May 20, 2010

Wild Card Race

Tampa Bay is 29-11*, with a comfortable lead over the Yankees (4 GA), Blue Jays (5 GA), and Red Sox (8.5 GA).

* It's the best record through 40 games since the 2002 Red Sox. They actually got to 40-17, before finishing out the year 53-52.

If the Rays stumble and play .500 ball for the rest of the season, they will finish with 90 wins. If they continue at their current pace, they will win 117 games -- a new MLB record.

The Dodgers have the 12th best winning percentage in MLB, at .550. If the Rays play at .550 for the rest of the year, they'll finish with 96 wins. The Red Sox would have to go 76-45 (.628, 102-win pace) to top them.)

I'm ready (almost) to accept that the Red Sox are not going to win the East*. I detest the wild card, but it looks like it's the only hope we have of playing any games after October 3.

* Though if a team can come from 14 GB in mid-July ... hmmm ... but that would involve the Rays hiring the Gerbil, which is probably not going to happen ...)

So ...

Wild Card Standings (with 121 games to go!)
Yankees   25  15  .625  --
Blue Jays 25 17 .595 1.0
Tigers 23 17 .575 2.0
Red Sox 21 20 .512 4.5
A's 20 21 .488 5.5
Things are not well in New York.

Jorge Posada (the team leader in OPS+) has a right foot fracture and will miss about a month. Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson are on the disabled list, Marcus Thames sprained his left ankle last night, Nick Swisher is out with a strained left biceps, and Mark Teixeira has a lower slugging percentage than Darnell McDonald.

Derek Jeter is 8-for-48 (.167) over his last 11 games and is batting .190/.264/.228 in May. Since April 20, he's hitting .220. His .699 OPS for the season is only slightly better than Bill Hall's.

And New York's 1-2 punch in the bullpen has faltered lately: Mariano Rivera has allowed 4 runs over his last 9 batters and Joba Chamberlain has allowed 7 runs to his last 12 batters.

After tonight's game against the Rays, the Yankees hit the road to play the Mets and Twins before coming home for games against Cleveland and the Orioles.


Zenslinger said...

Maybe it's a bit too much of looking at the game through stats, but I find it maddening that when Mariano Rivera does get it, he seems to be able to avoid earning runs.

In his last two games, he collected a blown save vs. MIN and a loss against us. In 1.1 IP, he gave up 3 hits (one an HR) and a walk, but only earned the two runs vs. MIN. None against us.

allan said...

Reliever ERAs are pretty meaningless.

Typically, Rivera or Papelbon could get 9 innings over 9 games. Seems useless to consider their ERAs when they come into a particular game. Someone like a LOOGY, even more.

Zenslinger said...

I see your point -- a lot of their job is about inherited runners.

And yet I choose to find meaning in JtC's ERA going from 2.16 to 4.91 in two outings (1.2 IP).

FenFan said...

Isn't the Gerbil part of the front office in Tampa? Hope springs eternal.