By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater April 23, 2007 at 10:40AM
It was a painful thing to watch if you were a Yankee fan (or a Twins fan who roots for NY also). Going into the weekend with such high hopes, the first 3 of 18 games in the best rivalry in baseball . A-Rod playing out of his mind, putting up numbers in the month of April never before seen in the American League and rarely approached in NL history. He then homers twice in the opening game of the series at Fenway, but the vaunted bullpen blows it, including a total meltdown by an ineffective Mariano Rivera (I thought he wasn't coming in before the 9th inning this year!)
In fact, the Yankees blew leads in every game this weekend, and the pitching staff is a complete mess. If you missed it, Chase Wright (who?)--the rookie who started on Sunday against the Red Sox--gave up 4 (count 'em, 4!) consecutive solo homers in the third inning (back to back to back to back jacks!), only the second time in baseball history that's been accomplished. Ironically, the last time it was done, the father of Boston's current Manager, Terry Francona, was one of the hitters to do it. Yet even after that outburst of power (or bad pitching, take your pick), NY tied it up and went ahead again but to no avail.
Even with an All-Star at virtually every position and a $200 million dollar payroll, the Yankees pitching staff is just way too old and injury prone or too young and inexperienced to not put a ridiculous strain on the relief staff. I know it's only April, and A-Rod may end up with the greatest offensive stats ever, but this team is in genuine danger of losing the division title to the Red Sox (and their vastly superior starting pitching) for the first time in a decade. Who says you shouldn't push the panic button in the first 4 weeks of the season?