Just about the only downside for the Yankees in Friday night's blowout of the Red Sox was how much it was reminiscent of their Game 3 victory in the 2004 ALCS.Yeah, because yesterday's game was so much like Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. You had the Yankees leading into the ninth yesterday, until Jacoby Ellsbury stole second against Mariano Rivera, and the Sox went on to win on an extra-inning homer from David Ortiz.
The Yankees won that contest 19-8 at Fenway, Hideki Matsui hit two homers and the Yanks took a three-games-to-none lead. At that moment, the Yanks appeared more likely to join a Broadway chorus line en masse than fail to reach the World Series. Their magic number was one with four games to play. But they never did get that victory, and no one ever Cursed again.
What's that you say? The Red Sox hit A.J. Burnett hard, for the worst start of his career, and the Sox destroyed the Yankees, 14-1? You mean it wasn't a carbon copy of 2004? Who knew?
For his own sake, I really wish Sherman wouldn't write these sort of pieces. Because there are other times I think he's really great. But he shouldn't jump to conclusions after one game. It's like when he wrote this about CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira after Opening Day:
Sabathia was the highest-paid free-agent pitcher of the offseason and Teixeira the highest-paid position player. In a down economic climate, the Yanks invested $341 million on just those two. They are not going to feel bad about those decisions at 0-1. However, no one wants to make a bad first impression as a Yankee because the hole is always a little deeper, so deep that many never truly escape.Yeah, because Sabathia and Teixeira have been such disappointments as Yankees this year. They could never overcome those horrific Opening Day performances. Sheesh.
Back to Sherman's piece from this morning. He also opines:
What does this even mean? It's a terrible analogy for a variety of reasons:
They entered yesterday leading the Red Sox by 7½ games with one-quarter of the season left. For the record, their magic number was 34. But the most important magic -- it seemed -- was percolating in the Yankees clubhouse. The team's confidence was peaking. They have a cresting sense that they are a special group.Of course that is exactly how it felt in the visiting clubhouse at Fenway after the game of Oct. 16, 2004....
After all, blowing a three-games-to-none lead in the postseason is unique. But since 1900, eight teams that trailed by 7½ games or more after the 121-game mark have gone on to finish first, including the 1978 Yankees.
* The Yankees have felt that this was a pretty special team for a while now, not just Friday night.
* Only Murray Chass seems to think the Sox's season is already over. Besides, even if the Yanks faltered, and the Sox surged, the rest of the way, there still is a pretty good chance that both teams will still make the playoffs (which is why the comparison to 1978 is flawed - we will never have another one game playoff for the Yankees-Sox again, due to the wild card.) So the season wouldn't be over for the Yankees.
* The Yankees just pummeled the Sox with an 18-hit barrage two weeks ago, and they ended up sweeping the series. Oh, I guess they were safe from some spooky curse because Hideki Matsui didn't hit two homers in that game. Sheesh.
Yet a 14-1 Red Sox rout yesterday provides pause to all the celebrating.Who was celebrating, exactly? Even Sherman notes in his column that Joe Girardi pointed out the season wasn't over yet.
But what kills me the most about Sherman's piece is that it comes from the same guy who wrote this less than two weeks ago:
Humiliating the Red Sox is usually enough to turn the Bronx into nirvana. But the latest version of a Boston Massacre is just one slice of the Yankees' current heaven.....On August 10, the Yanks were sailing towards October in Sherman's world. Now, the sky is falling because of one stinking loss.
Clearly the Yankees are soaring toward the postseason now while doing damage to the Red Sox's October plans. Maybe life could be better in the Yanks' corner of the Bronx. Again, send postcards to explain how.
Here's what I took away from yesterday's loss:
* A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada are not on the same page. They'd better work it out, and quickly. Or else Jose Molina ought to be catching Burnett for the rest of the year.
* I miss Johnny Damon (!) in left field, and I hope he's healthy enough to play there tonight.
* Alfredo Aceves has been terrible as of late.
* Kevin Youkilis gets on my last nerve.
* Jonathan Papelbon apparently has multiple personality disorder - according to the FOX broadcast, he actually calls himself Cinco Ocho. I wish somebody on the Sox would call him the real nickname he deserves - Cinco Dopo!
But I'm certainly not going to read yesterday's loss as like being 2004 all over again. That's just silly.
What do you think? Leave us a comment!