The Yanks have been on fire since then, going 19-6 over that stretch, playing their best baseball of the season, taking a 5.5 game lead in the AL East, and surging to the best record in baseball. That said, the travel itinerary won't be quite as nice this time around. Yesterday's game ended after five o'clock. Rush hour traffic from the Bronx, over the RFK, to LaGuardia couldn't have been pleasant, and I can tell you from making the trip myself several times, the NYC to Seattle flight seems interminable. The team probably did not arrive at their Seattle hotel until around midnight Pacific time - but at least they had all day to rest up while the M's went into extra innings.
Jet lag aside, the Yanks also got a little banged up between the lines yesterday. Jorge Posada had a rough day behind the plate, taking a foul tip off his throwing hand. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both took nasty HBPs, but neither managed to hurl their helmet. Tonight was going to be a day off for A-Rod anyway. Jeter, per usual, says he'll play. We'll soon find out.
[UPDATE 8:25 PM: Jeter in, Posada out, A-Rod out as scheduled and unavailable]
In the pitching department, Mariano Rivera had a "cranky shoulder" yesterday. Given Alf's marathon appearance Monday, D-Rob and Coke going back-to-back games, and Chad Gaudin's start coming up on Saturday, the pen could also be a bit short tonight.
As for those who will play, CC Sabathia takes the ball for the Yanks. CC had an ugg-lee start against the M's back on July 2nd, getting tagged with the loss, 6 ER, and 10 H in 5.2 innings of work. In seven career starts at Safeco Field, Sabathia is 4-1 with 2.83 ERA. This is his time of year, tough. For his career, Sabathia is 30-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 48 starts in August.
Sabathia will be opposed by Ian Snell. Snell was acquired with Jack Wilson just prior to the deadline as part of the Pirates' "Everything Must Go" firesale. Snell was pitching at AAA at the time of the trade, as poor performance and axiety issues forced him off the Pirates roster. Snell has made two starts for the M's, covering just 7.1 innings, yielding 5 runs, and 15 baserunners. Amazingly, he hasn't recorded a
I really agonized over which video to pick for this song. Here's the original from crazy Tom Waits, which gets bonus points for being black and white, but loses points for being barely listenable - and somewhat disturbing. Here's some cool ones from Gov't Mule, all of which are exceedingly bad ass, including one from the Beacon Theater, and a classic one featuring the late, great Allen Woody. But today's video goes to a vintage Widespread Panic version of the song, featuring the late, great Michael Houser. Enjoy the game; we won't hold it against you if you can't stay awake for the end of it.
I'm going out west where the wind blows tall,
Cause Tony Franciosa used to date my ma,
They got some money out there,
They're giving it away,
Gonna do what I want,
Gonna get paid,
Do what I want,
Gonna get paid.
And I'm going out west,
Where they'll appreciate me,
Going out west,
Going out west.