Monday, May 17, 2010

The Next 10 Days Are Big

Starting today, the Yankees have two with Boston, two with Tampa Bay, three at NYM, and three at Minnesota, with no off days. As I discussed last week, the schedule gets markedly easier for a few weeks after that. The Yankees are pretty nicked up, but are hopefully slowly getting healthier. Getting through these next 10 games in good shape would be huge.

That won't be easy. Games with Boston are always intense, and the two teams don't see each other again until August. It's only two games, but you want to play well. Tampa Bay is the best team in all of baseball, and head-to-head games against them are going to be critical in deciding playoffs scenarios, just as is the case with Boston. Right around this time last year, the Yankees had Monday/Tuesday games against Boston and Wednesday/Thursday games against Tampa Bay (which is unique to have that two years in a row), and they lost all four. They'd do well not to do that again this year. The Mets play the Subway Series like it is the World Series, so you always have to be ready to play those games. Minnesota is just a good baseball team, and while the Yankees dominate the at home, it isn't necessarily like that on the road. The Yankees will have to play good baseball the next 10 days if they want to get wins. Nothing getting handed to them, that's for sure. Considering the health issues, you'd have to be happy with 5-5. If they could get to 6-4 that would be outstanding.

It's also a big 10 days for the Red Sox. They have two at NYY, two with Minnesota, three at Philly, and three at Tampa Bay. That's a tougher schedule over that period than the Yankees have. Eight road games with the teams with the three best records in baseball, including two in their division with the other being the best team in the National League is not fun. Then two sprinkled in with the team with the fourth best record in baseball. No joke, particularly because the Red Sox have not been playing great baseball.

The schedule also gets easier for the Red Sox after these 10 games. If they could find a way to go 5-5, or better yet 6-4, that would be rock solid and maybe that is what helps them take off. They'll have to get better pitching than they have been getting. That is absolutely the key. Every offense they are facing can put crooked numbers on the board, and has enough pitching that you can't expect your offense to put up enough runs to make up for sub-par pitching. If the Red Sox don't play well these next 10 days, it's too early to make any declarations. But they certainly need these games to go well so that they aren't in a bad spot going forward. If they can get out of these 10 games in good shape, they have a chance to feast on some lesser teams for a few weeks and start moving right up the standings.

Enjoy the great baseball everybody.

3 comments:

the gm at work said...

PF,

Good post. Short and to the point. I thought you'd pop off about the use of Mariano this weekend.

I found it pretty entertaining to read in the Globe this morning that in Bill Hall's estimation, the Red Sox ARE playing good baseball lately despite the results of the last two Tigers games. Your boy Peter Abraham responded to that with a sarcastic comment about bases loaded walks.

Bottom line is that the team is not playing well right now, and very well could bury themselves in the next two weeks. I think the situation with this team right now is NOT that they're a good team scuffling at .500 at the beginning of the season. They're a .500 team playing to their potential.

Ross Kaplan said...

I'm not too sure about this, but I feel like the Yankees have had the most difficult schedule to start the season so far. Lots of games against the Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Twins, Rangers, and not much against the dregs of the league ie Indians, Blue Jays, Mariners, Royals, et al. That plus all of the injuries we've had lately and all things concerned we're in an awfully good spot right now.

If I may go on a rant, how the hell does Nick Johnson, a guy who does not play the field and hardly ever swings at the ball injure his wrist? And no I'm not implying he injured his wrist in some non-baseball related activity.

jason said...

lets be honest here, 4-6 is also acceptable for the sox... atleast by my current standards