Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still A Way To Go

Hey, anytime the Yankees beat the Red Sox in a series, whether it's May or October, it's disappointing (of course, it hurts a lot more in October). So yeah, this series stunk. The Yanks chased Wakefield and Schilling, and got good pitching from Pettitte and Wang.

As for the hitters, the only guy who seemed to come alive was Johnny Damon, with 6 hits in the series. Abreu is still a mess, and Matsui did well in the final game. But Damon is always touch-and-go, so you can't get too excited by his success.

When it comes down to it, the Yanks still have a 9.5 game gap to fill. In order for that to happen, they have to hope for one of two things to happen: Boston has to fall apart, or they have to go on a '98-like incredible surge.

I don't see any of the two happening, and it comes down to something I wrote about last week: Boston has depth, and the Yankees don't. Even if Boston has a few injuries, they have plenty of reinforcements. Once Lester joins the big club, they can use Julian Tavarez as insurance. And the way he's pitched against the Yankees this year, that's a good backup to have. And guys like Pena and Cora are good for a couple of weeks, if need be. The Yankees' best-case scenario would be if everybody gets injured, like last year's disaster. When you saw Javy Lopez catching, you knew it was all over.

And the Yanks just don't have the horses to go on a tear. Even after Clemens and Hughes join the team, they're not gonna get great starts from both guys every time out there. As we saw on Tuesday, Mussina is getting more and more inconsistent with age, and Wang and Pettitte will have the occasional hiccup. And even if Abreu and Cano eventually start hitting, Jeter and Posada will probably slow down for a few weeks. It's very unusual for any team to have all nine hitters be in the zone at the same time.

So although this series stunk, you've gotta be nuts to start thinking about 1978.

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