Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yankees Coming Up Aces

Lots has been made this season of the Yankees' perceived inability to beat top teams in the league. Never mind the winning records against the Rays, Rangers and Tigers; what people notice is the 2-4 against Anaheim and 0-8 against Boston.

Sure, given the Yankees' recent playoff history, concerns about the Yankees' ability to beat those teams have some merit, but it's not everything.

Consider this:

This season alone, the Yankees have victories against Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, and Mark Buerhle. Those four pitchers are widely considered among the best talent in the league.

Clearly, then, if the Yankees have trouble beating decent teams it's not because they can't beat decent pitching.

It's certainly true that the Yankees beat up on bad teams--they are 40-13 against sub-.500 teams--but leaving it at that would be painting an incomplete picture. Although they are a few games under .500 against winning teams, much of the damage has been done by their record against the Red Sox.

It would be folly to suggest who you win against doesn't matter, since division games count for so much more, but ultimately what matters on September 30th is how many wins your team has.

Ninety-five wins, and you might see October. Even a number as high as 92, however, is probably not enough in the American League, even for Wild Card consideration.

Still, if the Yankees are out there beating the best that other teams have to offer, perhaps it's okay to worry just a little bit less about that Boston record...