Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Post-season, with or without Pinstripes

Today at 4:05pm PST, the Bronx Bombers will begin a 3-game series against (who else?) the Boston Red Sox. Boston's final visit to Yankee Stadium (um, FOREVER) could be the Yankees last chance to gather the momentum (and gain some much needed ground) towards entering the post-season...

As it is, both teams are realistically reduced to chasing the wild card spot (barring a 2007 Mets-like-collapse of the Tampa Bay Rays). Only one can get in, though it's quite possible that both will be eliminated (either the Twins or White Sox could dethrone the #2 in the AL East).

A Yankees sweep this week (laugh all you want) would put them just 2 games behind Boston. A Red Sox sweep (knock on wood) would put the the Yankees 8 games behind their New England arch-enemies... a mortal blow indeed, this late in the season.

Will the Yankees' 13 consecutive post-season appearances come to an end? If so, it couldn't come at a less auspicious time, with the closing of the fabled Yankee Stadium and the opening of some behemoth impostor next door. Not to mention the end of the Mr. Torre era... sniff.

However, as we have seen many a time before from the boys in pinstripes, the Yankees manage to come through in clutch situations. And if the MLB All-Star Game was any indication, there are more than enough ghosts in Yankee Stadium that want their say in the matter.

As for our pinstriped future - I have unsettling visions of the Beantown denizens racing to outdo themselves in naming the latest MLB curse (is "The Curse of Yankee Stadium" more indelible than "The Curse of Joe Torre"?). Which would have nothing to do with Big Papi's jersey buried in Yankees concrete, of course.

Pitching Schedule (man-oh-man-oh-MAN could the Yanks use Wang & Joba right 'bout now)

August 26, 4:05pm PST = Tim Wakefield (Bos.) vs. Andy Pettitte (NYY)

UPDATE = Boston - 7, New York - 3

NOTES = Alex Rodriguez went 0-5... that's not a misprint. Grounded out into 2 double plays, one with the bases loaded. Also had an error at 3rd base. Former BoSox poster boy Johnny Damon hit 2 solo home runs for the Bombers... Wakefield returned from the DL tonight. Pettitte only pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up 6 runs and 10 hits.

August 27, 4:05pm PST = Paul Byrd (Bos.) vs. Sidney Ponson (NYY)

UPDATE = Boston - 11, New York - 3 (AYECARUMBA)

Like Pettitte the night before, Ponson lasted exactly 4 2/3 innings... he gave up 4 runs, while Jose Veras gave up 5 runs in the 8th inning, including a Dustin Pedroia grand slam that landed by Roger Maris' #9 in Monument Park. A-Rod went 2-4 tonight with one RBI. The score says it all, though... garbage.

August 28, 10:05am PST = Jon Lester (Bos.) vs. Mike Mussina (NYY)

UPDATE = Boston - 2, New York - 3 (Phew...)

Leave it to the 'Stache to get things done as a pinch hitter. Jason Giambi tied the game in the 7th with a 2 run homer off of Jon Lester, and drove in the game winning RBI single in the 9th. Sandman (Mariano Rivera) pitched a hitless 1 1/3 innings... Offensively, A-Rod had another horrific day, striking out no less than 3 times, as well as popping up with runners on 3rd and 1st and 1 out... garbage.

In this series, the Yankees were outscored 20-9, and are now 6 games behind Boston (to say nothing of Tampa Bay). The Yankees have 29 games left in the season, and only 13 more at Yankee Stadium. They will face Boston one last time at Fenway to end the (regular...) season.

Needless to say - now, more than ever - GO YANKS!

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