Sunday, August 9, 2009

Game 111: Built To Last

The Yanks look to put a cherry on top of this weekend's ice cream sundae, and not even the inane idiocy of Joe Morgan on tonight's ESPN telecast will spoil the collective high of the Yankee fan base right now.

Andy Pettitte gets the ball for the Yanks, and he's been on fire since the All-Star break: 2.36 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 29:7 K:BB, in 26.2 IP. He's 16-9 with a 3.76 ERA in 196.2 career IP against the Sox, but is 0-1 this year and has a bit of a score to settle with them. Pettitte outdueled the AL's best pitcher last time out, and his draw doesn't get much easier this time.

Jon Lester will try to salvage the series finale for the reeling Red Sox. Along with Josh Beckett, Lester is one of only two reliable starters the Sox have right now. After squandering Beckett's masterful performance Friday night, the Sox really need to capitalize on having Lester go tonight. He's 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees, with one of those victories coming on April 24th this year. I look at those numbers and prefer to think that he's due for a loss rather than think that he dominates the Yanks.

In roster news, as expected, Josh Towers has been DFA'd to make room on the 40 and 25 man rosters for Chad Gaudin. Unlike douche bag Brett Tomko, Towers is handling his exit gracefully, saying he's happy the Yanks chose to call him up and that he's eager to get back to Scranton.

For the second time in three days, I'm choosing to go with the Grateful Dead. As I mentioned earlier in the week, last Saturday would have been Jerry Garcia's birthday. Today marks the 14th anniversary of his death. As such, it's been Jerry Week on Sirius XM's Grateful Dead Channel, and seeing as I've already logged close to a thousand miles behind the wheel this week, I've been listening to a lot of Dead.

The Yankees are playing with house money tonight. They've already won the series. They have a 5.5 game lead in the AL East, the largest lead they've had since the end of the 2006 season. They will wake up tomorrow morning up at least 4.5 games up with more than two thirds of the season in their rear view mirror. Things are looking a bit dire for the Sox right now, but only a foolish heart would be booking flights and hotels for October just yet. The tables sure have turned from when these teams last met in early June. The Yankees carried a one game lead into that series before getting swept. Things are looking much better right now. I just hope that this lead is built to last.

Don't waste your breath to save your face
When you have done your best
And even more is asked of you
Fate will decide the rest

All the stars are gone but one
Morning breaks here comes the sun
Cross the sky now sinking fast
Show me something built to last

Roster Move

The Yanks made a roster move just before yesterday's game, adding Josh Towers to the bullpen. To make room for Towers on the 40 man roster, Damaso Marte (remember him?) was transferred to the 60 day DL. Mark Melancon was option to Scranton to make room on the 25 man roster.

Presumably, the move was made to get a fresh arm in the bullpen following Friday night's marathon. That's all well and good, except the pitcher that was optioned out to make room, Melancon, was one of two relievers not to pitch Friday - so I'm not sure how much sense the move actually made.

Thanks to CC's brilliant performance, Towers wasn't needed yesterday. He'll likely come off the roster today, as Chad Gaudin, acquired Thursday night, is due to arrive. I doubt Towers has options left, so he'll likey be DFA'd, thereby making room for Gaudin on the 40 man as well. I'm hopeful Towers winds up back in Scranton; they can certainly use the arms right now. Had Towers not been added yesterday Melancon likely would have been optioned today to make room for Gaudin.

As for Marte, I believe moving him to the 60 day DL was just a formality to open up a 40 man spot. I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think transferring him resets his DL stay, and he'd already be on the 15 day DL for far more than 60 days. His rehab assignment is due to expire within two weeks, so another roster move will be needed to get him back on the 40 and 25 man rosters. Unless something major changes, I would imagine that will spell the end of Sergio Mitre's stay with the big club.