Things that make you want to scream!

Just two months ago to the day, the Rays stood two games ahead of the Yanks while Boston and Toronto were 4.5 games out.

EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK
Tampa Bay 36 19 .655 - 15-12 21-7 286 196 +90 Lost 1
NY Yankees 34 21 .618 2 19-7 15-14 308 222 +86 Lost 1
Toronto 32 24 .571 4.5 16-13 16-11 289 240 +49 Won 1
Boston 32 24 .571 4.5 18-14 14-10 303 268 +35 Won 1

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One month ago, on the late GMS’ birthday, the Yanks had made their move, going 16-10 while the Rays went 12-14 and Boston raked to a 17-9 record:

EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK
NY Yankees 50 31 .617 - 28-13 22-18 436 340 +96 Won 2
Boston 49 33 .598 1.5 29-17 20-16 448 379 +69 Lost 1
Tampa Bay 48 33 .593 2 20-19 28-14 411 312 +99 Won 2
Toronto 41 42 .494 10 20-17 21-25 370 372 -2 Lost 2
Baltimore 25 56 .309 25 16-25 9-31 285 431 -146 Won 1

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Hey look, Boston was in 2nd, a half-game ahead of those Rays. The Yanks went 16-9 which is pretty darned good any time of the year. It’s just that the Rays were hotter, going 19-6 while Boston floundered with a 12-13 record. And the standings as of today:

EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
Tampa Bay 67 39 .632 - 34-21 33-18 536 403 +133 Won 3 9-1
NY Yankees 66 40 .623 1 34-18 32-22 571 441 +130 Lost 3 5-5
Boston 61 46 .570 6.5 33-22 28-24 554 485 +69 Won 1 6-4
Toronto 56 51 .523 11.5 27-22 29-29 506 462 +44 Won 2 7-3
Baltimore 33 73 .311 34 19-33 14-40 385 576 -191 Won 1 2-8

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Said differently, this race is a freakin’ battle. No different than we thought it would be before the season started. Teams go hot and cold, sometimes without rhyme or reason, without warning or notice. But to lay blame to this recent stretch (since July 4th) in which the Yanks STILL played to a .640 winning percentage (better than their full year winning percentage of .623) around the neck of ARod is a joke. The Rays have gone 9-1. Hard to keep up with that at any time of the year.

Putting the blame on ARod means a few things, things I do not subscribe to and I know many of my friends/peers probably agree with:

  1. Making ARod the scapegoat is wrong. Actually, it’s absurd.
  2. This line of reasoning is predicated on a ridiculously small sample size
  3. It discounts the achievements of the Rays, who, just in case some in the MSM don’t know, are absolutely FOR REAL.
  4. All three of the Yanks/Rays games this past weekend could have gone the other way. One team, either team, could have swept or been swept. It was that close.
  5. Two lackluster pitching performances by AJ Burnett and Dustin Moseley are not exactly shocking. AJ has been up and down all year and Moseley isn’t going to be an October lynchpin.

Let’s try to keep a bit of perspective on this, please. It’s a crappy stretch for the Yanks. They could have been 6-4 or 7-3 in the last 10 and they’d still have lost ground to the Rays. This is the dogfight we expected all year. This is the fun stuff, the battles, the tug-of-war. This is where teams are tested and prepared for post-season stresses. Is anyone really surprised to see that the Rays and Yanks (and Boston) are engaged in this sort of battle royale? Let the MSM “panic” over falling out of first place.

We’ll see if the Yanks are better than their last 5 games or not. Me, I know so. I’m not happy with the recent stretch but I’m not panicking.

Just don’t blame this on ARod, his cold streak and the chase for #600.

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

One thought on “Things that make you want to scream!

  1. jon

    Exactly.  Sry – one day after siding with print media, I saw that absurd article.  Is A-Rod pressing? – hell yes.  Is it a millstone dragging down the team – that leads to the challenge of figuring out how many ways to basically say Hell No.

     

    If the "Chase" is dragging us down, what was it that led to the team's cold streak earlier this summer?  Just thinking about the upcoming Chase?  It wasn't that long ago the Yankees were regularly referred to (in print media) as "The Dead Bat Society."  Pretty cute, eh?  Well – the cast is the same, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they're getting the same results, going thru the same stretch of not hitting.

     

    The pressure of the pennant race might be getting to some of the younger guys – that's as good an explanation as any for Cervelli's throwing error to the outfield when he attempted his snap throw to first.  And the pressure of being the new guy might be getting to Kearns – he looked like he was channeling Thames out in right field.

     

    The team isn't hitting; the pitching isn't lights out; but if they were to clean up their defensive play and cut out the unforced errors, there would be fewer runs on the other side of the box score.  That, I think, we can blame on the manager.  His obsession with depth, with mixing and matching, and with keeping guys healthy, seems to be doing a great job of killing any onfield chemistry with the team.

     

    Obviously, just my opinion.

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