Baseball’s Savior

A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports

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February 26, 2011

YANKEES SEASON PREVIEW

by @ 9:30 am. Filed under 2005 Season, 2006 ALDS, 2006 Season, 2007 Season, 2008 Season, 2008 Yankees, 2009 Yankees, 2010 Yankees, 2011 Yankees, Baseball Bag, Baseball Equipment, Baseball Tickets, Joe DiMaggio, World Series Retrospectives, Yankees History, Yankees Tickets

Did you ever see the movie, “Catch Me if You Can”? It stars Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and is directed by Steven Spielberg. For all intents and purposes it’s a highly enjoyable flick. There’s a line in it, however, that I feel compelled to write about. In the movie, Leo asks, “You know why the Yankees win so many games? Because the other team can’t take their eyes off the pinstripes.” What a load of crap. Here’s your 2011 New…York…Yankees…
Left field: Brett Gardner. 2010 splits: .277 average, five home runs, 47 RBI, .762 OPS. Brief: Gardner is considered sneaky-quick, swiping 47 stolen bases in ’10. His production slipped mightily in the second half, as Gardner batted only .233 after the all-star break. There are concerns within the organization that he will be the same player he was in the second half last season. The good thing for Yankees fans are those concerns are coupled with a fat check book that can go out and make the necessary tweaking if need be.
Center field: Curtis Granderson. 2010 splits: .247 average, 24 home runs, 67 RBI, .792 OPS. Brief: Granderson isn’t a hitter who will consistently hit for average. It’s a common misconception because he’s a speedy centerfield that can rob a sure double in the gap with the efficiency of a common criminal. However, Granderson has an elongated swing that can put him in extended slumps from time-to-time. Still, when he’s on, it’s hard to find a guy more capable of a standup triple this side of Jose Reyes.
Right field: Nick Swisher. 2010 splits: .288 average, 29 home runs, 89 RBI, .870 OPS. Brief: What a pleasant surprise Swisher was in ’10 for the Yanks. Makes me a little sick to my stomach to be perfectly honest. Swisher put up career numbers last year and was also a fan favorite for his “zany antics”. I hate that schtick: “I’m the crazy guy who’s out here to loosen up these up-tight millionaires.” Anyway, there’s also rumors that Charlie Sheen wants Swisher to conduct his first interview since he last ran into some…shall we say…trouble. This guy should buy a lottery ticket.
INFIELD
Third base: Alex Rodriguez. 2010 splits: .270 average, 30 home runs, 125 RBI, .847 OPS. Brief: A-Rod is now 35 years old? Daign, that must make Ken Griffey Junior eligible for an AARP card. Rodriguez produces, despite all the flak he receives. At this point, it’s a simple matter of health for A-Rod. He had a number of different ailments in 2010 including a nagging hip injury. One day he’ll be remembered for what he is, one of the best players of all time. And also for sun tanning in Central Park…The four dudes playing volleyball in Top Gun thought that decision was a little questionable.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter. 2010 splits: .270 average, 10 home runs, 67 RBI, .710 OPS. Brief: There’s certain athletes you don’t mess with. You hear me Hank Steinbrenner!? That’d be like my hometown Detroit Red Wings giving our fearless leader Steve Yzerman grief. And I don’t play that. So, Hank, keep Jeter’s name out of your mouth because he’ll probably make a remarkable play in a big moment and win you another World Series that you don’t need.
Second base: Robinson Cano. 2010 splits: .319 average, 29 home runs, 109 RBI, .914 OPS. Brief: Cano was arguably the best player in baseball last season. He seems to have climbed into that top-tier reserved for future hall of famers and perennial all-stars. Not to mention, the guy makes some ridiculous plays at second base and has tremendous range. It’s good to be good.
First base: Mark Teixeira. 2010 splits .256 average, 33 home runs, 108 RBI, .846 OPS. Brief: Big Tex suffered a nasty hamstring injury last year in Game 4 of the ALCS. He should be back and ready to produce as steadily as always. Teixeira has had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI every year for the last seven seasons.
Designated Hitter: Jorge Posada. 2010 splits: .248 average, 18 home runs, 57 RBI, .811 OPS. Brief: Now 39 years-old, Posada finally relinquishes his spot behind the plate to Russell Martin. I think this is a great move that should help increase Posada’s production at the plate.
Catcher: Russell Martin. 2010 splits: .248, 5 home runs, 46 RBI, .679 OPS. Brief: A former all-star, Martin’s production at the plate has steadily decreased since 2007. Nonetheless, he will provide a breather for Posada, who should benefit from not having his knee cartilage disintegrate at such an alarming rate.
That’s all for now…come back next week and we’ll take a look at all things pitching for the Yanks. Goodnight now.

