After an 8-game win streak, the Yankees might not win another game this season. Kidding, of course, but these losses to 100% inferior competition could come back to bite them over the long haul. With your ace – your ONLY consistent starter, really – on the bump against a last place Orioles team, you can’t afford to give games like tonight away. Yes, the O’s are 21-13 under Buck Showalter – who was 1-0 career managing my ESPN softball team, by the way. Sure, it was C.C.’s first loss at Yankee Stadium since July 2nd of last season. And, yes, Andy Pettitte seems close to a return to the big club soon. You can point out any number of quirks to make this just another loss to write off in the midst of what will almost definitely be a 95 or 97 win season. But, with the Rays pounding Boston tonight, and seemingly not going away the rest of the way, the Yankees may want to start worrying about these losses amidst their huge pile of wins. Getting into the postseason as at least the Wild Card seems almost assured, but wouldn’t you rather go in as the winner of the best division in the game and play more games at home than on the road? You can’t tell me the Yankees wouldn’t feel better facing the Twins or Rangers, or whomever else, as the team with home field advantage.
Tonight was the 2nd time since June that Sabathia has given up more than 3 earned runs. The other came just 10 days ago against the White Sox. If the rotation stays on track for the Yanks, C.C. will have 4 more chances to win his 20th game for the first time in his career – 2 against Tampa and 2 against the Red Sox. Obviously, not an easy task.
The Yankees haven’t lost 4 straight games this season. Ivan Nova gets a chance to keep that intact Wednesday afternoon against 2nd-year righty Brad Bergesen. We’ll see how Super-Nova bounces back from the disappointment of getting yanked in the 5th inning of his last start.
By the way, Andy Pettitte is still on track to pitch Game 2 of the Eastern League Divisional Series for Trenton on Thursday.