Offense: Six runs per game almost feels like a slump the way this team has been hitting, but it's still better than the season average of the best offense in the majors, which just happens to be the Yankee offense anyway.
Melky Cabrera 7 for 12, 2 2B, 2 3B, RBI, 4 R
Robinson Cano 3 for 9, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, HBP, SB
Jorge Posada 3 for 9, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, HBP
Johnny Damon 4 for 8, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, SB
Andy Phillips 2 for 12
Derek Jeter 2 for 12, 2 RBI
Bobby Abreu 2 for 10, 3B, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB, 3 K
Wilson Betemit 0 for 4, K
Jason Giambi 1 for 5, R
Jose Molina went 0 for 1 after Joe Torre put the subs in yesterday's blowout finale.
Rotation: Just one quality start, though Andy Pettitte came close, getting the hook with two outs in the sixth in the opener. Roger Clemens was dominant, but also had a short outing lasting just six full (yes, he was ejected for throwing at Alex Rios, but he was at 90 pitches and knew what was going to happen). Chien-Ming Wang had the worst start of his major league career by far.
Bullpen: Despite turning over nearly half of the personnel, the Yankee pen still allowed ten runs in 11 2/3 innings. Lack of length on the part of the starters can be blamed to a certain degree, as can a pair of lopsided scores that allowed Torre to try out some of those untested arms. Still, that's unacceptable.
Believe it or not, Kyle Farnsworth, who pitched a perfect inning, striking out one and throwing nine of 12 pitches for strikes in the finale. Of course, he did that with his team behind by 11 runs. Mariano Rivera struck out the heart of the Jays order on 16 pitches (11 strikes) to nail down a one-run lead in the opener.
Jeff Karstens has pitched twice since being activated from the DL. Both times he was brought in after a disaster start and asked to escape a jam and eat innings. Both times he escaped the jam without further damage and ate up three innings, but he also allowed a total of eight runs in those 6 1/3 frames. Last night he allowed five runs (though only two earned) in three inning on three hits and three walks and had to be pulled with two outs in the sixth. He has a 10.12 ERA on the season. He needs to go. Jim Brower needs to go as well, though he hasn't been nearly as bad in his two opportunities thus far. Brower allowed a run on three hits and a walk over an inning and a third in this series, also allowing an inherited runner (1B, no outs) to score. I think that's the best that can be expected of him. Ron Villone picked up where Karstens left off in the sixth last night allowing two runs on four hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings and needing 51 pitches to do so, though he did strike out three.
Conclusion: Heading into the tough part of the schedule, I'm still concerned about the pitching, but the offense is so strong that even against the league's best it may be enough to compensate. Still, while the bench is suddenly the best it's been since the days of Darryl, the pen continues to be a work in progress. I'll have more on the overall state of the team heading into Cleveland tomorrow morning in a "Series Wrap" of the entire now-completed cupcake portion of the schedule.