Mood Music - Miss You by The Rolling Stones
Andy! You're coming back! Per the NY Daily News, the Yankee who I think we have all missed most, Andy Pettitte, will be starting this Sunday against the Orioles. Please take a moment to sigh, unwind, and let this comforting news sink in.
Quoth Girardi on Ol' Reliable's glorious return:
While that sounds promising, there is a contingency plan in place. If Andy can not make the start, it will go to Javier Vazquez, who for now, appears destined to another stint in the bullpen.
Also from the Daily News, Mike Lupica discusses the importance of winning the division. I know there has been some debate on this topic, but I'm not quite sure where I stand on it. I think that if the division is still neck and neck, you have to go pretty close to all out for it. However, if the Yankees fall behind, I'm okay with getting some of the veteran plays some extra rest (we're nowhere near ready to be talking about doing that just yet, though).
Here is the latest entry in The Grandstand titled "Crunch Time in September Arrives Again." As always, Curtis Granderson delivers an engaging and well articulated player perspective.
After the jump, there will be hating. Lots of hating.
Look, everyone, it's the Four Letter Network! Lose a few tight, well fought games to some of the best teams in baseball and you're labeled a team that comes up short when it counts. And look! That pitch didn't really hit Derek Jeter, either! Analysis on batting average with runners in scoring position over a small sample size reveals everything about the mental fortitude of Yankee players!
Alright, it wasn't that bad, Andrew Marchand did at least have the decency to admit that we will get a chance to play these teams again, and haven't collapsed yet (thanks, Champ), but think about it like this: If Dan Johnson flies out to the warning track instead of hitting that home run, who would dare say the Yankees were "fading" or "in trouble" or aren't favorites for the World Series? Drastically changing your opinion and expectations every few games based on hot and cold streaks completely undermines the credibility of your predictions, but it seems to be a job requirement for the Four Letter Network.
Chad Gaudin is appallingly bad. In 2010, in his 60.1 innings with the Yankees and A's, he has compiled a somewhat impressive -0.6 WAR, and batters are OPSing .852 against him. For reference, this year Alex Rodriguez has posted an .828 OPS. So facing Chad Gaudin approximately turns the average hitter into a Centaur. Thankfully, 49.1 of his innings have been logged in "low leverage" situations, according to Fangraphs. Let's keep it like that, Joe. No more of these "let's throw in The Chad in the bottom of the 10th and see what happens!" shenanigans.
Since joining the Yankees, Austin Kearns has struck out in 36% of his plate appearances, including seven strikeouts in his last nine. I know it's a small sample size, but you've got to be doing better than .233/.327/.337 to justify all of those strike outs.
Get better, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.
Finally, taking a glance at the Yankees schedule, I noticed that they have six off days after the All Star Break. Five of those six off days have come on a Thursday. It's almost like the schedule makers know that I write the recaps of Thursday night games and are trying to save the community from my bad jokes, comma splice, and bias in Comment of the Game selection.