The Yanks win their 8th series out of 9 with the completion of the sweep of KC this weekend.
The offensive machine that we were speculating could exist with this team during the Winter and Spring has emerged into a reality averaging over 8 runs per game since the Break. The question is, who is the hottest hitter in the lineup? Cano, Matsui, Posada, Abreu, Damon, and Cabrera are all by any measure taking care of business. Interestingly enough, as a point to show how productive this lineup has been, I feel as though the two bonafide superstars in Jeter and A-Rod almost look like they are in slumps even though one is batting .330 on the season and the other leads the league in homers and RBIs. Suffice it to stay the machine is rolling.
Speaking of highly productive machines, how about Mariano Rivera? At the end of April his ERA was almost 11. Since that time it is just above 1, and now stands at 2.89 on the season with 17 saves.
As John Sterling pointed out, and what we already knew, the only area that needs fixing is the 7th inning pitcher. That will be fixed by Joba Chamberlain - the sooner he comes up the better.
In the vein of the good of the team kind of spirit, I think Cashman should ask Giambi to stay down until September when they expand the rosters. I know that will never happen, but the team chemistry is perfect and I cringe at the thought of messing with it. I think at the end of the day it is going to be Cairo or Duncan that gets the boot. Both are well liked and valued by the team and the fans as they have done what has been asked of them. And because of that, I think it is going to put an enormous amount of pressure on Jason to produce early and often, otherwise face the boo birds.
Bottom line: This stretch of 26 games post All-Star break (includes the two postponed games) has produced what we were hoping for, a team back in contention winning 19 of those games. As good as that is, whether or not they'll be playing in October comes down to the following block of time: August 10th to the 30th. During that time they'll have two series with Detroit, one with Cleveland, LA, concluding with three games against the Red Sox. When it is all said and done, come August 30th, we'll know whether or not the Pinstripes will be seen in October.
In Other News: As expected, Barry Beefroid Bonds tied Hank Aaron in HRs (finally). First of all he's a prick, and second, I am convinced that no one at ESPN, USA today, and others in the media have a damn clue about baseball when they suggest he is the best hitter of all-time. When you take into consideration the machine made baseballs, shorter ball parks, watered down pitching, and the Steroids, he isn't even close a to a top 10 hitter of all-time, maybe not even top 25. I am relieved that Ken Griffey Jr. is still playing seemingly healthy, that A-Rod is entering his prime with 500 HRs already under his belt, and that Albert Pujols has yet to enter his prime. All three can be the reason why we may forget about Barry after this season.
Congrats to Thurman Thomas on making the football HOF. You don't truly have an appreciation for how good a player is until you see how hard it is for the team he plays for to replace him. He was good and deserves to be in.
Finally, as a Giant fan, I am deeply disappointed in the lack of professionalism of Michael Strahan. He has a contract in his mid 30s for $4 million. That is a gift, and his ass should be in camp...either play or retire already!
Yanks @ Toronto for 3 games.