Gets Late Awful Early Around Here

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Roughly 4 weeks ago, sports writers and fans alike were grumbling about the Bx Bombers inability to defeat the Bosox in head-to-head contests in 2009 campaign. There could be any number of reasons for this problem. To be certain the manager Joe Girardi should take some culpability in the most recent failure. In a critical 3-game set at Fenway, he pitched AJ Burnett on extra rest. He showcased a struggling Chien-Ming Wang and CC Sabathia.
Burnett and Wang's starts were abysmal. The Yanks had been playing quite well, winners of 19 of 26. After being swept by Boston, they stumbled into interleague play. They then promptly lost the next two series to the Marlins and lowly Nats. The bats were anemic in both series.

They went into that Boston series tied for the AL East lead. After the dust settled they were 2 back. Fast forward to 7/1, they are 2.5 back of division leading Bosox. What I have learned over the years is that the division is never decided by how the Yanks and Bosox play against each other. It is certainly how well they play against the other teams in the division and other AL ball clubs. However, it is true that no Yankee club every started 0-9 against Bosox in regular season. If there is a silver lining, they still have 10 games remaining against their bitter rivals.

500 Saves club member Mo Rivera has always lead by example. He has certainly been playoff battle tested, unlike all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman. I would venture to guess that Rivera has had more saves under duress than his peers (Papelbon, Hoffman, etc).

It is remarkable how Rivera has largely been healthy during his career. He never seems to be affected by a poor outing (not that he's had many of these). My hat is tipped to a great leader and sure first ballot Hall of Famer.

*Aside* - One day the statistician in me will construct a model that will illustrate Rivera's greatness when compared to his closest peers.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on July 1, 2009 2:30 AM.

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