The Yankees completed their sweep
of the hapless Indians in Cleveland today behind a strong performance from Andy Pettitte, clutch hitting from the Melk Man and Jeter, and another save from Mariano. This series was a thing of beauty from the Yankee bench, not so much if you're an Indians' fan. The Indians look completely lost, and if they don't find it soon, the playoffs will quickly be out of reach.
Enough about the losers, though. Let's talk about the Bombers. The Yanks have closed the deficit in the A.L. East to four games, the closest they've been since the end of April. They remain tied with the Mariners for the Wild Card lead, and I remain convinced that the Mariners are nothing but smoke, mirrors, an J.J. Putz.
Melky extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a key bomb in the seventh, then provided the Yankees with an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Melky singled, stole second, then scored on a Jeter single.
The Giambino homered for the second consecutive day (more on Jason in the Letter to the Skipper). The Viz had a short outing, and Mo was pushed (31 pitches in 1.1 innings). I'm wondering if Joba might be called upon for a two-inning save tomorrow, should the opportunity present itself. I know that's the route I'd take. The Viz for the 7th, Joba for the 8th and 9th.
By the way, the Yankee plan for Joba is to give him days off in between appearances equal to the number of innings he pitches. (If he pitches 2 innings tomorrow, he'd then get two days off). I like protecting his arm, but I think that might be a bit much. If you're going to use him for 2 innings, he should be able to go on one day's rest in between appearances. I fully agree with implementing a plan (I'm not sure where this plan is coming from, but I'm positive it isn't coming from Joe), I'm just not sure this is the plan I'd implement.
Back home tomorrow for a three-game set with the surging Orange Birds. The Yanks take on Jeremy Guthrie, who shut them down at the end of July (but has lost 2 consecutive decisions since). The Wanger toes the slab for the Bombers, looking to bounce back from the shellacking he took from the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Letter to the Skipper: