We said this weekend's series against the Cards would be important. Friggin' Mike Lupica said this was an important series. The returns are in, and it's a mixed bag.
Friday, the Yanks lost, the manager ripped the team, people used the terms "unacceptable" and "rock bottom" for what seems like the thirtieth time this season. Saturday, Randy Johnson re-learned what the term "ace" means, starting a combined shutout of the Cards, 5-0. The Unit looked great, despite the occasional misfire that wound up nowhere near John Flaherty's target.
That meant another rubber game, in a season full of rubber games, Carl Pavano starting against undefeated Cards starter Matt Morris. Pavano continued his string of unpredictable performances by throwing six strong innings against the Cards. That's the good news. The bad news is, Tanyon Sturtze coughed up the game in the seventh, allowing four runs to throw away the series, 5-3.
Hard to get too far down about this game, since the Cardinals are the best team in the NL, and sport the second best record in baseball. Also, the Yanks were on their longest road trip of the year. Still, this team isn't helping itself, not at all.
So I guess the stream of "unacceptables" and "rock bottoms" will continue, until (and unless) the Yanks can turn this season around. The Yanks are home for the next two weeks, starting Tuesday with a three game tilt against the Pirates, followed by the Cubs, Tampa Bay, and the Mets. Unless the Yanks pick it up in those two weeks, they'll be behind the eight ball when they face the Orioles in Baltimore to end the month of June.
Hard to say about this team, but that series could be a must-win, if they don't pick up the pace.