Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25 vs Tampa Bay W 9-1

Wow. This game can be considered a landmark in two ways. First, the New York Yankees started their season against Tampa Bay, after going 8-11 last season against the perennial losers, with a big resounding W. Second, the Yankees officially pulled into 1st place in the American League in ERA, with a 3.63 mark.

The former is important for a host of reasons. First off, in a competitive division it's never a good idea to go 8-11 against a 70 win team. That just means that you need to pick up additional victories against better ball clubs. But more importantly, it shows the Rays who is boss. In hockey, there is an old saying about playing against perennial losers: "Beat them early, and you they won't give you trouble later in the season". Confidence is the one thing that the Devil Rays are in most need of (besides starting pitching...), and the last thing that the Yankees need to do is give them reason to hope.

The latter is important, but heed warning before you celebrate. Yankee starters have given up 63 earned runs in 156 innings this season over 18 games. Our bullpen has been solid, our starting have been great, and our defense has improved. The warning? These statistics are misleading because Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina, thanks to a plethora of off days, have started ten of those games. Most other teams have had their versions of Jaret Wright on the mound every fifth day, and rest assured more Jaret Wright will not help our team ERA.

Still, the Yankees are coasting right now. Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi are having their best starts ever. Arod, Sheffield, Posada, and Cano are looking very solid. Let's hope it keeps up. In addition to being first in preventing runs in the AL, our 6.33 runs per game is also first in run scoring.

Amount remaining on Joe Torre's contract: 12,459,876 dollars