Sep
19

Ichiro stuns Mo as Yanks fall 3-2

By

Only Ichiro Suzuki would swing at a pitch four inches inside and hit a home run.

The Yankees entered the 7th inning of their Friday evening affair with the Mariners clinging to a 2-1 lead. Nick Swisher led off the inning with a bloop double down the left field line. While Robinson Cano struck out, Melky Cabrera took a wild pitch for ball four. The Yanks had runners on the corners and one out. They were set to pick up a big insurance run. There was but one problem: Jose Molina was due up.

With the expanded rosters, the Yankees had numerous options. Eric Hinske, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Brett Gardner and Juan Miranda were available to pinch hit, and Francisco Cervelli could be used defensively to fill in for Molina. Rather than play for the insurance run, though, Girardi took the safe route. Molina hit for himself, swung at the first pitch and rolled into one of the easiest 6-4-3 double plays you’ll ever see. The phrase “tailor-made double play” was invented for just that play.

As YES went to a commercial break, I shook my head. “The Yanks better not let that come back to haunt them,” I thought. Not so surprisingly, they did but in a rather stunning fashion. With two outs in the 9th — and two batters removed from recording his 1000th career strike out — Mariano Rivera gave up a walk-off two-run home run to Ichiro Suzuki, and for just the second time since the start of 2008, the Yankees lost a game after leading through 8 innings.

For Rivera, the two earned runs were just the second and third he has allowed since June 12. What was so shocking about this loss though was the stark contrast between the first two at-bats of the inning and the last. Jack Hannahan struck out for the fourth time, and Mike Carp went down swinging as well.

After that, it fell apart. Mike Sweeny hit a booming pinch-hit double on the first pitch, and then Ichiro took the first pitch — a ball in the left-handed batters box — deep into the right field seats. Sweeney and Ichiro went up swinging, and they delivered. Two pitches, two hits, two runs. The blown save ended Mariano Rivera’s string of 36 straight saves, and while I would prefer the Yanks to wrap up this division race, I would rather see the inevitable blown save in September in Seattle than in October in Detroit, Boston, Minneapolis or Anaheim.

Unfortunately for the Yanks, Rivera’s implosion overshadowed an otherwise-promising game. For seventh innings, A.J. Burnett showed composure and great stuff on the mound. He had every pitch working and didn’t suffer through one of those bad innings. He threw 66 of 104 pitches for strikes and allowed just one earned run on seven hits and three walks. He struck out six, and A.J. has picked a good time of the year to turn it on again.

After A.J., Phil Hughes came in and blew away Seattle. He needed just 15 pitches to dispatch the Mariners in the 8th. As I watched that inning unfold, I wondered though about Hughes’ secondary pitches. He threw 12 stellar fastballs, none slower than 95 mph, three cut fastballs and just one curveball on a 2-2 pitch to Ken Griffey. He’ll need those other pitches next year, but that’s a story for another day.

In the end, Ichiro went from goat to hero in one swung. While the Yanks could muster only two runs against Felix Hernandez, for Ichiro, the home run was the redemption he needed. Twice, he was picked off first base by Burnett, but with one swing, he put that behind him. While I was ready to write about the pitching triumvirate of A.J., Phil and Mo who delivered the Yanks a tight win in Seattle, Ichiro would have none of it. Them’s the breaks in baseball. They’ll do it again tonight at 10 p.m.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Salty Buggah

    Whatever. Good to get that out of Mo’s system now.

    However, let the panic commence!

    • Salty Buggah

      and also the bitching of course.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Here, here.

      Mariano had a good June, great July, okay August and is having an good September (these are all in terms of what you expect from Mariano).

      He’s had a few games where it could have caught up to him (I’d say two a month maybe? Last one I remember was early-August versus Toronto) and it happened. He’ll just go on being Mariano.

      • Zack

        “okay August” = 11G, 11.1 IP, 0.79 era, 8 SV, 9H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 12K

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

          4 walks in a month is horrible for Mariano :(

          • Zack

            Right…. and he gave up 1 run all month. And that equals an ‘okay’ month, only with yankee fans.

            • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

              I did qualify it by saying in terms of what you expect from Mariano. If you look at his batted balls it shows that he was getting pretty lucky here and there.

              • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

                Here I should have included this: http://teamnerdrage.com/cms/wp.....august.gif It’s a pie chart breaking down his batted balls in August.

                32% line drives isn’t very good (they were bunched into a few starts so I won’t say bad) but he struck out a bunch and maintained an excellent groundball rate which helps.

  • Accent Shallow

    Looks like I picked a good game to miss.

    Isn’t it a little late in the year for WWWMW? Hope this is just an isolate incident.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Nothing in the way he’s been pitching in the last month suggests otherwise. Maybe his groin is still a little achy, who knows.

      Before tonight he’d given up 1 line drive and 3 fly balls in 5 September appearances so I don’t think there’s a reason to be nervous. Sometimes even Mariano doesn’t have it and Ichiro is sort of one of the best hitters in MLB. ;)

  • bonestock94

    The worst part is Mariano’s era has been driven up to 1.94 and his whip is almost 1 !!

    • Salty Buggah

      Yea, it was 1.66 coming into tonight and I wanted it drop more.

      • http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/08/08/soxyank6__1249712396_8566.jpg Mike Pop

        ERA doesn’t matter. What matters is if you get the job done.

        /Mets fan’d

        • pete

          ERA doesn’t matter but era does. Mariano played in a different era last night from his august “okayness” so there’s no way to compare the two. thats right tsjc, i went there

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Just got off the phone with Bud Selig. He confirmed it to me:

    Since tonight’s starting pitcher matchup of AJ v. Felix is considered a “playoff preview” and we lost, that means we’ve officially lost Game 1 of the ALDS. We’ll go right to Game 2 against either the Tigers or Twins, down 0-1 of course.

    It’s only fair. This loss was horrible. Horrible. Rule #1 of sports: NEVER lose playoff previews. They’re more important than the actual playoffs themselves. We lose two more playoff previews, and we’ll be eliminated from the ALDS before it even starts.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      They better sweep the Angels then, oh dear.

      • Bob Stone

        And the BoSox too.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siYKRL4I3UA JobaWockeeZ

      Fire Girardi. It’s definitely his fault.

    • Salty Buggah

      wow, you have Girardi’s AND Selig’s number?

      However, you are wrong. We have already won the ALDS. We won the playoff previews against Minnesota and Detroit earlier. DUH!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, those weren’t playoff previews.

        I’d love to explain to you exactly how those weren’t playoff previews, but I’m too busy complaining about how the greatest closer in the history of baseball and a man with a career 202 ERA+ should have walked a guy notorious for his LACK of power in a two-out RISP situation in a throwaway game that nobody really cared about.

        • Salty Buggah

          The trolls/whiners would argue they weren’t playoff previews because we won.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            The same people who called this a playoff preview because King Felix was pitching would discount it as not a playoff preview because the Mariners won’t make the playoffs. They’d say AJ’s performance is also not illustrative of his playoff ability because the Mariners lineup is not a playoff-caliber lineup.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_%28logic%29

        • Zack

          yeah but if Ichiro wanted to he could hit 60 HRs per season

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            (thinks for a second)

            Nope, still don’t believe that line of bullshit.

            If Ichiro could hit 60 homers a season, then every single person who has worked for the Mariners organization since 2001 should be banned from baseball for life for not forcing Ichiro to start hitting 60 homers per season.

            • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

              If he hit 60 homeruns a year then he wouldn’t be playing baseball the right way.

            • RustyJohn

              Not 60, but I wouldn’t doubt he could hit 30- of course he’d be a 30 home run hitter that doesn’t walk with a .270 average. As Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force- a man’s got to know his limitations.

    • Jersey

      Are we sure this was the first playoff preview they’ve lost? They’ve played a bunch of games, how do we know if any of those were playoff previews??

      Shit.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        OH CRAP YOURE RIGHT NOW I GOTTA GO CHECK

        • Andy

          If u don’t think this was a preview ur kidding yourself

          • Jack

            What makes this a preview?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Don’t ask him, the answer’s only gonna make this conversation dumber.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
    • Andy

      Pollyanna

    • LivefromNewYork

      It’s like the PSATs. Just get a job as a hotdog vendor if you don’t do well. It’s a preview of your dumbass college years. Without the drinking.

  • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    It’s not Mariano’s blown save that really irked me. That just sucked, and Ichiro swung at a terrible pitch.

