Steady pitching will be the key! First off, the rotation should not be starting with Johnson anymore. The Yanks REAL ace is Moose! Johnson is not even a #2 at this point. Rotation should be Mussina, Wang, Johnson, Lidle, Wright, with the later two swapable. Lidle looked GREAT 1st time out, but still a question mark. Wright has done real well his last two outings. Not hit by any balls OR bats, but still only giving 6 innings. With the pen the way it’s been, 6 is OK, as long as we are in the game. That’s all our pitchers need to do though, is keep us in the game. They don’t need to throw shutouts, although you won’t hear anyone complain when it happens. The bats will pervail more times than not. Game 2 of the recent Baltimore series was the exception more than the rule, that’s a fluke. All year the Yanks have bounced back WELL when shut down offensively. In fact whenever they get shut down, I almost feel bad for the team they play next game.
Lidle was, in my humble opinion, a much bigger acqusition than most people seem to say. He was a footnote on the Abreu trade deal. Wilson was almost a footnote to his own trade, barely mentioned. These trades were huge, hats off to Cash again. But we needed that #5 pitcher so bad. Our combined #5 (Chacon, Ponson, etc) up until Lidle on a scale of 1-10 were a 10, 10 being their ERA! If Lidle brings an ERA down the stretch of what seems a very doable 4.5, the bats should win most of the games.
I can’t say enough lately about the pen! Primarily Scott Proctor, but Farnsworth deserves his due for sure. That Mariano Rivera guy seems to be working out well too. Not sure why Joe isn’t using Mike Myers more. Sure he is only a LOOGY, but use him that way! Plus he was great in all the Austin Powers movies. I think we will see him more down the stretch though. We will see how Joe manages the pen when playing Boston in all those key games coming up. I don’t see Joe pulling Proctor or Farnsworth when big papi comes up, but Myers could make for a good transition from one to the other, if the timing is right.
So why this year? Well the stars are aligned right now! Boston got the big injury hit now. NOT as bad as the Yanks had, but bad. All year long, we have been on Bostons heels. That was WITH all our big injuries. Think about it. We did what we did with Matsui, Sheffield, and Cano out, not to mention Pavano, Dotel, etc. Boston was at 100% strength that whole time! Now the tables have turned a little, and we gained ground, passed, and are currently holding. Boston picked up Javy Lopez to help with the hurt captain. BTW, I don’t wish injuries on ANYONE, but if it had to happen to a Sawk, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy than Varitek. OK, so Boston was healthy, we weren’t. We got some new blood, and that made us better now. The young blood had stepped up NICELY during our injured time, especially Melky and Cairo (now He’s hurt!). But we STILL don’t have Matsui, Shef, and Cano!!! Give us back our other 3 all-star players in September, and I believe we are TRULY unstopable this year. Throw Dotel into the mix, and maybe even Pavano, on a 40 man roster, and we have a fearsome pitching rotation, and pen. The defense has not been a real problem at all.
The bats? Fahgitaboudit! The only team that is close, as usual, is Boston. But really only the top of their order. We will have it all the way through! The Yanks were in 2nd place in total runs scored most of the year WITH ALL THE INJURIES! We will no doubt rise to 1st, and stay there. We will have hitting, power, baserunning, stealing, everything!
The lineup could look like this:
That’s like having TWO SETS of "top of the lineup" lineups! Numbers 5-8 could be the top 4 on ANY team, and do well. The opposing pitchers will have NO easy outs, no "breaks". Who you gonna walk to get to? Everyone is protected, and it doesn’t really matter WHAT order you put these guys in. Although i am very curious to see how Joe does that. I would assume it will depend more on the other teams pitcher than anything else. Nobody in baseball will have a batting lineup like this! Have they ever? This will be the new Murders Row! I can’t wait. My Birthday is September 1st, my gift will be the lineup mentioned above. Happy Birthday to me!
Just watch, and enjoy the rest of the year, ’cause we will be looking back on this as (another) historical year.
LETS GO YANKS!