Three stars for Yankees in series win over Rangers
Chase Whitley: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 K's
Chase Whitley's own efforts against Texas may have been overshadowed by the new Chase in town -- though not accoring to Yankee fans -- but Whitley's heroics were made that much more impressive by the fact he was essentially pitching for his job in Tuesday's 2-1 win. After failing to get past the fourth inning in each of his three previous starts, Whitley kept the Rangers scoreless over six innings, while matching his season high in strikeouts with six.
With lefty Chris Capuano now in the mix, and the Yankees likely still in the market for starting pitching, Whitley's days in the rotation may be numbered. Nonetheless, the converted reliever has done an admirable job filling in for a starting rotation that's been decimated by injury, and has been a big part of keeping New York within shouting distance in the AL East.
Chase Headley: 3 for 10 (.300), 2 RBI, walk-off single
Welcome to New York, Chase Headley. It's been a long time coming. Brian Cashman finally reeled in the Padres third baseman, acquiring him from San Diego for infielder Yangervis Solarte and RHP Rafael De Paula. It would be fair to say the move has paid off. All Headley did in his first game in pinstripes was drive in the winning run in Tuesday's dramatic walk-off win in 14 innings.
In addition to looking excellent in the field, Headley has had a hit in each of his first three games in the Bronx, including an RBI single on Thursday that evened up the score in a game the Yankees eventually won, 4-2. Two seasons ago, Headley was an MVP candidate and one of the best third baseman in the game. New York doesn't need him to be quite that good, but if he can give them the type of professional at-bats he's displayed thus far, the veteran infielder will provide a major upgrade to the every-day lineup.
Brandon McCarthy: 1 W, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 K's
The change of scenery from Arizona to New York has done wonders for McCarthy, who is now 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA since joining the Yankees. After a dominant start to the game on Thursday, in which he struck out four of the first six hitters, McCarthy labored a bit from there on out but was still able to limit the Rangers to just one run on four hits to earn the victory.
McCarthy's brilliance also warrants a shout out to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who managed to turn Vidal Nuno and Yangervis Solarte into a pair of players who have sparked an immediate turnaround. Cashman may still have a few moves up his sleeve as the resurgent Yankees hope to continue to add pieces as the Trade Deadline approaches.