Lessons To Be Learned

June 12, 2009 – 10:13 am

Boston 4, NYY 3. There are so many ways of looking at this disaster of a series that odds are that however you look at it, you are wrong. So maybe it’s best to just say that there’s a lesson or two to be learned in there, and hopefully the Yankees will benefit in that way. It would seem to me that the first obvious lesson is that the starting pitching needs to be a lot more consistent. The problems there are Burnett, Chamberlain, and the Wang/Hughes slot in the rotation. I think with Burnett there’s not much hope in getting anything more than what we have so far — he is what he is. Chamberlain, on the other hand, should get better and better as the season goes on. So the big question mark is Wang/Hughes. That needs to be resolved pretty quickly — and I’m not optimistic about that. If Girardi continues to gut it out with Wang, that means 2 of every 5 games can end up in disasters, as we just saw in this series. That’s not going to cut it.

Another lesson that no one seems to want to talk about is all the downsides of having to play Nick Swisher every day. Yes, he’s a fun guy to watch and seems to have contributed very positively to the team chemistry — but man can he be a liability. The hot and cold streaks hitting are one thing — but the defense and base-running blunders are something totally different. You could easily argue that his mistakes in the field and on the base paths cost them two games in the Boston series. And had the Yankees actually won this series 2-1, wouldn’t we all be having different conversations today? Anyway, Xavier Nady can not return to the line up quick enough for me.

Finally, there’s the concern of whether or not the Red Sox are in the Yankees’ heads or not. I don’t think that’s the case, at least not yet. Even though they are now 0-8 against them so far this year, too many of the games have been oddball in nature to establish that much of a pattern. We’ll have to wait until August 6 for a definitive answer. The Eastern Division could well come down to that series. In the mean time, the Yankees need to concentrate on the subway series and getting back on the winning track.

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