Thursday, August 6, 2015
Hello, Evil Empire? You better figure out the knuckler, because you'll face another one this weekend, and the wolf is at the door
Posted by el duque at 7:01 AM
Last week, the Yankees were 9 up in the loss column against Toronto. Today, we are 6 up.
In one week, our comfortable lead has been chopped by one-third... 33.3 percent. We have 9 weeks left in the season.
What's scarier is that the Yankees haven't collapsed. We've gone 6-4. The problem is that Toronto is on a 7-1 streak. Moreover, they did this against KC - (best record in AL) - and the Twins, who'd been leading for a Wild Card birth. Right now, the Blue Jays are Hadron Super-Collider hot. In theory, something's gotta blow. But if their surge continues one more week, everything we've accomplished thus far this season could be gone.
We play 6 of our next 10 against Toronto. One - probably Saturday - will pit us against R.A. Dickey, the knuckleballer. Considering last night's sorry swings against Boston, A-Rod and Co. had better figure out the knuckler. (Strangely, I'm less fearful of Toronto's new ace, David Price. Over the years, the Yankees have fared much better against Price than guys who throw spin-less balls.)
In a pennant race, it's easy to look at any upcoming weekend and breathlessly announce, "OMG! It's the biggest series of the year!" This is NOT the biggest series of 2015. Starting Sept. 10, we play Toronto 4 games, Tampa 3, the Mets 3, and then 3 more v. Blue Jays. One of those will make or break us. But make no mistake: This is the weekend when the wolf visits our doorstep. If we take 2 of 3, he goes away fuming, and maybe never returns with the same howl.
Boys, we have 2 batting coaches. One of them better have an idea about hitting the knuckleball. Otherwise, forget eating any numbers. They're going to eat us.