Sid threw 6 innings, allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk and picked up the win
against the hapless Mariners.
When Ponson gave up the three-run bomb to Ibanez in the 6th I was about 80% sure the Yanks would lose the game. Luckily, I stayed tuned. It was heartening to see the Yanks strike back quickly with 5 runs in the top of the seventh.
The eighth wasn't quite so heartening. Joba's velocity still isn't back and he looked pedestrian in his 2/3 of an inning. Mo had to come in for the four-out save. Hopefully the kid is still working his way back into shape and that's the cause of his lack of velocity. If it turns out he wasn't 100% healthy and the Yanks rushed him back for this lost cause there should be hell to pay.
As I watched the top of the 7th tonight, Johnny Damon particulary, it struck me that while guys like Cano and Melky were huge disappointments this season, Damon has outperformed expectations by a large margin. As a matter of fact, statistically, I'd say the top five in the lineup have probably outperformed expectations cumulatively. Damon, Abreu, Giambi have all contributed more than expected. A-Rod has pretty much matched expectations, even though he missed a decent amount of time. Jeter's early season was disappointing, but he's coming around now and will probably finish slightly below expectations. Their numbers 1, 3 and 4 batters will all score 100 runs, or close to it. Their 3, 4 and 5 hitters will all drive in 100 runs, or close to it. At the trading deadline they added a legit #6 hitter to their lineup, and they've gotten 86 productive games out of Matsui as well.
When I look at these numbers it really makes me wonder why they've been so bad. Can the bottom of the lineup really pull you down that much? We're talking about the 7, 8 and 9 hitters. Cano, Molina/Rodriguez and Melky for most of the season. Those three guys are the reason this team has scored 140 less runs this season than they had to this point last year?
When people try to explain the team's failures this season, the first thing they'll point to is the health of the pitching staff. Look at it this way, three of the original starting five from opening day (Wang, Hughes and Kennedy) have combined to go 8-10 in only 156.2 innings. All 8 wins came from Wang before the injury. When they use this excuse, you can throw this stat right back at them: The 2008 Yankees have allowed 30 less runs this season than they had last year on the same date.
The Sox and Twinkies lost. The tragic number is 13, by my math. The Jays won, so they remain .5 games behind the Yanks.
Tomorrow is my favorite day of the week, Moose day! He'll go for #18 against Carlos Silva and his 4-14 record, not to mention his 6.53 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. If I was a betting man...Player of The Game: