Sunday, August 20, 2006

So what next?

The Yankees have taken the first three out of this rare five game set and whatever happens will leave Beantown with a bigger lead in the division than they did when they arrived late on Thursday night. Three high scoring games, which can in part be laid at the feet of the great patience shown by the Yankees hitters getting starters out early and getting into the battered and beleaguered bullpen earlier than the Sox could with ours, however the one major difference was despite giving up runs, our 'pen decided or in better words, were capable of throwing the ball over the plate.

Yesterday afternoon Randy Johnson really sucked it up and battled his way to a W. He didn't have his best stuff but for the first time since he's been in the Bronx, he battled and he seemed to know he wasn't pitching for himself, for personal glory, he was pitching for the Yankees and he knew the pen needed a rest, so he kept going back out there and gutting it out for the club and for his manager. Five runs through seven innings doesn't sound great, but yesterday it was.

Also we all knew last season about the much-hyped frostiness between Randy and JoPo but that has gone. Yesterday we saw them during the Yankee half of the 7th standing standing towards the top step of the dugout chatting away both with smiles on their faces and nodding away, not saying they are best of friends now but their relationship has at least evolved to a professional level, possibly even beyond, Posada's better defence I suspect is a part of that along with Randy understanding that he isn't that dominating front line starter that he once was.

Nearly everyone can take some credit for our performance, Scott Proctor gets a big tick against his name from me, coming out of the pen in the night game on Friday and shutting down the Sox was just sensational, it really was, he has become a massive part of this ball club. Clearly Johnny Damon, Robbie Cano and Bobby Abreu have been fantastic but I'm going to quietly speak up for Joe Torre. The manager gets ripped for his management but on Friday night he had two bullets on the bench, Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada and he decided that the seventh was the inning to use them, and they helped spark that big rally, the seven run seventh inning. Good job Joe.

Tonight it is Schilling v Moose and tomorrow Lidle will face Boomer. Tonight it is a genuine marquee pitching match up live on ESPN. Moose started off great and whilst he has cooled off he is still a fine pitcher. Schilling is Schilling, what he knows though is he has to go seven tonight at least and hand the ball straight off to Papelbon, if he fails to do this then I think the Bombers can win again. Tomorrow is a bit like Friday night, a bit of a crabshoot, got no idea how it'll go.

Still, whatever happens, the Yankees will of taken a step towards the post season, how big of a step we're not sure yet, but it could be bigger than anyone could've imagined...

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