Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ladies And Gentleman, May I Present To You, Your 4th Place New York Yankees

Wow. 4th place. Didn't see that coming when the year started. My how the times have changed. The Yankees go into Seattle with their backs up against the wall. They've got their 2 best pitchers throwing against a weak Mariner lineup. The Mariners are by far the worst team in the American League. And what do the Yankees do? Drop 2 of 3 and pretty much kill any remote chance they had at making a run at the wild card. They desperately needed to sweep Seattle, something they've already done twice this year. And for the most part, they didn't even bother showing up. So now we find our boys in 4th place, 8.5 games behind Boston for the wild card with 19 games remaining. Boston is on pace to win 96 games. If the Yankees were to somehow win every remaining game, they'd finish with 95. I'm still standing firm that the wild card winner ends the year with 94 wins. That gives the Yanks 2 games to play with. 2 more losses and it's officially over. It shouldn't take long for that to happen. They're off to Anaheim to take on the AL's best team. My prediction? Anaheim takes 2 of 3 and the Yankees season for all intents and purposes ends in no more than 3 days.

Mike Mussina winning 20 games is one of the few things left to cheer for. He should have picked up his 18th win today, but a few mistakes by the Moose combined with another piss-poor showing by the offense against a pitcher with a career ERA just shy of 7 did Moose in. I don't think Moose pitched too poorly today. It wasn't his greatest outing of the season, but it was far from his worst. He definitely pitched well enough to win the game, but 2 costly pitches and an errant throw pretty much sealed his fate. The 2 longballs were very unlike Moose, as he had only given up 15 dingers in his 29 starts. It won't be easy for Moose to win 20. He has 4 games left to pick up 3 Ws. His remaining starts look to be against the Rays, White Sox, Jays, and Red Sox. He's got an OK shot. I just hope he pitches with the benefit of some run support. That's the least the team could do.

I continue to be puzzled by the inconsistency that is the Yankees offense. For some unknown reason they always seem to struggle against pitchers they've never faced before. Or at least it seems that way. Considering the lineup pretty much consists of guys that can swing the stick, for the life of me I don't get how they all find a way to suck at the same time when they face these second, or in some cases third or fourth rate pitchers for the very first time. Since I'm not now and will never be a professional ball player, I don't really know what goes into a hitter's preparation, especially against new pitchers. I'm sure they get scouting reports of some kind, but I wonder if these guys bother to go over them or if they just fly by the seats of their pants, thinking they're above going over the reports because they think they're that good. I'm inclined to think that the hitting coach, Kevin Long, has something to do with their preparation. It appears to me Kevvy boy ain't doing his jobby job, and hasn't been for much of the year. Considering how talented the lineup is, I'm inclined to think there's something else going down, or should I say not going down, behind the scenes. I won't be surprised in the least if Long isn't back with the team next year. I'd whack him if I were in charge. Dave Eiland too. Girardi? I'll give him a pass, but he really needs to shape up, or be shipped out.

I still can't believe the Yankees are in 4th place. Don't get me wrong, they deserve to be. It's just mind-boggling that a team of this caliber is this bad. With the exception of the Orioles, the Yankees remaining schedule is filled with games against opponents with better winning percentages. They've got to go up against three 1st place teams, the wild card leader, and a hot Blue Jays team. Forget the post-season, I'm going to be shocked if they finish in 3rd.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,