Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A Mound Of Trouble
It's August 7th and the Yankees still hold the AL's best record, but they have been humbled badly twice in the last three days.
On Saturday, Seattle's Felix Hernandez dismantled the Yankee lineup effortlessly with a 2-hit shutout. He wore long sleeves on a 91-degree day and needed just 101 pitches.
Last night, Detroit's Justin Verlander did his thing. While King Felix just cruised, Verlander got the hammer out striking out 14 in 8 innings, allowing just 2 unearned runs. He even struck out Ichiro Suzuki 3 times, who hadn't whiffed in over 2 weeks.
Now there's no shame in losing to, or even being dominated by back-to-back Cy Young winners. Unless you're the Yankees and a 100-win season is where you meet the bar. Only getting to the World Series will exceed it. And being automatic outs for the league's best pitchers isn't the way to achieve that goal.
While CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda have been horses in the Yankee rotation, they have not pitched consistently enough to be counted on every single start.
And there were other disturbing signs last night. Yankee starter Ivan Nova looked very uncomfortable again. After going 16-4 last year, and starting 9-2 this year, Nova has lost 4 of 5 and is in serious need of repair or he may find himself back in the bullpen.
And three time zones away, the Angels' Jered Weaver shut out Oakland to go to 15-1. Just another guy who could personally blow up the Pinstripe chances in October.
I would use an expression to describe how out-of-sync the Yankee hitters look against these guys, but I've used up the profanity allotment for my lifetime.