November 14, 2005

Sanity Reigns Supreme as Alex Rodriguez Wins MVP

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Sixteen voters got it right and twelve got it wrong. Some idiot actually voted A-Rod third on the ballot, which goes to show you how weird the BBWA can be. Not only was A-Rod a better hitter then David Ortiz in 2005, he actually took the field and made a contribution to the tune of nine runs above replacement at third base (close to one win).

The end result was a lot closer then it should have been as A-Rod took it 331 to 307. Vladimir Guerrero was the only other player to snatch a first place vote (so we know who voted A-Rod third). I like how they start making up statistics to warrant giving the award to the “fan” favorite, Ortiz. A-Rod was a better hitter, got on base more and hit more homeruns. It doesn’t matter how many RBIs Ortiz had after the seventh inning or to put his team ahead, A-Rod was better in 2005, period.

Alex Rodriguez, MVP

by @ 11:27 am. Filed under 2005 Season

In a couple of hours, we shall see whether Alex Rodriguez walks away with his second MVP, or whether the writer’s screw up another award and give it to David Ortiz. Either way, it should be interesting.

November 9, 2005

Mariano Rivera Finishes Second for the Cy Young, Joe Torre Finishes Third for Manager of the Year

by @ 8:07 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Alright, Brian called it, and I agree with both Gleeman and Baseball Prospectus. Colon wasn’t the best pitcher in the American League, so it’s a shame he walked away the Cy Young. He was outperformed in just about every category that counts by Johan Santana, and it’s just unfortunate the BBWA still puts so much weight on wins.

Joe Torre finished third to Ozzie Guillen and Eric Wedge for manager of the year. No real surprise here either. Whoever walked away with the AL Central was going to win the award, and Guillen edged Wedge (say that three times really fast) in the regular season standings and one of his prizes is the Manager of the Year award.

The Yanks bought out Tino Martinez. No real surprise here as Tino didn’t do all that great and would warrant the $3 million. Carlos Delgado is supposed to be available, so maybe we can get him on board, because Paul Konerko will most likely re-sign with the White Sox. There’s been some speculation that they’ll try moving Jorge Posada to first base and try to pick up a catcher, but I doubt if that’ll happen.

November 8, 2005

Robinson Cano Finishes Second to Huston Street for AL ROY

by @ 10:01 am. Filed under 2005 Season

I’m not terribly surprised this. Cano had a solid season by conventional terms (.297 batting average over 522 at bats), but he had a rather mediocre .262 EQA. He was a slightly above average hitter (BRAR 19, BRAA 1) but that gets wiped out by his mediocre fielding (FRAR 17, FRAA -4). He did provide the Yankees with some solid play at a position that they needed help at.

Huston Street had the flashy relief numbers. He finished the season with 50 pitching runs above replacement, so he was worth about two more wins the Cano was.

Jonny Gomes finished a solid third, although you could have made a case for him walking away with the award as well. He had a very solid .305 EQA. At the end of the day, he and Cano were nearly identical in WARP1. Cano had a 3.9 and Gomes had a 3.8, with Cano picking up some points because he played a tougher spot out n the field.

October 26, 2005

Armageddon?

by @ 10:37 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Well, it looks like lightening is going to strike in the same place twice. Last year we have the perenial losers, the Boston Red Sox, end their “curse” by finally winning the World Series. This year, we have an equally pathetic franchise, the Chicago White Sox, looking set to win their first World Series since 1917. If the Cubs win next year, I think we should plan on the world ending sometime soon.

Looks like Brian Cashman is coming back, and he might get a little more power out of the deal. So now, he’ll be accountable if the Yankees can’t put it together next year.

I think the first order of business will be getting Hideki Matsui back in pin stripes. While Hideki was a lighter at the plate in 2005, he was a touch better in the field and his WARP3 of 8.2 is the best he’s ever had. He also cut way down on his strikeouts this year, even if his walk total dropped as well. BJ Ryan would make a nice replacement as a setup man if Gordon decides to go elsewhere.

