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Yanks Getting What They Paid For

By Dustin Racioppi

This past weekend was a good time for the Yankees to start seeing their off-season investments pay off. 

After Joba Chamberlain took advantage of a poor John Smoltz outing on Thursday night and notched a win in the Yanks' 13-4 victory over the Red Sox, A.J. Burnett showed the New York crowd on Friday night why he's one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. Burnett and Sox ace Josh Beckett battled for eight innings, each tossing zeros in a classic game that wouldn't end until the 15th inning when Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run walk off home run. Both Beckett and Burnett were brilliant on Friday night. But A.J. had the edge, allowing only two hits over his 7 2/3 innings. Justly, he walked off the mound to a rousing ovation. 

As if they had a bet going on who could pitch better, Carsten Charles took the mound Saturday looking to top Burnett's performance. He took a no-hitter into the sixth. Like Burnett, he went 7 2/3 innings. He, too, garnered an ovation from fans. He handed the ball to Phil Hughes, who gave it to David Robertson to close out. Beginning with Burnett and Sabathia, the Red Sox failed to score a run in 24 innings. 

Then comes Andy Pettite on Sunday tossing seven scoreless innings. After Phil Coke comes in and gives up a deflating home run to Victor Martinez to give the Sawks the lead, the new Yankee Stadium traveled back in time and came alive the way the old Yankee Stadium used to. The Yankees were down 2-1 and Johnny Damon smacks a home run into the short porch. Then Mark Teixeira absolutely pummels the ball into the second deck, giving the Yanks a late lead and triggering a Yankee Stadium crowd to go nuts. Nick Swisher provides some insurance. Mo closes. Game over. Sweep complete. Sawks 6 1/2 games out of first. 

It couldn't have been a better weekend for the Yankees. And it's going to be a tough climb back into the pennant race for the Red Sox. And it couldn't have happened without those key offseason investments — A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. 

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