    I don’t understand Girardi’s decision to let Molina bat for himself in a close game against a top pitcher. I know the Yanks don’t have to win every game, but Girardi seemed to throw in the towel on that one. Use your very deep bench; use Francisco Cervelli. And if some crazy injury happened, Hairston could catch. There’s no reason to have Molina hit there.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      +1

      (See that, fellas? THAT’s how you criticize. Girardi’s decision was dumb. No, this does not mean that we’re going to lose in the playoffs because Girardi is dumb. That single decision was dumb. A decision that we are not going to see duplicated in October. Period, end of criticism.)

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siYKRL4I3UA JobaWockeeZ

        A decision that we are not going to see duplicated in October. Period, end of criticism.

        Because Jose Molina is not going to start. So we’re not going to see this happen in the playoffs.

        However the non IBB is just a fail scapegoat.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          The non-IBB is stupid. Mariano Rivera does not intentionally walk Ichiro to put the winning run on base with two outs. As the picture at the top of the post shows, Ichiro swung at a terrible pitch and homered. It sucks. What can you do? 99 times out of 100 it won’t happen, and this was the 1 time it did.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            99 times out of 100 it won’t happen, and this was the 1 time it did.

            Which is precisely why Mariano won’t be affected by this at all. He’ll have forgotten about it by breakfast. As will Girardi, and all the rest of the team.

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              Honestly, that’s probably the case with every loss. We fans take it a lot harder than the players do.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                True that.

      • Andy

        So u disagree for what??? Now u agree cos Ben said it. Credibility

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Ben: criticized Girardi’s pinch-hitting decision like a smart person
          You: criticized Girardi’s pinch hitting AND 9th inning decisions like a non-smart person, and then leapt to fantastical conclusions based on your non-smart criticisms.

          That’s the difference.

    • Zack

      Risk/Reward
      Theres no reward, theres potential risk

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        I think you have it backwards. There’s no risk; there’s potential reward. Or really, there’s probably equal amounts of risk and reward.

        Risk: Molina hits into a double play.
        Reward: A.J.’s personal catcher is out there for his final inning of work.

        Reward: Pinch hitter drives in a bit insurance run.
        Risk: Cervelli gets injured, and the Yanks are left without a real catcher.

        I’d say the risk of a Cervelli injury is far outweighed by the reward of that potential third run.

        • Zack

          Right, and in the big picture. What does an insurance run mean? What value does that have for a team thats going to win 100 games?

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            The value of that run depends on whether you’re looking at it on a micro or macro level. In the grand scheme of the 162-game season, that run doesn’t mean much. In the flow of the game, a two-run lead would have given them a much higher win probability than their one-run lead did.

            • Zack

              Thats my point. The lost tonight, it sucked, whatever, it means nothing. If they were in a playoff chance yes it’d be a bad managerial move, but thats not the scenario.

              Tonight was about getting AJ back on track, and keeping guys fresh and not overused.

              • Zack

                playoff chase

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Meh, there’s a reward.

        There is a risk, though, I’ll give you that. It’s little, though. The risk is Cervelli hurts himself and you’re forced to play someone out of position at catcher, but it’s only a few innings, it would be Hairston and not a real starter, and the risk of injury to Cervelli itself is even smaller.

        Should have done it. I’m all about not doing too much to win the game here because the game doesn’t matter, but lifting Molina for Hinske and then playing Cervelli behind him with no backup is a really small, low risk move to make and it’s worth making.

    • Salty Buggah

      Although I agree somewhat, you’re feeding the fire Girardi people.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Then let them stoke the flames for a bit. As LeoKitty eloquently said below, it was not a very good decision. The Yanks have one of the strongest benches in the majors right now, and Jose Molina has now hit into 6 DPs in 131 plate appearances this year. Playing to win with Hughes/Mo means not using Molina there.

        But in the grand scheme of the season it’s a minor point.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      I don’t think anyone is going to argue this with you because I didn’t get it at the time and still don’t.

      Using Hughes and Mariano, having AJ go 7 all mean you’re playing to win. Letting Molina hit for himself into the inevitable outcome against one of the very best pitchers in baseball runs opposite to that.

      I mean it’s King Felix so maybe the pinch hitter doesn’t get a ball in the air far enough to score Swisher or do anything other than hit into a double play but leaving Molina in there means you’re sort of giving up on getting that third run early.

