I've always loved living on the top floor apartment because I don't have to hear anyone's footsteps above me. But then someone moved in to the unit directly below me 2 months ago, and I watched as the new tenant rolled a trampoline into 4A. When you're at the top, it never occurs to you to consider these possibilities. Until you hear the people below you banging their heads against your floor.
Now at the top of their division with a 5-0 post-All-Star-Break run, the Yankees look to complete the sweep of the Orioles in an afternoon game headlined by RHP A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.81) and RHP Jason Berken (1-7, 6.44). The past few games haven't exactly been a hit parade, but after being swept by the Angels despite 31 hits, the Yanks are on the brink of doing the same to Baltimore, with about a 1/3 of that production.
Conventional wisdom puts the Yanks squarely in the Upper Hand suite, if we're considering things like the notably clutch offense from Alex Rodriguez, the steel curtain at first known as Mark Teixeira, the 8-1 record Burnett has against the O's, or Berken's fear of Ks coupled with a chemical dependence on his 91 mph fastball.
However, fan wisdom puts the Yanks in a more conservative tier, because we shouldn't rule out the possibility of players like Adam Jones and Cesar Izturis rolling out the proverbial trampoline beneath us. You never know when the #1 spot is going to encounter the unexpected from the bottom.
07/22/09 1:05 PM EDT
|Baltimore Orioles||New York Yankees|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Derek Jeter - SS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Johnny Damon - LF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Aubrey Huff - 1B||Alex Rodriguez - 3B|
|Ty Wigginton - 3B||Hideki Matsui - DH|
|Luke Scott - DH||Jorge Posada - C|
|Gregg Zaun - C||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Felix Pie - LF||Nick Swisher - RF|
|Robert Andino - SS||Brett Gardner - CF|