• July 9th vs. The Rays

    Posted by on July 9th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    Strange game.

    The Yankees offense was pretty bad today. Yet, their pitching – including Sidney Ponson (!) – was awesome this afternoon.

    I called out Bobby Abreu this morning – and he gets the game-winner today, in extras, his first Yankees walk-off hit…and he gets the Gatorade Bucket too (with Cano and Cabrera playing the roles of Jim Burt and Harry Carson).

    Wow. To paraphrase Alonzo Harris, “Hank Stein ain’t got nothin’ on me!

    So, the Yankees end up taking four of six from the Sox and Rays….

    Maybe there’s some life in this team, after all?

    Still, man, they have to hit better than what we’re seeing…because it’s been the Yankees pitching who has been doing the job in these wins. Moose, Joba, Pettitte and now Ponson – along with, of course, the great Mariano Rivera.

    Comments on July 9th vs. The Rays

    1. Don
      July 9th, 2008 | 4:57 pm

      You called out Mr. Softee? Me and a dozen others over at RLYW have you beat, by a mile.

    2. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 9th, 2008 | 7:33 pm

      It’s better to have good pitching and lagging hitting than the other way around – or have you forgotten what everyone else agrees has been the Yankee’s problem this decade? Especially if you figure to hit eventually.

      Like I said, the Rays were due to lose a few – with luck, their hitting may continue to lag in Cleveland such that they may not sweep, and part of that statement is predicated on the belief that no matter how bad the Indians are, they’re still going to win occasionally, and the longer it takes the more likely it will finally happen.

      The Yankees may have a run in them but your team and my team need the Rays to come somewhat back to Earth and stay there. Otherwise there are strong odds that one of us won’t be happy at the end of September.

    3. July 9th, 2008 | 8:11 pm

      Rays still have to prove that they can win more than they lose outside of the Trop, no?

    4. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 9th, 2008 | 8:19 pm

      Until this series, the Rays were one of a few teams playing .500 or better on the road. Now they are two games below – and after Cleveland probably the worst they’ll be is back to .500.

      And isn’t that what the goal is? Play .500 on the road, and win big at home? The Yankees would be in great shape if they didn’t have a pedestrian 5 games over .500 home record. With the Rays advantage at home, they don’t have to win that much on the road.

    5. July 9th, 2008 | 8:54 pm

      OK, make that..Rays still have to prove that they can win more than they lose against good teams outside of the Trop, no?

    6. AndrewYF
      July 9th, 2008 | 10:19 pm

      What’s lost in this is the great job Veras and, gasp, Farnsworth have been doing sharing the setup role. Remember all the gnashing of teeth you were doing last year about Cashman’s inability to build a bullpen? Could it be that, all along, bullpens are the least consistent thing in baseball? Also, Girardi has a lot to do with it too – maybe you can say Cashman gave him crap – everyone but Rivera was either an unproven, not that highly-touted rookie, or a mediocre or bad veteran, but somehow they have turned into gold. And that’s without some guys who were projected to be key members – Albaladejo, Bruney, and Joba for half of the season so far. Can you even remember the last blown lead? I’m pretty sure it might have been Joba’s blown save against the Indians way back when. Amazing. Barring a collapse, I think you can probably strike the ‘inability to build a bullpen’ bit off Cashman’s ‘negatives’ list.

    7. July 9th, 2008 | 10:28 pm

      Well, it’s only been 3 months…and I wanted to wait just a tad longer before doing a post on it. But, yes, the bullpen, this season, to date, has been a huge surprise. Many, myself included, thought it was terrible heading into this season. But, it’s been the best part of the team, to date.

      Kudos to Cashman on that. Veras, Ramirez, and Farnsworth have done a solid job – along with Mo.

    8. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 9th, 2008 | 11:29 pm

      OK, make that..Rays still have to prove that they can win more than they lose against good teams outside of the Trop, no?

      *********************

      Uh, unless you somehow get extra wins for beating “good” teams on the road, no, I don’t think the Rays have to prove they can win more than they lose against good teams on the road.

