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So I'm thinking that the whole thing with the Rays is more annoying than we suspect. I mean, I hate it as much as anyone when Kay goes into his whole "you know, this is like a playoff preview!" rants, as if he's presenting us with brand new information that only a season sports journalist could possibly be intuitive to.

But, eh, he's right. The Rays have a cake schedule ahead of them, the Yanks have a long road ahead. We're only up a half game, and the Rays are 10-8 against us in the season. So I suppose we should consider the fact that there's the possibility we don't end up winning the division, that we end up having to settle for the WILD CARD, in which case no one is gonna be happy at all.

As a rule, I hate the Wild Card. Even when the Yanks were the first team to be the Wild Card. I think it's a completely communist rule. A team that doesn't have the best record gets to be in the playoffs, WITHOUT ANY DISADVANTAGE. Even though they didn't get the job done enough to win the division, they still end the playoffs on a level playing field.

My sis always says that the wild card usually has the edge because they have nothing to lose, they're playing with house money, and that typically amounts to more momentum that carries them further in the playoffs.

As for me, I'm saying that I don't even want to entertain this ludicrous practice, because the Yankees are still gonna win the division. You may have won the battle, Rays, but we're gonna win the war.

Last night, the Yanks threw another one away. I don't get Fatso sometimes. I don't understand how he can throw near-no-no's some days and other days just be fat. I guess that's the way every pitcher is, but I guess I just think the Mound on the Mound transcends basic athletic make-up.

Joe Maddon continued to annoyed the f outta me, and his brilllllliiiiaaannntt intellect gave us this quote, when he was asked about his upcoming season finish that features games against the toughest of the tough (Seattle, KC, and Baltimore):

"I know on paper it looks good, but from my perspective I don't take anybody for granted," Maddon said. "We just have to keep playing the kind of game we played the last two nights. I've been an anti-assumptionist for the last few years -- I don't want to start right now."

Oh, is that right? You've been an "anti-assumptionist" for the last few years? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? You suck.

The Yanks took an early 2-0 lead with a bomb from Timms. TB got on the board with a ribbie from Zobrist in the 3rd, the Yanks stretched it to a 3-1 lead when Swish drove in Golson.

Then the 6th inning happened.

And, well, things sort of fell apart pretty quickly.

Let's just skip all the hits that were going on, and the granular shit that happened, but suffice to say all of a sudden it's 3-3 and the bases are loaded with only 1 out.

Girardi pulled when he walked a run in, on a 4th ball that was infuriatingly masquerading as a strike. (I mean this when I say that I never see CC argue balls and strikes. Really. Not like a "And you NEVER see Jeter argue calls!" way, where the sentiment is uttered so many times that it's lost validity a long time ago.)

The they bring in Joba, and he doesn't know what the f he's doing, so he lets in a couple of runs before Javy comes in.

"He's gonna be a great reliever for us in the playoffs," my buddy notes.

But Javy looks confused too, and starts pitching like a loony tune. If it wasn't hitting the batter, it was certainly hitting the bat, which isn't an objective that any good pitcher should really aim for. (If Javy was even aiming at all. Tough to say really.)

"He's gonna kill us in the playoffs."

"I thought you just said he was gonna be great."

"I changed my mind. He's gonna suck. Can't I change my mind? Well, I just did."

So, there's that.

You know what though? The score really makes the loss look a lot worse than it actually was. David Price was by no means unhittable. Not at all. His line score was pretty close to that of Fatty.

Price: 8H, 4BB, 7K, 1HR
CC: 10H, 3BB, 6K, 0HR

The only place that their numbers differed was the tiny detail of runs scored. 3 vs 7. Sooo, ok fine Price gets the edge there.

Once again, the games were handed over to the bullpens, and am I wrong, but wasn't the Yank pen like the best in the game pretty recently? It's so weird, because I don't remember a time in recent years where I was EVER happy about seeing the game handed over to the pen. Even last year, when they were great. I don't know, I'm just like conditioned to assume the bullpen ruins everything.

(Barring one obvious exception, of course.)

The Rays stole our game plan of being patient at the plate and saw nearly 200 pitches over the course of the game.

Both teams stranded 9 runners, and the Rays were .384 with RISP to the Yanks .428. See? Not too different.

The score is lopsided but the teams are not.

The Yanks are better.

And maybe I'm just rationalizing things here, but I'm almost happy we have the tougher schedule.

Because that's how the champions are filtered from the simply great teams.

The Yanks will rise to the occasion. The Rays? Will just be a casualty.



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