Well, it is officially on. As you can see by the lovely ESPN map reproduced above — and if you want a better view, just click on it — the rest of the country doubts the Yankees. In state after state, from Maine to Alaska, the only people who think the Yanks will make the playoffs are those of us who live in New York and New Jersey.
It’s time to show the everyone else. It’s time to show to the 80 percent of delusional Red Sox fans who don’t think the Yankees will make the playoffs that they are flat-out wrong. Roger Clemens, who had a no-hitter going until David Ortiz met the Upper Deck, did his part tonight while Kyle Farnsworth made us all wish that the Joba Rules, which shouldn’t be lifted, weren’t in place.
Alex Rodriguez, on his march toward a showdown with the Yanks over his contract, did his job. He delivered a home run off Josh Beckett that cleared the fence and gave the Yanks the breathing room they needed. Mariano Rivera did his job plus one more out, bailing out Kyle Farnsworth for the umpteeth time. He made the Red Sox look bad. Three of the four outs were dribblers that didn’t even make it past the mound. The other out was a routine groundball to A-Rod.
So now the Yanks are six not-insurmountable games out against the Red Sox. But the Sox play the Tampa Bay Bad News Bears a few times too many this month while the Yanks play the Orioles, their 2007 bugaboo who have yet to win with Dave Trombley in as their permanent manager.
The nation doubts us even the Wild Card of which we share in the lead right now. They doubt us a playoff spot in October. They doubt the hottest team since June and the best franchise of all time. We’ll show them.
And hey, we can always take solace in the graph below
the nifty new more tag (Hint: It doesn’t load a new page) the jump (We disabled the problematic More tag for now). We Yankee fans may be the most obnoxious, but the Red Sox are quickly gaining ground. To vote, head to this terrible Jim Caple column, but don’t read it. It’s really bad.
A win tonight makes the season series 7-7, with an even four games left.
Given today’s thread, I think we’ll have plenty to discuss during the game with Giambi at first.
I think we’re missing an important aspect of the Giambi discussion that’s occurring in this thread (beyond the anecdotal nature of defensive abilities). How well do you think Giambi would hit if he was given regular time?
He’s not 29 anymore, and won’t contend for any MVPs. We don’t have much to go on him from this season, since he’s spent mos of it hurt or not playing regularly. Can he still muster .260/.400/.550? If so, I’d clearly play him. However, I’m just not sure that those are the numbers we’ll see from him in September and hopefully October.
But I suppose we should expect it from him until he proves he can’t. Or should we? · (2) ·
There’s nothing in it that we don’t already know, but Buster Olney and ESPN The Magazine have hopped aboard the Joba bandwagon. In this upcoming magazine piece, Olney waxes poetic on young Mr. Chamberlain’s arrival in the Bronx, the impact this could have on the Yanks’ future and the way this symbolizes Brian Cashman’s control over player development. And now you don’t even need to read it. · (6) ·
Johnny Damon before July 1: .250/.335/.359
Johnny Damon since July 1: .287/.383/.427
Since the calendar turned July, Damon has been an impeccable leadoff hitter. He’s completely hit his way into the lineup every day, and he’s been a real boost at the top of the order.
This is a tougher comp, since he began his ascension before July 1 and had a terrible first couple of months.
Melky Cabrera before July 1: .259/.320/.371
Melky Cabrera since July 1: .332/.374/.500
With those numbers, Melky can slot into a number of lineup spots. Nine seems to be his home, though his OBP is surely good enough for the No. 2 spot.
This leaves us with Jason Giambi, who is seemingly the odd man out. Given his monster April — .322/.404/.517 — no one really could have seen that coming. Many were down on him in May, but his cold hitting turned out to be related to a serious injury.
So by now, many of you have noticed the new look. It’s not ground-breaking, but we’re trying out something new here.
This new theme allows us to have a little more control over the way things are displayed and a bit more control over the customizable aspects of WordPress. We’ve implemented a version of threaded comments that we think is a little bit better than the one we were trying out earlier.
We’ve still got the same great features. The Joba Watch remains where it has sat for much of the season. (How do you like that 100 mph pitch tonight?) We’ve got the asides formatting slightly differently than they did before.
We’ll probably be tweaking things over the next few days and weeks, and we’re certainly willing to listen to any suggestions you guys may have.
So welcome to the new version of River Ave. Blues. Same great content, new look.
In case you missed it, Mini-Moose is taking over for Moose.
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Ottawa)
Brett Gardner & Jose Cruz Jr.: both 1 for 3, 1 K – Gardner committed a fielding error…Cruz Jr. walked & scored a run
Mink: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B – 3 doubles & 9 RBI in 19 minor league AB after 7 & 16 in 124 big league AB
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 4, 1 K
Kevin Thompson: 2 for 3, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Andy Cannizaro: 2 for 4, 2 RBI – singled in KT for the winning run in the 8th
Jeff Karstens: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 3-12 GB/FB – not even one K?
Ross Ohlendorf: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4-1 GB/FB
Jose Veras: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3-1 GB/FB
Haven’t seen any confirmation, but Karl Ravech just said on Baseball Tonight that IPK will make Moose’s next start. More as I find it…
Update by Ben (11:14 p.m.): Dan Graziano and Ed Price of The Star-Ledger have your confirmation right here. No word on the corresponding 40-man move yet. · (27) ·
When last they met, the Yankees were 24-30, 12.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in fourth place. The Yanks now find themselves 13 games over .500 and in second place, but that 8-game deficit still looms large.
After a disastrous 2-5 West Coast road trip, they remain 2 games behind the Mariners and have fallen 8 behind the Red Sox. If the Yanks want to make a last-ditch run for the crown, a sweep is in order. If they want to get that Wild Card, wins are needed.
It’s never really a good time for these two teams to face off. The hype and attention paid to these series has gotten well out of control, but here we are again. Andy Pettitte will try yet again to be the stopper as Daisuke Matusaka goes for the Red Sox. And finally, with Chris Britton arriving, I miss Sean Henn already. Don’t you?
1. Johnny Damon LF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Bob Abreu RF
4. Alexander Rodriguez 3B
5. Hideki Matsui DH
6. Jorge Posada C
7. Robinson Cano 2B
8. George A. Phillips 1B – I kid you not. His name is George.
9. Melky Cabrera CF
I’m surprised we didn’t find this earlier. Buried at the bottom of Tyler Kepner’s game story:
The Yankees recalled the right-hander Chris Britton after the game. They needed a fresh pitcher after Sean Henn allowed nine runs on Monday.
Congratulations, Chris. You’ve overcome all the odds. Now languish in the bullpen like all of the other pitchers not in the circle of trust.