I know that the Yankees are just 2 games out of 1st place, and there are 63 games left to play.
But, when I look at those 63 games, esp. the schedule in the last month of the season, and then I look at the Yankees current pitching rotation, I just see no way how this team will play well enough to be in the post-season this year.
What the Yankees will need to reach the playoffs is a 3rd starter, to slot behind Johnson and Mussina, who will win around 7 games for them over the next two months.
It could be Pavano coming back, or someone from the farm, or a player picked up in a trade – it doesn’t matter. But, this pitcher must be someone who can take the ball and give the team a chance to win that day, most of the time, like Johnson and Mussina. Without this 3rd successful starter, the Yankees are just going to play .500 ball, at best, or, as Cashman says “tread water.” And, that’s not going to get this team in the post-season.
It’s a shame because this is a year where the AL East can be had – it’s there for the taking now. No one has run away with it. Boston, Baltimore, and Toronto each have their own issues. You don’t always get a chance to win and I would hate to see this year slip through the Yankees hands. But, as much as it hurts me to say it, without that secure third set of hands to man the mound after Unit and Moose, the 2005 season could be the year that the Yankees playoff streak comes to an end.