By Brad Carroll
The New York Yankees got the victory they desperately needed Sunday night, beating the Red Sox 14-4 to salvage the series finale, but more importantly, stop what would have been an embarrassing start to the year. The Yankees had lost four of their first five games before the offense finally woke up and put up a big number against Clay Buchholz and the Sox.
The win still has the Yankees in last place in the AL East, at 2-4, but that record looks a lot better than what it could have been if Sunday's game went the other way.
The Yankees now head on the road for 10 games, but before we look ahead, here's a look back at the best and worst of the opening week, as we give our 3 Up and 3 Down list and breakdown.
Alex Rodriguez: He's the only consistent hitter the Yankees have had over the first week of the season. A-Rod is hitting .300 with two doubles, a home run and six RBI in six games. He went 1-for-2 with four RBI in the team's 14-4 victory over Boston Sunday night, as close to a must-win game as it gets in April. He was 4-for-11 against Boston. There's no doubt Rodriguez should be in the lineup every day.
Chase Headley: He's only batting .222, but Headley has already had a few big hits this season. He went 2-for-4 in the one win against Toronto, hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth against Boston in what ended up being a loss after 19 innings, and went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI against the Red Sox in a win Sunday. He has five RBI in six games. It hasn't been all good, as Headley did go 1-for-7 in that 19-inning game, but he's getting big hits when they matter.
Adam Warren: He put together the best start the Yankees have had, even though he took the loss against the Red Sox Saturday. Warren allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits over 5.1 innings. The Yankees went on to lose 8-4, as the bullpen couldn't keep the score close enough to give Warren a better result. Warren took the loss, but he should have picked up some much-needed confidence from the solid performance.
Stephen Drew: He's been exactly as bad as everyone, except maybe Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, thought he would be, going 3-for-20 to start the year, a .150 average. He went 1-for-8 in the 19-inning marathon loss. Even when Drew does something good, like hitting a home run against Boston Sunday, he goes ahead and commits an error later on. Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela are the future, and the future should be now.
Didi Gregorious: The early returns on Gregorious aren't good, as he's proven in six games he can't hit nor can he field. His baseball IQ, so far, is less than a lot of fans out there. It's been that bad, and the complete opposite of the player he is replacing, Derek Jeter. Gregorious is 3-for-19 (.158) this season with a pair of RBI at the plate.
Brian Cashman: The heat on the Yankees general manager is getting hotter and hotter by the moment. Cashman has made horrible decisions at an alarming rate the past few seasons, lowlighted by handing Drew the starting second base job, giving Carlos Beltran a three-year contract, when he shouldn't have been signed at all, targeting Gregorious as the current and future shortstop, and putting together a roster filled with old players with terrible contracts. Gregorious still has a chance to prove his worth, but it doesn't look like Drew, Beltran, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia are going to contribute much value this season. Cashman doesn't appear to be in trouble of losing his job, however.