• October 4th @ The Rays

    Posted by on October 4th, 2009 · Comments (33)

    Missed this one. Too nice not to be outside enjoying a Sunday on a day like today. Took the family for a nice lunch and then some browsing. So, everything I know about this one comes from after-the-fact reports.

    First, from what I can tell, that IBB to Mark Teixeira in the sixth inning was bush league. And, those on the Rays who made that call should now come down with a pox, if there’s such a thing as baseball karma…

    And, yes, A-Rod made them pay…and good for him…well, sorta/kinda.

    Leave it to Alex Rodriguez to hit two homeruns and drive in seven in one inning – setting a new A.L. record for most RBI in an inning – in an absolute “garbage time” situation…meaning game #162 and facing a rookie, Wade Davis, and a guy who can’t get anyone out this year, Andy Sonnanstine. Truly…seriously…the only guys who have been worse than Sonnanstine, this year in the A.L., are Jason Berken and Fausto Carmona. (Well, maybe you can throw Luke Hochevar and Derek Holland in there too?)

    Now, on to the most important news of the day: The news about the race for the A.L. Central.

    Could the ALDS be set up any better, now, for the Yankees? First, they get to face the weakest seed in the A.L. post-season – and don’t have to worry about the Red Sox or Angels until the ALCS. And, whichever team they face, albeit the Tigers or Twins, their opponent will be running on fumes.

    Oh, my stars and garters, if the Yankees somehow manage to now screw up the ALDS…well, it will be very ugly, for sure.

    Comments on October 4th @ The Rays

    1. MJ
      October 4th, 2009 | 7:20 pm

      Leave it to Alex Rodriguez to hit two homeruns and drive in seven in one inning – setting a new A.L. record for most RBI in an inning – in an absolute “garbage time” situation…meaning game #162 and facing a rookie, Wade Davis, and a guy who can’t get anyone out this year, Andy Sonnanstine. Truly…seriously…the only guys who have been worse than Sonnanstine, this year in the A.L., are Jason Berken and Fausto Carmona. (Well, maybe you can throw Luke Hochevar and Derek Holland in there too?)
      ——
      Because the appropriate thing to do — in your eyes, at least — would’ve been to not hit the ball hard, lest anyone accuse him of stat padding, right?

      Seriously, how ridiculous a criticism can you levy on a guy? The ball comes in fat and he hits it hard. What is he supposed to do? You make it seem like he was being SELFISH by hitting those HR’s. Your criticism is just outrageous.

      Oh, and by the way, Derek Holland has been better than you think. The Yanks would be fortunate to have a pitcher like Derek Holland on their ballclub.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-impressive-derek-holland/

    2. JeremyM
      October 4th, 2009 | 7:39 pm

      I agree, from now on he needs to simply leave the bat on his shoulders unless the situation can be considered “clutch” in a big game facing someone the equivalent of say Bob Gibson.

      So now he can’t hit a go-ahead three-run homer to take the lead because the game is meaningless and he can’t wallop a grand slam when the opportunity presents itself? I’m at a loss on this one. I thought the ridiculous criticism of A-Rod was over, but I guess not.

    3. clintfsu813
      October 4th, 2009 | 8:07 pm

      Leave it to The Yanks to whoop ass the one game I dont go to this weekend. :( I was glad for team to end the season on such a good note. Everyone looked good today. I was mostly glad to see AJ finish off with a good win. Hes been great lately. Also, anyone see how good Joba looked coming out of the pen? He was really getting it in there. I think hes gonna be great this October. P.S. The amazing Rays announcers were giving Sonnanstine all kinds of praise for that bush league IBB. Enjoy the postseason douche bags. See yall next year!

    4. October 4th, 2009 | 8:19 pm

      @ MJ: Re: Derek Holland…
      AL this season, coming into today’s game:

      RSAA                           RSAA      IP     
      1    Fausto Carmona              -31    125.1   
      2    Jason Berken                -27    119.2   
      3    Andy Sonnanstine            -26     98.2   
      T4   Chien-Ming Wang             -24     42     
      T4   Luke Hochevar               -24    140     
      6    Derek Holland               -23    138.1   
      T7   David Huff                  -21    128.1   
      T7   Rich Hill                   -21     57.2   
      9    Scott Richmond              -19    138.2   
      T10  Francisco Liriano           -18    135.2   
      T10  Adam Eaton                  -18     41     
      T10  Brian Tallet                -18    160.2   
      T10  Armando Galarraga           -18    143.2   
      
    5. Evan3457
      October 4th, 2009 | 8:31 pm

      Oh, my stars and garters, if the Yankees somehow manage to now screw up the ALDS…well, it will be very ugly, for sure.

