Friday, August 11, 2006

ChiSox 5, Yanks 4

And we begin yet another edition of, “Oh, That Again,” the only show where the Yankees can manage 12 hits, but off-set them by leaving 15 men on base. Really, it was a pathetic effort on all fronts. Mussina didn't look great and his defense hurt him further. He was struggling through the second inning, and errors by Alex and Melky blew the game open to 4-0. It was surmountable, but you don't like to put that much pressure on your offense that early.

Then again, the defense didn't allow a double to Brian Anderson, which combined with the Podsednik single was the difference in the game. However, I'm not going to hold this over Mussina's head, because when you look at the game as a whole and factor in the immense damage of the two errors, it's clear that he put himself in position to win the game. The second inning was his only truly shaky frame, and as I've noted, it wasn't all his fault. And the damage could have been further, as Robinson Cano botched the transfer on a double-play ball. I'm just thankful he held on long enough to get Podsednik out at second.

The offense absolutely laid the groundwork for a breakout game, but couldn't quite fit all the pieces together. Javy Vazquez's final line was five innings, six walks, six hits, 111 pitches. And that should have been worth four runs. But instead, the offense managed half of that, and only mustered another two over four innings of bullpen work, where they usually thrive. The problem, I think, was the lack of walks drawn against the bullpen. There was only one, off Neal Cotts in the sixth inning. Brandon McCarthy (charge him with the Melky homer), Matt Thornton (who sucks, so there's no excuses), and Bobby Jenks didn't allow any free passes and nailed down the game.

Once again, Boston gaining a game would have made this hurt a lot. It wasn't as winnable a game as Tuesday, as you can't expect your offense to string together six runs every game. The Yankees simply fell victim to their own devices. Patience and power is a great formula, but the faults were evident last night. It takes hits to eventually drive in the runners that walk, and since the best players only succeed three out of 10 times, there are going to be games where you just can't bring enough guys home.

Many might think that the Yankees are cooling off, but I beg to differ. They may have dropped two of three, but they did it against a desperate team. The White Sox are far downhill from the AL Central leading Tigers, and the Wild Card race is as tight as your sister (too shticky?). They played as hard as they could, and damn near swept the Yanks. But each game was hard fought by the Bombers, and in each they caught a few unlucky breaks. So you move on to the next series, which thankfully is at home.

Sunday will be the game to watch against Anaheim, Chien-Ming Wang vs. Jered Weaver. I, for one, am totally down for handing Weaver his first Major League loss, despite the fact that he's the reason I've surged in my fantasy league. Preceding that matchup we have Cory Lidle vs. Joe Saunders (25-year-old rookie, 3-0, 1.29 ERA; yikes!), Jaret Wright vs. Kelvim Escobar (no matter what kind of season he's having, he scares the bejeezus out of me), and on Monday it's Randy Johson vs. John Lackey. I'd take a split any day of the week in this one.

Stay tuned, as I have cooked up another edition of Rip the Columnist. I'm particularly proud of this one, as it is one of the most moronic columns I've ever read. And it's actually about baseball, too, so it should be extra sweet.

P.S. Sorry, Rob, for failing you on the graphing front. I didn't get home until 1:30. No way I was doing anything but passing out at that point.