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May 3, 2004

What a difference a week makes...
by Larry Mahnken

Well, the Yanks are back where they were before that second Red Sox series, 1? games out of first place. All that talk about the Yankees having to play five games better than the Red Sox, and how tough that would be, has been exposed for the foolish overreaction that it was. Now the Yankees only have to play two games better than Boston, and I think they can probably manage that.

There was nothing bad about this weekend, at least on the field. It looks like Travis Lee and Steve Karsay are out of the season, which is very disappointing. Considering the loss of Lee, and how Sierra has hit lately, I guess it's okay for Sierra to play DH every now and then. Really, Bernie should be playing DH, but Joe has blinders on when it comes to his defense, so if they're going to stick someone else there, it might as well be him--though I'd put Clark in there against lefties.

Vazquez was again outstanding on Friday, Jon Lieber was impressive on Saturday, and while Moose was shaky yesterday, he seemed to settle down once Giambi's homer tied the game. The Yankees aren't playing at their very best, but they're playing very well.

Going into last Tuesday's game, I felt that the Yankees had a good chance to win, if for no reason other than I couldn't see their losing streak extending to five games. But I wasn't extremely confident, and when they trailed going into the eighth inning, I sighed, and waited for the inevitable.

But the inevitable didn't happen, and the Yankees strung together several soft hits and scored six runs, coming back and beating the Oakland A's (who, for what it's worth, are in a terrible slump of their own). The emotional win helped me get over The Sweep, and I think it helped the Yankees, too. After cruising to victory on Wednesday, I started to feel something I hadn't felt since the start of the season: a confidence that the Yankees were going to win, rather than a hope. I'd sit down and watch the game with the expectation that I was going to watch a Yankees win.

Well, the Yanks now have an off day as they head west to take on the A's again. I've noticed a terrible flaw in my DIPS Report, which is why it hasn't been updated in the past few days. I'll spend today trying to fix it, and hopefully it'll be updated tonight. I'll be moving it to THT soon, also.