Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

May 31, 2004

by Larry Mahnken

Every loss offers a life lesson, and yesterday's lesson was this:

When you're trailing 6-0, it's still too close to bring in Tanyon Sturtze.

It didn't seem like too bad an idea when Torre brought him in to start the seventh, since the Yanks had only mustered 3 hits and no runs. He even got through the seventh in order, but then the Yankees started to come back.

Four runs in the eighth, and it was a ballgame again. With A-Rod, Sheffield and Matsui due up in the ninth, the Yankees had a good shot to tie the game. They've done this sort of thing before this season, so Torre had to know they had it in them.

But back out came Sturtze for the eighth, and with one pitch he made it a three-run game. And as it turned out, that was crucial. The Yankees scored two runs in the ninth (and they probably still would have scored them if it was 6-4), but Jorge Posada struck out with the tying run on, and the Yankees slipped back into second place.

For a day. Boston got crushed today, so the Yanks are right back on top of the division (by .004 percentage points). The loss still stings, though, since the Yankees really should have done better. But you have games like that, and the Yankees have had a few. But they've also had a few games they pulled out that they probably shouldn't have won, so maybe it evens out.

No, no it doesn't. I'm still bitter.

But I'm feeling good about the Yankees. Since The Sweep, they've gone 22-8, and the offense has been spectacular. The pitching hasn't been that great, but the talent is there, and they'll do somewhat better, I'm sure.

Boston's keeping pace with the Yankees despite injuries to their star shortstop and star right fielder. But they've also had an easier schedule than the Yankees--a much easier schedule. But now the tables have turned, and the Yankees have the easier schedule the rest of the way. Jeter's bat has woken up, Sheffield's ripping the ball lately, Giambi's coming back next week, and Steve Karsay might be on the way, too. Boston's overall depth hasn't impressed me very much, either. After Schilling, Pedro and Wakefield, their starting pitching has been at least as bad, and maybe worse, than New York's, and while their bullpen has been incredible, there's not much of an advantage over the Yankees there. If the Yanks and Sox played the ALCS now (with Nomar and Nixon back), I think the Yanks wouldn't even have to go to seven games to take them.

In a few weeks, I might be a little more pessimistic about things. A serious injury isn't out of the realm of possibility, and the Yankees don't have anyone like Tony Clark to replace Sheffield, A-Rod, Posada or Jeter. But if the Yankees can make a trade for a decent second baseman, or bring in a passable fifth starter (or Contreras turns it around), then I'll be feeling even better.