Ambivalence

I realized it when I was writing the recap of the game last night–I really don’t know what to think about the Yanks’ big four-game series with Boston starting tonight. It isn’t as though I’m not somewhat, cautiously optimistic, and it isn’t as though I feel the Yankees will get buried. I respect Boston and think that, their five-game losing streak and just getting swept by Damn Tampa notwithstanding, they have held up fairly well despite a lot of injuries themselves. It’s primarily because discerning the Yanks this year, for me at least, is a lot tougher than in recent years. Usually when the Yankees hook up with Boston, I’m able to assess how I see the teams, their respective momentum, the series history, and come to a fairly definitive decision about the upcoming series, right or (usually) wrong. The Yankees will take three of four, the pitching match-ups favor New York, the bats are hot–something comes to me or dominates my thoughts, steering me into a sense of wary confidence.

Not so last night, nor today. There’s no question I’m excited about the series. I that it’s pivotal though midway through the season. I like that though Damn Tampa has a 7 1/2 game lead, the Yankees are a couple good streaks away from making up most of that. I like that the team is five games above .500 despite continued offensive inconsistencies. I like that Boston has not been a very good road team.

Yet I can’t say that I either like or dislike the Yankees’ chances. My heart tells me the Yanks will take three of four, while my head thinks that although the Yanks are capable of taking three of four, the series will be a split or, worse, the Yanks drop three at home. I wouldn’t have guessed their losing two to Texas. Neither team has played well in the last several days. Something has to give, but I can only hope right now that it’s in the Yankees’ favor.

Thursday: LHP Jon Lester (6-3, 3.48) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (9-5, 3.98), 7:05 ET, YES.

Friday: RHP Josh Beckett (7-5, 3.65) vs. RHP Darrell Rasner (4-4, 4.22), 1:05 ET, YES.

Saturday: RHP Justin Masterson (4-2, 3.75) vs. RHP Mike Mussina (10-6, 3.87), 3:55 ET, FOX.

Sunday: RHP Tim Wakefield (5-6, 3.72) vs. RHP Joba Chamberlain (2-2, 2.22) vs. 8:05 ET, ESPN.

I like Pettite in the first game, though Lester has had a pretty good year. The second game favors Boston with Beckett, who hasn’t been completely lights-out but has been good enough, and has been really tough on the Yankees the last year and a half. Saturday is the swing game for me, a big test for Mussina to not let the Red Sox and especially Ramirez hammer him. Though Wakefield is at times tough against the Yanks, I like their chances because they have also hit him hard, and Joba’s going. My money’s on him pretty much every time out.

But which offense will show, the one hitting with two outs and runners on or the one that fizzles? Can the Yanks keep Ramirez in check? Will the Sox wear down Mussina and Rasner, two similar pitchers going back-to-back (which I don’t like)? I know I’ll be tuning in. I just don’t know exactly what to expect when I do.  I’d very much like to see the Yanks treat this like an opportunity to move up, to beat even a good team when it’s down, to climb the ladder, and to start putting it all together.

Reluctantly, I say the Yanks take three of four.

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Published in: on July 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i haven’t heard you sound so down about the team since last august in detroit. jason i don’t blame you; they keep breaking our hearts. the 2007 yanks would have swept texas- no doubt in my mind on the count- sure, there were times last year, many times that the offense looked utterly lifeless, going through the motions etc. but in the end they rebounded. it’s just been so hard on the fans the last several years with the poor starts in 05, 07 and now 08.

    all that being said, i’m filled with confidence about this series. ( with no good reason )
    🙂

  2. I don’t feel very down about the team Mike, just not very up. This team–and most of them this year in the majors, honestly–need to prove a lot to me. The Yanks are right there at the top. Prove it to me, Yankees, that you’re better than a few games over .500. I hope they move up and play better, believe me I do. I hope it starts with Boston tonight. I just need to see it with this team.

    I’ve been believing. Now it’s time for them to prove their mettle.

  3. Ramirez in check? He is in a slump. Can you keep JD Drew in check? That is the question. 🙂 Ramirez obviously gets up for these games against the Yankees though. He is seriously having problems with the fastball the last few years. Joba looks like he will give Manny a lot of trouble, if Joba makes Manny beat him that is.

    http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

  4. sorry to have misread you jason

  5. Happy 4th Jason!

    and to sherry and the kids as well

  6. I think that, given how Ramirez has mangled the Yanks Joe, considering him still the main offensive threat against New York was a fairly safe assumption. Drew has been excellent, but slump or no, I’d sooner take my chances with Drew than Ramirez. Maybe Ramirez’s bat has slowed a bit, but he usually cranks the Yanks.

    No need to apologize whatsoever, Mike. I’m just not very high on the Yanks now. I’ll continue to follow them closely and root for them, but more and more, I don’t like what I see. Many thanks for the 4th well wishes, Mike, and many of the same in return to you and your family and friends.


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