So if the White Sox win tonight, I’m sure the price of gold will go up, and people will start stocking their long dormant shelters that they built in the 1960s (when the the democrats were in charge and they were needed).

And with the end of the season, comes the awards. A-Rod should take home the MVP. Randy Johnson might get some votes for Cy Young, but he probably won’t win it. Torre might get a vote or two for Manager of the Year, but Ozzie Guillen will probably walk away with that. He can put it next to his gold gloves and his “one of the worst hitters of all time” award.

October 18, 2005

Who’s to Blame??

by @ 1:02 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

For the fifth straight year, the Yankees did not win the World Series. While part of it can be written off as the “anything can happen in the playoffs argument” I think it might go a little deeper then that. So who’s to blame. Is it Brian Cashman? Joe Torre? Alex Rodriguez? Heck, this is hard to swallow, but is it George Steinbrenner?

It’s hard to blame George. He put one of the strongest teams out on the field, and they didn’t produce. Offseason pickups of Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano were major busts, and while George and his advisors have a say in everything that goes on, I lay the blame at the feet of the general manager.

Fortunately, it looks like that problem will go away. I doubt if Cashman is coming back, so the question will be, who is the next Yankees GM? Maybe it’s Lou Pinella (who would also replace Joe Torre on the field as manager), but I find it hard unlikely that Lou would yield to Steinbrenners’ controlling ways. Bowden, the Nationals’ GM, is probably a better fit. He made some bone head moves, but the Nationals improved dramatically last year.

October 11, 2005

Time to Think

by @ 8:51 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Alright, the Yanks are done. Yeah, I’m disappointed. When your expectations are to win the World Series each and every year, anything short of that is a downer.

There will be some changes heading into next year, namely Joe Torre and Brian Cashman will probably not be with the team. Some new blood might a good thing, so wait and see.

Even though the Yanks are done, I’m not. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the offseason and I’ll be continuing my World Series Retrospective series. I’ve also been talking to some other like minded bloggers, and we might do some group roundtables or something, so be sure to check back every week or so. I plan on posting at least twice per.

Regardless of what happens, we have the best owner a professional sports team has ever had. Mr. Steinbrenner gives us a chance to win the World Series every year, and I’m confident he’ll do the same for 2006.

October 10, 2005

Colon Says No Mas

by @ 9:00 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

One inning from Colon. Too bad. I would have much rather beaten him then given everyone out there who hates the Yankees and excuse. But, it is what it is. Yanks are up 2-0 with two outs in the second. Moose just has to give us some nice innings.

Elimination

by @ 4:46 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Game five in the ALDS is a little over three hours away. I’m not sure how I can be expected to work with this kind of anticipation.

Moose has to come up big, as do the bats. I expect big things from A-Rod in this game, like RBIs. He’s going to be the man of the hour.

October 9, 2005

Still Alive

by @ 11:16 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

The Yankees head back to Anaheim for Game Five in their ALDS. Some solid pitching by Shawn Chacon and Mariano Rivera allowed the Yanks to get back in the game. Derek Jeter’s ground ball fielders choice scored Jorge Posada on a close play at the plate. Someone has to tell Molina it only counts if you tag the guy with hand that has the ball. Someone also has to tell Robinson Cano that he has to slide on close plays at the plate. I almost had Jeremy Giambi flashbacks on that play.

It’s Moose vs. Bartolo Colon in game five. They haven’t announced a time yet, so I’ll be curious to see if they juggle their primetime lineup to show the Yanks move on, or if I’ll miss the game because I’m at work and it’s shown during the day.

Go Time

by @ 4:29 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Alright, it’s do or die time for the Yankees. After a rain out yesterday. MLB.com is saying John Lackey and Yahoo is saying Jarod Washburn. Whoever it is, we need to rock them early. Shawn Chacon is throwing for the Yanks, and he’s been solid.

Time to get the job done. I want to see another Yankees game tomorrow.

October 6, 2005

Tony Graffanino

by @ 10:10 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Give the guy a break. Do you know how hard it is to field a ground ball when you have your two hands wrapped around your throat??

