Thursday, July 2, 2009

Game 78: State Of Love And Trust

Last Wednesday, Yankeedom was in a panic. The team had dropped consecutive series to the lowly Nationals and Marlins, and were a Luis Castillo error away from having lost to the reeling Mets as well. They also dropped the first game of the series in Atlanta. The pitching had been good, but the bats were dead wood - A-Rod in particular.

Brian Cashman arrived prior to game two of that series, and the rumor mill started working overtime. Would heads roll? Would there be a trade? Melky was in the lineup then yanked. Swisher had a closed door meeting with Cash and Girardi. Then all the hitters had a closed door meeting with Cash and Girardi.

The Yank were still listless, trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth and getting no hit. After Brett Gardner was called out on an egregiously bad pick off call, Joe Girardi got himself tossed from the game. The Yanks put up three runs that inning. They haven't looked back since, not once trailing in a game, winning seven in a row, and posting seven runs a game while the pitching has held solid at just three runs per game. They even managed to pick up a useful bench piece in Eric Hinske.

Everything is peaches and cream right now in Yankeeland. Winning streaks have a way of doing that. Now as we head into the holiday weekend, the Yanks go for the sweep against the league's worst offense. And they do it with their ace on the mound.

In eleven career starts against the M's, CC is 4-3 with 2.95 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. More importantly, the big lefty has won six of his last seven decisions and last Friday dispelled any concerns about his biceps tendinitis by allowing just three baserunners in throwing seven innings of one run ball against the Mets.

Jason Vargas has never faced the Yanks. After bouncing from Florida to the Mets to the Mariners over the past four seasons, and not appearing in the Majors at all last year, the southpaw has surprised this year, posting an ERA+ of 112. However, his FIP is a third of a run worse than the league average, suggesting he may be getting helped by his defense, and Seattle's defense isn't that good. He gives up a lot of flyballs and a lot of homeruns, and that's bad news in Yankee Stadium, particularly with the way the lineup is swinging the lumber right now.

We've been celebrating the Fourth of July all day at Fack Youk. I can think of no better way to finish today's celebration off than a fireworks display courtesy of the Yankee bats.

We've been riffing on classic Seattle grunge all series long. Tuesday was Alice in Chains, yesterday was Nirvana, so today is Pearl Jam. Sorry Soundgarden. The never-satisfied Yankee Universe is rather content right now. Recent play has inspired a state of love and trust, and with CC on the mound tonight and a long weekend looming, there's no reason to feel any other way.

State of love and trust as I busted down the pretext
Sin still plays and preaches, but to have an empty court, uh huh
And the signs are passing, grip the wheel, can't read it
Sacrifice receiving the smell that's on my hands, hands, yeah

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