August 19, 2004
Almost a Sweep
I learned many important things last night ...
- The Yankees' offense is very good and they have many scary hitters.
- It is not so easy to beat the Yankees (or anyone) when Brad Radke and Johan Santana aren't pitching.
- Carlos Silva is not an option against the Yankees (or anyone) in the playoffs.
- Gary Sheffield's shoulder injury may do a lot of things, but slowing down his ridiculous bat speed is not one of them. Sheffield's line last night: 3-for-4 with two homers, a double, a walk, three runs scored and five RBIs.
- In a battle of man vs. wall, the wall always wins. Torii Hunter had some doubts about this prior to last night, so he decided to test it for himself. He lost.
- Ron Gardenhire still confuses the hell out of me. Through a series of moves and non-moves, two of the most important at-bats of the season came from Rob Bowen and Luis Rivas. Seriously. They resulted in a pop up and a strikeout.
- Joe Nathan is human. Third time all year he's given up a run and his 29-inning scoreless streak is over. So is any thought of him having the lowest ERA ever for a reliever.
- Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera is not. Ten pitches. Three strikeouts. Game over.
- It makes me feel slightly better about my own team getting blown out to turn the channel to the White Sox game and immediately hear Hawk Harrelson come back from a commercial break by saying, simply, "Not good."
- It makes me feel no better about anything when my team comes back from being blown out, takes the lead, and then watches it slip away.
- It is better to turn the TV off when your team is getting blown out and risk not seeing them come back to win than to keep the TV on only to watch what happened last night.
- Being a Red Sox fan must be really, really tough.
Assuming you can put last night's game out of your mind, this is what's on tap for the weekend ...
W L WIN% GB
Minnesota 66 54 .550 ---
Cleveland 63 59 .516 4.0
Game 1: Jake Westbrook (11-5, 3.51) vs. Kyle Lohse (5-10, 5.42)
Game 2: C.C. Sabathia (9-7, 3.91) vs. Terry Mulholland (3-6, 4.73)
Game 3: Cliff Lee (10-5, 5.10) vs. Brad Radke (8-6, 3.55)
From the looks of those matchups, I'd say Game 3 is the one to win. Either way, the Twins will be in first-place on Monday morning. See ya then ...
New article at The Hardball Times: News, Notes and Quotes (August 20, 2004)
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