I feel for Boomer too. He’s a Yankees through and through even though he took this one year to go over to the dark side. He’s a great big game pitcher and got the Red Sox out of a jam in the fifth….ooops, maybe not. While he did an admirable job at replacing Pedro, not even he can overcome the black hole like sucking sucking ability of the Boston Red Sox. The only thing that would have made it funnier is if Wells started pummelling Gaffy in the dugout. Then I guess he wouldn’t have gotten that double to “redeem” himself.

Even Steven

by @ 6:37 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Not a good game last night. You’re not going to win many games when you make three errors.

Randy Johnson throws against Paul Byrd at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. I think we should wrap this up at home, so I’m planning on celebrating this Saturday.

October 5, 2005

No Surprises

by @ 6:34 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Someone wrote me asking if I’d do playoff predictions. I’d do that, but frankly predicting the other series is irrelevant. Then Yankees won their first of eleven games that they need to win another World Series. While I’d like to see them win those eleven games in succession, they might lost a game or two, so repeating “Yankees sweep series” in a prediction column wouldn’t provide much value to anyone. So in short…

Yankees Win
Nothing Else Matters

The Angels threw their best at us in their home stadium, but the Yankees still prevailed. Robinson Cano got things started in the first inning with a bases loaded three run double. Jason Giambi drove in two with his double in the second and the game was effectively over. Mike Mussina threw 5 2/3 shutout innings as he took advantage of the run support. The only worry was the Angels got to Rivera in the ninth. Fortunately, it didn’t matter.

Game two is tonight at 10 pm. Yankees win, nothing else matters.

October 2, 2005

Baseball’s Savior

by @ 9:36 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

The question I’m asked most about my new site is, “What does the name mean?” Plain and simple, the New York Yankees, along with George Steinbrenner, are baseball’s savior. The league would not exist the way it does now if it weren’t for the Yankees. Let’s look at the numbers…..

First, George Steinbrenner gives away more money in revenue sharing and the luxury tax then any other team in the league. It’s not even close. That number is set to be close to $100 million this year. That’s more then most team’s payrolls and most of it goes to the so called “poor teams.” I know the luxury tax goes into the league’s coffers, but it’s the owners money to play with and you know Bud’s into helping out the little guys. Where would the Royals be if it weren’t for the paycheck they get from King George.

Second, the Yankees make the rest of the team’s money. A lot of money. They’ve led the league in road attendance from from 2002 through 2004. In addition, every team requests to have the Yankees come to their stadium. A lot of people would point to this year as a decline because they finished a close second to the Red Sox, but the only reason that happens is because we’re forced to play 10 games in the world’s largest kitty litter box (Fenway Park) that holds around 35k, while the Red Sox benefit from playing in Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees broke the American League record for attendance this year. So those 10 games in the shit box, whether they sell out or not, lowers their average attendance on the road.

Take the Yankees out of the equation, and you have something akin to a very popular International League or Pacific Coast League. Despite the fact that everyone hates the Yankees, everyone knows that the Yankees are needed.

And since we’re on the subject of the Red Sox, it’s interesting that they squeaked into the playoffs. It took a bigger choke job (Indians) to get them in, but they’ll be there. They say if you put an infinite number of monkeys into a room with an infinite number of typewriters, one of them by accident will produce something Shakespearian. The same can be said for the 2004 Boston Red Sox. A loser franchise finally beat all the odds and did it. Unfortunately for them, their luck has run out. The Red Sox will get squashed in 2005 and this year, they won’t be able to hide behind some stupid curse.

October 1, 2005

New York Yankees Clinch American League East for Eighth Straight Year

by @ 9:14 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Tomorrow’s game doesn’t mean a hill of beans, at least to the Yankees. This is due in large part to the Indians current choke job. If the Red Sox win, they get the Wild Card. If we win tomorrow and the Indians win, then the Red Sox and Indians go to a one game playoff for the wildcard.

Gary Sheffield is the man. He got things going with a huge two run homer in the first inning. In addition, he made at least two great catches (those were the ones I saw, I didn’t see the whole game) out in rightfield. Not bad for someone with a lame leg.

Until the wildcard is sorted out, we won’t even know who our division series opponent is. At this point, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Red Sox getting knocked out and going against the Indians.

Boston Wins Game One

by @ 10:06 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Round one goes to the Red Sox. From the very beginning, I had little confidence in Wang. We really blew an opportunity in the first inning though. Bases loaded and nobody out and we only managed one run. David Wells thrives on getting out of jams like that, and he settled down and took care of business. Unfortunately.

