If you look at your calendars you will clearly see the year we are in is 2009, or for “The sky is falling” Yankees fans, 5 AD. That would be five years After Devastation.
Last time I checked this year’s roster was a little different from the roster in 2004. Last time I checked the starting pitching wasn’t as shaky as the San Andreas Fault. Last time I checked the lineup was about as solid as its been in quite some time. Last time I checked, I weighed 195 pounds. I need to get back to the gym.
Look, I know as well as everyone else that the spector of 2004 popped into every Yankee fans head as soon as Nick Swisher’s pop out with the bases loaded was squeezed at shorstop on Thursday night. The difference between 2004 and 2009 fans? Pitching and defense.
Mark Teixeira doesn’t have the numbers with his bat. Although he has hit a walk off home run, and helped the Yankees claw their way back in Game 5 Thursday night with his bases clearing double in the 7th. The intangible that Tex brings to this team more than his hitting right now, is his glove. He has saved more than a handful of games during the regular season and a couple of post season games as well.
Now the pitching. Game 6 in 2004 you starter was Jon Lieber. Game 6 in 2009 is Andy Pettitte. Advantage 2009. Game 7 if necessary your starter will be CC Sabathia. Game 7 in 2004 was Kevin Brown with Javier Vasquez on deck. Yuck.
The bullpen has been unreliable as of late, but the thing you have to remember is, the Angels are a great team. Phil Hughes will get big outs. Joba Chamberlain will get big outs. They got big outs all season long, and there time will come again in Game 6 and Game 7.
Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in four. Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in five. They didn’t. We are here for a Game 6. The past is the past.
By the way, all you Yankee haters, and you know who you are, why not succumb? Join the Darkside. Resistance is futile. Wait, that was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Great, now I’ll have the Trekkies as well as everyone who hates the Yankees on my case. Such is life.
Also for the non-believers 2009 playoffs (thanks for the research YES Research staff):
Wins 6 2
Runs 43 (5.4 /G) 23 (2.9 /G)
AVG .257 (76–296) .241 (71–295)
HR 14 4
ERA 2.52 (22 ER – 78.2 IP) 4.60 (39 ER – 76.1 IP)
A.J. Burnett was absolutely lights out picking up Chien-Ming Wang once again. Burnett had a 2-0 lead and a no-hitter into the seventh. Then gave up his first hit, the shutout and the lead, all in the Rays’ half of the seventh.
He didn’t crumble after he gave up two runs. Joe Girardi didn’t even get anyone up in the bullpen. Burnett got out of the jam and the Yankees rewarded their starter with a run in their half of the eighth to go back out in front, 3-2. Burnett then worked a perfect eighth inning and his night was over. Eight innings, three hits, two runs, one walk, and nine strike outs. He is now 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA.
Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, so far in Yankeeland 2009, I give you your cure for Janet Jackson Disease: Mr. A.J. Burnett.
Brett Gardner exploded Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., (3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI). I’d like to reiterate my comfort level from my Homegrown Gardner blog from March 30:
“Gardner will be the Opening Day center fielder for Joe Girardi and the Yankees, and even though some “experts” aren’t comfortable with him being there, I am in a lazy boy with the fridge and a case of beer, and comfortable.”
Do they still make the recliners with the refrigerators?
The top two guys in the lineup, Derek Jeter and Gardner, went 6-for-10 with four RBIs. How about Swish at the dish? Nick Swisher was in the four hole and went 2-4 with a solo home run, his fourth of the year. Oh by the way, Swish is hitting .458. He thought it was heady to be hitting in the three hole with Mark Teixeira out of the lineup. I wonder how he felt hitting clean up? I’ll ask him Thursday when I am at the new Yankee Stadium for Opening Day.
Sleep well Yankee fans. See you for the Sprint at 1p.m. ET, then for Yankees Batting Practice today at 3 p.m.