The Baseball Desert

Thursday, August 07, 2003

It's ironic - the day Yankees fans breathed a collective sigh of relief at the sight of Armando 'Meltdown' Benitez packing his bags and heading out west to Seattle (in a trade which brings ex-Yankee Jeff Nelson back to the Bronx) is the same day that New York's ├╝ber-closer Mariano Rivera proves that he really is human, blowing his fourth save in the last six chances.

Obviously the Yankees can't win every game - even with their huge payroll and seemingly bottomless pit of talent - and Mariano can't possibly save every single game he enters, but these little slip-ups seem to be different this year. New York is used to having a fairly comfortable lead in the AL East, especially heading towards September, but this year, the Red Sox just keep winning games - it's almost mid-August, and the Red Sox are still breathing down the Yankees' necks.

Last night, the Sox got a stellar pitching performance from Pedro Martinez - he gave up ten hits over nine innings, but at the end of the day, that added up to just a single earned run. He also had some key strikeouts, including the last out of the game with the bases loaded (okay, so it looked a little outside from what I could see on MLB.com, but you've got to give Pedro credit for challenging the hitter in that situation.)

Boston isn't going to have an easy ride - they're fighting it out with the Yanks for the division title, and they're just a 1/2 game ahead of the Oakland A's in the Wild Card race - but they have a realistic chance of making it. I'm gonna run the risk of losing my 'Yankee fan' status for ever and being banned for life from The House That Ruth Built, but you know what? I hope they do - I'd love to see this Red Sox team in the postseason...