The good news is, the Indians lost, so we’re still a game ahead of them. The machinations of this three team race are pretty interesting.

Game two is this afternoon on Fox. I’ll be flipping between innings to the UM/MSU game. I’m a State grad (which is why I’m a Yankees fan in Michigan). Go State.

September 29, 2005

Yankees Stay on Top

by @ 10:37 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Damn you David Ortiz. This would have been a lot easier if the Red Sox had lost, but Fat Papi had to ruin things by not only tying the game with homer in the eighth, but winning it with a walk off RBI single in the ninth. Now all I hearabout is “Ortiz for MVP” when I can think of at least two Yankees who deserve the award more.

The Yankees took care of business. Aaron Small improved to 10-0 and the Yankees had a 6-0 lead at one point. Jason Giambi got things started early with a three run shot in the top of the first. Hideki Matsui also homered, his 22th.

In case you missed it, the Yankees travel to the shit box for a HUGE three game series. We’re up by one, and this first game tomorrow is huge. Wang is going up against a big game pitcher in David Wells and the game is on ESPN, so I’ll get to catch the game.

Advantage Yankees

by @ 6:23 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Thank you Shawn Chacon. He and the usual relief duo of Gordon/Rivera held the Orioles to one run on five hits and Alex Rodriguez homered for the 47th time as the Yankees topped the Orioles. The Red Sox dropped their game to the Blue Birds, so the Yankees now have a one game lead in the AL East. Four games, and the magic number is now four.

At worst, the Yankees will head into the shit box tied with the Red Sox. At best, we’re two games up and playing to clinch the division tomorrow. Aaron Small is on the mound tonight.

September 28, 2005

Keeping Things Interesting

by @ 12:49 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Man, the Yankees got pummelled yesterday. Thankfully the Jays bailed us out and took one of their games against the Red Sox. Tonight, Shawn Chacon takes the mound. Doesn’t look like the game is going to be on ESPN, which is a drag.

Time to win.

September 27, 2005

Yankees Take Lead Over Red Sox in Sprint to the Finish Line

by @ 8:57 am. Filed under 2005 Season

A nice easy win last night. Randy Johnson was solid, and the offense showed up. Boston’s game was rained out so now they have to play two today. Heck, even the White Sox lost last night to the Tigers. Should be interesting final six days.

September 25, 2005

Yankees and Red Sox Enter Final Week of Season Dead Even

by @ 4:40 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

This is going to be a great week of baseball. The Yankees took two of three against the Blue Jays and the Red Sox swept the Orioles. The net result is the two teams enter their final seven games dead even, with a three game series at the end of the week to settle things up between the two rivals.

Shawn Chacon got the job done again on Friday. Eight shutout innings and only three hits given up. I was able to see the game on ESPN, which is always a treat for this out of towner. Derek Jeter and the red hot Robinson Cano homered. Alex Rodriguez was one for two with two walks and two runs. The Yankees did most of their damage in the opening inning by scoring four runs, so I could breathe easy and enjoy those big looping curveballs Chacon was throwing.

Yesterday was the one downer moment. For the third time this year, Jaret Wright was nailed on a comebacker. Wright tried sticking it out, but by the end of the second inning, the score was 7-3. Errors by Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano didn’t help matters and the two errors ultimately led to four unearned runs. Alex Rodriguez accounted for most of the Yankees offense as he went two for three with a homerun, three RBIs and two walks. Aaron Small threw great in his 6 2/3 innings of relief (four hits, no runs), but the Yankees couldn’t mount the comeback.

Today was a fun game as well. Chien-Ming Wang threw four no hit innings before the Jays finally got to him with three runs in the fifth. That gave the Jays a 3-2 lead and the score would stay that way until the bottom of the seventh. That’s when the rookie, Robinson Cano, came up huge with a two run shot to give the Yankees the lead. New York would add four in the eighth to seal the deal, and Gary Sheffield had a monster day with four RBIs.

Yesterday, the Yankees became only the third franchise to draw four million fans to it’s ballpark. Only the Blue Jays (1992 and 1993) and the Rockies (1993) had done it in the past. Truly an epic achievement and one more reason why the Yankees are the greatest franchise in the history of sports.