      If they go 30 games over .500 at home and stay at .500 on the road, they’ll go 96-66, and at minimum, that will get them the wild card. In all likelihood, it will win the Division.

    9. July 10th, 2008 | 7:58 am

      ~~Uh, unless you somehow get extra wins for beating “good” teams on the road, no, I don’t think the Rays have to prove they can win more than they lose against good teams on the road.~~

      If you want to win in the post-season, you better be able to stand-up to other good teams on the road, no?

    10. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 10th, 2008 | 8:06 am

      Number one, if you end up with 95+ wins there are excellent chances you get home field advantage anyway, making road wins not as important.

      And number two, if you win 95+, chances are also very good that you stood up to some good teams on the road.

      I mean, the Red Sox are eight games under .500 on the road – do you regard this as a fatal flaw that if they don’t fix, they’ll be cooked should they somehow manage to make the playoffs? Or do we get a pass because of “experience” that the Rays don’t yet have?

    11. July 10th, 2008 | 9:49 am

      Hey, I’m just saying that it’s still a tad early to say the 2006 Rays are the next coming of the 1975 Reds.

      Yes, they’re very good. And, yes, I might even be willing to trade the Yankees 25-man roster, right now, for their 25-man roster, if I was a GM…

      But…they’re still not a dominant team…YET.

    12. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 10th, 2008 | 10:20 am

      Well, still with the best record in the league. I’d say they are close to dominant right now.

      You’re right in one respect – I believe they play something like 26 of their last 39 away from Tampa. If they don’t figure out how to win on the road more consistently, that opens up an opportunity for other teams to gain ground. Combined with youth and the pressure of a pennant race, and young arms throwing more “critical” innings than ever before, that could lead to a bad stretch run.

      But I’m not counting on it.

    13. hopbitters
      July 10th, 2008 | 11:45 am

      The Yankees would be in great shape if they didn’t have a pedestrian 5 games over .500 home record.

      -

      Agreed. I don’t know what their deal is at home, but it needs to improve fast if they have any expectations.

    14. antone
      July 10th, 2008 | 4:03 pm

      Road records World Series Champs and Losers in the Wild Card Era:

      2007: Boston 45-36 Loser: Colorado 39-42
      2006: StLouis 34-47 Loser: Detroit 49-32
      2005: Chicago 52-29 Loser: Houston 36-45
      2004: Boston 43-38 Loser: St Louis 52-29
      2003: Florida 38-43 Loser: Yankees 51-29
      2002: Angels 45-36 Loser: SF Giants 45-35
      2001: Arizona 44-37 Loser: Yankees 44-37
      2000: Yankees 43-38 Loser: NY Mets 39-42
      1999: Yankees 50-31 Loser: Atlanta 47-34
      1998: Yankees 52-29 Loser: San Diego 44-37
      1997: Florida 40-41 Loser: Cleveland 42-38
      1996: Yankees 43-39 Loser: Atlanta 40-41
      1995: Atlanta 46-26 Loser: Cleveland 46-26

      Only 3 out of 13 teams won the World Series with a losing road record and they all were from the NL. Twice the Marlins did it and the other time was the flukey season from the Cardinals. 4 other times the NL team that lost the World Series had a losing road record. So 7 out 13 NL teams had losing records.

      However, no AL team has made the World Series with a losing road record during this time. All 13 had winning road records, regardless if they won the Series or not. So I would suspect that since the AL is a tougher league, then it is harder for a team with a losing road record to make it out of the AL and get to the World Series.

      It seems like the hottest team in the NL at that time makes the World Series but the best teams in the AL make the World Series more often than not….

      So right now that would suggest that the Angels are the best team in the AL and most likely to win the World Series because they have far and away the best road record in the AL at 28-17…

      The Yankees are the only other team above .500 at 22-20…The Red Sox are way under at 21-29 so unless they turn that around, I don’t see them making the World Series this year…there is still plenty of time for them to do that though.

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