After tonight, when New York loses to Toronto in a whole new despicable way (I’m imagining a 14 to 13, walk-off salami by Lind off Bruney in the bottom of the ninth after the Yanks were leading by 12 heading into the inning and burn through 4 pitchers to lose), the Yanks will be so far behind Boston that even the Red Sox may feel sorry (hah..not) for the Yanks when they go to deliver the killing blow this weekend at Fenway. I know, I know; "there’s plenty of fight left in this team", "we need to keep playing hard and scratch out some wins", blah, blah. I’m always fond to remember that baseball games are still played one at a time, and each game has its own strategies and wrinkles. While the Yanks think of new ways stand on their own neck with their own foot, there are still schemes playing out worth tracking. Pete Abraham reported last night that the Yankees will keep their rotation intact heading into Boston this weekend, meaning that the seasonally-tested arms of Mussina, Wang, and Pettitte are the projected starters, and the seasonally-testy Fists of Clemens will be unleashed upon the White Sox. Boston, however, is choosing to skip Julian Tavarez’ turn in the wheel and will throw Wakefield, Schilling and Beckett.
So it’s the fighting style of Master Mussina of Stanford-Tzu vs. the Butterfly-Flaps-Its-Wings Wakefield Philosophy … the ground-style fighting of Wang-Fu vs. Curt-Ra-Te (empty hand, open mouth)… Pettitte’s Judo-Flip-Onto-The-Grenade-For-The-Team vs. Beckett’s Quivering Avulsion of Death, blister-style. In the mean time, Julian Tavarez of Screaming Leather-Faced Tiger Dojo is left on the outs. Of course he’s always available if someone gets in a jam. And of course, with Wake starting the first game of the set, he also can be called upon later. Heck, he could be called upon to pitch both games of a day-night double-header I suppose. Let’s look at how the pitchers in question have fared so far in their cage matches.
|Yanks vs Sox|
|Sox vs Yanks|
Stats and links courtesy of baseball-reference.com.Tavarez has held Yankee hitters to a measly .549 OPS, whereas Wake’s 1.091 OPS has transformed the Bronx Bummers back into the Bombers. So, good move or no? I say, "sweep the leg, Julian." I wonder if Wanger knows that Crane technique.