Thursday, June 7, 2007

Yankees 5, White Sox 1

Despite sloppy managing and sloppier base-running, the Yankes rode Chien-Ming Wang's dominant performance to a comfortable 5-1 win Wednesday night on the South Side.

Wang pitched like the ace he is, generating a steady stream of grounders and pop-ups, with the occasional K mixed in. His control was on, he kept his pitch count low, and the woeful White Sox lineup helped him out a few times. How's Ozzie Ball working out these days?

Miguel Cairo inexplicable started again at first base. Actually, "inexplicable" is not correct. The explanation is apparent and simple: Joe Torre is a moron who doesn't understand how to win baseball games. His peach-pit-and-green-tea-addled brain prevents him from understanding the most basic concepts of mathematics and strategy.

The last few games have also highlighted Derek Jeter's utter inability to go to his left on groundballs. I've never been as down on Captain Intangibles' defense as most stat-heads, but anecdotally speaking, he looks worse than ever ranging toward second base this year. In this White Sox series alone, he has allowed five balls hit to his left to get by him that most shortstops would have at least gotten a glove on. Perhaps not significantly, he has failed to convert his patented jump-and-fire play twice on grounders to his right by rookie Jerry Owens, allowing infield hits both times. In the past, Jeter's ability to be both clutch and spectacular in the field has helped mitigate his lack of range. That might not be the case anymore.

The Yankees have won five out of seven now, which is normally not a cause for celebration, but this year, we have to take what we can get, right kids? Before we start allowing ourselves to dream of better days, we must keep in mind that even if the Yankees play .600 ball for the rest of the year (normally a 97-win pace), they'll only win about 88 games. Two problems: a) this hasn't looked like a .600 team at any point this season, and b) 88 wins won't be good enough for the Wild Card in this league.

The grave has been dug.