On deck are the struggling Orioles. They’ve lost four straight and Raffy and Sammy are both done so I’m expecting nothing short of a sweep as acceptable. The Blue Jays, who have played the Red Sox tough this year, head to the shit box to play four games there. A nice one or two game lead would be nice going into the weekend series, that way we can wrap things up Friday or Saturday.

I just checked and the Royals came from behind to beat the Indians. That means the second place team in the AL East (i.e. Red Sox) might be able to back into the playoffs via the wild card since we’re now only a half game back of the Tribe.

September 22, 2005

A Scare, But Still a Win

by @ 10:14 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

I’m not sure what it is with the Yankees and their ability to close out blowouts. Yeah, they won. But those four runs in the eighth inning and the solo shot by Melvin Mora in the top of the ninth sure made things interesting.

I’ll still take it though. Jorge Posada went yard twice and Mike Mussina pitched six very solid innings (he did even better then I would have expected). With the win, the Yankees are now a full game ahead of the Red Sox. Magic Number is now 10.

Three games against Toronto this weekend. A sweep and a perfect week would be nice. Boston travels to Baltimore, so it’d be nice if the Birds took out their frustrations on the Red Sox after the drubbing the Yanks gave them.

For the first time in a while, we control our own destiny. We need to take advantage of it.

Yankees Pass Red Sox, Now Lead in American League East

by @ 6:42 am. Filed under 2005 Season

All is right with the world. At least today. The Yankees, behind a strong outing by Randy Johnson, beat the Orioles and won their third straight game. The Red Sox lost to the Devil Rays, and the Yankees now lead the Red Sox in the American League East by a 1/2 game.

Randy Johnson gave up three hits through eight innings, and he pitched the way we’re paying him too. Mariano Rivera closed out the game and notched his 41st save.

Trading deadline pickup Matt Lawton came up with the big hit. His two run homer in the second inning accounted for all of the Yankees runs.

The Red Sox are now on the outside looking in. We have one more game against the Orioles which will balance out the schedule. A win tonight will put us a full game ahead in the East. Hopefully Mike Mussina is ready to come back and help our playoff run.

September 21, 2005

Yankees Top Orioles, Pick Up Game on Indians

by @ 8:18 am. Filed under 2005 Season

At this point, all the Yankees can do is win their games. If they do that, the rest should fall out. The Red Sox won last night, so we’re still a half game back of them. The Indians lost though, so we picked up a game and that deficit is also a half game.

Last night’s game was without it’s problems. The Yankees jumped out to a 9-3 lead, and that slowly evaporated. They needed the run in the fifth, but not neccesarily the two runs in the eighth, but this game was a lot closer then it needed to be.

Gary Sheffield came up huge. With an injured leg, he drove in six runs as the DH. He doubled and hit his 29th homer of the season.

The problem was the pitching. Aaron Small got roughed up in his five innings of work. The bullpen didn’t fare much better as Scott Proctor, Tom Gordan and Alan Embree were all tagged for runs. Sadly, the game got so close that Torre had to use Mariano Rivera.

Today, it’s Randy Johnson vs. who cares (actually it’s Rodrigo Lopez). Johnson has been pitching well down the stretch, and we need another shutout tonight. Mike Mussina makes his return tomorrow and he’ll probably be on a pitch count, so resting the pen is imperative.

September 20, 2005

Virtual Tie

by @ 6:51 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Thank you, Tampa Bay. The Red Sox lost and we won, so we’re not tied in the loss column (where it counts). The Indians won game one against the White Sox, so you could see Chicago in the wild card mix here as they free fall. Should be a very interesting final two weeks of the season.

September 18, 2005

Yankees Win Series of One Run Games Against Blue Birds

by @ 8:29 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Earlier in the season, the Yankees dug themselves a nice hole. Now, they’re paying for it because they almost have to be perfect down the stretch to make the playoffs. Fortunately, we’re talking about the greatest franchise in the history of sports, so it’s well within their capabilities. The problem is, they just have to do it.

Today’s game is case in point. The Yankees had a six game winning streak, but right now, that’s not enough. Fortunately the Red Sox lost as well, so we’re still only one and a half back. The Indians didn’t lose, so we’re also 1 1/2 back of them. What’s interesting is the Red Sox are now tied with the Indians, so you have three teams chasing two playoff spots. If we’re able to pass the Red Sox, they might not have the Wild Card to fall back on. Same goes for us if we can’t take the AL East.

