I've got good news, and bad news, and bad news, and bad news.
The good news is that Chien Ming Wang made it back to the Bronx, after being derailed with shoulder problems.
The bad news is that Gary Sheffield couldn't start, with a strained thigh muscle suffered in Wednesday's game. Sheff may miss part of the Yankees' showdown with the Red Sox, this weekend.
The bad news is that Wang wasn't sharp, and allowed three runs in five innings.
The bad news is that after Wang finished his work for the day, Joe Torre turned the game over to Wayne Franklin, who retired the first batter he faced, then allowed a single to the bad Alex Gonzalez, and a double to Joey Gathright. He then gave way to Scott Proctor, last seen melting down against these same Devil Rays in extra innings. Two doubles later, the game is 6-0.
The bad news is that the Yankees lost a series, at home, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Cleveland Indians have taken the Wild Card lead.
I won't mention minor good news--that the Red Sox were shut out, so the Yanks don't lose ground in the divisional standings--because this was a terrific chance for the Yanks to gain a game, put themselves in a place where they could (not will, not should, just could) sweep their way to the division lead. That's out the window now.
Why is Wayne Franklin here? Why on earth is Joe Torre giving this guy non-garbage time innings? The Yanks came back to score four runs. Might've been meaningful if the Yanks hadn't just donated some additional runs to the Devil Fishies for no damn reason.
The losses get dumber and dumber. Maybe this team doesn't deserve to make the playoffs.
I'm unlikely to get much commenting done about this weekend series because I'm busy seeing my pals Pete & Lei Ann off to matrimony. So congrats to them, and have a nice weekend if we don't speak before then.
I'll have a Notebook piece up at Baseball Prospectus later on (in case ya can't get enough of me), this one dedicated to the Pirates and Lloyd McClendon.