Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Nay Sayers Sweep

Let’s get the good out of the way first. The Yankees have started off the second half with a sweep of a team they were looking up at in the Wild Card race. They rode outstanding pitching and the resurgent bat of Robinson Cano to the weekend victories and gained some ground in the race for the AL East and the Wild Card.

BUT….(here comes the nay saying) the Yankees still can’t buy a run for their starters. After games like Friday night, it’s easy to let the mind start thinking, “Yea, here it is. The offense is back baby!” And then Saturday, Joba Chamberlain gives you 6 one-run innings only to have his team put up 2 runs on the scoreboard and eventually lose a lead for him. And today, Andy Pettite pitched as well as you’ll ever see him only to receive the same run support as Joba.

Now thankfully the Yankees played well enough and got the big hits when it counted to win two very tight games. But is this offensive production going to be enough to win the 92-95 games that will be needed to play in October? The answer, of course, is no. It will only be enough for a team to finish 8 games over .500 (85-77), where the Yankees have been hovering for about a month.

This weekend turned out to be very positive. Moose, Joba and Pettite all gave up only one run each. The bullpen, save for some hiccups on Saturday, was good again. And Cano, Melky and Jeter….3 Yankees who have definitely had more downs than ups this year…..all had solid weekends. The signs for an extended run are ever present with this team. It’s time to break through. Hopefully a sweep of a team with good starting pitching like the A’s will finally be the catalyst they’ve been waiting 98 games for.
Positive spins on sweeps return tomorrow with the homecoming of our author Dan Hanzus.

Mark Glazman is pinch-blogging for Dan this weekend.

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