Monday, September 18, 2006
1 Out of 4 Ain't Bad, Right?
I guess the saying what what goes around comes around could describe the outcome of the series against the Red Sox this past weekend. In late August the Yankees entered Boston a game behind the Red Sox only to embarrass them and sweep the five-game series, took the lead in the East, and watched Boston take a tumble and finishing up at 8-21 for the month, one of the worst monthly records of all-time.
This time it was different, instead of five games in four days, it wound up to be four games in to days thanks to a rained out game to start the series.
Boston was in town for a useless series just so they can get their egos back up to the arrogant levels again. Sadly, they succeeded.
The Yankees were hoping to repeat last years style of clinching by defeating Boston again. Nope. Although a win on Saturday night did lower their magic number to four, but the Yankees should have clinched by winning at least three of the games. Key word is should. We had lost the Sunday doubleheader because of weaknesses in both pitching and hitting.
In the first game, the Yankees spoiled a no-out bases-loaded situation with a strike out, pop-up, and a ground out in that order. Just a little statistical trivia for you, when a base runner is on third with no outs, there is a 95-97% chance that he will score. Yankees opted for the 2-5% to end the inning. I was pretty upset over that especially since Boston had a no-name pitcher in the game and we still couldn't do anything.
In the second game the Yankees took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning with the best relievers coming up to secure the victory. Total bullshit. Ron Villone, our great set-up reliever allowed the Red Sox to tie it up at four, and then Kyle Farmboy came in to send the Yankees into extra innings until he let the Red Sox win it.
Yes, our great bullpen is noting but bullshit. Kyle Farnsworth is a waste of money, Octavio Dotel (who?) is not around, Villone and Scott Proctor can't be trusted, and Mike Myers is a DOOP pitcher.
By the way, in case you forgot, DOOP stand for Designated One-Out Pitcher.
Ok, enough about our pitching, lets get to hitting.
It's apparent that Derek Jeter isn't too concerned about winning the batting title. His 25-game hit streak came to an end during the Sunday night cap and was pretty horrible throughout the series, not very MVPish if you could say. Jason Giambi is still stuck on 36 home runs and will not reach 40 by season end. It's gotten to the point where Alex Rodriguez is the leading offense producer (gasp!). Matsui is still coming back to the game, but still managed to drive in a couple runs. Melky Cabrera again stepped up to the plate and delivered, so expect to see him in the outfield as a permanent player next year since Sheffield will be gone.
BUT!! But but but, before I go and criticize everyone for the weak performance, let me say that because this series wasn't that big, although the AL East title was up for grabs, the Yankees played with a reserve line-up meaning that they starting line-up was resting, at least some of them. Sal Fasano, Craig Wilson, Terrance Long, Melky Cabrera, Aaron Guiel, and Nick Green played in a couple games, they actually did alright, but not enough.
We lacked in hitting and pitching and that could cost the Yankees in the playoffs if Joe Torre is not careful. If anything, Take Myers and Farmboy with you as long as the starting pitchers can produce a full start, I.e. more than five innings.
Jaret Wright pitched a great game only to see it go to waste thanks to the relief, Mussina and Wang both saw mediocre games and suffered a loss because of lack of hitting. Randy Johnson was the only one that saw the light although he did not have a quality start and gave up five runs in as many innings.
What the Yankees need are quality starts from at least three of their five pitchers. Mussina and Wang are still the top two, although Mussina's injury has been a set back but will recover.
Jaret right has improved and will be their fourth starter. Randy Johnson is still hit or miss and Cory Lidle is unknown. I don;t know what to say.
I do know this, the Yankees can afford to dump a pitcher, just like they did with Sidney Ponson.
The magic number is still four, we could have clinched this past weekend, but it looks like the other New York team will beat us too it.
Posted by Steve Kenul at 10:18 AM