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April 28, 2005

by SG

It's still not time to panic. After two straight losses, the Yankees are 9-13, and it was frustrating to watch them tonight, but it is still too early to worry.

I was pleasantly surprised by Kevin Brown's performance. He had his best velocity of the season, and was very solid, especially over his last 3 innings of work. It was just one of those days where the offense couldn't get anything going. I thought the plate umpire had a lousy strike zone tonight which didn't help things, but John Lackey pitched pretty well, and the Angels bullpen is pretty damn close to unhittable. Sometimes you just get beat by a team that's playing better. Flash Gordon had his best inning of the season in the top of the ninth, with good velocity, good control, and a good breaking pitch.

I have mixed feelings about Buddy Groom's success so far. On the one hand, it's nice to see him being effective, on the other hand, it's led to some ridiculous stupid thinking by Joe Torre when discussing the pending return of Tanyon Sturtze.

Torre even floated the idea of keeping 13 pitchers on the roster, though that scenario is unlikely.

"We have to figure it out," Torre said. "If the concern is that we don't want to lose anybody, we may go with 13."

As stupid as the idea of carrying 12 pitchers is, this is even dumber. Yeah, Torre is part of the problem, but a bigger problem is Cashman not making a move to thin out the bullpen and build a better 25 man roster. As it is now, Steve Karsay, Paul Quantrill, and Felix Rodriguez are never pitching. I miss Mariano Rivera, at times I forget he is even on this team. And on top of this, you want to add another pitcher?

The Yankees get Toronto now. They really need to beat up on the weaker teams in the league if they want to quiet the talk about their decline. A good series this weekend against the Blue Jays would be a fine start. I look forward to Tiger Wang's debut on Saturday, and hope he can give us some optimism for the future, not just this year but for years down the road.

I guess I'm not sure when it will be time to panic. This will be the first year since 1991 that the Yankees have had a losing record in April. I would say that in another month, if the Yankees aren't playing better, it will legitimately be time to worry.