Monday, April 23, 2007

The sky is not falling on the Yanks . . . yet

The Yanks got swept in a three-game series in Bawstin for the first time in 17 years. This is shocking. Not because they honked, but because they'd not suffered a three-game beatdown in beantown since they were the worst team in the division. Think about it: the Yanks swept a FIVE-game series in Bawstun last year (remember that RedSux fans? It's not that long ago) and three-game sets in both '00 and '01, swept a three-game set in the Stadium in '04, and have been swept in three-game sets at the Stadium in both '99 and '04.

This is not, however, panic time in the Bronx [UPDATE: I'm not the only Yankee fan saying that]. There are definite signs of life and the RedSux magic number viz. the Yanks is 142. That said, the Sawx are definitely better than the 2006 iteration. Here are some notes from the weekend:

(1) The Yanks get a semi-split if Torre doesn't unilaterally blow Friday's game. That was the worst managing since game five of the '04 ALCS -- the one where Torre never gave the steal sign on Wakefield even though Varitek was catching him and the Yanks failed to score despite THREE passed balls in the inning.

(2) The RedStanks scored time and again against the Yanks newly vaunted 'pen -- not good. Torre has worn the 'pen out already, and the team needs to repair these guys over the next month or so. The Monk would like to see some rotating multiple days off for the relievers starting after this week, once the team gets Wang and Mooooooooooooose back.

(3) The Sawx lineup is better than last season -- the addition of J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo should net about 40-50 more runs this season over the occasionally anemic 2006 varietal and both Varitek and Lowell look sharper than they did last year. Lowell's first homer last night was on a decent pitcher's pitch -- he's usually a mistake hitter.

(4) The Yanks can score on the RedSawx starters. The RedSkunks ran out their top three: Schilling, Beckett and Matsuzaka and the Yanks scored 5, 5 and 6 runs off them. Redhos starters had appalling ERAs against the Yanks last year, including Schilling and Beckett. The Yanks rang up 17 runs in the series against the Sawx -- the same # of runs that the Rougesux had coughed up in their previous NINE games.

(5) The Yanks have major injuries: Matsui, Moooooooooooose, Wang, Pavano all missed the series; Posada missed most of it. The RedSux are healthy. If the Yanks had won two in Beanheadtown, the Baaaastin papers would be pooping their pants worrying about the team.

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