Not what they had in mind
You still can’t help but be surprised when Mariano Rivera serves one up, and today’s story was no different. This wasn’t the way the Yankees wanted to depart town on their way for a long road trip to Oakland and Houston, settling for a series split with the previously road weary Kansas City Royals.
“I was upset,” Rivera said. “In that situation, I have to come and do my job.”
The one part that the Yankees must be growing reluctantly used to is looking up and seeing their record at .500. The excuse of ‘It’s early’ doesn’t apply anymore. In case those beads of sweat dripping into your eyes haven’t told the story already, it’s summer, and the Yankees’ two best pitchers have been Mike Mussina and Darrell Rasner. Who would have thought that when Spring Training began?
They’ll try yet again to piece together that long winning streak in Oakland, where I’ve got an early morning flight out of JFK on Tuesday. Joe Girardi keeps talking about how the idea is to first get over .500, then five over .500, and keep increasing that by fives.
It’s the same simple goal that Joe Torre kept repeating last season, and if it’s any consolation (I know, this is glass half full), the ’07 Yankees were 33-31 after 64 games. These Yankees are 32-32. Then again, the Yankees had a historic second half last season, the type you just can’t count on every year. Off-topic mind wanderings: can the likes of J.B. Cox or Mark Melancon really be the new Joba Chamberlain? Can anyone be?
Here are the pitching matchups for the A’s series:
• Tuesday Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, 6-2, 4.57) at Athletics (Dana Eveland, 4-4, 3.82)
• Wednesday: Yankees (Darrell Rasner, 3-3, 2.58) at Athletics (Justin Duchscherer, 5-4, 2.32), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-5, 4.99) at Athletics (Joe Blanton, 3-8, 4.15), 10:05 p.m. ET