• September 19th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 20th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Brian Burres pitched a very good game against the Yankees in this contest – so, this was an impressive win for New York. Andy Pettitte was the man here for New York – getting his 200th career win in the process.

    And, thanks to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees now trail the Boston Red Sox by one game in the loss column – and 1.5 games overall in the standings.

    More on that from the AP:

    It’s the closest New York has been to first place since the Yankees trailed by one game before play on April 20. They began play on May 30 down by 14 1/2 games to Boston.

    “Four months ago, nobody gave us credit. And now we’re close to winning the division,” [Mariano] Rivera said.

    The next four games are huge for the Yankees. The Blue Jays played the Red Sox tough – and they’ll be up for the Yankees as well. Here are the upcoming pitching match-ups:

     Fri, Sep 21  7:05 pm EDT   C. Wang vs. R. Halladay
    Sat, Sep 22  1:05 pm EDT   I. Kennedy vs. D. McGowan
    Sun, Sep 23  1:05 pm EDT   R. Clemens vs. A. Burnett
    Mon, Sep 24  1:05 pm EDT   M. Mussina vs. J. Litsch 

    The Monday game could be Phil Hughes instead of Mike Mussina – according to some reports that I’ve seen. We’ll probably know more about who gets the ball in the next few days.

    Bottom line, the Yankees will need to win at least 3 of these 4 games against Toronto to keep marching towards first place. It will be interesting to see how these games play out and see who steps up for their teams.

    Comments on September 19th vs. The Orioles

    1. MJ
      September 20th, 2007 | 9:39 am

      Last night was my 10th and final game at Yankee Stadium for the 2007 regular season. I can safely say that even though it was “only” the Orioles, it was the most fun I’ve had at the ballpark all year.

      It wasn’t a sellout crowd but there was a lot of excitement among the fans in the ballpark. Just a tremendous atmosphere all around. And Pettitte’s effort was pretty good too.

      I didn’t see the game on TV but from Box 457 it looked like the ump was squeezing Mo on a couple of those pitches. Am I right, or is the view from the 1st base line skewing my perception?

    2. JohnnyC
      September 20th, 2007 | 10:03 am

      Those were borderline pitches…could have been called either way. What tipped it to being called balls was Posada’s habit (and many catchers do this)of giving the pitcher a target that is off the plate, so that a pitcher can unerringly hit the middle of his mitt (which Mo did)and, consequently, be called a ball. The Orioles, I must say, showed great patience in not chasing pitches just a bit off the plate. Or, more likely, are so bad they were just frozen.

    3. Jen
      September 20th, 2007 | 10:15 am

      I believe the Jays changed up their rotation as well. I don’t think Litsch is pitching in this series. I think Burnett is set to go on Monday. So maybe Marcum is getting squeezed in there somewhere on Saturday or Sunday.

    4. Santino53
      September 20th, 2007 | 10:22 am

      It is undeniable that the benefits of Doug M.’s
      glove (and lately some key offense) far outweigh the HR potential and low batting average of Giambi.Not to dog Jason who i realize cannot stay healthy but this infield looks as sharp as it has ever looked. His defense in the past few games has saved numerous runs and killed potential rallies. This is a playoff caliber first baseman. You know that pitchers are more comfortable with him out there as well as the other infielders, particularly Arod and Jeter who can uncork some errant throws. I hope Joe values team defense
      over Home Run potential.

    5. JeremyM
      September 20th, 2007 | 10:44 am

      I hate to say it, because I’ve been a Giambi advocate, but you may be right on Doug M. He has that little scrappy quality that I like to make fun of announcers for talking about, but for some reason it seems to be fitting the Yanks right now. Maybe I just have stars in my eyes due to the play in the first inning in Clemens’ last start, but as long as he hits a little bit, he should start, with some Giambi mixed in to see if there’s anything there.

    6. Raf
      September 20th, 2007 | 10:54 am

      I’d be willing to wager that once Giambi’s foot is better, he’ll be in the lineup, and Doug M will be a LIDR.

    7. Santino53
      September 20th, 2007 | 11:42 am

      Raf, i painfully agree with you. I’m just thinking that the likes of Sabatthia, Carmona and Lackey may give you two runs to work with and it would kill me to lose a lead or a game on a dropped throw or errant throw at first base. The playoff margain of error is just so tight.

    8. baileywalk
      September 20th, 2007 | 11:45 am

      As good as Doug’s glove is, he can’t hit (well, he can’t hit good pitching). The Yankees will be seeing good pitching in the playoffs and more than likely Yankee fans will be screaming at their TVs that Dougie isn’t a major-league hitter as he gets abused by some breaking ball that he nearly twists an ankle trying to hit. Not even the Yankees can fit an auto-out in their lineup. But Giambi IS pretty putrid at first. The best solution might have been Betemit playing first, because as a left-handed hitter he’s better than Doug, and his glove is certainly better than Giambi’s. But apparently that’s not going to happen.

      However the rotation shakes out for the Jays, the Yanks will be facing three really good pitchers no matter what. That could easily be a playoff team’s rotation. It should tell us a lot how they hit against them. I think it will be very encouraging if they score runs off those guys — particularly Halladay, who they never hit, and Burnett, who’s been amazing lately.

    9. snowball003
      September 20th, 2007 | 12:29 pm

      According to Yankees.com’s probable pitchers, it’s Halladay/Wang, Marcum/Kennedy, McGowan/Clemens and Burnett/Hughes.

      We shall see.

    10. Santino53
      September 20th, 2007 | 1:51 pm

      Bailey..i have weighed the two evils and decided i would more likely lose control over Giambi committing an error in a tight playoff game than Mantkiewicz striking out in a tough spot.Seems at least to me that the odds favor better defense. But i cannot disagree with your analysis of fan reaction.

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