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August 28, 2006

Seems Like Old Times
by SG

The Yankees beat the Angels 11-8 yesterday, to finish off a rough road trip.

Bernie Williams hit two HRs, and for a brief moment reminded us of just how good he used to be. He's clearly not what he once was, but it's always good to see him succeed, and in the right role he also can. Derek Jeter also homered twice, something he'd previously done seven times in his career.


If Jeter can hit for power over the remaining 5 weeks of the season, he can solidify a pretty strong MVP case.

Jeff Karstens pitched his second decent game as a starter. I'm still not particularly impressed by his stuff, but I do like his 114:60 strike to ball ratio. It'll be interesting to see if he can continue to perform reasonably well for however long the Yankees run him out there. Maybe it lets the Yankees dump Jaret Wright in the offseason.

The road trip started with 5 games in Boston, and ended with six games on the West Coast. All in all, they played 11 games in 10 days, and went 7-4. They began the trip with a 1.5 game lead in the AL East, and exit with a 6.5 game lead. I think any of us would have taken that as the start, although finishing 2-4 after winning the first five games seems like a disappointment.

Offense was not a problem, as the team collectively hit .310/.405/.508 and scored 88 runs. Pitching and defense was more of an issue, as they gave up 64 runs. That run differential would translate to a 7-4 pythagorean record, so they weren't particularly lucky or unlucky.

Next up are six home games against two of the best teams in baseball.

No blog entry would be complete without an injury update from Rotoworld, of course.

Hideki Matsui (wrist) reportedly took 25 long-toss swings Sunday and reported no problems. Barring a setback, Matsui is expected to take batting practice at some point this week. If everything goes as planned, he could begin a minor league rehab assignment over the weekend.

According to the New York Times, "there is a widespread perception in the Yankees’ clubhouse that Carl Pavano simply does not want to pitch." Pavano has suffered yet another setback in his recovery, making his status for a start this week uncertain. The newspaper reports that Pavano "seems to have no defenders among the players, who stopped counting on him long ago."

Melky Cabrera didn't play Sunday against the Angels because of tooth problems. Cabrera was expected to bat second today. He's day-to-day.

Good news about Matsui. I don't know what to make of Pavano, although I'm not comfortable questioning a player when it comes to injuries. I don't think he'll be back this year anyway. Looks like Melky is paying the price for Steinbrenner's new dental plan.