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Is the Third Time the Charm for Javier Vazquez?

The Yankees open a six-game West Coast swing in Oakland tonight, with Javier Vazquez — still looking for his first win of the season — facing Gio Gonzalez. When we last saw Vazquez, he was getting booed off the mound at Yankee Stadium for the indefensible sin of losing two consecutive games. The nerve!

Of course, he was being booed not just for losing those two early season games, but for losing those two games and for being lousy after the All-Star break in 2004. The more we read that sentence, the more ridiculous it sounds. Then again, we sort of get it: Whether it's fair or not, he's going to have to win over fans in a way that most newcomers don't. So far, he hasn't done that.

It doesn't help Vazquez that there isn't a whole lot else to complain about in Yankeeland right now — at least not yet — and he's the only starter with two losses so far. (In fact, he's the only starter with any losses so far.) The good news? He's got good numbers against all the A's with any kind of real history against him. And for what it's worth, he's spent the last five days working with Dave Eiland to correct a glitch in his mechanics and slow his delivery in an attempt to increase his velocity. Says Vazquez: "It's easily correctable."

Photo: J. Meric/Getty Images