  • http://opensourcecomedy.net/images/melky_box.jpg Drew the Pretty Pretty Princess

    So I see Joe gets bitched at for not PH’ing, Mo forbid Mo just does his job…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Girardi should have lifted Mo for Jonathan Albaladejo after Mo gave up the double to Sweeney. He clearly didn’t have it, and you can’t take any chances and let Ichiro face Mo.

      This is a playoff preview, for fucks-sake. Don’t undermanage, OVERMANAGE!

      While we’re at it, as soon as Sweeney hit the double, we should have DFA’d Sergio Mitre and activated Austin Jackson to play RF so that he can scale the wall and pull back any potential game-winning homer that Albaladejo could give up to Ichiro. Can’t leave any stone unturned. Whole season rides on this game tonight. Playoff preview. All the marbles.

      • http://opensourcecomedy.net/images/melky_box.jpg Drew the Pretty Pretty Princess

        I sense sarcasm….

        Look, I missed the game tonight, I came here to get a recap. From what I read, it seems like Joe gets the blame. Look, Mo is a God but even Gods make mistakes. From what I’ve gleaned, Mo-money blew the game, not Joe. That’s my only point.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          No, I’m with you. Just riffing.

          Who should get the blame for tonight’s loss: Mariano Rivera
          How much that blame should matter: not a whit

  • Salty Buggah

    Freakin Mo! Should have told us about his decline in August so we could have traded Montero and Ajax for Bard than. And we could have fired Girardi then too!

    • Salty Buggah

      Dammnit! *then

      I hate if I make this mistake!

  • Free Mike Vick

    Ichiro was basically standing so far off the plate that that pitch was right down the middle belt high…

    shouldn’t have even pitched to him…but i don’t really want to go down that road.

  • Bob Stone

    The BoSox are only 5 games back in the loss column and the Yanks still have 3 games againt them. Add in that the Sox are on a roll right now. The pitching seems to be coming together. Dice-K looks like he might be back in top form. Their bullpen looks strong.

    I wasn’t very concerned about losing the division a week ago. In fact I was pretty confident about best record too, but the Angels have also been playing well. They are only 5 games back in the loss column with 3 head-to-head matches as well.

    Is it crazy to be concerned with so few games left?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Is it crazy to be concerned with so few games left?

      Yes.

      • Bob Stone

        I know if the Yanks keep winning they can’t be caught. Let’s go on a tear and start a new winning streak.

    • http://opensourcecomedy.net/images/melky_box.jpg Drew the Pretty Pretty Princess

      IMO, yes.

      We are better than Boston. If we can’t beat them, we deserve to lose.

      You can worry all you want but when push comes to shove, my money is on the Yanks.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Is it crazy to be concerned with so few games left?

      Do you want an honest answer? Because right now it’s 1:45 a.m. and I haven’t gotten more than six hours of sleep since last Saturday night. So here’s my honest answer: Yes. It would be bat-shit insane to be concerned about it with so few games left, and Yankee fans should stop acting like Mets fans or Cubs fans.

      If the Yankees go just 7-7 over the next few weeks, the Sox will have to go 14-2 just to tie the Yankees atop the division.

      Five games back in the loss column with 16 games left (for the Sox) is a rather tough deficit to mount. Go to bed; don’t worry about it.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        None of this is gonna matter when we’re famous singers.

      • Bob Stone

        I can rest easy and go to sleep now. Thanks.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Our bill is in the mail.

    • Zack

      Yes. But dont worry- TV, newspapers and talk radio will be sure to tell you that the Yankees are going to lose the division. But be strong and just remember, ah last 2 weeks of regular season and there’s absolutely no story line (Tigers/Twins is small and non-NY media worthy) so they have to bring stuff up just to get people watching, reading and calling.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Boston has an easier schedule than the Yankees but they still have to in essence not lose a single game until the end of the year to get past them in the standings.

      I am hopeful that the Yankees will come home having gone .500 on the road trip and that’s really all they have to do.

    • Jack

      Add in that the Sox are on a roll right now

      http://www.baseball-reference......ings.shtml

      Coming into tonight:

      Last 10:
      Bos: 8-2
      NYY: 7-3

      Last 20:
      Bos: 14-6
      NYY: 15-5

      Last 30:
      Bos: 20-10
      NYY: 20-10

      Don’t worry, we got this shit covered.

