Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ugly, Uglier, Ugliest

The last 3 games could be described in the title above, pretty much in any order you choose. Just as things were looking back up again - 4 wins in 5 games, a 2.5 game lead in the AL East - things went to pot again. Three straight losses and back into 2nd place in the division.

It started out on Wednesday when a 2 hour-11 minute rain delay forced starter A.J. Burnett from the game. Now obviously you know what you're going to get from Burnett on any given evening, but when play resumed Joe Girardi chose to go with the back end of the bullpen to finish the final six innings. Why?

Girardi continues to baffle the mind with his moves. Did he figure he had his ace CC Sabathia pitching the finale against the Rays and since he had a 2.5 game lead he could just reserve the top pen guys? He seemed to forget that the Rays were throwing David Price against Sabathia and nothing is ever a given.

Needless to say the pen completely put Wednesday's game out of reach (7-2 loss). Then came Thursday and Sabathia didn't have it. Price wasn't as sharp as he was either when the two locked horns the prior week in Tampa, but he was able to watch as Sabathia lost the strike zone and the game, 10-3. Javier Vazquez also added some comic relief by hitting three straight batters. (I hope Cashman doesn't plan on bringing Vazquez back in 2016.)

The lead in the east had shrunk back to a half-game with the Boston Red Sox coming to town for the last regular season series at home this year. Andy Pettitte was making his second start since being activated off the DL last Sunday. As good as he was that day in a no-decision against Baltimore, that's how bad - actually more like 10 times worse - he was last night.

The Red Sox took batting practice against Pettitte and then Jonathan Albaladejo came on to throw some feul on the fire (Albaladejo looks like Mark Melancon 2.0 - great minors, poor majors) as the Yankees faced a 10-1 deficit. The Bombers banged out six home runs - two each by A-Rod and Mark Teixeira, and one apiece for Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson - but still came up short 10-8.

The Yankees now find themselves looking up at the Rays, a half-game back in 2nd place. Today they have to face Jon Lester and we have to listen to the idiots on Fox (Hopefully we'll be spared Buck, who may be already at an NFL site to set up for Sunday). Ivan Nova goes for the Yankees.

The series finishes Sunday night (Miller and Morgan, oy) with the unpredictable Dice-K going against the more unpredictable Dustin Moseley. What's the over/under on how many times Miller say Adrian "Bel-TRAY"?

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