Loyal Reader OGM left a comment a few posts ago asking what my forecast might be for the rest of the baseball season in the American League East. Well, as I see it, it’s going to be a 3-way dogfight (minus Michael Vick) between New York, Boston and Tampa. The AL Wild Card spot will definitely go to the team finishing 2nd behind the Yanks. :laugh:
Actually, I have some big worries about the New York Nine. They’ve been playing exceptional ball since A-Rod returned from hip surgery, going something like 44 or 45 wins against only 22 losses, the best record in baseball, by far, in that time span. However, down the line, like in September, during the heat of the pennant chase, problems loom with the starting pitching.
For one, it looks like Chien-ming Wang‘s season might be over due to shoulder surgery. Second, despite his stellar pitching of late, Joba Chamberlain’s starts might be curtailed because of a possible leash put on the amount of innings the team wants him to pitch, thus limiting his playing time. Next, Andy Pettitte’s durability, at age 37, is questionable. Finally, A.J. Burnett has a history of injury problems. Overall, the starting pitching seems to be in doubt. That really worries me as the season winds its way thru the dog days of summer. (The glass is half empty.)
On a brighter note, the bullpen has been spectacular, led by the super-human presence of Mariano Rivera and augmented by great performances by the likes of Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Alfredo Aceves, et. al. (The glass is half full.)
Hopefully, all will be ok. I think in the long run, if the pitching holds up, this very well could be one of the great Yankee teams, harking back to the glorious champions of the late 90s and satisfying all of their fans worldwide by returning to and winning the ’09 World Series. The chemistry is there and the late inning heroics are a thing of joy. The one dark cloud is the starting pitching . . . and, oh yeah, one other thing . . . they’re only 0-8 against the Red Sox this season. That either means they’re due or the Sox have their number. (Half full or half empty?) Whaddya think, OGM? More later.