Maybe I’m really tired, or looking forward to the weekend starting – and the plans I have for the next few days; but, I’m starting to feel less “stung” by the Yankee loss last night – and beginning to put the whole thing in the rear-view mirror and closing the book on the 2011 season. How about you?
The game started at 8:07 PM and it was 2-0 Tigers by 8:10 PM. Talk about a quick punch to the gut. Ugh.
In the end, those two runs were important – as the Yankees lost, 3-2. But, the Yankees offense was a joke in this one – as one of their two runs was set up by two infield singles and a bases loaded walk.
And, to me, the key to this game, for the Yankees, was that aforementioned bases loaded situation. Just before that walk (to Teixiera) to force in the run, A-Rod was up at bat (with the sacks juiced) and there was only one out. In that situation, he has to get a run home – him being the clean-up batter, it being a sudden-death playoff game, it being the seventh inning, and the Yankees were down by two runs (at that time). He has to get the ball into the outfield. A hit would be great – but, a sac-fly would have been fine. But, Rodriguez stuck out.
It would be A-Rod’s theme for the night – as he went down on strikes three times, out of four trips to the plate, including the “K” to end the game, and the season, for the Yankees.
Rodriguez batted, and slugged, .111 for the ALDS – what a total dud. Where’s Anthony Galea when you need him?
Then again, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher were busts this ALDS too, for the most part, just like they’ve been in every post-season where they’ve played for the Yankees. Hey, they’re really nice guys, great for the media, and do a ton of wonderful charity work. And, they kill crappy pitching during the regular season. But, when it comes to October baseball, they suck. And, having A-Rod, Tex and Swish batting in a row is a huge “gimmie” to the opposing team. Chokers and whiff-masters. Not winning players.
In any event, this was a close game, whether it was 3-1 or 3-2, late in the contest. And, in my heart, I was hoping for a 2003 ALCS-like ending. As long as the Yankees kept it to a run or two, I sincerely felt like they had a chance to send everyone home walking on air. I knew that it was going to have to be Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Posada, Gardner – or maybe Martin – to get the job done. (And, Jeter came sorta/kinda close in the 8th inning.)
There was no way that the Yankees were going to lose this one, Game 5 of an ALDS, at Yankee Stadium, against the Tigers bullpen, just scoring two runs. No way. And, I think that most in the Stadium felt that way.
Yeah, the Yankees blew a chance in the 4th inning – bases loaded with one out. (And, Martin and then Gardner popped up.) But, there was just a feeling in the crowd – at least in my section – that something was going to happen in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning…
It couldn’t have just been me that felt this way, or, was it?
Once Cano homered in the fifth, getting the Yanks within two, I really, really, thought “As long as we don’t allow any more runs, we’re going to catch up and tie this game.” But, no dice.
I have to say, the place was packed – 50,960 were there.
In the top of the 5th inning, I quickly ran from my seat to go get a hot pretzel. (The stand is right behind my seats.) And, I saw a monster line. At first, I had no idea what the line was for – and then I realized what it was…it was a line just to get into the men’s room. It was a huge line – again, just to get into the restroom. I’m used to seeing that at the old Yankee Stadium. But, in all the times that I’ve been to the new Yankee Stadium – and it must be around 15 times that I’ve gone – I’ve never seen that before…
When A-Rod went down on strikes to end the game, they place emptied out – fast. It was like cockroaches fleeing when someone turned on a light. And, it was quiet. Even outside the Stadium, it seemed like everyone – the street vendors included – just wanted to get the hell out of there, as fast as possible.
Well, it was late – around 11:50 PM – at that point. And, that could have been in play here. (For the record, I didn’t get home until 1:35 AM.) But, I think that everyone was just sick that the Yankees lost this game and wanted to run home.
Before I left my seat, I did take a quick look at the Tigers celebrating on the field after the A-Rod whiff to end it. And, it was sickening to see them jumping around on the Yankee Stadium turf. (I even muttered out-loud, to myself, as I left my seat “Sure, act like you just won the World Series, why don’t you? Geez…”)
It’s hard to capture what it felt like to be there for this one. It was exciting before the game. Confident. There was little doubt that the Yankees wouldn’t win this one. After Nova allowed the two homers in the first, so quickly, it was “What the f*ck?” time – but, that went away as the Yankees kept the game close. And, there was still a ton of hope…when the bases were loaded in the 4th, when Cano homered in the 5th, when the bases were loaded in the 7th…after Gardner singled in the 8th…
The crowd was trying to will something into happening. But, no cigar.
