Last night was gravy night for the Yanks in Baltimore as they pounded the O's, 13-1. Andy Pettitte won his 19th game of the year and will likely have two shots at winning 20 for the second time in his career. 'Lil Sori hit two homers and has now reached the 30-30 club in consecutive seasons. Soriano led off the game with a blast, his 11th lead off dinger of the year, which puts him one behind Brady Anderson for the single season record. Aaron Boone added two homers of his own.
Jason Giambi hit his 39th of the year and collected his 100th RBI; not to be outdone, Hideki Matsui, fresh off his Pimpzilla fashion display, notched his 100th RBI as well. Jorge Posada added bases clearing double for his three RBI and he now has 95 on the year (his career high is 99).
Since beating the Red Sox 3-1 in New York nine days ago, the Yankees are on a roll. Even my pessimistic arse doesn't have much to crow about these days. Instead, I'm grateful that we'll get another opportunity to experience playoff baseball in New York. Joe Torre and the Yanks are gearing themselves up for the post season. According to The New York Times:
With a 92-57 record coming into tonight's game with the Orioles, the Yankees had a two-and-a-half-game lead over Oakland for the best record in the league and, thus, for home-field advantage in a possible A.L.C.S. But Torre is mindful of what happened last season, and he will manage accordingly.
"I think there's a price tag on that," Torre said, referring to the pursuit of the best record. "You have to decide on what's more important: being ready to go to the postseason or being concerned about getting that extra game in the championship series. If one works hand in hand with the other, sure, you want to win. But the most important thing is making sure your team is mentally and physically ready to play."
The Red Sox crushed the Devil Rays in Boston, 8-2 and gained a game on the Mariners, who lost to the Rangers. (The Sox will go down in history as the first team to have nine guys hitting at least .285 with 28 homers and 95 RBI.) Boston is 1 1/2 games up in the wildcard race with 13 games left to play. They trail the Yanks by 5 1/2. It looks as if the Mariners will be the first to wilt, blink, and fade but don't say that too loudly around any card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation. There is still too much time for something cruel and unusual to happen.
Speaking of which, Ben Affleck narrates an HBO documentary on Red Sox Nation tonight at 10 pm. (Richard Sandomir reviewed it in The Times yesterday...watch out now.) It would be easy to throw potshots at Affleck, but with our ex-mayor being Yankee celebrity fan #1, I think I'll just keep my mouth shut on this one. I'm going to watch the show in the hopes that Edward Cossette's talking head made the final cut. It will be a nice day for the blogging community if Ed is indeed in the documentary. Cossette is one of the original baseball bloggers---I believe this is his third season---and continues to put out one of the best columns out there.