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May 7, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

Mariners 12, Yankees 7

Yikes. Three game losing streak. 2-3 since I started this blog. It must be me.

On the bright side, they did get into the bullpen early, which might pay off in the next two games. Although they only got 18 pitches out of Rhodes and 13 out of Nelson.

Almont-E's gotta go. His offense has been weak, but it's his defense that's killed them. He's not only not getting to the ball, he's screwing up easy plays. Tonight he ran into Zeile while he tried to make a play, and an earlier error led to three unearned runs. I don't see how Enrique Wilson could be any worse. Fortunately, Jeter should be back soon.

Why the hell wasn't Nick Johnson playing? He's only had 16 ABs vs. lefties this season, but how is he going to improve against tough lefties if he doesn't play against them? And why wasn't he in there in the eighth against Nelson?

I think Torre should shake things up a little. He said he doesn't want to take Godzilla out of the lineup because of his consecutive games streak (here and Japan), but these aren't the early '90s Orioles, who could afford to live with a slumping Ripken to keep the streak intact, the Yankees need production out of Left Field. I'm not saying to bench him, but maybe plug Trammell in left a few times instead of sitting Johnson. At least move him down the lineup.

Well, the Yankees are finally coming back to earth. Soriano's in a honest-to-goodness slump (amazingly, just as his walk rate has surged), and Giambi and Matsui haven't rebounded to counter that. Coupled with improved competition, the Yankees should be in for a challenging stretch. And I think it's safe to discount the likelihood of 117 wins now. The Yankees seem certain to have a great record, but nothing historic is likely to happen.