Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Reasons the AL East Race is not Over

Reason #1: Last year on this day the Red Sox had a 1-game lead. They finished 11 games behind the Yankees, meaning a 12-game turnaround. While the Red Sox are better equipped this year, especially with the addition of Gagne, an injury to Manny or Ortiz, would still be a huge blow to this team.

Reason #2: Over the past 2 months and 2 days the Yankees have caught up 7.5 games. Yes, the Yankees are actually 7.5 games better than the Red Sox since May 30th, and that includes a stretch where the Yankees went 1-7. With two months left, 7 games is clearly doable.

Reason #3: Boston Massacre Part 3? The Yankees still have 6 games head-to-head against the Red Sox. If they do what they did in 1978 (the last time they were back 14.5 games and caught up), or last year in those series, the could catch up in no time.

Reason #4: Phillip Hughes, Jason Giambi, and Joba Chamberlain. While the Red Sox got Gagne, the addition of Betemit with those 3, could be much more helpful to the Yankees than Gagne to the Red Sox. That 5-spot in the rotation has been ugly, first base/DH hasn't had much offensive production, and the bullpen needs help, especially the 8th inning. The Yankees may have fixed all of those problems without doing very much.

All of these reasons put together make the Gagne trade that much smarter for the Red Sox. Instead of sitting back with their 7-game lead, they were aggressive and that could make all the difference in the world in holding off the Yankees. If Gagne pitches well and the Red Sox win the division by 1 or 2 games, it would be a spectacular decision by Theo.

Of course, the Yankees are just 3 games off the Wild Card lead now, so if they just play up to their capabilities, they could take a lot of pressure off themselves in trying to catch the Red Sox.


Warren said...

Ross will like this - here's the list of the AL players with the most hits in July:

Robinson Cano 42
Hideki Matsui 39
Melky Cabrera 39
Derek Jeter 38
Bobby Abreu 36
Delmon Young 36
Curtis Granderson 36

Ross said...

You're right. I do like seeing that.