I’m not sure why, but I’m not panicking yet. The Bombers have lost four in a row, Sheff and Matsui are gone until September, Jeter and Giambi are dinged up, the second most reliable starter on the staff is Jaret Wright, and the Mets are the toast of the town. It could be because I remember last year when the Yanks truly looked dead in the water in May. And it could be because the Sox are only one game ahead and are having comparable (if not worse) pitching issues. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the California sun or my sense that A-Rod is due for a break-out.
Anyway, tonight, the Yanks begin a 3-game series against the disappointing Cleveland Indians, a team filled with great young offensive talent. You could argue that Travis Hafner has supplanted David Ortiz as the best DH in the AL, and you’d be right. You could also argue that he’s having the best offensive year by any player in the AL, and, again, you’d be right. He leads a line-up that’s either feast or famine. And that’s been one of the many problems for the Tribe this year. They can score runs, but they haven’t been able to distribute those runs evenly, so that they’ll win a game 15-5 one night, and the next three games they’ll lose 4-2, 6-1, 3-1. The Yanks hope to face the punch-less version of the Cleveland line-up. Chien-Ming Wang, who’s shown flashes of brilliance and flashes of Scott Erickson, goes for the Bombers, while Cleveland sends out Paul Byrd. Comment away!
Update: New Nick-YF Gamer Feature:
Predicted Star of the Game: Alex Rodriguez, 3-5, 1 hr, 2b, 4rbi
Predicted First Curtain Call: 3rd inning, A-Rod homer