• August 1st @ The Rays

    Posted by on August 1st, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Breaking news! The Tampa Bay Rays are not the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s or Houston Astros.

    For the record, with this loss, the Yankees are 66-38 overall this season. But, they’re 24-5 when playing the O’s, Tribe, A’s and ‘Stros and 42-33 when playing everyone else. And, by the way, they’re now 5-6 when playing the Rays…and at least two of those wins against Tampa were extremely close.

    Really, if anyone wants to brag about the Yankees being 28 games over .500, tell them that 19 of those 28 games came via the sad-sacks in Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland and Houston. And, for sure, it’s not from playing the Tampa Bay Rays.

    In fact, the Yankees were lucky not to get swept by the Rays in this series.

    Man, the Yankees looked flat today. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees could have put on a better showing. Even the new Yankees looked like duds today. Berkman looked like Jason Giambi in his last year as a Yankee – especially in the field. And, Kerry Wood looks like the second coming of Kyle Farnsworth. Just an ugly day in Yankeeland.

    So, the Yankees now have just a one-game lead in the East with 58 games to go. Good thing for them that their schedule in August is an easy one. And, hopefully, they won’t blow it.

    Comments on August 1st @ The Rays

    1. Evan3457
      August 1st, 2010 | 5:29 pm

      1 of the 6 losses was extremely close.

      42-33 is 90 win team – when NOT playing 3 bad teams and a .500 A’s team that’s 3-3 vs. The Red Sox, 4-5 vs. the Rangers and 2-3 vs. the Rays.

      Hey, the Rays are 21-6 vs. the Astros, O’s, Indians and Mariners. That means they’re 44-33 vs. everyone else.

      If anyone wants to brag about the Rays being 26 over .500, tell them that 15 of those 26 games are agains the said-sacks in Houston, Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle. (And because of the A’s, the Yanks’ sad sacks are BETTER than the Rays sad sacks.)

      ========================================
      But we do this every year. See you next June. And July. And August. Etc.
      =======================================
      Yanks are 5-6 vs. Rays. They’ve scored 58 runs and allowed 59.

      It’s hard to see how the two teams could be closer, overall.

    2. August 1st, 2010 | 5:39 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Bottom line, are you happy with the way the Yankees played this series and the way they have matched-up with the Rays this season? Related, if the Yankees had to play the Rays in the ALCS this season, do you think they would win?

    3. INAC
      August 1st, 2010 | 6:14 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Bottom line, are you happy with the way the Yankees played this series and the way they have matched-up with the Rays this season? Related, if the Yankees had to play the Rays in the ALCS this season, do you think they would win?

      I have no idea how he feels about the Yankees’ successes (or lack thereof) against the Rays this season. Odds are, he probably isn’t too keen on the 5-6 record. On the other hand, you continually beat the same friggen drum about how the Yankees get all their bearings against the weak teams on the schedule.

      Consider this – in 2008, the Yankees went a combined 20-16 against the Red Sox and Rays. The Rays, by contrast, were 17-19 and the Red Sox were 17-19. Yet, who was the odd team out of those three? The Yankees. Why? Because the Yankees didn’t do their job against the weak teams like KC, Baltimore, Cleveland, etc.

      And for further consideration, the Yankees were 52-35 against above .500 teams lat year, most of that coming in the 2nd half (I believe they were 25-25 in the 1st half against teams that finished the season above .500, Minnesota and Atlanta were on the fringe at the time). I’ve never believed this team was better than last year’s, but they aren’t all that different and certainly haven’t lost their ability to beat good teams.

      Look at these splits: Yankees records vs. above .500 teams

      Tampa Bay: 5-6 (.455)
      Boston: 5-3 (.625)
      Toronto: 3-3 (.500)

      Chicago: 2-1 (.666)
      Minnesota: 4-2 (.666)

      Texas: 3-0 (1.000)
      Anaheim: 4-4 (.500)

      26-19 record. Detroit, and Oakland are all at .500 right now, though the records would cancel out if included. 1-3 vs. Detroit, but 5-1 vs. Oakland.

      I won’t bother asking what your point is, since you’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, but it’s pretty worthless to continually poke holes at the Yankees record because “they thrive against garbage teams”. Guess what: all good teams do. Otherwise, they’d be bad teams.

      Seems pretty simple.

