The New York Yankees have had lots of practice with the victory line recently, winning nine straight games. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The New York Yankees are rolling along, riding a nine-game winning streak that is their longest since May of 2009. They open a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves Monday night at Yankee Stadium (7:05 p.m. ET TV: YES, ESPN) with ace CC Sabathia on the mound as they try for their 10th straight victory.
The streak has included three-game sweeps of the New York Mets, the Braves and, most recently, the Washington Nationals. The Yankees (40-25) lead the American League East by 1.5 games over the Baltimore Orioles and have the AL's best record. New York has won 19 of its last 23 games.
The Yankees have won with offensive outbursts, they have won close games, they won extra-inning games and they have even won games without hitting a home run -- a rarity for them. Mostly, though, the Yankees have pitched well throughout the streak. They have not given up more than four runs in any game during the nine-game win streak and have held opponents to two runs or fewer six times. Yankees starting pitchers have allowed just 14 earned runs during the streak.
"I think you first have to look at your starting pitching and what they've done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They've been outstanding through this run, and our bullpen has done a very nice job under some conditions where some guys have really had to step up. And our hits have been very, very timely."
Sabathia (8-3, 3.70 ERA) will be opposed Monday by Atlanta's Mike Minor (3-4, 6.01).
Here are the pitching matchups for the remainder of the series.
- Tuesday: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees (6-6, 3.43) vs. Tim Hudson (4-3, 3.90)
- Wednesday: Phil Hughes, Yankees (7-5, 4.30) vs. Tommy Hanson (7-4, 3.32)
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees