I had the triathlon view of this game – tracking the first 3 1/2 innings via Gameday, watching the last 5 1/2 innings on FOX, and listening to the 2 innings in between those stops on the radio, during my commute home this evening. I wonder how many other Yankees fans were plugged into this one the same way?
I know that many in Yankeeland want to stick pins in their General Joe Voodoo dolls after this game – for lifting David Robertson and inserting Alfredo Aceves. But, I’m guessing that the Yankees had some reports that suggested Howie Kendrick did poorly against some pitch that Aceves throws and Robertson does not…
Funny, had this game ended differently, the goat would have been Bobby Abreu for his monster base-running mistake in the 8th inning…leading to that crazy 8-6-2 putout. Maybe Abreu should send Girardi some flowers and chocolates for this one?
In any event, given that this was a one-run loss…and, if I saw the graphic on FOX correctly, the first ALCS game, ever, now, that the Yankees have lost where they once held a lead of 3+ runs…I can’t help but to lament these three plays:
1. Top of the 2nd inning, Yanks have runners on first and second with no outs, and then runners on first and third with one out, and they do not score. Bad jobs there by Cano, Swisher and, to an extent, Cabrera.
2. Top of the 4th inning, Yanks have runners on first and second with no outs, and then runners on first and third with one out, and they do not score. Bad jobs there again by Cano, Swisher and, to an extent, Cabrera.
3. Top of the 8th inning, Matsui walks with no outs and Gardner is inserted to pinch run. Two pitches later, Gardner is nailed, attempting to steal, on a pitch-out. Two pitches after that Posada hits a huge, clutch, homerun to tie the game. But, losing Gardner as a baserunner in that spot was a big mistake.
If the Yankees score just one run in any one of these three situations, they either win this game or it’s still just tied when Aceves gives up that double to Jeff Mathis in the 11th inning.
On the plus-side today, besides Posada’s great homer, Johnny Damon deserves a big gold star for saving the game in the 10th inning backing up third base and stopping Rivera’s wild throw.
So, here’s the deal. The Yankees used seven relief pitchers in this game. And, they used seven relief pitchers in the game on Saturday. Now, in their next game, CC Sabathia is pitching for them on three-days rest. If the big lefty can only go five innings tomorrow, this could be a tied-series before you know it…
Now, for some miscellaneous observations…
By my unofficial count, Joba Chamberlain has faced 12 batters this post-season and has allowed 5 hits.
Is it just me, or, does anyone else think that Erick Aybar, Clint Howard and Cha-ka from the Land of the Lost all go to the same dentist?
Lastly, is there any chance that maybe Johnny Damon catches that drive off Mathis’ bat in the 11th inning for the third out of the inning?