Monday, September 20, 2010
Time to Put the Devil Rays In Their Place: 2nd
So, this is it. Four games with the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium II, starting tonight.
Yanks sweep: Up by 4 1/2, Magic Number 6.
Yanks take 3 of 4: Up by 2 1/2, Magic Number 8.
Split: Up by 1/2, Magic Number 10.
Rays take 3 of 4: Down by 1 1/2, Magic Number 12.
Rays sweep: Down by 3 1/2.
The 1st 2 are desirable, the middle one acceptable, the last 2 unacceptable.
After this, the Yanks have 9 games left, the Rays 10. If it's a split, and the Yanks take 2 of 3 in each series (at Toronto, and home-and-home with the Red Sox), the Rays would have to win 7 of 10 to forge a tie for first, which would go to them based on head-to-head: They currently lead 8-6 and would, in this scenario, lead 10-8.
But if the Yanks take 3 of 4 against the Rays, and then take 2 of 3 in each remaining series, then the Rays would have to win 9 of their last 10. That's 3 at home against Seattle, 3 at home against Baltimore, 4 at Kansas City. Possible, but not likely.
If the Yanks sweep, then even if the Rays win all of their last 10, 2 of 3 in each series would be enough to win the AL East.
It is time to put the Devil Rays in their place. Which, historically (not that they have much history) is 5th and last place, but this time, I'll settle for 2nd place.
Tonight: Ivan Nova vs. Jake Garza.
Tomorrow night: Phil Hughes vs. James Shields.
Wednesday night: A.J. Burnett vs. Wade Davis.
Thursday night: A starter as yet undecided -- should be CC Sabathia as he'd have 4 days' rest, it's hard to imagine Joe Girardi keeping him out of the Tampa series and saving him for nearly-eliminated Boston -- vs. David Price.
Tonight, the Monument to George Steinbrenner is dedicated. I wonder what George would say?
"Never mind me, get out there and win the games!"
Right on, Boss. Bring it on, Tampa, you Dummy-come-latelies!