Friday, August 30, 2013

South of the Border...from North of the Border!

Wow. At that start of that road trip (six games in Tampa and Toronto) I really thought the Yankees would reel in their wild card foes and get ready for one more stretch. Instead they go 2-4. Let's recap: Kuroda had an AWFUL two starts on the road--in Tampa he looked like he was pitching the Home Run Derby, and in Toronto, Chris Stewart made a horrible throw to first to score two extra runs, in addition to all the home runs. Our very own Daniel Burch issued an apology for being too hard on Hero on Twitter or whatever. Burch, no need for an apology! We're all just spoiled Yankee fans who are trying to cope with only a second playoff absence in 19 years, CC's been awful, half the team was hurt, nothing's gone right...we can't be blamed for acting a little "upset" (understatement.)

One of the few bright spots on the road trip was Andy Pettitte. He threw a flawless game Tuesday night in Toronto; seven innings, five hits, two walks, three K's, NO runs. Andy's really improved his past three starts (two against the Jays, one in Fenway), giving up only one run in 19.2 innings. He's brought his ERA down from 4.71 on August 5th (his lowest point in Chicago when he couldn't get through the third), to 4.05 now.

Mike Francesa's been saying over and over that the 11 games between September 5th and 15th (home against the Sawx and a road trip to Baltimore and Bahstan) will decide if the Yankees have anything left. I have to agree with him looking ahead--the Yankees have the Orioles over the weekend and the White Sox for three games. The Yankees have gone 4-2 against the Orioles at home, which they usually do anyway. Last year they split a four-game set with a better pale-hose team at home, so I have to imagine they at least take two of three. If I had to make a prediction, however, if the Yankees do anything less than splitting those six games, you can pretty much kiss the division goodbye (if you haven't already), and then after those 15 games it'll be plainly obvious where their fate lies.

As far as their foes go, for the wild card...Oakland has a pretty easy September, outside of two sets with the Rangers...the Indians have a three-game set with the Orioles next week, but then it's really just a bunch of White Sox, Royals, Twins and Astros series...Tampa Bay actually has a really tough September; they open with a west-coast road trip, then their final two home-stands include the Sawx, Rangers and Orioles...and then the O's have the Yankees twice, the Sawx twice and Tampa once.

So you be the judge; compare the Yankees' tough first half of the month to all these other teams' September. They're five games out; hopefully it'll be a month for the ages.

'Till Next Time!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)