Friday, September 17, 2010

Bombers Bombing?

Yankee fans should be very concerned with regard to a championship repeat performance. After winning eight straight games, they have lost five of their past six and eight of their last 10 games. Five of those losses have been one-run defeats. Three have come in the opposition's final at-bat. But with serious concerns about whether Derek Jeter has begun his final descent and Alex Rodriguez not hitting home runs with the frequency of the past, they no longer strike fear into the opposition and seem vulnerable. Their problems underscore just how hard it is to defend your crown. The World Champions are just 15-16 against clubs heading to October. The only certainty in the starting rotation remains CC Sabathia, on the verge of a 20-win season. They are no better than the Mets at the start of the season whose rotation was Johan Santana and four other guys until they got back to Santana. Fortunately for the Yankees, Andy Pettitte makes his long-awaited return this Sunday from the groin injury suffered in July. With a lack of trust in the ability of A.J. Burnett from game to game, Pettitte, if he is able to provide a much -needed lift to the rotation, becomes the #2 starter come October. How can they possibly re-insert him as the #3 for a possible match-up with Texas? In a five-game series, they'll see Cliff Lee, who won all of Philadelphia's World Series games against them last fall and owned them again on Sunday, twice. There is no waiting on a guy who's barely a .500 pitcher on a team 30 games over .500. How is that possible? The Yankees cannot put the good teams away. Ample evidence was provided in Texas, where they were swept and Tampa Bay where, save for a Jorge Posada game-winning home run, they would have been swept again. And know this about Tampa: they are superior to their World Series club of 2008 which got to the promised land without a bullpen of consequence. That was before they acquired Rafael Soriano in perhaps the most unsung deal of the post-season. He leads the American League with 43 saves and struck out Jeter and Rodriguez to close out an electrifying series in St. Petersburg. Now if only the local population would embrace them and show their enthusiasm at the gate. Shame on them.

1 comment:

Miles Shapiro said...

Ed, you need to do a Partique for Bat for the Cure. Perfect venue for your cause. We would love to help. Opening day next season? Take a look. -- Miles Shapiro

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