Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the bullpen was once again lights-out. Phil Coke, David Robertson, Phil Hughes, and newly-acquired Chad Gaudin
combined for four scoreless innings. Hughes — who has been untouchable since moving to the 'pen — gave up two hits and struck out two in his 1.1 innings of work, once again making his manager look like a genius for keeping him in the set-up role, even as the fifth starter position remains in doubt. Gaudin — the player who might be the solution to that fifth starter question — was also very good, giving up one hit over two innings, striking out four, and registering his first win as a Yankee.
Since their slow, injury-plagued start, the Yankees have found their stroke, solidified their rotation, and rebuilt their bullpen, forming a complete offensive and defensive force that. at times, seems unbeatable. Like the Torre-era Yankees, this Girardi squad is fundamentally sound (their defensive is outstanding), talented, and has a knack for the dramatic finish. What remains to be seen is if this Joe's Yankees can accumulate the jewelry to go along with their elite play and pristine record.