First, a quick note: sorry the blog has been spotty of late – in about two weeks (June 22), update frequency should shoot way up.
When things are going well, its easy to ignore your team’s short comings. When your team loses a game, their weaknesses stick out, as the expression goes, like a sore thumb. (Shouldn’t that be swollen thumb? Why would a sore thumb stick out- because it’s swollen?)
When you take a look at the Yankees recent west coast swing through Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles, it’s easy to look at the Seattle series and say, “I can’t believe the Yankees lost that series. Losing a series to the Mariners is inexcusable, especially since they had leads in both games they lost. How can you not hold a lead against an offense as bad as Seattle?” That’s a pretty valid argument; it’s not like they lost those games 1 to 0. Of course, then the Yankees go down to Oakland and face the inept, Hideki Matsui equipped Athletics and suddenly everything is all wine and roses as the Yankees sweep – as their two best pitchers (yes, I mean CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon) slaughter a terrible excuse for guys who are supposed to score runs. Then, the Yankees go to Anaheim (to face the Angels, who I love to poke fun at for their constant name changes), which has generally been a house of horrors for them in the last decade and take two out of three, so it’s easy to be happy with that outcome, even if over the last few years, the Angels have been in serious decline and haven’t given the Yankees series trouble in a long while, even in the 2009 ALCS. All and all, a successful road trip, and the Yankees have a pretty sweet road record.
Then they come home and leave a village on the base paths and lose anther game to the Red Sox.
Obviously, it’s not a good thing, but certainly not the end of the world. You don’t want to lose games to your division rival, especially at home, but if it happens, you move on – but it gets to be a bit stigmatic when you start a third series with a team and a second series at home and have yet to notch a home win. That’s embarrassing, if not catastrophic.
So why’d they lose to the Red Sox at home? Again?
Well, in the case of last night’s contest, there are two simple reasons: Freddy Garcia was terrible and the Yankees left a small village on the base paths. (If you’re wondering how many constitutes a village, it’s 9.) Oh, and my favorite line from the box score:
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – C Granderson 1, A Rodriguez 1, N Swisher 2, A Jones 1.
My favorite moment was when Derek Jeter flied out to right field in the 9th inning on ball four on a pitch that was nowhere near the strike zone. Nice one, el Capitan! Still, Jonathon Papelbon was throwing gas, and I guess it’s hard to gauge where the ball is going, but when a pitcher is a bit wild and it’s a 3-1 count, take a pitch! This goes for you, too, A-Rod. Nice 0 for 5, by the way!
If you care about Jeter’s march to 3000, he only needs 12 more hits after 2 last night – even if one would probably have been an error if they weren’t in New York.
Cheers for Hector Noesi and 6 IP of 2 run ball. During this stint with the Yankees, he’s been very impressive – I wonder if he’ll get a chance in the rotation? He could be a 5th starter candidate next year… too bad he didn’t start last night!
Tonight, the Yankees welcome their old friend Tim Wakefield back to the mound. Will his knuckle ball dance? Who knows. Which AJ Burnett will take the mound? The one who struggles and adjusts or the one who struggles and implodes? The answers are in the Bronx tonight in a totally meaningless June battle for 1st place.