Monday, September 13, 2010

Bad News, Good News

There was a regularly scheduled Nick Swisher appreciation post set to go up today. It is still very much applicable to the 2010 season as far as Nick Swisher is concerned, but I didn't feel that a multiple paragraph complimentary session was appropriate for this team after the last week, particularly the last weekend.

After all the bad news is that the team that the only team in baseball who hasn't lost four in a row in 2010 has lost three in a row twice in eight days, and will take their second shot at staving off losing four in a row in nine days tonight. I'm not going to go into everything in great detail, because I already covered most of it in last week's post about the missed opportunity against Baltimore. Nothing has changed. One thing that continues to be beyond perplexing is the way this team cannot get runners in from third with less than two outs. They missed four critical opportunities to do so late in the games Friday and Saturday. Getting one in either day would have increased their chances of winning immensely as they lost both games by one run in walk-off fashion. They also don't keep the other team off the board consistently enough the half inning after they score. These are my two biggest pet peeves in baseball, so you can imagine how extra special these losses were for me this weekend. They left a staggering 32 men on base between Friday and Saturday. They followed that up with getting two-hit. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this team is not winning tough games.

Related, the good news is that we will get an immediate chance to see them win the toughest of games this week in Tampa, as they open up a three game set with the Rays tonight. Sabathia vs. Price tonight. If this team were to make the playoffs, these are the types of games they will need to win. Their best is going to have to beat the other team's best, because the rest of their rotation after Sabathia isn't sure enough to be confident as of right now if they are losing behind Sabathia. We'll see if that changes when Pettitte returns, but for now that's how it is. What's more, this is a class gut-check. You've been getting out-played left and right for over a week. In September, in the middle of a pennant race. Now you have to turn it around against the toughest competition possible on the road. We'll see what kind of guts this team has.

1 comment:

the gm at work said...

Pat,

Sure thing on that, though I thought the Swisher post was one of the best things you've done all year.

In this series, we will also see what Tampa's made of. This is a team that is among the streakiest we've seen for a long time. As one of their beat writers said over the summer, when the Rays win, it looks like they may never lose again. When they lose, it looks like they may never win again. Forget the East - if the Rays need to prove to themselves or their fan base whether they are a legitimate contender, they have to play tough as well.