      • Salty Buggah

        And thats with us not playing our best baseball (with AJ struggling and Mitre sucking). So yea, we’re good to go.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Exactly.

          Our “B” club = Their “A” club

    • Chris

      Magic Number = 2

      Who cares if the Yankees make the playoffs as a division winner or WC?

      • Steve H

        Me.

        • JM

          Me.

  • RustyJohn

    Them’s the breaks…the Yanks got the call on the second pick-off when Ichiro clearly made it back to the bag. Then Mo throws pitches to Hanahan and Carp that were 6-9 inches off the plate and gets strike 3. Boo hoo.

  • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

    What concerns me is not that Mo blew a save–it’s gonna happen–it’s that once again a great opposing pitcher–remember the most recent Halladay game?–wasn’t at his best and the Yankees failed to capitalize. So, for those wondering about facing Verlander in the playoffs, tonight was a perfect example of how it can go wrong. And letting Molina hit in the 7th, under the circumstances of this particular game, was far from helpful. Even if Mo saves the game. Just a bad move on Girardi’s part.

    • Andy

      Don’t say this. Gonna get bashed by the pollyannas for actually being right

    • Chris

      You completely miss the flip side of this. Other teams can’t beat us, even when our best pitchers aren’t at their best. AJ gave up 3 BBs, a HBP and 7 hits last night. That’s not very good, but he still out pitched Felix.

      The biggest difference between the Yankees and the other playoff teams is we have 4 starters like that and the best offense in the league.

  • BigBlueAL

    Walking Ichiro never entered my mind. However as soon as I saw Molina setting up for a cutter inside I was a bit worried. Granted I didnt think Ichiro would hit one out, but starting him off inside was a bad decision.

    The only pitch Ichiro hits for a HR are pitches where he cheats like a motherfucker and bails out to pull it. Surprised too because Mo has started off powerful LHers with pitches on the outside corner so they dont cheat early and jump on an inside pitch. Obviously he didnt expect Ichiro to have the power to hit one out but again I think he probably shouldnt have gone inside on the first pitch.

    Oh well no big deal, nice to see AJ pitch well. Too bad Yanks have another 10 pm start since Ill be watching the Mayweather fight but I assume with CC on the mound tomorrow should be an easy Yankees win….

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Don’t sell short Ichiro’s power. If you’ve ever watched him take batting practice, it’s one of the great acrobatic displays in the game. He will systematically hit grounders to LF, CF, RF, then line drives in the same sequence, then finish by lofting HRs into the upper deck. I caught him at the old Yankee Stadium last year a few times, and had no idea he has that kind of power.

  • Andy

    No one answers it but y was he pitched to? Single ties it anyway. U don’t pitch to the guy hitting 350

    • Jack

      Mariano Rivera.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        202 career ERA+

        • Jack

          522 saves.

          • Jersey

            Favorite Actor: Robert DeNiro

        • Jack

          268 this year.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Which is the best career mark in the history of baseball, and by a WIDE margin.

          http://www.baseball-reference......reer.shtml

    • ranger11

      Damn! I knew this internet thing was going to fuck up the educational system!

      • http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/08/08/soxyank6__1249712396_8566.jpg Mike Pop

        and the minds of many.

  • andrew

    damn you ichiro and your damn japanese swing.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    “deep into the right field sweats”

    ????

  • goon

    hopefully arod will drop an a-bomb over ichiro’s head tonight

  • Reggie C.

    Sign Brandon Webb. Keep Hughes in teh ‘pen cause Mo looks done. That was a meatball serving to Ichiro.

    • Jersey

      They also need Lackey. They can install him at closer.

      • http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/08/08/soxyank6__1249712396_8566.jpg Mike Pop

        I’m down with signing either Webb or Harden.

        But with Harden – make him a reliever.

        CWIDT?

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    To me, I took a lot of positives out of last night’s game. They got some good swings off King Felix and plated a few runs, Burnett looked as sharp as he has in months, Hughes was great. Mo just got beat by a great player, which will happen.

    The only part that really bugs about last night’s loss is that it means that ****ing magic number stays up for another day.