      Even I can’t dispute that. Damm.

    6. October 4th, 2009 | 11:53 pm

      What if he had struck out in either situation? Would you have thought, “No big deal, it’s garbage time,” or would you have made some remark about how “A-Rod looked at the calendar and saw it was October, ha ha”?

    7. Pat F
      October 5th, 2009 | 1:13 am

      unfortunately no on “if the yankees somehow manage to now screw up the ALDS”. could actually end up playing to the tigers/twins advantage, having an off day to regroup, feeling good coming in off a win (whoever wins tuesday), and not having any rust. could go the yankees’ way too, with either team on fumes as you said. but if you understand athletic competition, especially in the context of a 5 game series in baseball, you know that no advantage is big enough that one team should win no matter what. not that simple.

      have you seen alex rodriguez’s clutch stats this year? ridiculously good. his impact on the team, both his individual production, his effect on the rest of the lineup, and his incredible production is a big reason the yankees went on the tear they went on in the second half.

      very nice point lisaswan.

    8. October 5th, 2009 | 7:38 am

      Thanks, Pat F.

      One other point – if Teixeira had gotten his 40th homer there, wouldn’t that be tainted for being a “garbage time” situation?

    9. October 5th, 2009 | 10:15 am

      O.K. here’s the deal on the A-Rod grand slam…

      1. It was game #162 for both the Yankees and Rays. A meaningless game – as a win or loss meant nothing to either team.

      2. At the time he hit it, the Yankees had a clear lead in the game, only needing 9 more outs to end it.

      3. He hit it off a guy who has been one of the worst pitchers in the league this season, someone who’s been an absolute human batting-tee.

      If that’s not a “garbage time” homerun, then, hey, congrats, you have the best Yankees-blinders on that money can buy…

      Sure, yes, the homerun and the RBI count. It’s an official game, etc. But, you will have to excuse me if I don’t run out and start to buy “I was alive when A-Rod set the A.L. record for most RBI in one inning!” T-shirts for me and all my loved ones.

      Do something like that in a game that the Tigers and Twins will be playing tomorrow – now, THAT, would be impressive and worth getting wet over…but, A-Rod’s “feat” yesterday, again, for me, it’s no more exciting than if a guy hit 5 homeruns in a Spring Training game…because it was “garbage time” stat padding…

      But, if you disagree, that’s fine. The ALDS starts in 2 days. That’s a great spot for A-Rod. Hopefully he’ll have a 7-RBI inning in every one of those ALDS games for the Yankees.

    10. October 5th, 2009 | 10:16 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      One other point – if Teixeira had gotten his 40th homer there, wouldn’t that be tainted for being a “garbage time” situation?

      Yup. If he hit it in the last game of the season, that meant nothing in the standings, near the end of the game, with the game out of hand, against a crap pitcher, sure, it’s a garbage time HR.

    11. YankCrank
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:11 am

      Come on Steve, really?

      On Friday in your post-game comments you rip on CC for underperforming and being in “postseason form” in a meaningless game but discredit A-Rod for hitting well in a meaningless game on Friday? That’s ridiculous.

      What A-Rod did yesterday was just a final example of all he did to make this team complete this year. Tip your cap and say thank you for working hard to come back and produce 30 HR and 100 RBI on one good hip.

      Fuck, what does this guy have to do to make Yankee fans appreciate him? Of all the MVPS and incredible years he’s had, this was arguably his greatest accomplishment.

    12. Raf
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:20 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      On Friday in your post-game comments you rip on CC for underperforming and being in “postseason form” in a meaningless game but discredit A-Rod for hitting well in a meaningless game on Friday? That’s ridiculous.

      That’s an understatement.

    13. Raf
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:22 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Sure, yes, the homerun and the RBI count. It’s an official game, etc. But, you will have to excuse me if I don’t run out and start to buy “I was alive when A-Rod set the A.L. record for most RBI in one inning!” T-shirts for me and all my loved ones.

      I don’t think anyone suggested that. Not even close.

      This is like the Cone 19k game in Philly a bunch of years back. The game meant nothing to the two teams, but still, it was cool to watch.

    14. October 5th, 2009 | 11:30 am

      CC going for his 20th win, to reach 20 for the 1st time ever in his career, is a meaningless game? Not for him…I would bet.

    15. MJ
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:38 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      CC going for his 20th win, to reach 20 for the 1st time ever in his career, is a meaningless game? Not for him…I would bet.

