Friday, May 12, 2006

A big win and a big loss

Well last night felt like the first real Red Sox - Yankees game of the season - close late, one of those situations as a Red Sox fan where you are looking an inning or two ahead to see when Jeter might be coming up to save the day for the Yankees, and when A-Rod is coming up to save the Sox...

It was also one of those nights where your frustration grew as the Sox left more and more men on base - there are some records that you are happy to take away from the Yankees, but the MLB high of 20 men left on base isn't one of them. The winning hit, as it was, wasn't the cleanest of the night, and I guess I would have liked my SS / 1b combo to have made the out, but given all that had happened at that stage, I was happy for the runs to get in any way.

It is still only a week of consistent hitting, but this team now does appear to be putting together better at bats as a team - fewer easy outs, fewer rash decisions (says Neil H quickly forgetting Mike Lowell's ugly at bat with the bases loaded in the 6th...). While my initial thought was that Joe was going to his bullpen early, Neil M pointed out that Chacon had already thrown 100+ pitches by that stage. The game really dragged from that pitching change - from Chacon, the Yankees would use another 6 pitchers, 4 alone in the game length 6th inning.

Given that the Yankees were playing very well heading into this series, the series win was a big boost.

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From a Yankees perspective, this series exposed two risks that were identifiable at the beginning of the season - question marks in the rotation, and a lack of true depth on the bench. When fully healthy, it is hard to argue that the Yankees 1 thru' 9 aren't the strongest lineup in baseball. But with Sheffield on the DL and now Matsui out for an unknown period it will be interesting to see how they respond (and for the record, no team has the depth to survive the loss of Sheffield and Matsui).

It doesn't appear that Cabrera is quite ready, and it is hard to believe that the Yankees don't see Crosby as anything other than the replacement player he is. Where does that leave them with potentially tough series against the A's, Rangers, Mets and Red Sox on the agenda for the next two weeks? They could wait out Sheffield's injury - the concern there is that his time on the DL is still unknown, Cashman is quoted overnight as saying that Sheffiled will be on the DL for longer than 15 days, but less than 2 months - they could stay with Cabrera and be patient as he learns the majors the hard way, or they could look outside the organization.

Not surprisingly, Baseball Tonight moved straight into trade mode - names mentioned included Tori Hunter, which presumably would require Damon to move to left, or interestingly, Bobby Abreu of the Phillies. The Phillies apparently tried to move Abreu in the close season, but did not find the quality of SP they stated they were looking for, and right now, I am not sure that the Yankees match up that well without taking on more risk themselves.

3 threw a strike:

At 9:53 pm, Blogger Stuart said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:58 pm, Blogger Stuart said...

You guys could trade for Luis Gonzalez, take another aging-fading-overpaid player off our roster for us :-)

 
At 10:30 pm, Blogger s1c said...

Francesca is panting after Abreu, which of course is setting Dog spastic. You know they will make a big play for somebody, but the question is who are they going to trade to get them? Of course it doesn't matter because Shaughnessy just jinxed the sox today by saying that Matsui's injury just shifted the division.

 

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