September 22, 2005
The Final Series Match-Ups
Two days ago, I figured that it will be Wang, Johnson and Mussina for the Yankees last three games of the season. (This assumes that Wang stays in the rotation and that Mussina is able to take a normal turn.) But, who's on schedule to pitch for the Red Sox? As of now, assuming no injuries, skipped turns, etc., it would be Wells, Schilling and Wakefield.
So, the Friday night game on 9/30 will be Wang-Wells. On Saturday, 10/1, it will be the game that everyone wants to see: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. And, on Sunday, 10/2, it will be Mussina and Wakefield.
That Sunday match-up is bad news for the Yankees. Yes, Mussina pitches well in Fenway. But, this is not an in-shape Mussina and the Yankees have issues with Wakefield. If this whole thing comes down to the last game of the season, the Red Sox have an edge there.
It's looking more and more important to the Yankees to have a 2-game lead heading into that series - and then take a shot with Wang on Friday for the clinch, and have Johnson as a great back-up on October 1st.
Locking it up by Game 161 would do wonders for this Yankees fan's old ticker.
Besides, think of all those in RSN who probably paid thousands for seats to that last game of the year. How cool would it be for them to get to watch the Sox play against the Yankees' Wil Nieves, Andy Phillips, Felix Escalona, Mike Vento, Mark Bellhorn, and Jorge De Paula in a meaningless game?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 22, 2005 01:45 PM
Torre will be on M&MD later today and they are going to ask him if Wang or Small is the 5th starter.
Posted by: Philly Phil at September 22, 2005 02:14 PM
I would be over the moon if the Yanks clinched the division and played a meaningless game or two up in Boston. And they would *definitely* have to rest their regulars, because with an angry crowd up there, I could easily see some of the more 'idiotic' Sox deciding that it'd be a swell idea to plunk Jeter on the hands or start a brawl as a good-luck-in-October gift.
Posted by: knuckles at September 22, 2005 02:17 PM
Is that last game scheduled to be ESPN's Sunday Night game?
Posted by: rbj at September 22, 2005 02:22 PM
Pretty sure it's a day game.
Philly Phil - let us know. I'm hoping that Wang stays in the rotation and Small goes to the pen - they could use him out there.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at September 22, 2005 02:33 PM
It would behoove the Yanks to clinch before Sunday, to avoid going against Wakefield in a meaningful game. For whatever reason, they can't hit that SOB.
Posted by: Dom at September 22, 2005 04:28 PM
it's called a knuckleball...it sucks to hit...
Posted by: Straylightrise at September 22, 2005 09:58 PM