Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yankees season in review

Record: 94-68, second in AL East, Wild Card winner.

Defining moment: Fed up, Torre shuts the clubhouse doors on May 28 in Toronto and rips into his team, leaving veteran players stunned and whispering to each other that they had never seen the longtime skipper so angry. Torre told reporters that day that most of the address had covered tentative behavior; certainly the manager unloaded enough aggressiveness to help spur the Yankees to a Major League-best 51-25 record after the All-Star break.

What went right: The left-handed batters in the lineup awoke all around the same time, with Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano, Damon and Hideki Matsui helping power the second-half offense. Rodriguez was the best offensive player in baseball, leading the Majors in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. Posada batted a career high .338, and Melky Cabrera gave the club energy after claiming the center field job. Chien-Ming Wang won 19 games for the second straight year.

What went wrong: Early season injuries prompted Andy Pettitte to pause and reflect that the Yankees rotation was just himself and four rookies. Kei Igawa pitched his way all down to Class A; Roger Clemens gave the Yankees just six wins after a dramatic entrance. Jason Giambi missed two months with a foot injury and started just one postseason game. Kyle Farnsworth, Brian Bruney and Scott Proctor never fit into the bullpen mix. Mike Mussina made a two-year contract look like a bad investment.

Biggest surprise: Joba Chamberlain wasn't even invited to Spring Training, but skyrocketed from Class A Tampa all the way to the big leagues by Aug. 7. Once he got there, the dominant right-hander was nearly unhittable, not allowing a run in his first 15 1/3 innings and striking out 34 batters in 24 innings. If not for a swarm of too-friendly Lake Erie midges that attacked Chamberlain in Game 2 of the ALDS, the postseason story might have played out differently.

2007 Yankees statistical leaders

Average: Jorge Posada, .338
Doubles: Jorge Posada, 43
Triples: Melky Cabrera, 8
Home runs: Alex Rodriguez, 54
Runs: Rodriguez, 143
RBIs: Rodriguez, 156
Stolen bases: Johnny Damon, 27

Wins: Chien-Ming Wang, 19
Losses: Mike Mussina, 10
ERA (starter): Wang, 3.70
ERA (reliever, min. 10 app.): Joba Chamberlain, 0.38
Saves: Mariano Rivera, 30

full article here

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