Wake Me When It’s Over: Yanks-Sox “Gamer” VIII

Sorry for the personalization and YF-tilt of the "gamer" title (yes, I use quotes because I use the term "game" in "gamer" loosely), but there is only so much one fan can take.  A small sampling:

  • In their last 8 games, Yankee starters have averaged less than 5 IP/game;
  • Over that same stretch, if you drop the one slugfest vs. Texas, the Yankee team BA is .197;
  • The Yankees have been held to 2 or fewer runs 28 times this season.  That’s just 5 fewer times than they were held to that mark all of last season;
  • The Yankees are in 4th place in the AL East behind Baltimore and only 4 ahead of cellar-dwelling Toronto.  If they don’t turn things around in the next two Boston games and the two Tampa Bay games that follow, then regardless of what it means for their chances of making the post-season (hint: it doesn’t help them), they will be heading into the last series before the All-Star Break against Toronto fighting to stay out of dead last in the division.

While the Sox try to keep pace with Tampa Bay, the Yanks can entertain no such thoughts right now.  First they have to remember how to play baseball again.

Mike Mussina, the Yanks aging finicky finesse pitcher, takes to the mound to try to lull the Sox bats to sleep (and praying that his nemesis Manny Ramirez slips on something on the way to the ballpark) while the Sox send young Justin Masterson to the mound, trying to continue the long tradition of pitchers who the Yankees have never seen before completely befuddling them.

I’ll be in the stands for this one, hoping for Jeter’s 200th HR and A-Rod’s Mantle-tying 536th HR, but most of all, hoping the New York Yankees show up.

24 comments… add one

  • I think we are sure to see Timlin play this game.
    If Tito has the audacity to have Timlin pitch to Giambi, I am sure one of my testicles might shatter. I wouldn’t put it past Francona though.

    Pat (SF) July 5, 2008, 3:45 am
  • The Yankees may be skidding, but the Sox are in no great shape either, 5 back in the loss column (though in decent shape for the Wild Card). The Yankees are approaching “just need to make up a game a week” territory, which is typically the sign of big-ass trouble, since nobody says that when teams are two or three back with two or three weeks to go, but rather 10 back with ten weeks to go.
    If this winning keeps up I may just stay in Berlin! Go Sox!

    SF July 5, 2008, 4:53 am
  • Another resolution to a highly debated topic:
    “Yankees Call the Shots on a Homer Promotion”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/sports/baseball/05pins.html
    “the two derby finalists will get the chance to call their shot”

    A YF July 5, 2008, 5:58 am
  • IH -
    I’ll be at the game too! I’ll be wearing a blue hat with an interlocking N and Y. See if you can spot me. :)
    We’re going to get crushed. The only hope is if Masterson is wild.

    A YF July 5, 2008, 6:00 am
  • This season is over. They are going to desecrate the Stadium in it’s last year and move over to the new monstrosity to start a new era of mediocrity. 80′s here we come!!! Three weeks until training camp opens for the NFL…thank god.

    krueg July 5, 2008, 11:10 am
  • The Yankees will get right back in this in the second half. Yes this series is not going well but the big picture is that the Yankees offense is the best in baseball and the pitching is coming together.
    http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/thebronxdaily/
    http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/yankeesredsox/

    Bill July 5, 2008, 1:14 pm
  • “but the Sox are in no great shape either”
    SF, forgive me if I have zero sympathy. The Sox have the 4th best record in the majors, are in control of the WC, and their biggest problem (bullpen) is eminently fixable through mid-season deal-making. Their biggest frustration is that they just – in the past week – relinquished the best record in the league and the division lead. Cry me a river.
    Sorry to sound like a jerk – and it’s not like I want your – or any other SF’s – sympathy either (somehow that would simply add insult ot injury), but our teams are on different planets right now. The post above was simply meant to underscore this point so that we can all be disabused of the notion that this season is simply the latest chapter in the same Yanks-Sox story of recent years – two superb teams going at it with a hair’s breath differential between them that results in total unpredictability as to which will end up on top and a virtual certainty that both will be playing in October. The Sox are still there. The Yanks – at least as currently constituted – are not.
    As I’ve noted here multiple times on previous occations, I don’t think the hitting, as bad as it has been in some (long) stretches, is or will be the Achilles’ heal of this team this year. You simply can not have a starting 5 that includes Ponson and Rasner, two other guys who are solid veterans but not at all aces, and a potential ace-in-training. How Bill construes the pitching as “coming together” is beyond me.
    Apart from the 8-game stretch noted in the post (please consider for a moment what it means to AVERAGE less than 5 IP for almost 2 weeks of baseball) the Yanks’ starters are now ahead of only the Texas Rangers in terms of how deep they go into games (we average less than 5.5 IP/game) and despite what I view to be Girardi’s greatest success – and one of the only ways in which I believe he is clearly better already than Torre – managing the bullpen, there is no way those arms can hold up in the second half of the season pitching this much.
    I don’t think the season is over, but I don’t see the Yanks either getting Wang back or any of their in-house starting pitching options (other than Joba) coming through consistently enough – and soon enough – to get to the postseason. If the offense had been doing its job to carry the team sufficiently to stay in the hunt – we could wait more on Joba’s development, Hughes’ return, Wang’s return, etc. but it hasn’t.
    So yeah, as presently constituted – esp. vis-a-vis starting pitching – I don’t see the Yanks making the post-season. Would love to be proven wrong, but as long as I am in this place, it makes it hard for me to see the “difficulties” that the Sox are managing as even mildly threatening to their post-season chances.

