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Are you pumped? I'm pumped.

You know what's super. Blowouts like these. The kinda games where with two outs a harmless pop-up turns into a cover shot for some bloopers video. I mean given, the game was already out of reach, but the fact that we turn around and allow a 2 run shot to Fernando Tatis is the kinda thing that gets me up at arms. And the fact that this stupid miscommunication was between the two faces of our franchise. What does that mean? Have they not gelled? Are they not on the same wavelength? HEAD FOR THE PANIC ROOM!
It's not a huge deal. It's not representative of the game or season or whatever hyberbolic spin you want to put on it. It's an error. E6. Moving on.
What an ugly game. I didn't watch it thanks to some recent eye troubles but it's not exactly the mental boost we need. Otherwise, there's nothing to see here, move along.

Friday: Game 1: 1:05 on ESPN Game 2: 8:05 not nationally televised
To the doubleheader tomorrow. I will be severly dissapointed if we do not take both. A split is not doing it for me right now. We have arguably the ace of our staff in Wang going up against one of the worst pitchers in the league in Jason Johnson in the day game. If we lose this, then it's panic time. Wang was shaky in his last start after the full length front page article about his nasty sinker and early life in Taiwan in the Times. But before that he had developed into arguably the best pitcher in the divsion (except Halladay), dominating hitters with aforementioned sinker. There is debate as to whether his lack of strikeouts (he has the lowest SO per 9 ratio of any pitcher eligible for the CYA) would catch up to him, as throwing extra pitches to record outs is never a good thing. This start could easily dictate which Wang we'll be seeing come the home stretch.

Jason Johnson is trash. Not really much of a comparison. If this is a situation where a terrible pitcher goes out and pitches 6 and 2/3 gritty shutout innings I might have to kill myself.

In the nightcap we have an interesting matchup. Ponson v. Lester. Ponson has yet to win a game as a Yankee and really as a whole hasn't brought much to the team at all. The rook John Lester started off his major league career magnificently but has since slipped, going winless with a 6+ ERA in his last 5 starts. Another game I expect us to win, not because I think Ponson will be any good, but because our offense is better than theirs. Quite simply, we're loaded. A rookie pitcher like Lester cannot go up against these type of caliber hitters more than once with any sort of luck. When we get into the later innings, well lookie here, we have a better bullpen too. Villone, Myers, and Proctor are lethal, (especially Proctor of late) and although Farnsworth has been deemed a one inning wonder, his stuff is undeniable. A 3.5 game lead at Friday's end is what I'm looking for.

Saturday: 1:20 on Fox
Easily the most intriguing pitching matchup of the series. Although Randy Johnson and Josh Beckett are very different pitchers, they are similar in that they are both struggling and performing well under their lofty expectations. Beckett's ERA is a perplexing 5.02, and his propensity to give up the long ball has been a source of exasperation to the Bostonians of late. (There I did it. That was my best crack at a Dennis Miller impression.) Johnson's numbers haven't been much to look at either, as the supposed #1 of the staff has not really carried his weight. Both have a lot to prove and both could do a lot to repair their semi-broken image with a quality start on Saturday. Here I like the Sox. They'll throw around the Unit a bit and Beckett'll go out and do his best Beckett '03 imitation. The bastard. To Sunday.

Sunday: 8:05 on ESPN
They're bringing the big guns out on Sunday Bloody Sunday. Moose v. Schill. I'm thrilled for this one. If Mussina can go out hurling and get another quality start, I'd feel a lot more comfortable with this team. He is undoubtedly our X factor. He pitches well, we have a world series winning roof for this team. He pitches poorly, well, you know what comes next. Meanwhile Schilling is (relatively) quietly enjoying a very productive season. A win tomorrow would put him tied at the top of the wins list in the AL with fifteen. However, his stats over the past month are a little troubling as his ERA is hovering around 4.5, his WHIP at 1.5, and worst of all, a .339 BAA. Bringing those kind of numbers to face this kind of lineup is not a good sign. But hey, we'll see.
I like Moose in this one.

Monday: 1:05 on ESPN
The Sox are gonna come into this one desperate. They're gonna know that they can't lose 4 of 5 in such a critical series at such a critical juncture in the season. Nevertheless, David Wells, the mean-spirited tubby, will most likely be on the hill. Needless to say, the man is not exactly money in the bag. His opponent, Cory Lidle, is extremely, well... mediocre. But these days, I'll take a mediocre pitcher as a throw in for a deal in which we get an all-star caliber right fielder in exchange for some low A raw talent. Lidle will be making his 1st start since the death of his grandmother. Whether or not that affects his mental game remains to be seen. I think that with all the emotion cooked up in Wells' belly, in front of a raucous sellout Fenway crowd, he'll get the job done. If there was one thing that could always get Wells going, it was adrenaline. And there will be plenty to spare at this series finale. Sox win.

So the way I see it, New York'll take three of five, which is about as good as we can ask for. Hopefully we can get through this series without burning out any arms, as five games in four days could be a train wreck for Proctor. Nobody wants to see this guy become the next Sturtze. Oh and on a side note, no, no sorry A-Rod won't finally be brilliant on the biggest stage, he''ll be steadily great, just like he always is. Oh well. Lets do this thing boys, I'll be watching.

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