Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yankees Run Season High Win Streak To 8 With 7-5 Win Over Jays

Let the good times roll, right? The Yankees have won 8 straight and are rapidly moving toward officially clinching a playoff spot. With the win today and the Red Sox loss (nice!) the magic number to clinch is 18. Running that down to zero is just a formality. The Red Sox are 9 back in the loss column with 26 to play (could possibly be 10 back by end of night). If the Yankees slump and play .500 the rest of the way (13-13) the Red Sox would have to go 23-4. Excuse me a moment. I have to call 911 because I think I just busted my gut. No chance the Red Sox go 23-4 the rest of the way. I think at best the Red Sox could go 18-9 and that's being very generous. Assuming they do, the wheels would totally have to fall off and the Yankees would have to finish 9-17. Sorry, need another moment. This time I think I split my side. Ouch.

The last 2 Yankee wins have been pretty similar. Mainly because neither starter could make it through 5 (both lasted 4.2) and the bullpen had to step up to lock the win down. And boy did they step it up. Friday the pen combined to pitch 4.1 hitless/scoreless innings. Logan to Robertson to Wood to Rivera. Game over. Today the pen pitched 4.1 IP, allowing 2 inherited runners to score on 3 total hits. Moseley to Logan to Chamberlain to Wood to Rivera. Game over. The runs allowed today could have been avoided if Joe Girardi didn't mishandle the last out of the 5th. With the lefty Lyle Overbay up the correct move would have been to go to Boone Logan as opposed to Dustin Moseley. What made the move even more puzzling is that Girardi used Logan immediately after Moseley. Logan should have been in to face Overbay. Joe's lucky the team picked him up.

The Kerry Wood trade looks like a winner, eh? He's now appeared in 14 games as a Yankee. He's thrown 16 innings, allowing only 1 run on 10 hits. The run he allowed came in his 2nd appearance. Since then he's been lights out. Except for the walks. Girardi has used him as the 8th inning guy two games in a row in games that featured both Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson. Pretty obvious that Wood is the chosen one for the 8th inning. I've got no problem with that choice.

I didn't get to see any of Friday's game. I tried to listen to it on the radio while at work but it didn't go so well. I didn't catch much of Nova's start. I saw all of Vazquez's outing and it wasn't hard to tell that he didn't have anything. It's amazing he lasted as long as he did. I'll give him credit for battling through it and only giving up 3 runs. The big question with Javy is what's up with his velocity, or better yet, lack thereof? He was topping out just below 90 and was averaging around 87. That'll work if you can locate your pitches and have good control and offspeed stuff, a la Mike Mussina. But when you don't, like Javy, you're treading water. I read that he's staying in the rotation so hopefully they can figure out what's wrong before his next turn comes up.

Marcus Thames had the big hit today with what turned out to be a 2-run game winning HR. MT's average has dipped a little but he's got a nice power stroke. He's gone deep in 6 of his last 10 games. He's been quite the surprise this year. Didn't expect him to step up the way he has. Another thing I didn't expect was Brett Gardner to play so well. Honestly, I never saw Gardner as more than a 4th OF. Same as Melky Cabrera. I think I need to re-think that position. I'm most impressed by BG's ability to get on base. He was rocking a .390 OBP coming into today's game and reached another 3 times. He tied a Yankees record by picking up a walk in his 9th straight game (tying Jason Giambi). OBP + speed = a dangerous combination.

Both the Rays and Sox are currently losing their games. Tonight could be a good good night.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,