• Wild Thought: Go West & Yanks Better Win

    Posted by on August 13th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    First, an inventory of where we are in Yankeeland, and what’s coming up…

    The Yankees are currently in first place in the A.L. East and have a 5.5 game lead over the second place Boston Red Sox.

    The Yankees are on a West Coast trip where they will play 4 games against the Mariners and 3 against the A’s – and then will head to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox for 3 games (following an off-day for travel).

    The Red Sox have a game at home this afternoon against the Tigers – and then hit the road for 3 games in Texas and 3 games in Toronto before that three-game set where Boston will host New York. (And, for the record, the Red Sox have another 7 games at home after that Yankees series.)

    Next, today’s wild thought: How important is it for the Yankees to have at least a 3.5 lead over the Red Sox, at the end of their West Coast trip, before they head into Boston for those 3 games at Fenway?

    Think about it: Yes, the Yankees took all four games against the Sox recently at Yankee Stadium. But, two of the games were very close. And, Boston plays extremely well at home. Those 3 games at Fenway are going to be tough for the Yankees. What happens if the Red Sox go 6-1 in their next 7 games and the Yankees go 3-4 in their next 7 games…and then the Yankees lead is only 2.5 games over the Red Sox before they play those 3 games in Fenway? If Boston then sweeps those 3 games…New York will come out of that series a half-game behind the Sox. And, that’s not good…

    Bottom line, it seems like the Yankees really need to come out of this West Coast swing with at least 4 wins – just to ensure, no matter what Boston does now, and during that Fenway series, that New York will be in first place when they leave Fenway Park. Or, is that too wild a thought?

    Comments on Wild Thought: Go West & Yanks Better Win

    1. Corey
      August 13th, 2009 | 10:13 am

      the way this team is playing right now, i can’t see them losing that much over a stretch…heck they’ve won more then half of Mitre’s starts…my concern is that the yankees begin to mail it in, thinking that they have the playoffs under wraps..and i can see something liek that happening if during the weekend they trot out both Guadin and Mitre

    2. nwyank
      August 13th, 2009 | 10:57 am

      I work in downtown Seattle, a block away from the Yankees’ hotel (all except ARod, who seems to stay elsewhere). The players amble about before traveling to Safeco Field, and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of them. Anyway, the Yanks often fare poorly on the West Coast, no matter the level of competition. And the RS appear to have shaken their torpor. The 5 1/2 game lead could be gobbled up real quickly.

    3. MJ
      August 13th, 2009 | 12:09 pm

      nwyank wrote:

      And the RS appear to have shaken their torpor.

      That’s what happens when you face a team’s bullpen starting in the 2nd inning (due to the Porcello ejection on Tuesday night) and Zach Minor. 8 innings of bullpen + Zach Minor is a great recipe for victory.

      Boston’s problems, exposed here over the past weekend, still remain: their rotation must now rely on untested guys like Buchholz and Tazawa (not to mention the erratic Brad Penny) and their offense isn’t as deep as it’s been in previous seasons and is now made worse with Youkilis’s suspension for four more games. I think a 5-2 roadtrip is realistic.

      The Yanks don’t often do well in the Pacific timezone but they nevertheless have the better ballclub and should be expected to win both series.

    4. GDH
      August 13th, 2009 | 1:10 pm

      Network Associates Coliseum is Yankee Stadium West (on a shoestring). Yankee fans outnumber A’s fans at these games when Oakland has a good year. This year it will be ridiculous. We’ll do our bit. Plus, one of the Toronto games Boston should see Halladay.

    5. Evan3457
      August 13th, 2009 | 6:02 pm

      Yanks, not facing Washburn (traded), Bedard (hurt) and King Felix (pitched yesterday), will take at least 2 of 4 in Seattle, and should really take 3 of 4. However, the Yanks will be pitching both of their #5 starters in this series, so maybe it’ll only be 2.

      They should take 2 of 3 in Oakland on sheer talent alone.

      That gets them to Boston no worse than 4 of 7.

      I never take anything for granted, but I’m not that concerned, either. Yet.

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