The Yanks lost again today to the Los Angeles Angels, making them three and six over their past nine. Roger Clemens will start for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this Monday and George Steinbrenner is talking openly about the fact that GM Brian Cashmanâ€™s job is on the line.
ESPN.com reported that Yankee owner Steinbrenner told The Associated Press that Cashmanâ€™s â€œon a big hook.â€? Speaking in his Tampa office, the big boss noted, “He wanted sole authority. He got it. Now he’s got to deliver.”
Steinbrenner said that when his team was 21- 24 and 9.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox. The Yanks still have 21 wins but two more losses since that statement was made and are now 11 games behind Boston.
The Yanks have some of the best hitting in the league. Theyâ€™re tied with Boston and Detroit for the best league batting average at .278 and their team OB% is only second to the Red Sox at .356.
But pitching is another story. The Bronx Bombers are 11th in team ERA with a 4.67 mark. Oakland is first with a 3.37 grade, Boston next at 3.63 and Los Angeles third at 3.73. The Yanks have given up the fourth most earned runsâ€”211! They are seventh in opposing team BA– .261. Perhaps the biggest stat though is the number of saves the staff has earned. While Detroit has 19, the Angels 16 and Boston, Chicago and Cleveland 15 each, the Yankees have only posted 3 saves. Thatâ€™s less than any team in the majors and 5 behind the lowly Texas Rangers!
Unless Clemens is going to become the teamâ€™s closerâ€”and a good oneâ€”or be able to pitch a bunch of complete games, the Yankees will not ride the Rocket very far.
Middle-relief is needed and there’s no Rolaids in sight.