    /Luxembourg’d

  • Mike P

    Mo hit his spots on both hits. The choice of location probably could have been better, but basically Mo was Mo last night. That means I’m not worried one bit. Every now and again, probability law dictates Mo will blow a save. Mo dictates that happens once every 20 games. Mo doesn’t pitch 20 games before the end of the playoffs, therefore no more blown saves. It’s just maths.

  • http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/08/08/soxyank6__1249712396_8566.jpg Mike Pop

    Mo blew an A.J. Burnett potential win. Wins are the only thing that matter and because Mo blew it, A.J. does not look as good now. Fuck that guy.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    How was Posada, and his lousy game calling skills, allowed to catch the ninth inning? That’s the only reasonable explanation for Mo’s home run mistake.

  • Riddering

    Man, do I love waking up to a boxscore like last night’s and still being able to eat my breakfast in peace knowing that A.J. had a good game.

    That’s the beauty of a lead in late September. Rest for the players, rest for the fans.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    I wasn’t really made at the pitch to Ichiro. IT was the pitch to Sweeney. I would like to see Mo brush back some righties more.

  • LivefromNewYork

    Mariano said WOW when Ichiro smashed it. He knew he was gotten to and he respected that. Ichiro swung at a pitch that most wouldn’t swing at and put it out of this ridiculously expansive park. Mo is very tip of the hat in those instances. Ya gotta be.

    The only thing I don’t like is that we’re not wrapping this up as quickly as I would like to be. Other than that, I am happy with how AJ, Phranchise and God pitched. Even if God had a hiccup. Which God does now and again, (see, generally, aardvark, candiru).

  • http://steves steve s

    I don’t understand the reluctance to simply say that pitching to Ichiro was dumb. If Gutierrez beats you then it just wasn’t your night. If you let one of the best hitters of this era beat you then its shame on you. The Yanks pitched around Griffey all night as if he was still a superstar and then let the real superstar have his way with them. I like Girardi alot but last night he managed dumb.

    • http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/08/08/soxyank6__1249712396_8566.jpg Mike Pop

      Umm, Mo Rivera was on the mound.

      • http://steves steve s

        Mo, of course, is great but Ichiro is as great a pure hitter as there is so we have at best a “greatness” deadlock. Why not restore the “greatness” advantage and pitch to the not so great Gutierrez. Do you think if Yanks had walked Ichiro and Gutierrez won the game anyone would have seriously claimed the Yanks should have pitched to Ichiro?

        • Zack

          Remember when they IBB Longoria and everyone flipped out? Because you know veterans on the team hate Girardi, they want him fired, etc.

          And does this now mean they should IBB the other teams best player whenever there is a RISP in a close game?

        • Accent Shallow

          Ichiro is a singles hitter. A singles hitter with power, but a singles hitter nonetheless. The only way I’d want Mo to IBB someone like that (when he’s the winning run!) would be in a playoff game with an awful hitter on deck.

    • Zack

      “Yanks pitched around Griffey all night”

      Not really, Aj just doesnt have ya know, good control. How many times has he walked the #9 hitter 2 times in a game?

      • http://steves steve s

        It was actually discussed by Cone on the broadcast that AJ was pitching around Griffey. As to always intentionally walking the other teams best hitter when it is late and close and there is a RISP there are only a handful of players I would do it for (Ichiro; Pujols; most Ramirezs (Hanley and Manny but not Aramis or Alexei); Big Papi when he was still buying over-the-counter) but I wouldn’t make it a hard and fast rule and it also depends on who is up next. But, with just one out to go I’d rather take my chances with a lesser hitter almost always.

        • Zack

          “Big Papi when he was still buying over-the-counter”

          Walk Ortiz with RISP, to face Manny (because the last time Ortiz was good was with Manny behind him)? Great decision

          And you cant put Ichiro with Hanley, Manny, Pujols.

    • LivefromNewYork

      We discussed this ad nauseum last night

      1. Mo was pitching
      2. Ichiro historically does not do well against Mo
      3. Ichiro has speed
      4. Gutierrez isn’t a scrub

      If Gutierrez had beat us, then they would have been resoundedly criticized for walking Ichiro…people would have said “But Ichiro has a horrible record against Mo and Mo owns him.”

      Mo was going lose on any scenario unless he struck Ichiro out which is what he was planning on doing.