The Seven game losing streak was the longest for the New York Yankees since a stretch in April of 2007 when they took the field Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium opposing Los Angeles Angels right hander Ricky Nolasco. For the Yankees this has not been something they have been accustomed to doing in their 68 games.
But facing a pitcher that gives up home runs will make sure that confidence was never gone. Ask Didi Gregorius who got hold of a Nolasco curveball in the second inning that went to the second deck in right field for a two-run homer. The Angels would get the tie but the Yankees never looked back.
The confidence never left during that seven game losing streak that was snapped after the Yankees 8-4 win.
“Our confidence level was always up,” Gregorius said. “ You can’t win them all, but you can’t lose them all either. We lost seven in a row but it shows this team is still together. Nobody tried to be selfish and today we broke out of it. We played a really good game.”
Rookie left hander Jordan Montgomery also gave the Yankees a lift with 5.2 innings and two earned runs for his third straight win. The Yankees left first place one night and right back on top the next, though getting that losing streak over was more important. Yes, this means the Yankees have confidence that every team goes through during the course of a losing streak.
They built to get over the bad week on the west coast and a team with confidence is able to do that.
“I think we handled it pretty well,” Matt Holliday said. “No one has changed the way we’re gone about it. Everyone’s attitude has been positive. The energy has been good. We’ve lost a few close games that could have gone our way but it’s good to get back in the win column. Headed in the right direction.”
All along it was Holliday, one of those veterans who played a role with that confidence. He went 2-for-4 and a solo home run in the fifth, his 15th, gave the Yankees their go-ahead run. Holliday also handled first base well, inserted there by manager Joe Girardi and it looks like he will get more chances there with Chris Carter as Greg Bird was setback with a bad right ankle.
Girardi said about Holliday, “Great leader, a big bat in the middle of the order. I think he’s been really big on the field, but also in the clubhouse.” A team with some veterans, as the Yankees are constituted, are the perfect mix for the youngsters who went through this grind of their first losing streak of more than three games.
True, Nolasco has struggled with the home run ball. Numbers 22 and 23 lead the American League and surpassed the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka, a pitcher who was a part of that losing streak. But, it is the good teams that know how to overcome the struggles and the Yankees showed that Wednesday night.
They knew how to approach the fastball and curve of Nolasco. Girardi made a change in the lineup and it was Austin Romine behind the plate and Gary Sanchez at designated hitter. Romine caught most of the games when Sanchez was on the disabled list. He had three hits including number 101 of his career and drove in two runs.
“We’ve got a good staff around here that helps us succeed as much as we can,” Romine said. “A lot of hitting beneath in the tunnels and waiting for the call.”
Yes, the Yankees are back in the win column and got over their longest losing streak in ten years because they never lost that confidence. And as Gregorius said, “What happened in the past, happened… we are now 1-0.”
The start of another winning streak because these Yankees never lost that confidence.