Being there, and watching it in person, just made you feel dirty afterwards. Like you had been used. And, it is going to take more than a shower to make that feeling go away. Hell, as I write this, it’s almost eight hours after the game ended and I still feel sick to my stomach over this one.
It’s not 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003 or 2004 sick. But, it’s worse than 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2010 sick. Maybe because it was at home and so close? Maybe it’s because I was there in person?
Driving home, I was listening to the post-game on 880 and then WFAN after that. And, I heard Jeter keep using the word “disappointing.” That is an understatement. The Yankees should not have lost this game – and this series. But, they did. And, now, they, and we, have to live with it.
I’ll be at the game tonight – and expect to get in too late to comment on it, right after it ends. So, feel free to use this post to leave your in-game and post-game comments. I should have something up on the game on Friday.
Anyone else have any fears about Miggy Cabrera, or another Tigers player, wrecking the game for the Yankees tonight like these guys (below) did in the past?
|1||Johnny Damon||2004-10-20||ALCS||7||BOS||NYY||W 10-3||6||6||2||3||0||0||2||9||6|
|2||Pedro Guerrero||1981-10-28||WS||6||LAD||NYY||W 9-2||5||5||1||3||0||1||1||8||5|
|3||Johnny Bench||1976-10-21||WS||4||CIN||NYY||W 7-2||4||4||2||2||0||0||2||8||5|
|4||Shawn Wooten||2002-10-05||ALDS||4||ANA||NYY||W 9-5||4||4||3||3||0||0||1||6||2|
|5||Grady Sizemore||2007-10-08||ALDS||4||CLE||NYY||W 6-4||5||3||2||2||0||0||1||5||1|
|6||Magglio Ordonez||2006-10-07||ALDS||4||DET||NYY||W 8-3||4||4||3||2||0||0||1||5||2|
|7||Ken Griffey||1995-10-08||ALDS||5||SEA||NYY||W 6-5||6||5||2||2||0||0||1||5||1|
|8||Edgar Martinez||1995-10-08||ALDS||5||SEA||NYY||W 6-5||6||6||0||3||2||0||0||5||2|
|9||Joey Cora||1995-10-08||ALDS||5||SEA||NYY||W 6-5||6||5||2||2||0||0||1||5||1|
Or, are you confident that the Yankees will be able to stay away from someone being a one-man nightmare this evening?
Amazing, huh? I like the Yankees chances in that one. Nova on full rest. Back in the Bronx. Tigers have to be thinking “We really didn’t want to come back here.”
Don’t push it Joe…
This is a gift. Don’t keep trying to milk the same cow forever…
Let’s hope that this evening is not a case of “First you mime it, then you do it” for A.J. Burnett. And, that he doesn’t join these notable “efforts” in Yankees history:
|Kevin Brown||2004-10-20||ALCS||7||NYY||BOS||L 3-10||1.1||4||5||5||2||1||1||44|
|Phil Hughes||2010-10-22||ALCS||6||NYY||TEX||L 1-6||4.2||4||4||4||4||3||0||83|
|Chien-Ming Wang||2007-10-08||ALDS||4||NYY||CLE||L 4-6||1.0||5||4||4||0||0||1||32|
|Jaret Wright||2006-10-07||ALDS||4||NYY||DET||L 3-8||2.2||5||4||3||1||1||2||56|
Via Joel Sherman -
Brian Cashman insisted it was “not a guarantee,” yet the Yankees general manager repeated several times this morning that “I expect to win the next two games” and advance to the ALCS.
The Yankees face elimination Tuesday night with Detroit leading this best-of-five Division Series two-games-to-one. But, of all things, the loss that put the Yankees on the brink actually has Cashman encouraged about the abilities and mental makeup of his squad.
“(Justin) Verlander had Nolan Ryan stuff and we figured out a way to score four runs and be in that game,” Cashman told The Post by phone. “This team is tough. Verlander was amazing last night and what we did against him was amazing, too. I know we lost, but I think we have a mentally tough team. I know it is not a good spot to be down two-to-one, but this team is tougher than people think. I believe in our guys. It is not a good spot, but I believe we will win the next two games.”
