Monday, September 20, 2004

 

From the jaws of defeat, I see victory...

So we didn't sweep the Yankees this weekend, and we're still 4.5 games back. Am I the only one who's not only concerned, hell, I'm overjoyed this weekend's series ended the way it did- and you should be too!

So the Yankees series didn't go as you planned, big surprise, but it went just the way I thought it would. I thought Arroyo would put a quality outing (6IP 2ER) , and he did. Those 2 ER gave the Red Sox something that Pedro and his 8, or Derek Lowe and his well, Derek Lowe like ability to walk in runs didn't when they came to bat in the top of the 9th, A CHANCE TO WIN!

On Friday, the Red Sox exploited the one weakness that the Yankees really have this year. Sure, you can argue the vaunted Yankees starters have been anything but this year, but even as a dillusional Red Sox fan, I can't lie to myself about this, they're going to show up in October, you know it, I know it, they know it. The Red Sox were able to put the hands in the game of the Yankees bullpen, something opponents have done to the Yankees more times this year than any year in recent history, and it's something that's beginning to take effect.

Without question, the Yankees on paper have one of the best bullpens in baseball. They have 2 absolutely lights out setup men in Paul Quantrill and Tom Gordon, both arguably in the top 10 in the league. Then they have Rivera. Say what you want about him losing Friday, his game being on the decline, or even the Lugo hit in the world series. Game 7 on the line, 3-2 count, bases loaded, 2 outs, I'm up by a run, and my closer is in, Rivera is near the top, if not the top if a VERY short list of who I want my world series hopes resting on. So we know these guys are good, and they've continued to show us this all year (Tom Gordon leads the AL in holds, Quantrill leads the AL in IP by a reliever, and Rivera leads the ML in saves). Here in lies my point.

These guys, well great, are being overworked. The Yankees starting staff hasn't been dependent all year, and all 3 of the above members of the usually unshakable bullpen, have already shattered career IP and/or Appearance numbers for the season, and it's not even over yet, nevermind October! These guys may pitch like Gods among men, but they are truly mortal, and the wear and tear on their arms is beginning to show (see Friday night), and as the Yankees progress toward, and even through October, it's only going to get worse.

So why am I happy the Sox lost? Because it means the Yankees have to go play Minnesota, and if that doesn't relieve some of your doubts about this weekend, you should really rethink your priorities about the division title over the world series title. As Marc mentioned yesterday, no pitcher in the 2nd half has been more lights out than Johan Santana. As I write this article, he has extended his scoreless innings pitched streak to 30, during a stretch run that doesn't even matter for the twins, as their division is locked up tighter than a girls pants when they're standing around me. Again I refer to Marc above, Radke's Quality Start totals, and the fact that playing in the Metrodome is about the equivalent homefield advantage of having to run the bases while 60,000 odd fans stand on either sides of the base paths with bats waiting for the opposition to attempt to run the gauntlet. Did I mention Joe Nathan has been more money this year than Mike Vanderjagt in a game against any team not named the Patriots?

So this means the Sox get the A's, and no, I'm not looking past them, hell, I'm looking towards them, because they aren't the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox know they can go into Oakland and win, they know they can come back from a 2-0 defecit (see last year's playoffs). Mulder is hurting, Zito's 12-6 curveball is more like a 12-1230, and Hudson can't win 3 games by himself. Did I mention Octavio Dotel is Oakland's closer?

So in the end, yes, even I'm upset the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, I hate to see my team lose. But try to take solace in what lays ahead, a 5 game series with a team we've been 8-1 against. Take the series New York, I'll see you in the ALCS, if Johan doesn't beat you to it...


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?