      Huh? A personal milestone has meaning and value for one player but if another player achieves a personal milestone it’s stat-padding and garbage time?

      You just flat-out contradicted yourself right there.

    16. Corey
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:39 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      CC going for his 20th win, to reach 20 for the 1st time ever in his career, is a meaningless game? Not for him…I would bet.

      You don’t think it meant anything to A-Rod?

    17. Raf
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:42 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ MJ: Re: Derek Holland…
      AL this season, coming into today’s game:
      RSAA RSAA IP
      6 Derek Holland -23 138.1

      This is Holland’s rookie year and he’s taking his lumps while posting solid peripherals.

      From the link MJ posted
      For comparison, Holland is the 20th rookie pitcher in baseball history to throw at least 120 innings and post a BB/9 below 3.5 and a K/9 above 7.0. Of the 20 pitchers, only three others besides Holland have posted a below average ERA during that rookie season – John Danks in 2007, James Shields in 2006, and Roger Clemens in 1984.

      In his second year, Danks saw his ERA drop from 5.50 to 3.32. Shields went from 4.84 to 3.85. Clemens went from 4.32 to 3.29. All of them knocked a run per game off their ERA totals the following year.

      I’d be willing to take my chances with Holland.

    18. MJ
      October 5th, 2009 | 11:55 am

      Raf wrote:

      I’d be willing to take my chances with Holland.

      My three favorite young pitchers in baseball are (in order): Brett Anderson, Chris Tillman and Derek Holland.

      If only the clock hadn’t struck midnight on the pumpkin named #62 and he could turn into one of those three…

    19. Raf
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:09 pm

      MJ wrote:

      If only the clock hadn’t struck midnight on the pumpkin named #62 and he could turn into one of those three…

      I wouldn’t write Joba off just yet. He’s a year older than Holland, and stumbled this year after posting consecutive good years.

    20. October 5th, 2009 | 12:13 pm

      @ MJ:Hey, I’m happy for A-Rod to reach 30/100 again. Good for him. That’s not my issue. My thing is that we shouldn’t be going gaga over 2 HR and 7 RBI in one inning – and “the A.L. Record” thing…that’s all…because the back end of those RBI came in garbage time…extreme garbage time.

    21. YankCrank
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:13 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      CC going for his 20th win, to reach 20 for the 1st time ever in his career, is a meaningless game? Not for him…I would bet.

      A-Rod going for 30 HR and 100 RBI for the 13th time and 12th in a row would be a baseball record, and a personal milestone…i’m missing your point. 20 wins for CC is a meaningful game but yesterday wasn’t for A-Rod? I think your blinders are showing.

    22. MJ
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:17 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ MJ:Hey, I’m happy for A-Rod to reach 30/100 again. Good for him. That’s not my issue. My thing is that we shouldn’t be going gaga over 2 HR and 7 RBI in one inning – and “the A.L. Record” thing…that’s all…because the back end of those RBI came in garbage time…extreme garbage time.

      I don’t think anyone’s “going gaga” and adding A-Rod to their MVP ballot. It’s simply a celebration of a personal milestone that is (1) impressive on its own merits and (2) was achieved in a rare and memorable way that happened to set a record.

      Game 1, Game 162, vs. the Cy Young winner or vs. the worst pitcher in the history of the universe, it doesn’t matter. He still had to hit the other 29 HR and drive in the other 96 runs to get to 30/100 for the year. Personal milestones can be achieved even in “garbage time” without the significance of those milestones being tainted.

      YankCrank wrote:

      I think your blinders are showing.

      Exactly right.

    23. Corey
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:17 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, I’m happy for A-Rod to reach 30/100 again. Good for him. That’s not my issue. My thing is that we shouldn’t be going gaga over 2 HR and 7 RBI in one inning – and “the A.L. Record” thing…that’s all…because the back end of those RBI came in garbage time…extreme garbage time.

      I think your arguing with yourself on this point, I don’t see anyone else even mentioning the record for RBI in 1 inning.

    24. clintfsu813
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:30 pm

      The Rays went gaga over the Cycle that Upton got. Not that Arods accomplishment was better..just saying.

    25. MJ
      October 5th, 2009 | 12:39 pm

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      The Rays went gaga over the Cycle that Upton got.

      The Rays are a disgusting franchise and my comment from Saturday still stands. I want the Yanks to end Longoria’s career next April (since they didn’t get around to it this weekend). Hitting Teixeira was bad but then walking him was just cheesy. The Rays should go (eff) themselves all winter and again next spring. Nice AL title defense, losers.

