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June 12, 2005

Flyover Country
by SG

The Yankees' nightmare road trip continued over the weekend with a 3 game set at St. Louis.

In the first game, the Cardinals beat the Yankees pretty handily. Tiger Wang struggled, but he was not helped by his defense. If Wang doesn't start missing more bats that will happen to him from time to time.

In the second game, the Randy Johnson the Yankees thought they were trading for finally showed up. In his best game of the season, Johnson dominated the Cards, with his best fastball of the season. He regularly hit 97 mph and was clocked as high as 98. For good measure, his slider was sharper too, and he had added velocity on that as well, getting it up to 88 mph at times. Flash Gordon and Mariano Rivera were able to seal the deal, and the Yankees had a pretty impressive 5-0 win.

In the today's game, the Yankees edged ahead with 2 runs in the 7th, but Tanyon Sturtze and Mike Stanton were unable to hold the lead, and they fell 5-3. I blame myself for touting Sturtze in an earlier blog entry, and apologize for that. Carl Pavano pitched pretty well, but ended up with nothing to show for it.

So how bad was this 12 game road trip? The Yankees entered with a 27-24 record, and were 5 games out of first. They exited with a 30-32 record, and are now 6 games out of first. Considering how poorly they played, that's slightly good news. They scored 43 runs and allowed 53, which in theory meant they should have won 4 games instead of 3. However, those totals are skewed by a 12-3 victory over Milwaukee. If you remove that game from the equation they averaged a pathetic 2.4 runs a game.

One interesting comparison for you Giambi bashers. Giambi now has a .723 OPS. Hideki Matsui has a .731. Granted, it's not a fair comparison when you consider the position each plays and their contracts, but can you really make a case that Ruben Sierra should be getting Giambi's AB?

Looking ahead, the Yankees now get an off day, which I think we all deserve after watching their terrible play over the last 2 weeks, then they come back home to host Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is actually playing pretty well of late, creeping to .500 before losing earlier today against Tampa Bay. Their pitching staff has been pretty solid, which is not good news for a Yankee team that has been in a bad offensive slide. Let's just be happy that Boston and Baltimore also have not played particularly well, although this would've been a good time to pick up ground on both.