    4. Raf
      August 1st, 2010 | 6:15 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Related, if the Yankees had to play the Rays in the ALCS this season, do you think they would win?

      Yep. Regular season records don’t mean anything come postseason.

    5. INAC
      August 1st, 2010 | 6:20 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Related, if the Yankees had to play the Rays in the ALCS this season, do you think they would win?

      I see no reason to think they couldn’t. The Angels were a pain in the rear-end to the Yankees for the previous twelve years heading into the ALCS last year, yet the Yankees found a way to knock them off.

      What, are the Rays now the team the Yankees can’t beat? The Rays went 14-22 against the Yankees in ’08 and ’09, and one of those years they won the pennant. Excuse me if I haven’t made them into the new Angels.

    6. Evan3457
      August 1st, 2010 | 6:56 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Bottom line, are you happy with the way the Yankees played this series and the way they have matched-up with the Rays this season? Related, if the Yankees had to play the Rays in the ALCS this season, do you think they would win?

      I’m not happy they didn’t hit, and that the Rays starting pitching stopped them cold without Price or Niemann. But the Rays have done this in spurts all season, and it’s not as if the Rays beat up the Yanks’ pitching either, nor did they “run wild” on the Yanks this weekend.

    7. August 1st, 2010 | 7:30 pm

      INAC wrote:

      I won’t bother asking what your point is, since you’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, but it’s pretty worthless to continually poke holes at the Yankees record because “they thrive against garbage teams”. Guess what: all good teams do. Otherwise, they’d be bad teams.Seems pretty simple.

      My point is simple. I’m a Yankees fan. I have high expectations for this team – for all the obvious reasons. And, while I appreciate them playing like world beaters when they face terrible teams, it pisses me off when they play tough teams and show up like chumps…like they did in this series.

      And, I’ve felt this way “as long as I can remember.” I want my defending and/or potential champion Yankees teams to play like champs, all the time, and not just when they’re facing scrubs.

    8. INAC
      August 1st, 2010 | 7:39 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      INAC wrote:
      I won’t bother asking what your point is, since you’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, but it’s pretty worthless to continually poke holes at the Yankees record because “they thrive against garbage teams”. Guess what: all good teams do. Otherwise, they’d be bad teams.Seems pretty simple.
      My point is simple. I’m a Yankees fan. I have high expectations for this team – for all the obvious reasons. And, while I appreciate them playing like world beaters when they face terrible teams, it pisses me off when they play tough teams and show up like chumps…like they did in this series.
      And, I’ve felt this way “as long as I can remember.” I want my defending and/or potential champion Yankees teams to play like champs, all the time, and not just when they’re facing scrubs.

      I don’t blame you. All Yankee fans have high expecations; as we should.

      This was a rough series to watch with the offense looking dreadful on Friday and Sunday. But lest we forget that these two teams met a few short weeks ago, and Rays fans were probably saying the same about their team that we’re now saying about the Yankees.

      The Rays are 6-5, but they also have played the majority of the home games thus far (by the same 6-5 margin). The Yankees have shown an ability to beat the Rays at Tropicana Field time and time again, and the Rays were 3-0 at Yankee Stadium early last year and are currently 3-2 there this year. These two meet for seven games in mid-September. Unless Boston has a ridiculous tear in them (and they are certainly capable of it), those seven games will likely decide who gets to face Chicago/Minnesota in the ALDS, and who faces Texas. I think the Rays and Yankees are the two best teams in baseball and had this pegged as a seven-game ALCS before the season, but Texas with Cliff Lee and the home field in a five game series? That could be difficult for the “first loser” in this division.

      But I’m getting way to far ahead of myself here. What I’m saying is the Yankees have held their own against the Rays in recent years. If anything, I figure these two split the season series. I doubt the Yankees win six of the last seven to go 11-7 for the third straight season.

    9. Raf
      August 1st, 2010 | 8:02 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      My point is simple. I’m a Yankees fan. I have high expectations for this team – for all the obvious reasons.

      They have the best record in baseball. They lead baseball in runs scored. As INAC has pointed out, the Yanks are 27-20 against the Rays over the last 3 years.

      It really isn’t that big a deal. If that lineup is run out there in an elimination game, sure, fine, kvetch, but with 2 months left in the season, this really isn’t a big deal.

