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April 19, 2004

by Larry Mahnken

I gotta say, I didn't feel too optimistic about yesterday's game. With every hitter but Enrique Wilson mired in a horrid slump, and Derek Lowe going for the Red Sox, I figured that El Titan would have to be at his very best to pull out a win. To be fair, Lowe has a very poor track record against the Yankees, but my pessimistic nature took over, and I was prepared for an afternoon of slow grounders to Bellhorn.

When the Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the first, I was thinking, "Here we go again," but the Yankees didn't fall apart. They got the run right back, and in the third inning, exploded for six runs. Well, perhaps exploded isn't the right word, but they hit the ball where they ain't. You don't have to hit everything--or anything, for that matter--out of the park to hit well, and the Yankees hit well without hitting hard. That's a good approach against a pitcher like Lowe, who wants you to try to put the ball in play. By playing by his terms, and doing what they could with his pitches, the Yankees were able to make him pay for that very anti-DIPS strategy.

Ultimately, this day was exactly what the Yankees needed. 10 hits, 4 doubles, 21 baserunners--a good offensive performance. Even if they hadn't won, they didn't go down meekly like they did the previous two games, and it makes you feel better about this morning's game, and the series next weekend.

Brownie's going today, and as I've said before, I already feel like it's "Win Day" with him on the mound. That he's facing Bronson Arroyo--a solid, unspectacular pitcher--makes me feel all the more confident.

Speaking of today's game, I've got to go to bed now so I can get up and watch it! See you in the Game Chatter.