For the past two weeks the Yankees have played exclusively against the Mariners and A's, two of the best teams in the league. When all was said and done yesterday, they ended up beating the M's 2 out of 3 twice, and losing 2 of 3 to the A's twice: .500 ball. Which is to say, it could have been worse, could have been better.
The Yanks faced Hudson, Zito and Mulder in Oakland over the weekend and they managed to get to Zito on Saturday (my cousin Gabe was at the game, and I hope to get a report from him when he returns home sometime this week), while they were stymied by Hudson on Friday and Mulder yesterday. Fortunately, Pedro and the Sox lost on Friday, and D. Lowe got bombed last night (although the Sox did manage another furious comeback), so the Yanks remain three games up in the AL East.
The Yanks return home for three against the Angels and then host the Rangers over the weekend before they go up to Boston for the begining of the madness. Both Don Zimmer (stomach) and Derek Jeter (shoulder) are expected to rejoin the team tomorrow night at the Stadium. Jose Contreras is on his way back to New York, and Antonio Osuna is expected to come off the DL this weekend.
Jason Giambi is all dinged-up, and he sat out of Saturday and Sunday's games. But he did take Tim Hudson deep on Friday night. It was encouraging that it was hit to left field. Perhaps with a couple of days off, Giambi will start getting more comfortable.
Meanwhile, Nick Johnson continues to impress. According to Ken Rosenthal:
"He's turning into a mini-Giambi, which is what everyone thought he was," A's GM Billy Beane says. "It's not going to be fun facing two Giambis. One is bad enough."