Verlander, after the first inning of Game 3, locked in with all four of his pitches, particularly bedeviling the Yankees with a fastball in the 96-101 mph range and with a curveball that was buckling knees one hitter after another. Yet Brett Gardner’s two-run double in the seventh tied the score before Rafael Soriano served up a game-deciding homer to Delmon Young in the bottom of the inning in what became a 5-4 Detroit triumph.
“It was spectacular what we did against Verlander,” Cashman said. “It is an indicator that we are not going away. That we are going to be tough to put down – and I don’t expect us to be put down.”
However, to survive, the Yankees have to first win in Detroit on Tuesday night with A.J. Burnett simply to get back to The Bronx for a decisive game Thursday.
“It’s A.J. and everybody else,” Cashman said, speaking of the bullpen being on instant alert for Game 4. “If everything is working for him, (Burnett) will be tough on the Tigers. If not, I will expect Phil Hughes (to relieve) and be on. Or the next guy.”
I sincerely believe, if the Yankees can get to Game 5, they have a decent shot at reaching the ALCS. But, I don’t share Cashman’s “can do” attitude about Game 4. Not with Burnett starting, and Hughes next in line, and with A-Rod, Teixeira and Swisher not hitting. I can see this one snowballing quickly and the Yankees finding themselves in a hole that the hitters cannot escape from…like Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS…or Game 4 of the 2006 ALDS…or Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS…or Game 4 of the 2002 ALDS. (Which, by the way, all happened on Cashman’s watch.)
Burnett’s career games at Comerica Park:
|1||2011-05-05||NYY||DET||L 3-6||GS-7 ,L||7.0||3||5||2||1||5||0||113||73||61|
|2||2008-08-12||TOR||DET||W 6-4||GS-6 ,W||6.0||8||4||4||1||6||3||108||68||45|
|3||2007-04-04||TOR||DET||L 9-10||GS-3 ,L||2.0||5||6||6||4||2||0||55||26||20|
|4||2006-09-28||TOR||DET||W 8-6||GS-7 ,W||6.1||5||5||5||2||8||0||106||65||49|
Burnett’s career post-season games:
|1||2010-10-19||ALCS||4||NYY||TEX||L 3-10||GS-6 ,L||6.0||6||5||5||3||4||1||99||62||41|
|2||2009-11-02||WS||5||NYY||PHI||L 6-8||GS-3 ,L||2.0||4||6||6||4||2||1||53||28||22|
|3||2009-10-29||WS||2||NYY||PHI||W 3-1||GS-7 ,W||7.0||4||1||1||2||9||0||108||68||72|
Burnett’s Home/Road Splits this season:
So, how are you feeling about A.J. Burnett’s chances this evening?
…they would bench Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira in Game 4 of the ALDS – and then play Eric Chavez at third, Jorge Posada at first, and Jesus Montero at DH.
But, that’s never going to happen. It’s no longer 1996 in Yankeeland. And, it’s way too much money to send to the pine. Also, way too much fall out to follow such a move from the players and the media.
I just hope that they have enough nerve to remove Burnett from the game the minute he allows his second run to score – no matter what the inning. Then again, I could see them replacing A.J. with Phil Hughes, if it’s early, and then Dough-Boy Large Head implodes and the game gets out of hand in a hurry. (Think of the hand-off between Kevin Brown and Javy Vazquez in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. Yes, it could be that ugly.)
Ah, heck, maybe something good happens Tuesday night? Maybe, somehow, the game is close for five innings and then General Joe goes to Robertson for two innings – and then to Mo for another two? Hey, that’s pushing it. But, the Yankees backs are against the wall here. They have to play this one like it’s sudden death…because it is…
But, in any event, the Yankees have to start getting some production from their fourth and fifth slots in the line-up.
A-Rod and Tex have done nothing so far this series. Granted, it’s only three games. But, Teixeira has never done anything for the Yankees in the post-season outside of the 2010 ALDS. And, Alex Rodriguez has done little for the Yankees in October outside of the 2004 ALDS and the 2009 Anthony Galea Spectacular! And, the Yankees are not playing the Twins now – like they did in the 2004 and 2010 ALDS. And, “Dr. G” ain’t around to stick anyone in the butt right now.
