Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Here's My Yankees Worry

The Yankees are still in the cat-bird seat in the ALCS. They have to win only one of the next possible games, two of which will be played at home, to advance. They're hitting well (especially the Rodriguez-Sheffield-Matsui-Williams corridor), their starting pitching is better than it's been all season, and their pen (despite Mo's blown save last night) is playing well. (Especially Sturtze. Who knew?) I still think the Yankees are the prohibitive favorite to win the series, though it may take them six (or - gulp - seven) games to do it.

But that doesn't mean I don't have worries. For one, I have a hard time believing that Mussina, Leiber and Brown can keep pitching at the level they pitched at to start the series. Not against this Boston lineup. Moose isn't going to throw another perfect-game-through-six. We're not going to be able to win any of these games 3-2. If Boston can put together a series of good collective pitching performance in the next couple days, holding the Bombers at or below four runs a game, we could be in a lot of trouble.

Our best hope to close things out tonight may be the weather. It's projected to be in the low 50s during the game this afternoon. Pedro is a significantly worse pitcher in cold weather. So he'll probably be get-to-able this afternoon. But they've got to get to him early. With the heavy bullpen use last night and the ultra-rapid turnaround (Game 4 ended after 1:00am, Game 5 begins at 5:00pm), both sides' relief corps are in a bad way: I say game 5 goes to whoever forces their opponent's starter out first. (Sub-worry worry: Moose last pitched almost a week ago. He's a creature of habit who likes a specific amount of rest - will six days be too much?) Why do I feel like we're looking at another 17-13 slugfest?