I’ve been telling anyone who would listen (which probably isn’t that many people, but still) that you can’t make too much of the Yankees-Red Sox head-to-head matchups. Sure, the Sox won 8 in a row early in the season, but baseball is a game of momentum. So it’s silly to say things like “the Red Sox own the Yankees” or, if you’re John Henry, “maybe it’s the MT curse.”
The Yankees and Red Sox are pretty much always amongst the top teams in baseball. So if the Red Sox won 8 in a row, guess what was probably going to happen next? So the 4 game sweep isn’t necessarily all that shocking. I do have to say though: don’t the Red Sox and their fans know better by now not to gloat over April wins?
The Yankees now have the biggest lead of any division leader and even the staunchest Yankee-hater would have to say they’re the best team in baseball right now. There still is a lot of season left to play though and these teams have 2 more series against each other. Realistically, the Yankees will only need to roughly split those games to maintain a lead, but who knows. Last I checked Sergio Mitre is still in the rotation and Joba still has an innings limit. But it’s hard not to be excited this past weekend. Some thoughts:
– The “A-Rod is not clutch” stuff needs to finally be buried. How many times does he have to win games for people to stop believing the media storyline on this one? He crushed a hanging breaking pitch to win the game against Tazawa, but I think his homer against Lester was even more impressive because Lester was dealing. Everyone was hitting Tazawa hard. That Lester pitch was a good pitch – A-Rod was just better. And that’s what you’re cleanup hitter is supposed to do.
– All of the top 4 starters are finding their groove, despite Joba’s 7 walk performance. CC, AJ, and Pettitte are all traditionally 2nd half guys, excluding Andy’s last season.
– The bullpen has been good – I’m even learning to have some faith in David Robertson – but I was definitely freaking out as soon as Girardi let Coke face Pedroia last night. My fears turned out to be well-founded, but at the end of the day, a win is a win and now Hughes doesn’t pitch on three consecutive days.
– And speaking of protecting young pitchers – how many more starts will Joba be good for? He reaches the “30 innings more than last year” mark in 15 more innings. He can probably go a little bit more than that, but by how much, especially with the Yankees hoping for a deep postseason run?