The Yankees final game in Kansas City before they head off to Boston, showed just how different this team is at the start of this year compared to the 2007 Bombers. Well ok, so Andy Pettitte is still back to being the stopper again, but it goes much deeper than that.
Pettitte who shut down the American League in the 2nd half of 2007 to win 15 games overall, still could've won much more. In fact had Pettitte had this type of run support and bullpen help early last season he could've easily gotten himself around 21-22 wins.
Pettitte and his efficient outing of 6/2/3 innings of one run ball were aided by a couple of guys who weren't in the mix this early last season. Melky Cabrera the Yankees now starting Centerfielder batting in the two hole for the injured Derek Jeter, went 2-5 with a solo HR, two RBI and a run scored, raising his average to .320 on the season. Remember folks, Melky was being used as the 4th outfielder at this time last year and got off to a slow start, not this time around.
Morgan Ensberg also had his best game as a Yankee, filling in for Mr. .056, going 2-4 with a run scored. Jose Molina was also 2-4, brilliantly continuing his play for Posada. Additionally chipping in for the Yanks were two guys who were hot last April and are hopefully breaking out of it just in time for Boston in A-Rod who hit his 520th career HR while passing Mickey Mantle on the RBI list and tying Bobby Murcer on the Yankees HR list and Jorge Posada who went 2-4 with a HR as well.
Finally the Yankees got some Mo-Jo out of their bullpen to pick up Pettitte and keep the lead. Joba Chamerlain was just dominant, there's just no other way around it, as he worked 1/1/3 fanning two on 98 MPH fastballs. And of course Mariano Rivera was as sharp as ever in his one inning of work, sending the Yankees off to Boston with a 5-5 record.