    10. August 1st, 2010 | 9:07 pm

      Raf wrote:

      They have the best record in baseball. They lead baseball in runs scored.

      Stats padded by their play against the O’s, A’s, Tribe and Astros – which was my point, exactly.

      Context is everything in baseball stats.

      SRS combines the average margin of victory and strength of schedule to determine number of runs per game better than an average team each team is.

      And, might now, the Rays and Yankees have the same SRS.

      I’m telling ya, the Rays are just as good as the Yankees and NY should be very concerned about having to play this team, again this season, and in the post-season in the LCS.

    11. Zach
      August 1st, 2010 | 9:29 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      See, personally, I LOVE the fact that the Rays are a great team and are going to give us a run for our money. It gets monotonous when the teams in our division are weak. Remember how boring 2006 was? The Red Sox sucked, the Jays were mediocre, and the Rays were terrible. The Yanks coasted to a division victory and were eliminated early. Maybe it’s just me, but that season was really dull, because there was no competition.

      The Rays are great, yes, but that is a good thing for the Yankees and the rest of baseball. Because of the intensity of the AL East, a) the Yankees went out and splurged at the trade deadline, b) the games here in early August have more meaning, and c) there are more fans in the seats. The games are more exciting and every play is important. The postseason is only going to be better! I remember how awesome the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry was from 2003-2004 when the teams were so close talent-wise (like the Yanks/Rays are this year) and how thrilling the ALCS series were. (Yes, I realize the 2004 ALCS was tough on Yankee fans, but still…)

      Steve, you keep talking about the Rays talent like it’s the end of the world or the end of the Yankees playoff chances. See to me, I think it makes this season so much better! I hope the Rays keep pace all season long and win the WildCard! If we win it all this season, I want to see the Yanks beat the best! Yanks/Rays ALCS Game 7… it will be awesome.

    12. ken
      August 1st, 2010 | 9:47 pm

      Shields pitched better than CC today. That’s all this game meant.

      Nothing to infer about which team is ‘better’, or who would win a playoff series, or anything else you want to say. Seasons have ups and downs. Yankees are a better team than they showed this weekend.

      Move on.

    13. August 1st, 2010 | 9:58 pm

      The Rays could have easily lost the series.

      It goes both ways.

    14. Zach
      August 1st, 2010 | 10:01 pm

      Also, why do we have a problem with the Yankees beating up weak teams?

      The Tampa Bay Rays are:

      7-2 v. Baltimore
      5-3 v. Oakland
      5-1 v. Seattle
      5-1 v. Cleveland

      The Texas Rangers are:

      8-2 v. Seattle
      4-2 v. Cleveland
      4-0 v. Kansas City
      5-1 v. Houston
      3-0 v. Pittsburgh

      The Chicago White Sox are:

      9-1 v. Seattle
      3-0 v. Pittsburgh
      3-0 v. Washington
      4-2 v. Chicago Cubs

      This is what good teams do… they play well against bad ones.

    15. INAC
      August 1st, 2010 | 10:11 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      They have the best record in baseball. They lead baseball in runs scored.
      Stats padded by their play against the O’s, A’s, Tribe and Astros – which was my point, exactly.

      You don’t think the Rays have gone to town on some horrendous pitching this year themselves? Or the Rangers?

      This is what I don’t get. EVERY good team pads their stats against terrible opposition. The Yankees are no different.

    16. Raf
      August 1st, 2010 | 11:06 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Context is everything in baseball stats.

      Which is why I don’t understand why you’re ignoring context.

      Is the problem that the Yanks are beating up on weak teams? So did the Rays. That’s how they managed to stay in 1st for so long.

      Is the problem that the Yanks went 1-2 against the Rays? The Rays went 1-2 against the Yanks last week @ YS. Again, from 2008-10 the Yankees are 27-20.

      Is the problem a playoff berth at stake? Don’t really see that to be the case either.

      Is the problem the “emergence” of the Rays? Are they really any better than the Red Sox at their peak?

      Fact of the matter is that in an “important” game, Rodiguez would be @ 3b, Gardner would be in LF and Teix would be @ 1b. That they weren’t tells me that you’re placing a greater importance on the game than the people who are running the team. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt ;)

    17. PhilYagoda
      August 2nd, 2010 | 2:41 am

      Steve has been wrong about the division winner 12 out of the last 14 years.

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