Homestand Heat

Facing 17 game winner and Cy Young candidate Roy Halliday, the Sox looked like they could be in a wee bit of trouble down 3-0 early. Burkett’s only real mistake was a bomb given up to Carlos Delgado…and it is tough to get down on a guy for giving up a dinger to one of the more dangerous hitters in the league.

But the offense turned up the Homestand Heat, and scored 6 runs on 3 homers. The Sox bats have been unbelievable during this homestand. In the last 9 games, as a TEAM, they are hitting .336, with 64 runs scored on 14 HR and 34 total extra base hits. 32% of their hits on this homestand have been for extra bases.

And down south, maybe the wheels are falling off a bit…for the second night in a row, a 40 year old starter got knocked around pretty good. Except this time, his coaches and teammates are calling him out:

David Wells’ everyman act is a laugh when he wins. When he gets hitters out, defying his age and physique, his “attitude” plays well with the paying customers.

But Wells is not winning now, he is not getting hitters out, and the act – the work habits, the ‘tude – is wearing thin in the Yankees clubhouse.

“He needs to do more work,” pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said after Wells took a severe pounding and the Yankees were beaten 11-2 by the White Sox at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night. “He has not been throwing between starts, and it shows. He’s made a lot of bad pitches his last couple of times out.”

Wells allowed 11 hits, nine for extra bases, and 10 earned runs in 51/3 innings. For the third time in a row he skated out of the locker room without talking to reporters.

That left his catcher, Jorge Posada, and his pitching coach to do the talking.

“It gets to you,” Posada said. “I’m trying to call a good game, and the location [of pitches] is not where it’s supposed to be. … I’m angry because I care.”

Stottlemyre said he has “no recourse” if Wells does not want to throw, but Torre has total trust in his pitching coach. If Stottlemyre recommends that Wells not start again without a bullpen session, Torre will back him. “The throwing is part of the conditioning he has to do,” Stottlemyre said. AMORE

You also might notice to the left that I’m changing the rules a bit. Especially after what has happened the past two nights in New York; this 19 game stretch should be considered a 25 game stretch (as some pointed out from the get-go). The six games added to the tail end of this stretch include 3 teams in playoff contention….at Philly (1), at Chicago (2), and at New York (3). Also, to the right, for the rest of the year I will keep track of the 4 teams fighting for 3 playoff spots in the AL.

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