"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Patience Is A Virtue

Through the first 16 games of June, the Yankees went 13-3, scored 6.94 runs per game and drew 4.31 walks per game. In the last two games against the Rockies, the Yankees have gone 0-2, scored exactly one run in each game, and drawn exactly two walks per game. Against the two Colorado starters, Josh Fogg and Jeff Francis, the Yankees drew a total of two walks in 14 innings. Of the four walks the Yankees have drawn in the last two games, three of them were by Alex Rodriguez, and one of those was an intentional unintentional pass (that came with two outs and a man on second in the sixth inning of a still-scoreless game and was the only free pass Jeff Francis issued in seven innings). It seems that the Yankees approach at the plate appears to be largely to blame for their power outage in this series.

This afternoon, the Yankees face Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez has had decent control in his career (2.82 BB/9IP), but that number jumps to 3.42 BB/9 in his career against the Yankees. Lopez also has a career 6.02 ERA against the Yanks and has given up 30 homers in just 121 innings against the Bombers, more than double his total against any other team, Boston included. Familiarity should help the Yanks this afternoon. Hopefully it will also give them the confidence to take a few more pitches. That said, Lopez is having a solid season in Colorado, perhaps buoyed by having finally escaped Baltimore. He spent nearly all of May on the DL, but has turned in three quality starts in four tries since.

On the flip side, Roger Clemens is two-for-two in quality starts in his second tour of duty in pinstripes. Based on the last two games, however, he may need to contribute even more than that to prevent a sweep. Clemens last faced the Rockies one week shy of two years ago and held the Rocks to a Preston Wilson solo home run, two walks and a trio of harmless singles over seven innings while striking out seven. His bullpen then gave up five runs in the eighth to blow the game.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver