You know what ticks me off? The Yankees haven’t played a damn game all week. Instead, YES has been running a new series called “How is this team going to lose tonight?” It’s a story about 25 guys who get hurt, give up doubles and homers, and can’t string together a series of hits or capitalize with men on base. My favorite character is Johnny Damon, a rebel who tries his damndest to spoil the loss, but the rest of the team won’t have it. Worst of all, they’re charging the Yankees with losses for these missed games. What gives?
That’s how I’m coping with these losses: by making light of them. The only alternatives are to turn into a raving psychopath who wants everyone, including the players, fired; or just not watching. Since I can’t imagine a summer without baseball, the latter is out. Apparently I’m not wired for the former. I’d have to kick my own punk ass. So it’s lame jokes and games of MLB 09 The Show for me.
After Johnny Damon’s futile attempt to help his team win the game, a friend emailed not with “DAMON!” or anything of that nature. It was, “I look forward to seeing how they blow this game.” Last night it was with their best pitcher on the mound doing something he’d never done before: surrender back to back homers. The last time he’d surrendered two homers in the same game was July 18, 1998. That’s fitting, since last night was also the first time Andy Pettitte gave up four homers in a game. Yet a night of firsts did not result in the Yankees first win in five games. Now they’ve dropped that many in a row.
Remember a few years back, when every tabloid pronounced Mo dead in April after a few poor performances? That’s what’s keeping my head high right now. This happens to Mo at some point or another during the season. It was abbreviated to the point where we didn’t really notice it last year, but he still had a few poor games. As has happened many times in the past five years, this time it has come early. Hopefully that will be the last of it. In his last five appearances Mo has pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, 4 homers, and 5 runs. To pile it on, according to pitch f/x his velocity is down about 2 mph this year. On the plus side, he has struck out 9 and walked none in that span, so there’s hope that he’s just about shaken off the rust.
While Andy Pettitte didn’t start things off well, and while Jose Veras got hit around a little (though I didn’t think he pitched particularly poorly), the offense continued to be a massive problem. For starters, Robinson Cano is officially in a slump. After May 1 he was hitting .378/.401/.592. Since then he’s 1 for 21 with one walk. Mark Teixeira took the ramp back onto the interstate, lowering his average to .198 with an 0 for 5 night. Nick Swisher was the only other hitless starter. His 0 for 4 night extended hi hitless streak to 13 at bats. He’s walked four times in that span.
There are a couple other minor, minor positives, but they don’t much matter right now. The Yankees need a win in the worst way. CC Sabathia started this losing streak, and he’s next up to try and end it. He won’t go it alone, though. The Yankees will bring back Alex Rodriguez, and along with him hopefully a few far more minor reinforcements. Possibly Kevin Cash for Jose Molina, but even beyond that it would be nice to see Juan Miranda get called up for David Robertson or Mark Melancon and get the start at first base against Jeremy Guthrie. Something needs to give with Teixeira, and a night off wouldn’t kill him.
It’s tough to look forward to tomorrow night’s game. The only ray of hope is that this is the on where they turn it around. But how many times can we think that before even that gets frustrating? At least with CC, you know it’s possible.