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September 9, 2005

by SG

When the Yankees fail to make the playoffs remember this fact. Against the worst team in their division, who despite a good second half are 59-82 on the year, the Yankees are 5-11.

The Yankees have played 42 series against Tampa in their history. Entering this season, they were 34-4 and those series. This year? 0-4.

Chien-ming Wang started, and was shaky in the first inning, allowing 4 hits and two runs. He settled down and got through five innings, allowing only three runs, but left trailing 3-0. Joe Torre, with a wealth of options in his bullpen, decided that Wayne Franklin was his best choice.

Three batters later, and there were runners on second and third and one out.

Scott Proctor relieved Franklin and got a big strikeout, then gave up a double that plated the two runners.

I want to know where Felix Rodriguez was in that inning? I know he gave up a run in the ninth, but he has been criminally underused by Torre. I guess that his 3.38 ERA in 17 games since July 1 means he hasn't earned Torre's trust.

The Yankees showed a little life when they got 4 runs off Mark Hendrickson in the bottom of the seventh, but the previous six inning were one of the worst displays of offensive ineptitude that I've ever seen. Opposing hitters this year are hitting .316/.355/.522 against Hendrickson. Picture an entire lineup of Gary Sheffields, with a few more singles and a few less walks. The Yankees instead got one freaking hit, and saw a pathetic 67 pitches over the first six innings.

They then went out meekly in innings 8 and 9.

I did not see what I needed to see from this team in this series. Good teams going for the playoffs sweep teams like Tampa at home.

I will say that if the Yankee do not sweep Boston this weekend, they will not make the playoffs. And if they don't, they don't deserve to go anyway.