Pinstripes With a Side of Snark: Weeks 3 + 4
Greetings regular readers, Twitter followers, and bored people looking for something to read on a summer afternoon. First and foremost, I’d like to offer an explanation for the lateness of this column. I found myself without Wi-Fi for a vast majority of last week, then dealing with some medical problems with my wisdom teeth that have knocked me out for a couple more days. My distinct apologies for that, and I will do my best to ensure it never happens again. Now, onward to some baseball talk.
7/14 – 7/25
The New York Yankees have gone 7-5 in twelve games since the All-Star Break, and the whole stretch can be seen as a microcosm of the team’s season so far. Some games featured a dynamic, seemingly unstoppable offense (see the 17-6 beat down of Oakland on 7/22, and the 10-3 manhandling of Seattle on 7/25), while others had a lineup that simply couldn’t buy a RISP hit. The team began the stretch by dropping the first two post-break games to Toronto, before rallying behind another masterful CC Sabathia start to take the final two games up north, splitting the four game series. Moving onwards from Toronto, the team played a four game series against their Eastern Division rival Tampa Bay Rays. Once again the four game series led to a split, with the each game being a tightly played affair. Though winning only 4/8 wasn’t the ideal way to start the second half, the Yankees arrived home last weekend with a comfortable lead in the Wild Card, and still well within striking distance of the Division title. The team began their homestand by taking 2/3 from Oakland, with their only loss being a very winnable Saturday afternoon game where the winning run was left on base to end the game. After Oakland, the team took the opening game of three game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Anyone whose followed me on Twitter for the last few years knows that I’m a big CC Sabathia guy. I think that he has been more than worth the contract the Yankees gave him before the ’09 season, and has been nothing but a consistent ace for the team. That being said, I don’t think he’s ever looked better in pinstripes than his recent stretch of starts. In his last ten, the big man is 8-2 with 2.22 era, and 75 strikeouts in 77 innings, and getting through at least the seventh inning in all but one start. If Sabathia continues anywhere near this level, I think he has to be the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, and would in my humble opinion deserve it.
It’s never too early.
From strictly a fan perspective, I want to see the Yankees win the Eastern Division Championship. Nothing would be more rewarding (in the regular season) than seeing the Yankees snarl the division title away from the Red Sox. But that being said, I have no issue with the Yankees winning the Wild Card. Bottom line is that making the playoffs is what really matters in MLB. Granted, home field advantage would be welcome, but I don’t thin it’s an absolute need. For example, the Yankees not having HFA had little to do with them being bounced from the 2010 Postseason. Let’s be frank, Texas destroyed them in 2/3 games at Yankee Stadium at the ALCS.
Alright, that should wrap it up for this week. Next week I’ll wrap up the series with the Mariners, and the rest of the Yankees Hope Week games, review HBO’s DJ3K documentary, and discuss some of the proposed changes to the MLB playoff format.