Well, I hate to be overly pessimistic in these blogs, but I will go on record as saying that I for one am happy to put Boston, Mass in our rear view mirror and set the GPS for the sunshine state of Tampa, Florida.
I’ll also be ready to greet Chien Wang and Hideki Matsui back with open arms over the next two days.
But since I try to deal with both the good and the bad and give not only previews of upcoming games but also recaps of previously played games, I’ll say a few thing about the Boston series.
As we went into Fenway park for a three game set with the rival Red Sox, I thought we would take two out of three.
And if not for some bad breaks that is what I thought we would have done.
We had game one in hand and, despite the fact that Boston hits Mariano better than most other teams, you’re not going to see Rivera give up 4 (or more) runs in an inning that often.
I think Mo was a victim of lack of work.
He needs more innings and the season had just started and he hadn’t pitched in over a week.
I would like to see him in at least one of the Tampa games.
Even if it isn’t a save situation.
So, that game was very much a winnable game and I think if that same situation comes up again we will win that game.
Then I thought game two was going to be a **** shoot but that we could get to Matsuzaka in game three.
Which we did, but since we didn’t have Moose, or Wang, or Pavano, or Igawa, or Pettitte to pitch we had to watch Chase Wright give up four home runs in a row in that inning.
We also were without Damon and Posada half of the time and were without Matsui for the entire series.
(And please remember that Matsui hits VERY WELL in Fenway park).
And regardless of who was pitching for them, how many times (since you’ve been watching the games) have you seen the Yankees give up four home runs in a row?
That’s how many times I think you’ll see it again.
So, some bad luck and some bad breaks and the fact that we didn’t have an experienced pitcher on the mound in game three cost us those two games.
Some bad breaks like that screaming line drive Phelps hit in the 8th inning last night with 2 outs and runners on the corners.
That isn’t a play that gets made every time, to say the least, and that would have tied the score and could have won us the ballgame.
But as Jon Miller pointed out last night in the ESPN broadcast, the Red Sox sent out their best three starting pitchers and played on their home field and yet they had to make comebacks in every game and were behind in every game.
Think about that for a second.
Despite the fact that they had their best pitchers on the mound and were set up to win all the games— the Yankees lost the first game and the last game by only one run and the middle game by two.
We never got pounded out of any of the games and every game was a see saw affair.
If that was the case, then how will it pan out if instead of Pettitte, Karstens, and Chase Wright we instead send out Wang, Pettitte, and
Moose to pitch for us?
Just some food for thought.
And it’s early in the season.
Would you rather get swept in a three game series in April with over 140 games left in the season or suffer a five game sweep in August or September like the one Boston took last season?
Anyways, that’s enough of that…
On to TAMPA !
It’s a short two game series in Tampa before playing a short two game set against Toronto at home on Wednesday and Thursday before playing Boston again this coming weekend at home.
In game one the ‘Bombers send out left hander Kei Igawa against the Texas A&M allum Casey Fossum.
The left hander from Cherry Hill, New Jersey was able to give Tampa another quality start for his second outing in a row this past
Tuesday night when the Rays took on Baltimore, when he allowed just three runs in seven
innings of work.
He had fairly good command was able to throw 61 of his total 90 pitches for strikes in the ballgame.
So far in his career Casey Fossum is 4-4
with a 4.57 ERA in 18 career appearances against the New York Yankees.
Kei Igawa is coming off his best outing yet as a Yankee when he earned his first Major League win against Cleveland in a game which the Japanese rookie pitched six innings, gave up five hits, one walk, two earned runs, and struck out five.
Kei Igawa had thrown a much shorter bullpen session than normal before making the Cleveland start and had waved off his bullpen catcher early in the workout after finding his
change up at the beginning of the session.
The six foot left hander from Ibaraki, Japan said it was the minimum of what he expects.
If we can expect a similar performance tonight this could a very winnable game for the Bronx Bombers.
I would like to see us cut down on Tampa‘s running game in this series, but with Posada likely out for one or both of these games that might be difficult.
We will certainly miss his bat, but thankfully Matsui will be back in the line up and will help anchor the second half of the batting order.
Then tomorrow the Yankees will send out Chien Ming Wang to face Devil Rays ace Scott Kazmir.
Chien-Ming Wang will be making his very first start of the season after coming off of the disabled list with a slightly strained right hamstring.
sinker ball style and poise on the mound will be a God-send for a Yankees
rotation that has played through the season’s first three weeks without
the player who would have been their Opening Day starter.
In the 2006 regular season Wang
Minnesota left-hander Johan Santana
with a league leading 19
wins and also finished second to Santana in the Cy Young balloting.
The Houston, Texas native Kazmir struggled with his control in last game against Baltimore in which he recieved a no-decision.
game Kazmir needed 102 pitches to finish just get though four
innings (60 pitches were strikes).
After out dueling Johan
Santana in his previous outing issuing any walks in the game,
Kazmir went on to walk four Orioles on Wednesday in his four innings of work while he gave up three
runs and struck out just three.
Scott Kazmir is 1-3 with a 4.18 ERA in six
career appearances against the Yankees.
So that’s the next two games preview in a nut shell.
Hopefully later tonight or tomorrow I’ll be back out here recounting a Yankees win and a Boston loss…
Thanks for reading,