Record for the Week: 4-2, 27 RS, 25 RA
Overall: 85-64, 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers for the Wild Card
9/11 -- Yankees 9, Toronto 2
We already discussed this one. Next!
9/12 -- Yankees 4, Toronto 1
On the surface, you could say the Moose is back. Dig a little deeper, and you see that he only had one strikeout, only managed one 1-2-3 inning. It's way better than what he's doing, but it's not "presto! back to normal" by any means.
9/13 -- Yankees 1, Toronto 2
Ian Kennedy pitches beautifully, just to find that the Yanks can't do a thing against AJ Burnett. For maximum annoyance, the Marlins not only beat the Yanks in the 2003 series, but they seeded their starters throughout the AL East, making sure the Yanks got the dud of the group.
9/14 -- Yankees 8, Boston 7
There might not be a sweeter victory all season than this, but it still wasn't an enjoyable game. These teams seem to have at least one ugly, brutal, marathon game per season, and this one was only made longer watching Jason Giambi fumble balls at first base. The muffed double play in the sixth was just a fundamentally horrible play, with Giambi not trusting his footwork enough to walk off the base to catch the throw, then get back to tag Ortiz. He had all sorts of time, but decided to do an insane stretch for the ball, instead.
9/15 -- Yankees 1, Boston 10
Something rubs me wrong about Josh Beckett. No, it's not just the 2003 Series or the being a Red Sox that I'm talking about. He reminds me of Jaret Wright, just healthy and talented. Anyway, I just detest his damned chipmunk face. That is all.
9/16-- Yankees 4, Boston 3
Didn't watch this game, and judging from the ninth inning bases-loaded-and-Papi-up note it ended on, I'm glad that I skipped this one. Couldn't possibly have been good for the ulcer.
Player of the Week: Strange week, with good pitching, ehh hitting, and not a lot of big standout performances. Jorge Posada had the best rate stats with a .294/.429/.647 week, and the Captain broke out five RBI at Fenway over the weekend, including two long homers. Jason Giambi deserves an honorable mention with two homers in his three hits this week (.273/.500/.818, 5 RBI). Roger Clemens and Ian Kennedy stood out among the pitchers, even though neither got a decision.
Dregs of the Week: Chien Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, spit the bit in Fenway, allowing five runs each. Still they're eclipsed on the Dregs-o-Meter by Alex Rodriguez's road funk (.182/.308/.182)--sounds like a good band name, actually--and perhaps the worst offensive week of the entire year, by Melky Cabrera (.043/.120/.087). We love the Melk man, and his arm saved a couple of runs last week, but that's rank. Just awful.
Link of the Week: I can't make up my mind about the story of this young Red Sox fan (hat tip BTF), who received the most memorable autograph since "Avoid the clap. Jimmy Dugan." You could say that Shelley Duncan is a bad person for writing something that might hurt a ten year-old's feelings, or you might respond, as Tom Hanks did as Dugan, "Hey! That's good advice!"
Seriously, when the kid's older, he'll find that this is a better story to tell people than if he'd gotten an autograph that says "Your pal, Shelley Duncan." Nonetheless, it's bad when players are mean to the fans, even if, sometimes, the fans aren't all that considerate, either. My younger brother still remembers Pat Kelly being a total prick to him outside the Stadium one day, and my older brother still treaures the late, great Scooter being funny and gracious to him under similar circumstances. It's totally irrational, but people place a lot of importance on small interactions with famous people. So be nice, Shelley! You never know when you'll need someone to be nice to you.
Story of the Week: While the Yanks were looking ahead of themselves in the standings, toward the Red Sox, the Detroit Tigers made up some ground and made things a little tighter behind the Bombers on the Wild Card front--three back in the loss column, as they like to say. Not only is catching the Red Sox unlikely, it's unnecessary. The important thing is to keep playing good baseball and focus on holding off the Tigers, securing that spot in the postseason.
A few notes on things I noticed this week:
- Bobby Abreu's going to miss 100 walks for the first time since 1998. He's still seeing a high number of pitches per plate appearance, so it isn't like he's suddenly become Oscar Azocar, but maybe pitchers are noticing the dip in his power, and are throwing him more strikes accordingly.
- The Captain's really slowed down in the second half. Through the All-Star break, he was putting up numbers worthy of last year's near-MVP season (.336/.408/.463), since then he's been a little bit more like his sophomore season, 1997 (.285/.352/.397). He's already matched his career high in hit-by-pitches (14).
- Edwar Ramirez is the three true outcomes pitcher. In 17 1/3 innings, he's walked 10, struck out 28 (a ridiculous 14.54 K/9) and a third of his hits allowed have gone for homers.
- Do they really need any lefty relievers on the roster? Villone and Henn both suck, Igawa hasn't even appeared in relief since being called up. Torre might have already performed the "You're dead to me now" ceremony on his looks-impaired Japanese import.
- As for the lefty that got away? Mike Myers has gotten smacked around with the White Sox (8.71 ERA and 3 HR allowed in 10 1/3 IP since he was released).