Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What A Difference A Day Doesn't Make

Since August 9th, when the Yankees completed their four game sweep of the Red Sox, they have been on top of the baseball world. They've had the best record in the majors at that point (69-42) and are tied for the best record since (24-11). Much credit goes to their offense, who plated 6.26 runs per game over that time, which would put them on pace to score over 1000 runs if carried out over an entire season. But more importantly, they've relied on solid pitching, holding their opponents to 2 or fewer runs 14 times in the 35 games and winning every one of those.

Andy Pettitte was a major contributor to that success, going 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA while the team went 6-1 in games he appeared in. He was easily the second best starting pitcher on the Yankees over that stretch behind CC Sabathia and one might say the Yankees only other reliable starter behind the big fella.

Yesterday, Matt noted that the the Yankees starting pitcher for tonight, who was supposed to be Andy Pettitte, was listed as "TBA". As he conveyed earlier today, Pettitte was scratched due to a shoulder fatigue, casting some doubt on the Yanks' playoff rotation.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who many had left for dead this season after he was exiled to Fort Myers, made a triumphant return to the Red Sox rotation, throwing six innings of shutout ball against the Angels. It seemingly breathed life into a team that had just begun to secure it's playoff spot and left some Boston scribes positively giddy.

After the Red Sox won that game 4- 0 1, the now infamous battle between Carlson and Posada took place, which will most likely cost the Yanks their starting catcher for 5 or 6 games coming down the stretch. Posada's actions led several beat writers to chide him as if he were their son, all pointing to the fact that he could have harmed the Yankees postseason chances if someone got injured during the brawl.

As a result, it might seem as though the Yankees are swirling in chaos while the Red Sox are poised for postseason glory. Fortunately for Yankees fans, the truth, as always, lies somewhere in between. Matsuzka is not likely to have completely reinvented himself nor is Pettitte's shoulder injury necessarily going to have an ill effect going forward. Posada will serve his suspension and his place will be filled just fine by Jose Molina and Francisco Cervelli.

With the finish line now in view, every little thing that happens takes on a percieved added significance. Every loss can be portrayed as a harbinger of a mortal weakness and every triumph an indication of What It Takes To Win In October®. Go ahead and read the tea leaves, but don't forget that they are going to look different every single day until October 7th.

1 comment:

  1. The Red Sox won 4 to 1, Clark.