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Well, the Jays are one game back of Coach's optimistic 24-23 prediction for the Jays' "midterm exam" in the Bronx this weekend. I think we'll let Toronto sit for the test. After the opening-week humiliation and dropping three of four in New York later in April, the Jays could be proud to earn a split in this four-gamer.

They have an opportunity to do so, with some Yankees seriously hurt and others playing through pain. After creating an "aura of invincibility" among even the more staid baseball scribes with their 18-3 start, the Bombers are just 11-14 since then. The Yankees have not been stellar in the field lately and feature several slumping hitters (gory details below). Kind of ominous deja vu, isn't it, after Konerko and Lee woke up this week in Chicago?

Forecast is for dreary weather here in the Apple, save for Sunday. I'll be checking out Wells-Lidle on Saturday afternoon from the upper deck, and will report back to the ol' Box.

On to the Advance Scout!

* In getting swept by Texas, the Yankees lost three series in a row (A's, Angels, Rangers) for the first time since May 1999 ...
* After Saturday's uninspiring five-hit attack against...the Rangers' staff (?!?), Joe Torre described the Yankees as "flat as a pancake" ...
* Though several of the runs in this span have been unearned, Andy Pettitte has yielded five or more runs in five of his last seven starts, beginning with the roughing up the Jays administered in the Bronx back in April -- in an eventual 10-9 New York victory ... Pettitte has taken responsibility: "I'm not doing a good job at all of making good pitches and bailing out my team...Right now, I'm getting hit. Everything that could go wrong is going wrong" ...
* Saturday marked the first time that Hideki Matsui earned "Bronx cheers," after dropping one fly ball and losing another in the sun ... The drop came after a long run into the gap, but Matsui admitted that it was "completely my miss, my error" ...
* Hard-luck Nick Johnson is back on the DL again with a fractured bone in his right hand ... He had been getting on base at an astonishing .455 clip ... His replacement, reliever Jason Anderson, has been sharp in his two appearances since his recall in Columbus. He was sent down after a very shaky April with the Yankees ...
* Talk of Mike Mussina winning 30 games has quieted after two consecutive defeats ... He wasn't awful in either start, but neither was he good enough to win ... It doesn't get much better than his eight innings of three-hit shutout ball against the Jays at home in April ...
* After the Rangers competed the sweep on Sunday, Brian Cashman said of George Steinbrenner: "He feels the way you think he would feel"... I'm guessing kind of like he just ate a stale calzone ...
* Jorge Posada went 5-for-9 in Boston after a weak-hitting homestand ...
* Alfonso Soriano also had a weak homestand, but went 5-for-12 in Boston ... He's stolen a base in four of his last five games ...
* Incredibly, Bernie Williams is 0 for his last 21, with one walk in that span ... After a ridiculously hot start, his numbers are down to 286/397/457 ... He's been bothered by an aching knee and has yielded some CF playing time to Godzilla to DH instead ...
* And Jason Giambi! Try a .202 batting average and .380 slugging percentage on for size ... As Coach has pointed out, the New York media has been unmerciful ... "I know Jason's trying too hard," said Torre ... Giambi did knock his ninth homer last night in Boston ...
* Chris Hammond, who eagerly took the infamous "Stanton/Hammond/Guthrie" contract offer in the offseason, has only held lefties to a .286 batting average ...
* But as Murphy's Law must have clearly dictated, Raul Mondesi has kept on keepin' on. A .314 batting average? 32 runs? A .394 OBP? 10 steals, putting him near the AL lead? ... Believe it, it's true! And he can still throw ... His bases-loaded triple in the first inning on Monday was key to the Yankees' 7-3 win at Fenway ... And he singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh last night ...
* More Murphy's Law: Boomer Wells is 6-1, with 3 walks and 37 strikeouts at age 40 ... Grady Little after Wells repeatedly wriggled out of jams: "He's got the ability to stop anything before it gets started" ...
* Mel Stottlemyre thinks that Jeff Weaver can trace his difficulties to his pitching high in the strike zone: "When he is pitching high, Jeff is just another pitcher" ... Weaver agrees, and thinks the problem is with his mechanics; he's striding too short ...
* Sterling Hitchcock has pitched respectably in his limited long-relief role ... But Jose Contreras? His five runs, including three walks, in one-and-a-third on Tuesday left him with a tidy 15.63 ERA ... David Ortiz said that Contreras laid off breaking pitches and relied on fastballs ... Just look at the resources the Yankees are expending -- and the results they're getting -- under the heading of "Long" in the Bullpen section below! ... Mmmm...resources ...
* Hard-luck ex-Jays-#1 Steve Karsay is officially out for the season with a rotator cuff injury ... Pick up the phone, J.P.! ...
* The New York Post lists the following pitchers as on Cashman's hit list: Urbina, Looper, Jimenez, Mecir, Grimsley, Escobar, Shuey and Farnsworth from the right side; White, Groom, Sauerbeck, Almanza and Orosco from the left ... The Post says that Cashman is willing to part with Juan Rivera because the Yanks are starting to deeply doubt his power potential ...

Probable Batting Orders

vs. LH

4 Soriano
6 Jeter
3 Giambi
8/DH Williams
7/8 Matsui
2 Posada
9 Mondesi
5 Zeile
DH/7 Trammell

vs. RH

4 Soriano
6 Jeter
DH Giambi
8 Williams
7 Matsui
2 Posada/Flaherty
5 Ventura
9 Mondesi
3 Zeile

Pitching Probables

Thursday: LH Pettitte vs. Halladay
Friday: RH Mussina vs. Escobar
Saturday: LH Wells vs. Lidle
Sunday: RH Weaver vs. Davis

Bullpen Usage

Long: Contreras R, Hitchcock L
Short: Anderson R, Acevedo R, Reyes R
Setup: Hammond L, Osuna R
Closer: Rivera R
Advance Scout: Yankees, May 22-25 | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike D - Thursday, May 22 2003 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#101997) #
Apologies to BB regulars for the late arrival of the Advance Scout today. I blame a combination of two separate work-related matters and the addictive "LeBron Lottery" game on Enjoy the series!

Fall true, sweet ping-pong balls. For the Raptors' sake, fall true.
Coach - Thursday, May 22 2003 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#101998) #
"When he is pitching high, Jeff is just another pitcher"

Maybe Weaver shouldn't get high until after he pitches. I wonder if he still sparks up on the team plane and abuses the flight attendants now that he's a Yankee.

Playing fantasy baseball can be a source of mixed emotions -- I own both Giambi and Williams in the BBFL, and hope they snap out of their slumps, but not enough to beat the Jays, especially Politte.

If Doc can get his team off on the right foot tonight, a split is quite possible. That would give the Jays a 6-4 mark on the road trip and be good for morale on the subsequent all-Sox home stand. Wells vs. Lidle should be a dandy, Mike. You be careful up there, cheering for Toronto.
_Jabonoso - Thursday, May 22 2003 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#101999) #
Pick up the phone J.P. and...
We do not have any reliever worth a trade, Politle? then be in worse shape? No match this time.
There is only surplus of hitters. Our pitchers either we need them or anybody else would give a dime!
robertdudek - Thursday, May 22 2003 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#102000) #
He is called.... The Kelvim!
Advance Scout: Yankees, May 22-25 | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.