• October 8th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on October 8th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    Four-plus hours is way too long for a funeral.

    Hey, congrats to the Cleveland Indians and to their fans. The Tribe out-pitched, out-hit, and out-played the Yankees in this ALDS. They deserved to win this round of the playoffs.

    Now, if it’s not too much trouble, Cleveland, will you please promise to play the Red Sox in the ALCS this tough as well?

    October 7th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on October 7th, 2007 · Comments (8)

    When this game started, and Roger Clemens was shaky, my first thoughts were: “Here we go again. Another sudden-death October game where the Yanks are counting on an old and/or injured starter to get them another day of life…and, it’s still not working.”

    And, then, the call was made to the pen. May I start the music?

    Don’t the best of them bleed it out,
    While the rest of them peter out.
    Truth or consequence, say it aloud,
    Use that evidence, race it around.

    There goes my hero.
    Watch him as he goes.
    There goes my hero.
    He’s Philip Hughes.

    Phil Hughes was the reason why the Yankees won this game. One cannot say enough about his effort in this contest. I know that I’ve been critical of his “stuff” at times this season. But, in this game, Hughes showed that he has what’s needed when the rubber meets the road. Big time.

    Oh, and, by the way, it’s nice to see that Trot Nixon still has issues charging in on basehits. That miscue was a huge play in this game.

    It is too bad for Clemens, if this is the end. Still, as cheerleaders go, you could have worse ones on your bench than Rocket. Maybe he can help the team in that way the rest of the way?

    Now, the Yankees mission is clear: Get a big lead early tomorrow. Use Wang, Mussina, or whoever you need to shutdown the Tribe batters. Take Rafael Perez’ and Rafael Betancourt’s impact on the game out of the picture for Cleveland. And, bring this series back to Jacobs Field for Game Five.

    And, you can worry about Game Five when you have to play Game Five.

    October 5th @ The Indians

    Posted by on October 5th, 2007 · Comments (19)

    The Indians’ starter Fausto Carmona was dominating in this game. The Yankees’ starter Andy Pettitte was simply, flat-out, heroic in this contest. They both deserved to win this game. But, in the end, it came down to the bullpens.

    As soon as this game went to extra innings, I thought of “Doug in Seattle.” Thanks to his question last week, we know, that, in “extra innings,” during the regular season, Yankees batters had an OPS of .567 (in 107 PA) and Yankees pitchers allowed an OPS of .845 (in 108 PA).

    Why should this game be any different?

    Now, about Joba and the bugs. The flying ants were annoying for him in the eighth. Heck, I was getting itchy just watching. But, the bugs didn’t prevent Carmona from pitching a good ninth for Cleveland. And, the bugs didn’t prevent Perez from pitching a good tenth for the Tribe either. If anyone wants to blame the bugs for what happened in the bottom of the eighth, it’s an excuse. Besides, Joba actually got lucky in that frame when the missle from Pronk Hafner was aimed right at Rico Bergman.

    Now, here comes the shocker. The Yankees are not dead in this LDS – yet. A win on Sunday gets them to a spot where they probably get to face Paul Byrd in Game Four (on Monday). If the Yankees win Game Three, and then get to face Byrd in Game Four, I like their chances to get back to Cleveland for Game Five.

    But, it starts with having to win on Sunday. Clemens better be sharp – and able to go at least six. And, the Yankees bats better come alive when they return to the Bronx – especially their clean-up hitter.

    October 4th @ The Indians

    Posted by on October 4th, 2007 · Comments (11)

    This was the 337th post-season game in Yankees history.

    It was the 8th time that the Yankees allowed 12+ runs in a post-season game. The Yankees have lost all 8 of these games.

    The was the first time that the Yankees have allowed 12+ runs in a LDS-game. (They’ve done it 2 times in LCS-games and 5 times in the World Series.)

    Six of the 8 times that the Yankees have allowed 12+ runs in a post-season game, it’s happened on the road.

    Here’s a breakdown of the post-season series, prior to this one, where the Yankees had a game where they allowed 12+ runs:

    2001 World Series: Lost in 7 games.
    2001 ALCS: Won in 5 games.
    1999 ALCS: Won In 5 games.
    1996 World Series: Won in 6 games.
    1958 World Series: Won in 7 games.
    1956 World Series: Won in 7 games.
    1921 World Series: Lost in 8 games.

    This was the 20th time (out of 337 games) in Yankees post-season history where the team has allowed 19+ baserunners in a game of 9 innings or less. The Yankees have lost 19 of these 20 games. Nine of the twenty games have happened to Yankees teams managed by Joe Torre.

    Now, this all said, you just have to forget about this game and look towards the contest of Game 2. This ones just counts as one loss. A victory in Game 2 for New York gives the Yankees a split and turns this series into a “best 2 of 3” match – with the Yankees having home-field advantage (and the Indians having to throw two starters in the games that New York should be able to handle).

    It will be a good test for the Yankees to see if they can quickly shake this one off and answer the bell tomorrow.