Are the New York Yankees really in it to win it? Finally, this team is acting like a playoff one – and so is Joe Girardi, who is finally making the moves you need to make if you want to see this team make it into October.
Aside from the Yankees’ great play as of late (they should have won all six games in this homestand so far if it weren’t for that bullpen implosion) a few other things give me hope:
Phil Hughes is knocked out of the starting rotation
Fortunately, the Phil Hughes Experience is coming to an end, which is good news for Yankee fans who actually want to see their team win and not be knocked out of the game by the second or third inning. Hughes is leading the league in one thing this season – the most games where he was knocked out before the end of the fifth inning!
It was shocking to me that Girardi had him start the game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday, given that pretty much every game is a must-win these days. Why put your team out of it by putting Hughes as the starting pitcher? Fortunately, the rain cooperated, and kept Hughes from finishing his start, which gave the Yankees the chance to put up that epic eight-run inning, the inning White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson said was the worst he had ever announced.
Anyhow, David (I nearly wrote Aubrey) Huff is starting against Boston this weekend, which at least gives the Yanks as good a chance as any to win. Hooray!
Mariano Rivera pitching in the eighth
I was also pleased last night to see that Mo was brought into the game in the eighth inning when David Robertson couldn’t get out of a jam. With so few games left, every single one is a must-win, and I am glad Girardi took action instead of watching the lead totally disappear. Besides, it’s not like the Yanks have to keep Rivera fresh for next year – this is it.
Joba Chamberlain being banished to Never-Never Land
I try to find good in every Yankee, but it is very hard with Joba these days. IMHO, he should have been DFAed after his trampoline disaster. You know what you need to know about Chamberlain as a person? Pretty much every single team and opposing player to face the Yankees this year has said or done something to honor Mariano Rivera, from all the gifts he had received, to the reaction of the players on both teams at the All-Star Game. Even Squawker Jon was on his feet when Mo came into a Yankee game we attended earlier this year as a sign of respect.
Yet Joba gets into a squabble with Rivera in front of reporters, telling him not to shush him when he was being a loudmouth. It takes a special kind of jerk to be against Rivera, but that’s our Joba!
Anyhow, after Sunday’s debacle, when Joe Girardi actually thought it was a good idea to pitch him in a close game, I never want to see Chamberlain in a game for the Yankees again. Enough already. At the very least, it appears now that Girardi will not ever put him in an important situation again. Nor should he.
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I will be at the game tonight, to see the first of the four Yankees-Red Sox games in the Bronx this weekend -- will watch the other three games on TV. This is the first time in a while that the games have any real buzz – partly due to the standings, and partly due to Ryan Dempster. Incidentally, if the Yanks win the World Series this year, should they cut Dempster a playoff share?
I am wondering if David Ortiz will gets plunked tonight. It will be interesting to see what happens!