Sunday, July 12, 2009

Swept Away

Well, at least the Yankees found a different way to lose today. Rather than squandering a four run lead, they squandered a one run lead. Rather than imploding in the fifth inning, they gave up four in the fourth. Rather than having to go to the pen in fifth, CC pitched into the seventh - not a great start, but better that what we saw in the first two games of the season. Rather than the bullpen pouring gas on the fire as they did in the first two games, the offense squandered golden opportunities in the seventh and eighth, loading the bases with no one out in both innings and scoring only two runs between those two situations.

I didn't watch today, but listened to most of it on the radio, adding to the torture. As such, I can't say for sure that the team mailed it in with the All-Star break looming. It sure seemed like it in the early innings, but they did claw their way back into position in the seventh and eighth. It wasn't to be. You could blame Teix for whiffing and A-Rod for his GIDP and the seventh, but Swish got robbed on a liner back up the middle to end the eighth. That's just the way this series went: failure to execute and failure to catch a break.

Like a hangover you just can't shake, the bad taste of this weekend will linger in our mouths until Friday, as the All-Star break takes over for the next three days followed by the Thursday off day. Hopefully the team comes back well rested, and ready to make a charge in the second half. Meanwhile, tomorrow you get to listen to Bufoon Berman find new and creative ways to scream "Back-Back-Back... GONE!". Lucky you.

Game 88: C.C. Rider

The Yankees haven't done well in symbolic games this year. They got shellacked on Opening Day in Baltimore, they lost the opener at the New Stadium, and they are 0-8 against the Red Sox. A.J. Burnett lost his match ups against former teammates Josh Beckett and Roy Halladay, and the Yanks couldn't get to Carl Pavano in either of the games he started against them. They've lost series against the lowly Nationals and Marlins.

Today is another game that will seem to represent more than just a tally in the win or loss column. The Yanks send their ace to the mound to avoid a sweep against their achillies heel: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Californa on Planet Earth or whatever the fuck they call themselves. CC Sabathia hasn't fared well in day games this year (including both of the openers mentioned above), failing to notch a win in 6 starts mostly due to a 5.49 ERA in those outings. The seven innings of one run ball he threw last week against the Twins lowered his ERA to 3.70 on the season and earned him win number 8 on the season.

John Lackey goes for the Angels. After spending time on the DL to begin the season, Lackey return to the Angels on May 16th but hasn't been the ace they have known in previous seasons. In 11 starts, he has a 5.18 ERA, a 3-4 record and 79 hits in 66 innings.

A win today would erase some of the shame of the last two days of blown leads and sloppy play, ease the cross country flight back home and send the Yanks into the All-Star break on a somewhat positive note. The right guy is on the mound, looking for his 9th win of the season. Although we are past the first half mark, the All-Star Break is typically seen as the midway point of the season. There will be much pontificating about the state of the team and and their #1 hurler based on where they leave off this afternoon, so here's to hoping the big fella can find his day game stride.

We'll now see, C. C. Rider,
We'll now see, see what you have