Six games into the critical stretch of the season and the Yankees are 5-1. They are now 15 games above .500 and tied for the wild card. Oh yes, they are only four games in back of the Red Sox, but it is still silly to talk about that because the math while better is still ugly. (Red Sox play at current clip of .600 Yankees have to go 31-14 to tie. My advice, focus on the wild card).
As positive as things look right now, in some ways a stricter test is coming up Monday. Cleveland ran out two bad pitchers against the New York lineup, Baltimore won’t do that. Jermey Guthrie and Erik Bedard have ERA’s of 3.22 and 3.11. Daniel Cabrera, while sporting a 5.14 ERA for the year, still has managed 122 K’s and has electric, if erratic stuff.
This will be very interesting to watch and while many would look at the schedule and expect an easy series, I wouldn’t do that. Things are good right now and it will be interesting to see if the incredible offense continues against two very good pitchers.
The news that Kei Igawa has been claimed by San Diego and could be traded to them has prompted a lot of cheers in the Bronx. After all, with all the young pitching, why do we need Igawa?
Count me in among the crowd that doesn’t want to see Igawa pitching in a Yankees’ uniform anytime soon, but you simply can’t give him away. The Yankees spent $46 million on him and $26 of that is a sunk cost. No team is going to eat that big a chunk of money without something to show for it. Whatever team gets Igawa will have the next 4+ years to try and fix him and only have to pay $4-million in the process. As much as I want him gone, I would rather let him try and get things back together in AAA instead of giving him away for a song.
One thing that the Yankees have to do is resolve the Farnsworth situation. Yesterday, Joe Torre had the following options for the 8th inning: Vizcaino, Rivera, Farnsworth and Villone. Chamberlain was out because he had pitched two innings Friday. (The Joba rules state that he gets the same number of days off as innings pitched, so two innings of use=two days off) Brower was with his wife who just gave birth. Karstens is being saved to start tomorrow, which means four guys were left and Joe trusts two of them. Protecting Chamberlain is vital, but it would be easier to do if the Yankees had someone else to pitch the seventh or eighth. Obviously, Kyle is never going to be that guy again in Joe’s eyes, so get someone who could possibly fill that role.
Last but no least, as good as the offense has been, Andy Phillips is not pulling his weight in the lineup, if they won’t let Giambi or Damon play first, how about unchaining Shelley Duncan from the bench? The guy has five home runs in 35 AB’s, shouldn’t we see some more of him?