    IronHorse (yf) July 5, 2008, 2:03 pm
  • SF, you are in my time zone right now! For us over here in Europe afternoon games like today’s are a blessing.
    Are you in Berlin for the opening of the new US embassy? I hear it neatly closes the gap next to the Brandenburg Gate, but there are conflicting reports about the quality of its architecture.

    pale blue eyes July 5, 2008, 2:08 pm
  • There is one small consolation: the Yankees didn’t go over .500 and stay there for good until July 14th last season. As of their 88th game last year, the team was 44-44 and 9.5 games out. Then again, only Boston was in front of the Yankees last season in contrast to two superior teams this season.

    attackgerbil July 5, 2008, 2:33 pm
  • Horse is right. These teams are headed in different directions right now.
    And I know I made some comparisons between these two teams recently that I thought were fair. But I’ve realized that having added a baby to the family has (appropriately) taken my attention elsewhere. In other words, I was wrong. The Red Sox don’t have it as bad as NYY, health-wise. (However, I still believe that the Red Sox record belies a their overall health.)
    So as a-gerb rightly point out, this is a long way from over.
    Tampa might not be going away, but they’re not going to run away with it, either. They haven’t had much in the way of injuries yet (yes, I know about Pena and Percival), they haven’t played under the spotlight of an AL East pennant race, and many members of that bullpen have ERAs that are easily career bests by 2+ runs.
    It’s July 5.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 5, 2008, 3:27 pm
  • If there’s one reason I’d prefer the race to be between Boston and NYY, it’s so that I don’t have to see those hideous, cellulite-ravaged skanks in their TB hats and Longoria jerseys banging those God-forsaken cow bells from inside that sad-ass overgrown cow palace on the Tampa coast.
    As Letterman once said, “There’s nothing funny about chafing.”

    I'mBillMcNeal July 5, 2008, 3:30 pm
  • Fantastic stuff, IBM.. made me laugh out loud.
    Lineups…
    Boston
    J. Ellsbury lf .272
    D. Pedroia 2b .311
    J.D. Drew rf .300
    M. Ramirez dh .280
    M. Lowell 3b .303
    K. Youkilis 1b .311
    C. Crisp cf .272
    J. Varitek c .223
    A. Cora ss .273
    NY Yankees
    B. Gardner lf .077
    D. Jeter ss .282
    B. Abreu rf .277
    A. Rodriguez 3b .319
    J. Giambi dh .262
    W. Betemit 1b .256
    R. Cano 2b .248
    M. Cabrera cf .246
    J. Molina c .230
    That Yankee lineup just made me decide to skip lunch. And maybe dinner.

    attackgerbil July 5, 2008, 3:39 pm
  • 1st inning could have been bad. Pedroia thrown out at 2nd by Gardner, wild pitch, ball 4 behind Manny…
    1st game I get to see BG, pretty psyched!

    John - YF July 5, 2008, 4:09 pm
  • Gardner back to Masterson, then Jeter decides to copy him. Apparently the game plan was to pepper Masterson with groundballs.

    John - YF July 5, 2008, 4:16 pm
  • One wonders if there is any explanation for why the Yankees have done poorly in the first half for several years now.
    It has become expected that they will underperform in the first half and come roaring back in the second.
    Maybe the sample size is too small, but I wonder if it has something to do with the way its rosters have been put together (age, injuries?).

    Hudson July 5, 2008, 4:18 pm
  • beauty play by lowell. cheating in for the bunt he made an amazing diving play to his right about 70 feet in front on home plate. it was hit hard by gardner.

    sf rod July 5, 2008, 4:44 pm
  • Jesus, Moose is the king of smoke and mirrors.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 5, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • rain again?? Is there another delay coming?

    rootbeerfloat July 5, 2008, 5:22 pm
  • The Yankees had Masterson on the ropes but could manage only one run in the sixth. Bleak.

    attackgerbil July 5, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • Crisp, Varitek and Lugo: a fearful combination. This sucks.

    pale blue eyes July 5, 2008, 6:56 pm
  • Bleak is the game depending on Lugo…

    rootbeerfloat July 5, 2008, 6:57 pm
  • to be honest, i’m very impressed the sox are where they are considering all of the injuries this year. tell me, what team could have lost:
    3/5 of their starting rotation – schilling / buchholz / dice-k
    a top 3 third baseman for the better part of a month
    a perennial MVP for over a month now
    and still be only 3.5 games back in the most competitive division in baseball?
    if your answer is none, you would be correct.
    call me not worried. it’s not like any other team is running away with it. through 90 games the sox are only 3 wins off their division winning pace of last year.

    sf rod July 5, 2008, 7:10 pm
  • Lunch at the Court Deli – $30.
    Loge-level seats for Yanks-Sox – Free.
    Giving the universal choke sign to the SFs sitting in front of us after Varitek popped out in the 9th – Priceless.

    A YF July 6, 2008, 1:49 am
  • Masterson showed again though why he belongs. I’m looking forward to see what becomes of him. I was surprised he topped out at 90 mph on the fast stadium gun (had Moose also at 90 and Farns at 99 – neither are accurate).

    A YF July 6, 2008, 2:13 am

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