Before I begin this post, let me give you a little reminder, so that you are not misled by the events at Pity Field this weekend:
The Mets are not in first place.
Washington 54-49 .5243
NY Mets 55-50 .5238
NY Mets 55-50 .5238
If the current rankings hold, the Mets won't get either of the wild card berths in the playoffs, either.
The Yankees, however, ARE in first place.
NY Yankees 59-45 .567
Baltimore 53-51 .510
Baltimore 53-51 .510
As for the Yankees: They played the Chicago White Sox this weekend. The Pale Hose wore replicas of their 1982-86 uniforms -- possibly a reference to the 30th Anniversary of Tom Seaver's 300th win against the Yankees, August 4, 1985? (Yes, I will post about that, as I did on the 25th Anniversary.)
Some of their 13 runs on Friday and their 12 runs yesterday would have come in very handy on Saturday.
Bryan Mitchell -- not to be confused with the former Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles running back (who spelled it Brian) -- made his 1st Yankee start. It went all right for 4 innings, as he allowed just 2 runs. Then he allowed 2 more in the 5th, and the game was effectively over. Diego Moreno allowed 4 more, putting at least a temporary halt to his earlier good reviews. A lot of that damage was done by our old friend Melky Cabrera.
Nick Rumbelow, a righthander from Bullard, Texas, about to turn 24, pitched a perfect 9th in only his 5th big-league appearance (all for the Yankees this season -- just 1 run in 4 1/3 innings), but that hardly offset the negatives from Mitchell and Moreno.
The Yankees scored on a Didi Gregorius sacrifice fly in the 3rd, and a Brian McCann home run in the 9th (his 17th of the season), but that was it. White Sox 8, Yankees 2. WP: John Danks (6-8). No save. LP: Mitchell (0-1).
Yesterday, the Yankees went back to the concept of "scoring lots of runs." Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a homer (his 4th), then they tacked on 5 more runs in the 4th to put the game away. With 1 out, McCann singled, Carlos Beltran walked, Chase Headley singled to load the bases, Gregorius singled home McCann and Beltran, Stephen Drew singled to reload the bases, Ellsbury hit a sac fly to score Headley, and Brett Gardner singled home Didi and Drew.
They started again in the 5th. Mark Teixeira hit another home run (his 29th). After 2 outs, Headley was hit with a pitch, Didi walked, and Drew doubled them home. In the 7th, Headley doubled, Didi reached on an error, Drew tripled -- he fell a homer short of the very rare "natural cycle" -- and an Ellsbury grounder got Drew home.
Ivan Nova started, and went 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. Chasen Shreve was shaky in the 7th inning, but Branden Pinder finished it and pitched a scoreless 8th, while Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless 9th.
Yankees 12, White Sox 3. WP: Nova (4-3). No save. LP: Jeff Samardzija (8-6).
The Yankees came home last night, have a day off today, and then, tomorrow...
The Scum come in.
Cliche alert: "In these games, you can throw out the records."
The Red Sox would love to do just that. The Yankees are on a pace for 92 wins, while the Sox are on a pace for 90 losses. Here's the AL East standings in full, with 18 of the regular season's 26 weeks gone:
That last column is the elimination number. To eliminate these teams from the AL East race, the Yankees need a number of wins by themselves and a number of losses by the team in question which, together, would add up to number in the last column. In other words: Sox 44, Rays 49, Jays 51 and O's 53. So the Magic Number to clinch the AL East for the Yankees is 53.
Here are the projected pitching matchups for the Red Sox series:
* Tuesday, 7:05 PM: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Henry Owens, in his major league debut. Uh-oh: The proverbial pitcher the Yankees have never seen before.
* Wednesday, 7:05 PM: The much-touted 21-year-old Dominican righthander Luis Severino, in his major league debut, vs. Steven Wright (not to be confused with the "existentialist" comedian of the same name who is from Massachusetts and a big Red Sox fan).
* Thursday, 7:05 PM: CC Sabathia vs. Eduardo Rodriguez. I wonder if they call him "E-Rod."
Note that Dustin Pedroia, the most successful remaining Red Sock aside from the big fat lying cheating bastard, is injured and will be unavailable for this series.