I don't post for a week, and the whole damn team falls to pieces.
The Butcher's Bill stands at 11-16, and tonight, the team was in Tampa battling last-place Devil Rays. After tonight's 11-4 schellacking, the Yanks are closer to last place in the AL East (the D-Rays are now 9-18) than they are to third (the Red Sox, 13-12).
The past week has been a seesaw of ups and downs, with emphasis on the downs. It started in a promising fashion, with Alex Rodriguez looking historically sweet against the Californian Los Angeles Angels formerly of Disney (more on that in a moment). The good mojo didn't last. After winning 12-4 last Tuesday, the Yanks were outscored 8-2 over the next two games of the Angels series--at home.
Toronto then came into town, just in time for Roy Halladay to outduel Randy Johnson. Bad news, losing the Big Unit's start, worse news that Randy was feeling "groin stiffness" (please, get your minds out of the gutter and have the decency to be concerned) particularly with callup Chien-Ming Wang making his first start in the wake of a three game losing streak.
Luckily, Wang didn't seem to notice all the pressure he was supposed to be under, and he pitched a nice little ballgame, allowing two runs through seven innings on Saturday. The bullpen coughed up Wang's lead, but still, the Yanks won 4-3.
But the good feelings from Wang's start didn't last, as Carl Pavano (or, as the Boys at Bronx Banter call him, "Meat") got flambasted for six runs, letting the Jays back in a game which the Yanks led , and allowing the soft underbelly of the Yankee bullpen to cough up the win.
Yesterday, against the Devil Rays, things looked much more promising (don't they always?). Mike Mussina looked better than he has in his past couple of appearances, although his fastball still wasn't breaking any speed limits. Starting opposite Mussina, ex-Met Scott Kazmir looked good (9 Ks in 6 IP) but was undone by bad defense and worse relief support.
That brought us to today. The D-Rays riding an eight game losing streak, facing Kevin Brown, who beat them like a redheaded stepchild in 2004 (4-0 1.88 ERA). The Yanks were facing a serious shake-up of the roster and lineup: Robinson Cano coming from AAA to play second base (yay!), Bernie Williams going to the bench (huh), Hideki Matsui going from left to center (OK) and Tony Womack starting in left field (boo...kinda). Steve Karsay was told to hit the road, the Yankees eating his salary by designating him for assignment. I forget the roster rules as to whether they can work a salary dump trade within the next couple of days, or if Karsay's contract goes into the books as one of the worst expenditures in franchise history (not that those options are mutually exclusive). Either which way, he's gone.
Well, it seems like the Rays weren't buying the new-look Yankees, or at least the new-look (but definitely old-lookin') Kevin Brown. They smacked him up for six runs in the opening frame, and the team never recovered.
So April's over, a month in which the Yanks took 16 of their 24 games at home, finished with a 6-10 record at the Stadium, for the month.
Not promising. Not promising at all.