Well, I woke up this morning to discover that it really happened. The Yankees wrapped up a 2-5 road trip filled with close, painful losses by losing painfully and not close. The Tigers humiliated New York 16-0, and may have prematurely ended Mike Mussina's season (career?). More on the decaying moose later.
The Yankee bats could do no right against Justin Verlander, and all the good that came from last weekend's series win over Detroit was undone. Sean Henn was torn apart in 2 2/3 innings, and we will likely never see him in pinstripes again. Although, Joe Torre seems to "trust" him, so who knows?
Anaheim helped the Yankees by beating Seattle, so the Yanks still trail the Mariners by three in the loss column, with Detroit breathing down their necks. It's not over, but if Boston wins two of three, it might be. After going on an improbable roll against bad teams, the Yankees have once again looked mediocre against legitimate competition, going 6-8 against the Tigers, Angels and an Orioles squad playing decent baseball. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have been annihilating the same bad teams the Yankees got fat on, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against a real big league team.
The Yankees' starting pitching has completely let them down, and in particular Roger Clemens and Phil Hughes haven't lived up to expectations. But Wang has struggled too, and Mussina...well, we know all about what he's been up to. The starting pitching wasn't particularly great even while they were winning, but it was masked by a historically hot offense and a resurgent bullpen. Now that the bats have cooled down, the pitching has been exposed. And I really wish they'd close the trenchcoat again, because I don't like what I'm seeing.
Looks like Ken Tremendous was right after all.