Forget what you know about yesterday’s outcome. If I told you that Matt DeSalvo didn’t pitch well yesterday and was lifted with one out in the fourth inning, how many runs do you think the White Sox would have scored? If I told you that he was replaced by Luis Vizcaino — with men on base — how many more runs do you think the White Sox would have scored? And after Viz pitched an inning and two-thirds, he was replaced by Ron Villone. So we have to be up to seven, eight, nine runs by now, right?
But there were only four. When you think of it that way, it doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, with the Yankees lineup, that should translate into a win. Unfortunately, the cold bats continued, and the Yanks managed just one run (a Mientkiewicz double that was oh so close to going over the fence). That’s what happens when you strand six of the 10 men you put on base, and erase another three via the double play.
Joe Torre displayed a bit of desperation after the game. â€œI know weâ€™re going to get better at it. I know weâ€™re going to put a streak together. Every time you win, you say, â€˜This is when weâ€™re starting it.â€™ But it hasnâ€™t happened yet. You keep working hard.â€
Can you blame him, though? Wouldn’t you be desperate if you were in a position similar to the Yanks’? The expectations bar is set ridiculously high, so when your heralded offense is limping, the whole team looks bad. If the Yanks drop five out of the next six, you can just imagine what Joe’s media dealings will be like.
“It’s either a hamstring thing, or an elbow thing, or a psychological thing. Or a heart attack!”
“Who used that one, skip?”
Hey, if the Yanks offense is giving fans agita, imagine what it’s doing to the man at the helm. It may appear that he’s asleep at the wheel most of the time, but if the man really didn’t care about his job, he wouldn’t have fought for it last fall. His players wouldn’t have defended him this spring. He may make some questionable in-game decisions (which includes writing Bobby Abreu’s atop the lineup card), but he’s not the reason the bats are cold. He wasn’t the reason for April’s hamstring injuries, and he didn’t pitch ineffectively and not make it through five innings.
So what, exactly, does this team need? Maybe Alex Rodriguez (whose swing hasn’t been nearly as sweet in May) has an answer. â€œItâ€™s very important to play well, and itâ€™s good â€” itâ€™s maybe what we need. You have no choice against the Mets and Boston but to bring your game up.â€
So, while many of us aren’t particularly looking forward to the next two series, Alex thinks it may be what the team needs to turn the season around. I’m not sure if I buy that. You’re not going to be playing teams the caliber of the Mets and the Red Sox all year, and if that’s what it takes to get you motivated, you’re not going to end up in the playoffs. Wins against the best are obviously necessary, but so are wins against teams like the pathetic-hitting White Sox.
Then again, I think back to what we’ve been saying for years now: the Yanks beat up on the good pitchers, but falter against rookies and shitty arms. The Yankees worst offensive games this year have come against Jon Garland (okay, he’s pretty good — but not great), Jon Danks (rook), Horacio Ramirez (fuckin’ terrible), Jarrod Washburn (after smoking him), Brandon McCarthy (who had an ERA over 7.00 heading into the contest), Miguel Batista (sucks), Tim Wakefield (even though we won), A.J. Burnett (who was getting killed coming into that game), and Ramon Ortiz (on the verge of being released).
This weekend, we have Oliver Perez (who is looking much more like 2004 than 2005 and 06), Tom Glavine, and John Maine (wow). So at least we’re not facing a bunch of rookies and shitheads (though I’m not sure if we’ve seen Maine yet). Maybe that’s a good thing? Who knows. At least it will start of on a good foot, pitching-wise for us. Andy Pettitte tonight. Tomorrow is a “gimme” game, with Rasner on the hill (if we win, it’s a huge bonus), and Sunday is a roll of the freakin’ dice with Tyler Clippard (he might fool the Mets hitters, or he might give up four consecutive bombs). Is asking for five runs too much?
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