Posted by: JoeD2133 | May 10, 2008

5/3-5/9: Three and Three

Another week of baseball, another week of life, and everything feels .500.

You could sense the sun beginning to shine though, couldn’t you, with Mike Mussina winning his third and fourth games in a row, and Darrell Rasner giving up only two runs over six frames in his first big league start of the season.  But no, not so fast, because then the normally lights-out Joba serves up a three-run jack to blow a vintage Andy Pettitte performance – his first regular season runs allowed at Yankee Stadium ever – and this coming on the heels of another perfect seventh inning from the normally maddening Kyle Farnsworth, a twist a fate that emphasizes just how humbling this sport can truly be.

And then of course, Chien-Ming Wang gets out-aced by the Indians suddenly emerged pitcher of perfection, Cliff Lee, and the roller coaster continues for the Yankees.

Win two, lose two.

Get swept by the Tigers, go ahead and sweep the Mariners.

Maybe if Joe Girardi stuck with one line-up for more than one game, this on-again, off-again offense could start to develop a rhythm, even with Morgan Ensberg, Wilson Betemit, Shelly Duncan, and Jose Molina playing starters each night.  Even with Robinson Cano and Jason Giambi having to combine their averages to reach .300.  Even with the rotation being held together by one Ace, two aging, gritty veterans, my other brother Darrell, and – drum roll please – Mr. K. himself.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I please re-re-re-introduce, for your viewing pleasure, from the land of the rising sun, and direct from the Hashin Tigers… Kei “Triple-A” Igawa.

Last night he returned to the mound in Detroit, and the Detroit Tigers immediately returned the favor.  When it was all said and done, Kei allowed six runs in three-plus, batting-practice-type innings, and his debut ERA for the big club rang in at a resounding 18.00.

Please.

Whether you actually scouted him or not, Cashman, before you forked over nearly $50MM, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist now to realize this guy was not made for American League baseball.  His pitches are slow, his pitches are up, and his pitches just don’t move that much.  For lack of a better visual, it’s literally like watching batting practice.  The Yankees’ Triple-A rotation currently has their team in the division’s respective drivers seat, so there must be somebody else, right?

Please, anybody else.

Even a three-run, ninth-inning rally against Detroit’s pedestrian Todd Jones couldn’t give the Yankees their first come-from-behind victory of the season, and the boys from the Bronx fell back to one game below .500 at 18-19, losing this one by the score of 6-to-5.  If I didn’t love the game of baseball so much, and the New York Yankees for that matter, I might go out on a limb and call this team boring.  I might accuse these players of going through the motions.  I might even say that their new manager, for all the talk of fire and attitude and life, is looking about as flat and tired as Joe Torre ever did in that dugout.

And no, I don’t care if he stands up instead of sits, or paces instead of peruses.

This team is just different, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Ah well, what’s one week of baseball and one week of life if you can’t complain about the inconsistent, .500 performance of your favorite team for five consistent minutes.  Just as long as it doesn’t turn into another five consistent weeks, or five long months, and we’re not sitting here in September talking about injuries, unrealized potential, and a lack-luster 81-81 record.

You are the New York Yankees guys.  Start acting like it.

Or, at the very least, feeling like it.

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