Friday, September 24, 2010

Yankees blow chance to put Rays away

The New York Yankees had a chance to put the Tampa Bay Rays away in the division race this week and couldn't pull it off.

A baseball series that started with such hope and promise, with good will and good feelings flowing all around the ballpark Monday night, ended with an ugly thud. The Yankees unveiled the new monument to George Steinbrenner in a moving, emotional ceremony and followed that with an exciting victory. They won again on Tuesday behind Phil Hughes and things looked like they were finally heading the Yankees way, with a 2.5 game lead over the pesky Rays.

But everything fell apart very quickly. For once, the downslide cannot be blamed on AJ Burnett, who suffered a tough loss after a monsoon ended his night way too early. I was ready to blame Mother Nature for the loss and write it off. But CC Sabathia got smacked all around the ballpark yesterday while his counterpart David Price pitched well enough to win.

Even aces are entitled to a bad game every once in a while, but this CC clunker hurt because the Yankees had a chance to basically put the Rays away in the division. Now if they really want the American League East title as much as they claim they do, they are going to have to play hard against two tough division rivals in the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays while the Rays get to smack around the dregs of the American League.

Bottom line, the Yankees blew a golden opportunity to put the Rays away. Let's hope it doesn't come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

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