The Yankees lead over Boston was reduced to six games last night. What are the odds that it'll be five after tonight? Jose Contreras goes against Yankee-killer Victor Zambrano while Curt Schilling will face Rich Harden. Hmmm. Glad I'm not a betting man. (How amped is Lou Piniella to come into New York with his surging Devil Rays?) However, the Yankees have Vazquez, Lieber and Mussina lined up for the weekend. Hopefully, they can help stop the bleeding as the Yankees have lost their last two series.
After another awful performance by Yankee pitching yesterday, Newsday is reporting that both Brad Halsey and Brett Prinz will be shipped off to Columbus today. The duo will apparently be replaced by two right-handers, Juan Padilla and Sam Marsonek.
I've been way too upset about how the Yankees have played over the past week. I called Cub fan Alex Ciepley to complain yesterday and he essentially laughed in my face. But the Yankees have dropped five of six I moaned. "Well, the Cubs have lost for 92 years..." That shut me up right quick. What did I expect? A Yankee fan calling a Cub fan for sympathy. Doh. Cliff Corcoran, a level-headed Yankee observer, calmed me down when he e-mailed me after the game:
I'm actually pretty pleased that the [Yankees] scored those five runs in the seventh and made a game out of it. I'm also a tough-love guy. I figure they could use a run like this (and it's just five of six) to emphasize that Sturtze and company are not a champion caliber staff. It's good for them to lose a few. With the break coming up to wipe the slate clean, it couldn't come at a better time.
Of course, trade rumors are flying about. Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald writes how the Red Sox are in the thick of the so-called Randy Johnson sweepstakes, while Boston's GM Theo Epstein denied any such doings in the Boston Globe. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman wonders if Roger Clemens could find his way back to the Bronx before all is said and done. Actually, Sherman make a strong case for southpaw reliever Eddie Guardado, a move I've been dreaming about for a few months now.
Finally, Hideki Matsui is the seventh Yankee to make the All-Star team. While Matsui is having a fine season, it would have been nice to see a non-Yankee fill out the AL roster, like future Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas for one.