2005_07_aaronmsall.jpgAnyone who bet on Aaron Small having two wins please stand up. The journeyman pitcher picked up by the Yankees in the king of desperation moves has beaten the Rangers in Texas and the Twins in the Bronx. The former accomplishment is more significant than the latter, given the anemic Twins offense, but the Yankees aren't complaining. They won another series from their personal punching bags and welcome the Angels, the team with the most success against the Yankees over the past several seasons. With recently-acquired Hideo Nomo set to start Saturday, the Yankees will likely need to win the starts by Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson to take the series from the Angels.

The signing of Nomo and the multiple starts of Small show how thin the Yankees' pitching is. That they haven't fallen out of the division race is a combination of good luck and the poor status of
Boston's pitching. For the Yankees to win theirdivision, they need their bullpen to pitch as well as it has, but they also need to continue their prolific offense. For all his detractors, Alex Rodriguez has had one of the best years in the Major Leagues, and Jason Giambi has had a tremendous July. With the lackluster state of other teams in the American League, the Yankees are capable of slugging their way into the playoffs. More wins by Aaron Small, of course, wouldn't hurt either.

Photograph by Tony Gutierrez for the AP