Rally monkeys, thunder sticks and fans who don't know when to cheer until the scoreboard instructs them. Yep, we're back in Southern California.
Last night's 7-6 loss to the Angels was a brutal punch in the stomach. You can't call it a must-win on August 20, but when both Boston and Seattle had won earlier in the day, the game took on added importance, especially given the pitching matchups for the rest of this series, and Boston's cream-puff schedule.
The Yankees' offense didn't do enough against Dustin Moseley, and paid for the price for it eventually. The bullpen faltered badly as well, with Luis Vizcaino looking awful, Kyle Farnsworth returning to form and Sean Henn being Sean Henn. This game illustrated that on days when Joba can't pitch, the underbelly of the bullpen is still awfully weak and exploitable.
For once, Joe Torre did the right thing, bringing Mariano Rivera into a tie game on the road. Unfortunately, Mo's been a little tired lately and could only go one inning. My only argument with Torre in this game (other than using Farnsworth at all) is that I wouldn't have let Hughes come out to start the 7th. He struggled badly with his command all game, and looked gassed. It might not have made any difference, though, as poorly as the bullpen performed.
The Yankees need to split these next two games, or they could quickly find themselves back in a hole, on the outside looking in for both playoff spots.