaint given the results in those situations that's morphed into an unreasonable conclusion about the overall abilities of players. Again, if you actually thought they stunk, you wouldn't be so down on them.

    The Yankees got four hits in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, the biggest coming in the 10th when Nick Swisher homered with Mark Teixeira on second for a 6-4 win, a big improvement on their 10-of-53 mark in those situations entering the game. It's also a big reminder that five-game snapshots of a season can give you a lot of different impressions about a team that's going to be judged over the course of 162 games.

    Track records tell us that judgment is going to be a positive one. Sometimes you just need a trip to Baltimore to remind you of that fact.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.