Bench ‘em, really. And, if not both, then at least one of them – and move the other one down to eighth in the line-up. It’s time.
On so many different levels.
But, most of all, it was the stat that they mentioned on TBS during the game…
That more than 80% of the time, the team that wins Game 3 of a five-game LDS, after being tied one-one in the series, goes on to win the whole thing and then advance to the next round.
And, of course, there’s the A.J. Burnett factor in Game 4.
I really like the Yankees chances to get to the ALCS if there’s a Game 5 in this ALDS. But, after this one, and A.J. being A.J., I don’t feel good, at all, about the Yankees chances to make it to that Game 5.
Here’s hoping that CC is Phatastic in Motown tonight…’cause the Yankees are going to need that.
Don’t let Rick Porcello’s overall ERA/ERA+ numbers for 2011 fool you. In his last seven starts of 2011, Porcello’s numbers are:
- 46.3 IP
- 3.50 ERA
- 6-1 W/L Record
And, over these seven games, he’s allowed an BA/OBA/SLG line of .272/.326/.387 facing 190 batters.
The dude is pitching some solid baseball lately. Let’s not pretend he’s just as bad as A.J. Burnett.
Unless something happens where Game 3 of the 2011 ALDS is not played, A.J. Burnett is starting Game 4 for the Yankees. So, what will happen?
- Burnett could throw a gem and the Yankees will win. Or,
- Burnett could throw a gem and still lose the game. Or,
- Burnett could be so-so and the Yankees find a way to win. Or,
- Burnett could be so-so and the Yankees lose the game. Or,
- Burnett could be terrible and the Yankees lose the game. Or,
- Burnett could be terrible and the Yankees still manage to pull out a win – somehow.
But, don’t think this is a 50-50 thing…where the Yankees can win or lose, flip a coin.
The odds of Burnett throwing a gem are remote. More than likely, he’ll be so-so at best and terrible at the worst. The question is, if he “so-so” or “terrible,” can the Yankees still find a way to win that game? What do you think?
Here they are:
|1||2011-05-03||NYY||DET||L 2-4||GS-7 ,L||7.0||10||4||4||3||6||0||119||5.14|
|2||2010-05-13||NYY||DET||L 0-6||GS-6 ,L||6.0||9||6||6||0||4||2||79||9.00|
|3||2009-04-27||NYY||DET||L 2-4||CG 8 ,L||8.0||6||4||4||0||7||1||99||4.50|
|4||2007-07-05||CLE||DET||L 3-12||GS-4 ,L||4.0||10||7||7||1||3||3||87||15.75|
Well, that ain’t so pretty, is it?
Well, that was somewhat exciting at the end, wasn’t it? But, no cigar.
I’m surprised that Leyland didn’t walk Cano in the 9th with the open base and elect to face A-Rod. Wouldn’t that have been interesting?
In any event, the Tigers got the out and ended the game.
Yankees, and Sabathia, have to win Game 3 now. You don’t want to be down, 1-2, in a five game series with A.J. Burnett, on the road, starting the game in a can’t lose situation.
Big win. Shame Mariano had to come in to get the last out.
Still need to win on Sunday.
See: 2006, 2005, 2002, and 1997.
You never want to let a team back into it, when it’s just a five-game series.
Via Bryan Hoch -
Ceremonial first pitches for postseason games at Yankee Stadium are usually in the realm of greats from the history books, mixing in the likes of Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford with more recent additions like Reggie Jackson and Bernie Williams.
On Friday, the Yankees took an even more glossy page from their recent history, inviting two active players to take part. All-time postseason saves leader Mariano Rivera lobbed a toss from the mound to Jorge Posada, dressed in his full catching gear.
The Yankees wanted another moment to honor Rivera, who owns a staggering 42 saves in the playoffs and this year surpassed Trevor Hoffman (601) for the all-time regular-season lead as well. But it was also a nod to Posada, the longtime “Key Three” backstop who was supplanted as the starting catcher this year by Russell Martin and bumped to the role of designated hitter.
Posada did get behind the plate for one game this year, making an emergency appearance on Sept. 10 in Anaheim when Martin suffered an injury, but he has also strapped on his chest protector and shin guards to receive another ceremonial first pitch this season. That was on June 27, when the Yankees hosted an emotional sendoff for retiring head athletic trainer Gene Monahan at Yankee Stadium.