Today’s game was a tough one, both on the score board and on the field. Jaret Wright and Jason Giambi both left the game. Giambi we can live without because we usually don’t have a problem on offense (not that he won’t be missed). Jaret Wright is the tougher nut because we all know the Yankees are short on arms. We might be seeing Al Leiter back in the rotation.

And we lost. We were down early 5-2, and while we scored a run in each of the last three innings, it was the Jays insurance run in the eighth that really burned us. Jaret Wright may have walked away (in more ways the one) with the loss, but Tanyon Sturtze definitely gets an assist.

The other two weekend games were scary as well. On Friday, we jumped out to an 11-3 lead and it didn’t seem to matter that much that Randy Johnson got tossed. A few innings later, it was 11-10 and we were fighting for our lives. The back end of the pen (Strutze and Rivera) did their job, and we walked away with a win.

Yesterday, Shawn Chacon pitched the game of his life. Man, this guy must be glad to get out of Denver, because he’s been lights out at times for us. Nice trading deadline move. Anyway, he pitched eight shutout innings and gave up four hits, resting the pen in the process. Oddly, he only struck out one batter, and he didn’t have that great of a ground ball/fly ball ratio (8/14). Bernie Williams singled home Jorge Posada, and that’s all we’d need.

Now we head home to play the Orioles in a four game series. Three of four is mandatory. Splits don’t cut it, because we have only two weeks left. Cleveland squares off against the struggling White Sox in Chicago for three. Boston goes to Tampa Bay. Maybe Tampa can help us out after all the damage they’ve caused us this year.

September 16, 2005

Bring Out the Brooms, Yankees Sweep Devil Rays

by @ 9:35 am. Filed under 2005 Season

Things are the way they’re supposed to be. The mighty Yankees, the greatest franchise in the history of any sport, beat up on one of the newest and least prolific franchises. All is right with the world (almost) as the Yankees got out the brooms and swept the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

I think Tuesday was a culimination of the frustrations that the Yankees have had with Tampa this year. They simply destroyed the Devil Rays. Five runs in each of the first two innings completely ripped this game open. To add insult to injury, the Yanks racked up seven more runs in the sixth inning. In all they ended the game with twenty hits. Jason Giambi hit his 30th homerun and drove in five runs while Hideki Matsui went four for four with four RBIs. Jorge Posada, who appears to be fine after the collision last weekend, drove in four runs as well.
Lost in the offensive onslaught was a very nice outing by Jaret Wright. He gave up five hits through seven innings of work. He did strike out four, but he walked four as well.

Wednesday was a little tighter. As I predicted on Sunday, Derek Jeter came through in a big way. With the score tied 4-4 through six innings, Derek Jeter came through with a clutch two run single to put the Yankees in front for good. Chien-Ming Wang walked away with the win despite getting roughed up in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Hideki Matsui had another nice game as he went two for four with two doubles and two runs.

Yesterday’s game had it’s suspense as well. The Devil Rays jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Yanks rallied for six runs in the top of the sixth. The big hit of the inning was Robinson Cano’s grand slam. He finished the game three for five with three runs and five RBIs. Aaron Small, despite a subpar outing, improved to 8-0 and Mariano Rivera notched his 39th save of the season.

The Yankees are now 1 1/2 back of the Red Sox (only one back in the loss column). Baseball Prospectus is now giving us (or their analysis is at least) a 31% chance of taking the division and nearly a 50% chane of making the playoffs. This is up substantially since before the sweep (and it’s even better since we took two of three from the Red Sox). We’re in a virtual tie with the Indians for the Wild Card (1 game back in the win column, tied in the loss column). The Blue Jays are on deck, and I’m expecting another sweep. This weekend’s hero will be Alex Rodriguez as he cements his chances for a second AL MVP.

September 11, 2005

Twins Lay Egg

by @ 9:54 pm. Filed under 2005 Season

Well, so much for the Twins helping us out.

One thing I missed is the A’s and Indians square off this week. While it means one of them will have to win, it also means the other will have to win. Should be interesting to see how it plays out. For now, I’m rooting for the A’s.

Of course if we take care of business against Tampa Bay, then it shouldn’t matter. I’m going to make a prediction and say that Derek Jeter is going to have a huge series.

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