"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Move Over Little Dog, ‘Cuz The Big Dog’s Movin’ In

The Devil Rays send their young left-handed proto-stud to the mound tonight against the Yankees’ old right-handed hoss. It’s a pretty keen matchup that we’ll look back on if Scott Kazmir ever puts it together. Thus far injuries and walks have kept him from building on the potential he showed in 2005 at the tender age of 21. Last year, Kazmir was significantly better than in ’05, but was limited to 24 starts due to reoccurring shoulder problems that ended his season in late August. This year, he’s taken all of his turns, but his rate stats are down across the board. His .347 opponents’ average on balls in play, which is pure bad luck, isn’t helping, but his homer rate is up, his strikeout rate is down, and, most disappointingly, his 4.65 BB/9 has undone all of the progress he had made in that department last year. A significant side effect of that is that he’s not going deep into games because of swollen pitch counts. All of which is good news for the Yankees, as is the fact that Roger Clemens has dominated in his last two outings (2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 16 innings), and the fact that the Yankee offense seems to be clicking, following Bobby Abreu’s lead as it has all season.

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