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Posted By Cliff Corcoran On August 29, 2005 @ 1:58 pm In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled
Ten days ago , I wrote that the Yankees were in good shape because they had more games left to play against the teams leading them in the AL East and Wild Card races than they were games behind those teams. At that time the Yanks were four games behind the Red Sox with six left to play against them and a game and a half behind the A’s for the Wild Card with three left to play against them.
Since then the Yankees have gone 8-2 while the Red Sox have gone 5-4 and the A’s 6-3. As a result, the Yankees have eliminated their Wild Card deficit and carved 2.5 games out of their AL East deficit and still have all nine games left to play against these two rivals.
Meanwhile, two other contenders have entered the Wild Card picture from different directions. Thanks in part to a weekend sweep at the hands of the Devil Rays, the Angels have gone 3-6 over this stretch, yielding the AL West lead to the A’s and, in turn, the Wild Card lead to the Yankees, who lead the now second-place Angels by a half game. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have been bouncing in and out of a Wild Card tie with the Yankees, matching them at 8-2 over the past ten days, and currently standing one game behind them, as they were on August 19.
For their part, the Yankees have been doing exactly what they’ve needed to, taking two of three from the slumping White Sox to finish the punishingly difficult  portion of their schedule with a 24-16 (.600) record, then going 6-1 against the Blue Jays and Royals at home.
Tonight the Yankees start a four game series against the Mariners in Seattle, and it would behoove them to win at least three of these games as well, as things will be far more difficult over the twelve games that follow.
After the Yankees leave Seattle, they play those three games against the A’s in Oakland. The following weekend they will play three games at home against the Red Sox. And on either side of that Red Sox series they will play a pair of three-game series against the Devil Rays. Remember, the Devil Rays just swept the Angels and are 9-4 against the Yankees this season. The D-Rays are also 27-15 since the All-Star break, a record a half-game better than the Yankees’ 27-16 and a game and a half better than the Red Sox’s 25-16 over the same period (the A’s are 29-13 since the break).
All the more reason to take advantage of the Mariners (who, for comparison’s sake, are 16-26 since the All-Star break, 9-15 in August and 3-7 over their last three series). Tonight, Mike Mussina looks to conquer his fifth-inning struggles against Ryan Franklin, who pitched somewhere between very well (quality start) and excellent (shutout) in four of his five July starts, but has given up 19 runs in 15 1/3 innings across three poor starts this month.
2005 Record: 55-74 (.426)
2005 Pythagorean Record: 61-68 (.470)
Manager: Mike Hargrove
General Manager: Bill Bavasi
Ballpark (2004 park factors): Safeco Field (92/93)
Who’s replacing whom?
Yuniesky Betancourt replaced Wilson Valdez (released)
Yorvit Torrealba replaced Wiki Gonzalez (minors)
Miguel Ojeda replaced Miguel Oliva (Padres)
Mike Morse replaced Bret Boone (released)
Jamal Strong replaced Randy Winn (Giants)
Felix Hernandez replaced Aaron Sele (released)
Jeff Harris replaced Gil Meche (DL)
George Sherrill replaced Ron Villone (Marlins)
1B – Richie Sexson
2B – Willie Bloomquist
SS – Yuniesky Betancourt
3B – Adrian Beltre
C – Yorvit Torrealba
RF – Ichiro Suzuki
CF – Jeremy Reed
LF – Raul Ibanez
DH – Greg Dobbs
L – Dave Hansen (1B/3B)
R – Miguel Ojeda (C)
R – Mike Morse (IF)
R – Jamal Strong (OF)
R – Felix Hernandez
R – Joel Pineiro
L – Jamie Moyer
R – Ryan Franklin
R – Jeff Harris
L – Eddie Guardado
R – J.J. Putz
R – Jeff Nelson
L – Matt Thornton
R – Julio Mateo
R – Shigetoshi Hasegawa
L – George Sherrill
R – Dan Wilson (C)
R – Pokey Reese (IF)
L – Bobby Madritsch
R – Rafael Soriano
R – Scott Atchison
L – Travis Blackley
R – Gil Meche
R – Jorge Campillo
L – Ichiro Suzuki (RF)
R – Willie Bloomquist (2B)
L – Raul Ibaniez (LF)
R – Richie Sexson (1B)
R – Adrian Bletre (3B)
L – Jeremy Reed (CF)
L – Greg Dobbs (DH)
R – Yuniesky Betancourt (SS)
R – Yorvit Torrealba (C)
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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2005/08/29/the-mariners-2/
URLs in this post:
 Ten days ago: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/233462.html
 punishingly difficult: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/207479.html
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