Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've got to admit it's gettin' better ...

Turns out the sky isn't falling in the Bronx. In fact, the sun remains safely in orbit, shining down on River Avenue as bright as ever.

Such are the spoils of life when you're riding a five-game winning streak. The Yankees have finally -- finally -- left the maddening see-saw act behind and are playing inspired ball with an offense playing up to its capabilities and a pitching staff hitting a groove top to bottom. The Yanks dismantled the Padres, 8-0, on Tuesday, notching back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2005.

Playing the trash that inhabits the majority of the National League doesn't hurt. My God, the Padres are awful. A gallery of the grotesque. The Astros and their carnival joke of a ballpark aren't much better. But you can't take anything away from the Yankees, they're playing good enough to beat anyone right now.

Randy Wolf's Yankees audition will likely end up on an American Idol outtake reel. Jason Giambi is on pace for 43 home runs (what?!?), and Andy Pettitte ... sweet Andy Pettitte ... I will never doubt you again.

At 38-33, you can only hope and pray the days of .500 and oddly-drawn parallels to the 1959 Chicago Cubs are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the Red Sox continue to play well despite injury issues of their own, keeping the Yankees at a safe distance of 5.5 games. The American League Wild Card is a different story, however, where the Bombers sit just 3.5 games behind the ready-to-dive-like-Greg Louganis Tampa Bay Rays.

The upcoming schedule is generous. Two more games against the heinous Friars, three games apiece against the Reds and Pirates and then a four-game set against the disfigured New York Mets, who should just pitch a circus tent over Shea at this point. As an aside: God, how I love to watch the Metropolitans burst into flames. Their meltdowns are like presidential elections; they happen once every four years and get dissected by the media on every possible angle. It is sweet goodness.

Interleague Play may have taken away my ace, but I'm sure as hell going to make sure I take a sack full of wins on my way out the door. If the Yanks keep up their inspired play, it's not asking too much to ask for a 9-3 mark before New York returns to Junior Circuit play. Right? Right. How does 47-36 sound on June 30 with a seven-game homestand opening against the Rangers and some team from Boston?

It's all there for the Yankees. They just have to take what's rightfully theirs the next two weeks.

Time to achieve elevation.

Around The Horn: Dan "Don't Call Me Don" Geise will make the start in place of the Wanger on Saturday. It's the right-hander's rotation spot to lose for now. ... The Yankees' five-game winning streak matches their season high. ... Since Jose Guillen's grand slam capped a 10-run nightmare of an outing against the Royals on June 7, Pettitte has allowed one run over 15 innings with 15 strikeouts. His ERA has dropped from 4.99 to 4.29 in that span. ... Since May 4, Giambi is batting .355 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs. Como se dice, All-Star? ... Speaking of which, keep the stinking Red Sox out of Yankee Stadium on July 15. Cast your All-Star ballot right here. ... Kyle Farnsworth Terror Alert: Last three outings, 3 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 K, 1 BB. Threat Level: GUARDED. ... Darrell Rasner, currently fighting an uphill battle against The Curse of Aaron Small, is looking to snap a four-start losing streak on Wednesday. He draws reigning NL Cy Young Jake Peavy, making his second start since coming off the disabled list. Peavy will be making his first career start at Yankee Stadium. ... A year ago, Joe Torre and Willie Randolph were starring in Subway commercials together as the managers of New York's baseball teams. Today, Torre is managing a crappy NL team and Willie is a unemployed martyr. The lesson here? I don't know ... but Subway sucks.

No comments: