Sports: Return of the Captain

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As we look back at this past weekend filled with cookouts, fireworks and weekend getaways, most of all sports, what would the weekend have been without the Subway Series taking place at Citi Field.  The Yankees came in holding the best record in the American League.  The Yankees took two out of three games from the Mets in May and overall have defeated the Mets four out of  six meetings this year.

With two victories against the cross-town rival Mets last weekend, the Yankees become the first team in the American League to reach 50 wins. With four games to go before the All-Star break, the Yankees look to leave their mark on the American League East and stay atop first place in the division. The Yankees appear to be getting healthy at just the right time welcoming back pitchers’ Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes. Ian Nova was the unlikely pitcher to be sent down to the minors with Hughes taking his spot in the rotation. Colon was marvelous in his return against the Mets as he pitched 6 innings strong and looking like he hasn’t missed a beat since going on the disabled list. The key to the Yankees’ success this year will be their consistent pitching for sure.

 Curtis Granderson has proved why he has been the “Grandest” of late. Since last year’s All-Star break, Granderson is hitting .256 with 41 homers, 102 RBI, and 119 runs scored in 152 games. Along with Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Russell Martin were voted to play in the 2011 All-Star game highlighting the big evening that will take place on July 12 in Phoenix, Arizona.

On Monday, the Yankees welcomed back their captain on the road in Cleveland. When asked how he felt after Monday’s game (first game off the DL), Jeter said, “I feel fine, no pain at all, I felt nervous, it felt like Opening Day all over again. I was nervous to begin the game, but as the game went on I felt better.” The Yankees had a perfect scenario winning games in Jeter’s absence showing flexibility at the shortstop position with the play of Eduardo Nunez. 

The Yankees will finish up the first half of the season with four games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Perhaps the All-Star selections of, Jeter, “A-Rod”, Martin, Granderson, and Cano will bring motivation to the ball club especially Russell Martin. While playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, Martin suffered a season-ending hip injury. The injury had many teams questioning his durability. However, Martin is having a stellar season at the plate and behind it as well.

The Yankees have to win games and win them consistency. Reason being, it appears the Red Sox aren’t going anywhere in the division. So as we enjoy the last week of the first half of baseball, let’s enjoy the All-Star festivities coming up in Arizona.

 Sports Notes : (Baseball) The Yankees wrap up the first half of the season with 4 games against the Rays. Quest for 3000; Jeter is now 4 hits shy of 3000 hits at 2,996. Robinson Cano will participate in Monday’s home run derby. (NBA Basketball) Day 8 of the NBA lockout. Players and owners do not appear to be on the same page on a new collective bargaining agreement. (NFL Football) Day 114 on the NFL lockout. Players and owners are scheduled to resume meetings in New York.  (Hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Joey Chestnut wins for the third straight year eating 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

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