    26. Scott Ham
      October 5th, 2009 | 1:23 pm

      Steve, I think your stripes are showing.

      I haven’t heard any quotes from ARod overstating his accomplishment. The media is covering it, which is about the only thing you can be taking exception to.

      If a player is in a game and a pitcher throws him a fat pitch, why shouldn’t that player hit it? ARod has had plenty of important hits this season. He has been more than clutch. getting your panties in a bunch over one game says more about your bias against ARod and the media than it does about the right and wrong about the situation.

      It’s your blog. You can be as biased as you want. But when you try and defend your bias with lackluster reasoning, you insult your audience.

      Own up to your bias and then you’ll at least have a legit opinion. As it is, you’re knocking a man for playing baseball the way he is paid to play it.

    27. October 5th, 2009 | 2:50 pm

      [...] •  Some people have used ARod’s 2 home run 7 RBI performance yesterday as reason to rip him a bit. [...]

    28. October 5th, 2009 | 4:34 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Wait a minute here. You went from complaining that Tampa Bay didn’t let Mark Teixeira try for 40 homers, to griping about A-Rod hitting a “garbage time” home run against that very same pitcher! Why is Tex’s personal stat worth achieving (or CC’s,) and Alex’s isn’t?

      Besides, your blog is filled with all sorts of interesting stats and comparisons. Yet when it comes to A-Rod doing something nobody else have ever done, you have to denigrate it?C’mon now.

      Nobody’s putting the numbers on a t-shirt, and everybody is aware he needs to do it in October. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with noticing that his great year, on one hip, as YankCrank puts it, is one of the main reasons the Yanks are going to October in the first place.

    29. Pat F
      October 5th, 2009 | 4:41 pm

      very good job pointing out the contradiction here by steve, and that maybe he is the one wearing blinders. which wouldn’t be an issue if he wasn’t always talking about others who allegedly wear blinders.

    30. Evan3457
      October 5th, 2009 | 9:55 pm

      I disagree from another angle.

      In walking Tex to load the bases for A-Rod with a 6-2 deficit already in place, Maddon was doing two things:

      1) He was placing individual accomplishment for his players (i.e., protecting Pena’s share of the HR title) ahead of winning the game. (It could be argued that he walked the lefty to have his righty pitcher pitch to the righty, except that he was already down 4 in the 6th inning, with the Yanks’ top relievers lined up to close it out, and also that A-Rod has hit Sonnanstine in his career BEFORE the grand slam yesterday (4-13 with 1 HR, 0 K, 1 BB). Tex was 3-11 with 2 HR vs. Sonnastine but with 4 K’s and 1 BB.)

      2) Aside from the nebulous tactical gain of walking Tex to pitch to A-Rod down 4, he was telling the Yanks and Tex four things: a) We think your pitcher hit Pena deliberately. b) When we hit Tex Friday night leading off the game, it was deliberate. c) There is no way we’re letting Tex win the HR title alone, no matter if it costs us this game. d) Up yours!

      I was in a Yankee Game Chat with about 20 other fans during much of this game. I can tell you, among all the fans in there, even among the ones who hate A-Rod and think he’s the biggest choke alive, not a one of them didn’t want to see him stick it to Maddon and the Rays, punishing them for screwing Tex out of his chance to win the HR title. The sentiment on the Yanks bench was the same. When A-Rod hit the Grand Slam, the Chat went wild. So did the Yanks’ bench. They knew what Maddon had done, and they were thrilled for A-Rod.

      The grand slam was an important team moment. Not for winning the title, not for the playoffs not even for winning the game, but nevertheless important to the team at that moment. Maddon punked Tex and the team, and A-Rod responded. Maybe his response was “not at all clutch”, “selfish” and “stat-padding”, but it was the best possible response at the moment that the Yanks could give.

      It is equal to even one lousy single with RISP in game 2 of the ALDS? No. But it was big at the time, even if all it did was take a “won” game, and turn it into a “won won” game. Nobody’s suggesting that it’s worthy of sending the bat and ball to Cooperstown (although, it is a record, and they might actually want them).

    31. YankCrank
      October 6th, 2009 | 9:14 am

      Great post Evan, makes a lot of sense.

    32. clintfsu813
      October 6th, 2009 | 9:22 am

      God, I hate the Rays.

    33. Corey
      October 6th, 2009 | 9:28 am

      Since I missed this game, I gotta question: Did any of the players act as the manager for this game?

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.