05/02/08 4:05 PM PDT
|Seattle Mariners||New York Yankees|
|Ichiro Suzuki - CF||Melky Cabrera - CF|
|Jose Lopez - 2B||Derek Jeter - "SS"|
|Raul Ibanez - "LF"||Bobby Abreu - RF|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||"Shelley" Duncan - 1B|
|Jeff Clement - DH||Hideki Matsui - LF|
|Richie Sexson - 1B||Jason Giambi - DH|
|Wladimir Balentien - RF||Morgan Ensberg - 3B|
|Jamie Burke - C||Jose Molina - C|
|Yuniesky Betancourt - SS||Alberto Gonzalez - 2B|
|2008 - Erik Bedard||2-0||3||3||0||0||0||0||17.2||10||6||4||3||12||14||2.04||1.25|
|2008 - Chien-Ming Wang||5-0||6||6||1||0||0||0||39.0||35||14||14||1||11||27||3.23||1.18|
Pettitte can't miss any bats. Mussina's finished. Hughes is hurt and bad. Kennedy is healthy and bad. Chamberlain hasn't started a Major League game in his life. The rest of the depth is in the persons of Kei Igawa, Darrell Rasner, Jeff Karstens, and a bevy of other people who aren't good.
The Yankees are vulnerable.* More vulnerable than they've been in nearly 15 years. Being without Jorge Posada certainly isn't helping matters. The team is still good, but it doesn't look great, and it doesn't look like it has the potential to be great, not with a pitching staff that underwhelming. There was a time to be afraid of these guys, but with our 1-2-3 going up against a bad rotation and a lineup that's missing both Posada and the best player in baseball, we have the upper hand, and we need to take advantage. We can't lose this series and say "oh, it's New York, that's to be expected." It's not to be expected. Losing this series would be inexcusable. If you're heavily invested in winning now, and you can't beat the Yankees when they're at their weakest and you're near full strength, then something's gone horribly wrong.
There's no such thing as a must-win series in May, but if there were, this would be one of them. No more excuses. The winning needs to start now, because we're already in a big enough hole, and we can't really afford for it to get any bigger. Beat the Yankees. Beat the Yankees and start the season you were supposed to start a month ago.
LET'S GO MARINERS!!
* According to BP's adjusted standings, the Rays have been the best team in the American League, and that's with zero innings from Scott Kazmir. Perhaps more impressive is that they've also had the best team defense in the AL after being historically awful just last season. To think that all this time even I may have been underrating them.
The Angels, by the way, have dramatically overachieved.