Sunday Tidbits

When I hit the books last night, the Angels were up on the A’s 3-0.  How pleased I was to check the scores this morning and see that Oakland scored four runs late to win 4-3, putting the Yanks 4 1/2 games up in the race for home field advantage.  It’s certainly no time to let up for the Yanks.  However, this cushion for the Yanks, in addition to being up 6 in the East, may well allow the Yanks to rest a starter or two in the coming weeks in preparation for October.

The Yanks have 33 games to play–17 at home, 16 on the road.  Most game are against the East, except for today’s finale against Chicago, the swing out West to face Seattle and the Angels, a make-up game against the Angels at home September 14,and 3 against KC to end September.  With a record of 81-48, the Yanks can go 19-14 and seal a 100-win season.  Doing so would force the Angels to go 24-10 over their remaining 34 games to match them, and Boston 25-8.  That’s a lot to ask, especially given the edge in pitching the Yanks have over both teams.  The ERA for Yankees starters, even with Wang’s struggles, is 4.48, while Boston’s rotation is 4.73, and the Angels’ an uncharacteristic even 5.  We’ll see what happens in the last month-plus of the regular season, but it’s almost impossible for Yankees fans not to like where the team sits right now.

I mentioned this in the wrap-up of yesterday’s game, but feel it’s worth reiterating: the steadiness of the Yanks’ offensive production is a tremendous asset.  The lineup as a whole is consistent as well as strong.  See for yourselves:

  1. Jeter: 17 HR, 60 RBI, .333/.396, 90 R, 23 2B, 23/28 SB.
  2. JD: 23 HR, 71 RBI, .289/.370, 91 R, 30 2B, 10/10 SB in 117 games.
  3. Teixeira: 31 HR, 97 RBI, .283/.381, 35 2B, 79 R.
  4. A-Rod: 23 HR, 72 RBI, .269/.400, 62 R, 12 2B, 9/10 SB in 96 games.
  5. Matsui: 23 HR, 72 RBI, .271/.364, 49 R, 21 2B in 114 games.
  6. Posada: 17 HR, 63 RBI, .277/.353, 44 R, 21 2B in 89 games.
  7. Cano: 21 HR, 70 RBI, .315/.346, 86 R, 37 2B.
  8. Swish: 21 HR, 68 RBI, .243/.366, 63 R, 26 2B.
  9. Melky: 11 HR, 48 RBI, .266/.329, 54 R, 21 2B, 7/9 SB.
  10. Brett the Jet: 3 HR, 20 RBI, .275/.354, 36 R, 4 2B, 6 3B, 20-25 SB.

While there have certainly been standout individual performances this year, including Jeter’s hot bat and Teixeira’s sterling two-way performances both worthy of some MVP consideration, I contend that it is the steadiness of the team’s play that has the Yanks leading the majors in runs, doubles, homers, OBP, OPS, and Slugging on their way to the best record in the majors thus far.  There are just few to no weak spots in the lineup, especially when Jorge and Matsui are playing.

Not to be overlooked, the Yanks are 4th in the AL in fielding percentage, and have committed the fourth-fewest errors in the AL.  The Yanks have their strongest all-around team in years.

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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