Another little run has helped the Bombers pull within 8 of the Red Sox and 6.5 of the Wild Card. Before we get our hopes up, it's important to remember that we've been here before and then some. The last time we went on a tear, we undid everything with a series of flops, including a rough go of it in Colorado. Still, making up ground following the All Star Break is a very encouraging sign, and it could get interesting before all is said and done. I'm looking forward to seeing the Red Sox again, and I hope we get Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, and/or Hughes in upcoming series.
Tying the game on a balk is a wacky way to go about your business, but the Yanks are due this season for a few of those. We've seen too many plays go against us, that there has to be some serious karma built up about now. Kyle Farnsworth continues to stink up the joint, and continues to have the confidence of his manager, far beyond the understanding or patience of any Yankee fan in the country. Speaking of relief, I found an interesting article about Edwar Ramirez in the NJ Star-Ledger citing the Yankees use of a computer in locating the skinny hurler. Imagine that. Murray Chass must be stewing in his own juices. The article has this series of interesting points about Ramirez:
"What the Yankees never found out until they got Ramirez is that he had taught himself a wicked changeup while he was out of baseball in 2004. He pitched in 19 games for Tampa, going 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA, 47 strikeouts and six walks in 30 2/3 innings.
That was good enough to allow him to open this year with Double-A Trenton. After nine games there, he was 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Ramirez had a 0.67 ERA over 15 appearances, striking out 47 batters and walking nine in 26 2/3 innings.
Torre's comment at the end there makes me want to smack him. Riddle me this Captain Green Tea, how do we get to see more of Ramirez when you keep his ass planted on the bench in favor of Villone, Myers, and Farnsworth? Maybe you should look at what he's done in the past and trust that Yankee computer just a little bit more. The sticking point that virtually every Yankee fan has with our manager is his idiotic reliance on awful relievers. It's a widely known fact around baseball that Torre is a lousy bullpen manager. How is something this widely known never remedied in some way? I just don't get it.
Last note, Hideki Matsui is turning it on finally and Melky Cabrera has quietly raised his average from .190 on May 1st, to .234 on June 1st, to .259 on July 1st, and now he's sitting at .277 in mid-July. Leche is hitting around .320 since the start of June with a slugging around .450, which is definitely a step in the right direction for him as a young player. The trick will be to take this success and run with it. If he can put together this kind of string to run out the season, he will have won a starting job with the Yankees, which is a tremendous accomplishment for him and a very nice sign of things from the Yankee brass, having stuck with him as a young player who has struggled at the plate and occasionally in the field. Keep watching.