On Wednesday, April 16, the Yankees had just beaten the Red Sox in a marathon game in the Bronx. They won 15-9, and that victory moved them into a first-place tie, a season-high two games over .500. Since then, the Yanks haven’t reached that peak yet. They’ve gone 21-24 and have spent the last six weeks flirting with .500.
At some point, then, something in the Bronx must give. The Yankees must either shape up or we have to come to terms with the fact that the Yankees are simply some crappy .500 team that’s overpaid and underperforming our expectations.
The Yanks this afternoon face Brian Bannister. The righthander, once on the Mets and later traded for Ambiorix Burgos (oops), has put up some decent numbers this year. In April, he beat the Yanks, allowing just two runs in five innings while giving up five hits and four walks. Hopefully, the Yanks can do a bit better than that this time around. Andy Pettitte goes for the Yanks, and Hideki Matsui sits so that Jason Giambi can get some ABs at DH.
The game starts at 1:05 p.m. on this hot and humid day in the city.
Game Notes: Just so this doesn’t fly under the radar: The Yanks and Brian Cashman did not talk contract in Tampa this week, contrary to earlier reports from Thursday.