I totally missed this – maybe because I was flipping back and forth between YES and TBS before the first pitch. Nice touch by the Yankees.
So, CC Sabathia gets heated up tonight and it’s wasted.
And, tomorrow is now “Game 1″ – picking up from the bottom of the second inning. And, Sunday is now “Game 2″ – thus meaning that there’s no more off days in this ALDS.
I suspect that Ivan Nova will get the “start” – which is now a relief appearance – in “Game 1.” And, Freddy Garcia will get the ball in “Game 2″ on Sunday. This will have Sabathia come back on Monday for “Game 3.” But, then, who pitches Game 4? Would it be A.J. Burnett? Who else can it be? And, what about Game 5? That would probably be Nova.
Ah, this is what you get when your rotation is about as deep as an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
You know this game ain’t ending until Saturday morning.
Why is it that these three headlines from MLB.com concern me? Here they are:
- Yanks to use Posada as DH during ALDS
- Girardi will rely on Burnett out of bullpen
- A-Rod pushing through nagging pains
I love Posada. But, it’s a shame not to get Montero’s bat in the line-up, somehow. He could be an X-Factor. He’s just too hot right now to sit. And, Burnett out of the bullpen has Jeff Weaver ’03 written all over it. Lastly, A-Rod…what can I say? If he’s not good to go, then, as crazy as it sounds, I’d rather have Chavez playing third. This is the post-season, and, a five game series. It’s not time to see if someone can or cannot play because of injuries and/or rust.
It begins – and ends? – with starting pitching.
CC Sabathia is the Yankees ace. And, he’s by far their best starting pitcher option. But, let’s not pretend that he’s Curt Schilling in October. The big lefty is far from a lock in the post-season. Just look at how he did last year in October against the Twins and Rangers. In fact, overall, outside of 2009, CC has not been a stellar post-season performer.
Next, we have Ivan Nova. Now, he may excel against the Tigers. Then again, he might be like Worm Killer Wang back in the day – great in the regular season, deer in the headlights in the post-season. We just don’t know…and have to wait and see.
And, Freddy Garcia gets the start in Game Three. Anyone else having Jaret Wright and/or Cory Lidle flashbacks? Heck, maybe Freddy pulls a Jon Lieber and gives the Yankees a good effort? Shoot, I trust him now more than Burnett, Colon or Hughes. But, I’m not feeling all that confident about his start.
The whole thing is not very hopeful. Maybe the Yankees’ bats and bullpen make up for where their starting pitchers may stumble? But, we’ve seen where guys like A-Rod and Teixeira go cold in the post-season. If that happens again, it’s not helping the Yankees. And, this team no longer has guys like Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui – who seemed to come through in October, sometimes.
This all said, I will not be shocked if the Yankees lose the ALDS – and I probably will not be upset. I realize that they are not the best team, without question, out there – no matter if they did have the best record in the league this season. Maybe I would be upset if they choke/blow the ALDS in some manner. But, on the whole, I’m not feeling groovy on the Yankees chances here – and, that’s what has level set my expectations for the ALDS.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll be rooting for the Yanks, 100%, like I always do. And, I will be thrilled if they win this ALDS. However, I think we (in Yankeeland) better be prepared for this being a short ALDS with an outcome that’s not good for New York.
Starting pitching. This Yankees team just doesn’t have it…at least now…when they need it the most. And, I don’t need Brian Cashman’s objective pipe to figure that out.
David Waldstein has a great post on this matter. If it were up to me, I would go with:
Yup, no Bartolo Colon. And, I think Girardi will also leave him off. Maybe that’s too many RP? I would have no issue if one of them was left off and Romine was added to the roster.
We know that CC Sabathia is starting Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS for the Yankees. And, he’ll probably come back on three days rest and pitch Game 4, if necessary. But, if CC does that, then whomever will pitch Game 2 for the Yankees will come back and pitch Game 5, if necessary, on October 6th.
I suppose that you could hold Sabathia and have him pitch Game 5 on five days rest. But, then you have to use a whole bunch of other starters in between – and you don’t want that to happen.
This said, who would rather have starting in a Game 5, winner-take-all, Ivan Nova or Freddy Garcia? Once you know, then that’s your #2 starter for the Yankees behind CC this ALDS.