So, is Jeremy Guthrie a power pitcher? Probably not – but, he is a guy who does pound the strikezone.
You know, when you’re in a chase for an October play-off slot, and there’s just 60 games left to the season, and your starting pitcher (in this case, Andy Pettitte) gets you to the 8th inning where you’re just down by a run, you have to find a way to win that game.
Think about it, down by one, in the 8th, and the Yankees have their 3-4-5 hitters due up…and nothing. Then, in the bottom of the 8th, first batter up, boom, homerun – and now it’s a two-run hole heading into the ninth.
The Yankees are now 4-40 this season when they start the 8th inning of a game where they are behind in the score. This does not mean they are a terrible team – few teams have more than a half-dozen wins in a season in these situations. But, what it does mean is that the Yankees are not an above average “late comeback” team. And, one would think, given the fact that they throw names out there like Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, etc., that they would be the leaders of the pack in terms of coming back late in the game when down by one or two runs. Not so – especially tonight.
The Yankees still have an excellent chance to take the next two games in this series – based on the pitching match-ups. But, if they blow the next two games, and the Indians win the next two, then you can kiss the Wildcard hopes away in a hurry and use August and September to start planning for next year.