Monday, May 08, 2006

Week In Review: That's More Like It

Record for the Week: 5-1
Overall Record: 18-11 (1st place)

Story of the Week: There is no tie for first place right now in the AL East. Typically, we think of the standings as a matter of how many games behind the leader each team is. The second-place Red Sox are 19-12, so they're zero games behind the Yankees. Zero games, but eight percentage points behind.

Last week, at Fenway, the Yanks came in under the same circumstances, and the Fenway scoreboard operator listed the Red Sox in first place and the Yanks in second. It was a pathetic display of mathematical ignorance. Last year, at the end of the season when the Yanks and Red Sox had identical records, and the Yanks "won" based on tiebreakers, you could argue that who should be listed at the top of the standings was a matter of opinion. Not last week. Not this time.

With three games scheduled at the Stadium this week, one way or another, the AL East should be "untied" by Thursday, clear enough that even a Red Sox fan will be able to tell who's actually in first place. The Yanks will probably have to play the series without Gary Sheffield, who's had a stiff wrist for nearly two weeks.

Player of the Week: Hideki Matsui got off the slide .348/.464/.696 week, two homers and six RBI. He was the only Yank to slug .500 on the week, a week when the Yanks scored over six runs per game despite a .360 team slugging percentage (the team OBP was .362). On the pitching side, Mike Mussina added another excellent start to his record allowing two runs off three hits and no walks in seven innings on the week. Every season Scott Proctor has a week or two where it looks like he's finally put it all together. Just because it never lasts doesn't mean that his performance last week should be ignored: four and a third scoreless innings, three hits, one walk, four strikeouts.

Dregs of the Week: Aaron Small went undefeated, 10-0 last season. Small collected his first Yankee loss this season (his first regular season loss, anyway) and has gotten completely slagged in each of his appearances so far, giving up five runs in two and two thirds, good for a 16.88 ERA. Tanyon Sturtze is another pitcher the Yanks picked up from the scrap heap, and it looks like back to the scrap heap he should go. Over four appearances this week he only pitched one inning, which shows how well he was doing. On the offensive side, Derek Jeter had a week to forget, .154/.241/.154. In a performance that doesn't really merit "dregs" consideration--but is just plain weird--Jason Giambi batted .118 last week, and had a .464 OBP. Oh, and of his two hits on the week, one was a homer.

The C/P Ratio: On the week it was 5/3, to bring us to an overall 28/31. If these guys are wondering where the playing time went, they should look at their pals, Bernie Williams and Bubba Crosby, and they should credit the hot bat of Robinson Cano (.360/.385/.440 on the week).

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