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September 18, 2006

by SG

It's a good thing this weekend's four game series with Boston was meaningless, because the Yankees played like garbage.

Game 1: Boston 5, Yankees 2

Game 2: Yankees 7, Boston 5

Game 3: Boston 6, Yankees 3

Game 4: Boston 5, Yankees 4

The game that really irritated me was the last one. Mike Myers is a lefty specialist. His job is to get lefties out. He's actually had better success against righties this year (200/.321/.267 vs. .250/.292/.412 against lefties), but that's over 28.2 innings. From 2003-2005, he held lefies to a line of .208/.278/.318 compared to .331/.450/.509. Joe Torre had Myers face five straight right-handed hitters, in the process turning a 4-2 lead into a 4-4 tie.

My thought is that Torre was trying to see if he can get away with not carrying Ron Villone on the postseason roster. If Myers can get an occasional righty out, they may not need Villone, whose effectiveness has decreased sharply whether due to regression towards his true talent level or overwork in the month of August or some combination of the two. Unfortunately, it cost the Yankees the game in the process.

The Yankees only have to win four of their 13 remaining games to clinch the division, so they're not really in trouble, but it was annoying that they wasted the opportunity to bury Boston when they threw their three best starters against a Boston team that didn't have Manny Ramirez and had to start the likes of Kevin Jarvis, Kyle Snyder, and Julian Tavarez.

For all the talk about the Yankees not needing Gary Sheffield, the lack of offense over the weekend seems to indicate that they might. Sheffield's supposed to play in a simulated game tomorrow, so he may be ready to see game action by the end of the week.

The Yanks take on Toronto now, who have an elimination number of three, so if they can take two of three they'll eliminate the Jays. Darrell Rasner takes on AJ Burnett. Another solid start by Rasner could get him into the postseason mix as a long reliever.