Saturday, August 20, 2005

Putting Illusions In Their Proper Perspective

I'll take any win we can get right now. I'm not taking anything away from Chacon's effort today. It was huge for him to go eight today. The pen needs all the rest it can get. But the Chi-Sox can't hit a lick right now. Even with Konerko, Thomas and Posednik in the lineup, that team is only a good offensive team. Far from great. Noone in the lineup puts the fear of god like the Big Papi, A-Rod, Vlad, Sheff or Manny. But they get the job done. Their forte is pitching and defense. Now, with their top bats on the DL, this team is god-awful at the plate. They're pressing every at bat, bailing the pitcher out. If hitting is contagious, so are slumps. And the Chi-Sox are more clueless than Alicia Silverstone right now.

While a possible sweep of the best team in the AL is great, what the Yankees should be thinking about right now is extending the starters as far as possible in the games. Give the reliever a blow. Take advantage of the horrible hitting they're facing. If we don't, then what will happen vs Texas and Tampa will happen again. One good series and one bad series where the pen collapses because they've been over-extended. They can't afford that to happen right now. We need quality starts every time out. Seven, Eight, Nine innings. The less we see Sturtze, Gordon and Mo....the better.

Randy Johnson vs Jose Contreras. Why does this feel like a bigtime trap game for the Yankees? Randy needs to come up big right now. Particularly against a team scuffling like Chicago. Put your knee on their neck and apply pressure. Don't give them a second to breathe. Put the pressure on Jose to throw perfect ptiches and hope he cracks. With Oakland playing KC, we can't expect any help in the wildcard right now. So the standings will probably remain the same there. The Sux are playing the Angels, but unless we go on a long win streak and they completely collapse, you can't expect to gain any more than a game or two a week if you're lucky. The short term goal has to be the wildcard for the Yanks. Then you can focus on the division because you're probably only a game or two out. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

Nice to see Dick Stockton call the game today. I've always liked his NBA and NFL work and he did a nice job today. He needs to brush up a bit on his stats, but he called a good game. Any game I don't have to hear Joe Buck is a good one.

Speaking of the Cardinals, it's a shame that we probably won't ever see a team like those 80's Cardinals teams. I'm sure Ozzie Guillen would like to play more Small-Ball like they did earlier in the year. But with the way teams hit in the AL right now (even bad ones), if your pitcher has a bad performance and gives up five or six, it's a lot harder to play that style of baseball. I would like to see another Small-Ball team excel in the playoffs, but unless some drastic rules change to help pitchers is put into effect, I doubt it will happen.


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