A Game 5 seesaw lands ALCS back in New York


Since the first inning of last night’s Game 5 ALCS match-up, my status message on Gmail has said, “Unsurprised.” Nothing that happened during the game — from A.J.’s early troubles to Joe Girardi‘s poor pen management to Nick Swisher‘s pop out on a 3-2 meatball with the bases loaded in the ninth — was unsurprising. When the dust settled, the Yanks found themselves on the wrong end of a very close 7-6 game. Instead of a break until the World Series, the ALCS will return to the Bronx for a game, weather permitting, on Saturday night.

Instead of our normal chronological recap, I want to try something new tonight. I want to break this down by highlighting three turning points Remember: The Yanks still hold a 3-2 edge and are about to throw two lefties against the Angels in Yankee Stadium where the Bombers have won 61 games this year.

Turning Point 1: We start with two on and no one out in the top of the first. The Yankees were on the verge of breaking John Lackey and the Angels before A.J. Burnett even had a chance to step up onto the mound. Mark Teixeira was at the dish still looking for his first RBI of the ALCS.

Lackey’s first pitch to Teixiera was a ball. He followed that up with two strikes — one called in the zone and one a foul ball. Two more pitches out of the zone followed. The sixth pitch of the at bat was a good curveball, but it was low and away. Teixiera took it only to be rung up. Immediately, Fox showed their FoxTrax, and the ball was a good few inches outside. PITCHf/x agreed.

For Lackey, the call was a pick-me-up. He retired A-Rod and Hideki Matsui without allowing a run and sailed through six before running into trouble in the seventh. For the Yankees, the call, while not quite a punch in the gut, completely shifted the momentum. Instead of bases loaded, no one out with the red-hot A-Rod up, the Yanks had an out and two on. The entire complexion of the inning changed, and when Burnett gave up four in the first, the call stuck out.

Turning Point 2: Now, we skip ahead to the bottom of the seventh inning. After Burnett’s bad start, he had settled down to run through the Angels’ lineup. He didn’t have the K pitch working, but he held Anaheim at four. In the top of the 7th, the Yanks erupted for six runs and found themselves nine outs away from the World Series and with a very well-rested bullpen. They could have gone to David Robertson, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera with a cameo by Damaso Marte. This was an all-hands-on-deck situation, and instead, Joe Girardi stuck with Burnett.

“We talked about it, but he was throwing the ball so well. He had put up five shutout innings and he had only thrown 80 pitches,” the Yankee skipper said.

Of course, this is the same manager who, just a few days ago, pulled Andy Pettitte in Minnesota with a lead and at 81 pitches. Why Burnett gets a longer leash, I do not know.

Burnett didn’t get the job done. He allowed a lead-off hit to Jeff Mathis, and still Girardi sat. He walked Erick Aybar, the number nine hitter, and then Girardi mercifully removed him, at least one batter two late and arguably two. Girardi later showed that he was willing to put Mariano Rivera into the game with one out in the eighth, but he was unwilling to go to the pen after coaxing six so-so innings out of Burnett.

Turning Point 3: After Marte retired Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu, Phil Hughes entered the game with just one mission in mind: Get an out. He walked Torii Hunter and then moved ahead 1-2 on Vladimir Guerrero. Instead of burying a curveball in the dirt against the notoriously free swinging Vlad, Hughes shook off Posada and went with a fastball. Vlad knocked in the tying run. Hughes would later give up the lead and take the loss. He faced three batters and retired one of them.

Girardi made the right move here, but Hughes didn’t execute. After the game, the Yanks’ manager issued an odd comment. “He’s still making pitches,” he said. “He got to the count he wanted to with Vlad Guerrero and just missed his spot.” So was Hughes making his pitches or did he miss? It looked to me as though he missed.

The Yanks had the tying run 90 feet away in the ninth inning but with two outs. Nick Swisher popped up to end it, and that seventh inning — another bad job of managing the bullpen coupled with some bad execution — cost the Yanks a chance to put away the Angels.

In the end, I would have liked to see the Yankees wrap this up tonight. The emotions among a fanbase still scarred from 2004 are running high, and on a personal level, my plans for Saturday night are going to be seriously impacted by yet another baseball game. Still, part of me wants to see the Yanks win this thing at home. We’ll have a grand celebration in the Bronx this weekend when they do.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. ashish says:

    i just hope it happens in game 6. like seriously.

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    The worst part is that there’s a damn off day tomorrow.

  3. JGS says:

    positive upshot–should the Yankees win through (and I firmly believe they will) I don’t think we will see Jose Molina starting any world series games

  4. Hova says:

    In Andy we trust.

  5. Mike Axisa says:

    Also, please, more David Robertson. We said it all summer, not we’re saying it in the fall.

    • Girardi left the media room pretty quickly, and I didn’t have it in me to watch the clubhouse interviews. He really should have gone straight to Robertson for two batters in the 7th. Robertson to Marte to Hughes to Rivera. Oh well. Sometimes, we forget that Girardi is in just his third season as manager and his first postseason. He’s not quite as well-versed in nailing down the playoffs as we would like.

    • danny says:

      i dont understand the obession with joba, k-rob>joba

  6. BigBlueAL says:

    As many of you know I am not a big fan of Girardi’s yet really find no fault in how he managed the game tonight (except for pinch-running for Arod in the 9th).

    To me the more alarming issue is how poor Hughes and Joba have pitched in the postseason. Well Joba it was kinda expected but Hughes has looked just as shaky as Joba has if not more so. I know Im looking way ahead but I cant fathom losing 2 in a row to the Angels at home with Pettitte and CC pitching so looking at a WS vs the Phillies with all those LH hitters its going to be very interesting to see how the bullpen is used in that series to get to Mo.

    After the frustration of tonight’s game is over lets all admit that prior to the series starting going home to NY in Game 6 with a 3-2 lead is something we all wouldve signed up for in a heartbeat.

    • After the frustration of tonight’s game is over lets all admit that prior to the series starting going home to NY in Game 6 with a 3-2 lead is something we all wouldve signed up for in a heartbeat.

      I was actually saying that before the game started. My initial prediction was Yanks in 6, and I stand by that. This one stings a bit because the Yanks were 9 outs away, but all they had to do was win one of three in Anaheim.

      The Yanks have lost two (or more) in a row at home three times all season: once in September; once in June; once in April. I’m not worried.

  7. It wasn’t just the poor ‘pen management. It was the shitty 9th inning bench management, too. Imagine if Swisher could only single in a run, or he single in two and Rivera coughed up one, there would’ve been a tied game. What then? You have two noodle bats in the lineup in place of the best hitters. That was just awful.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      Strongly disagree. You need to give yourself every possible advantage to score those runs.

      • Even for A-Rod? I understand Matsui, but A-Rod??

        • Maybe Matsui doubles into the gap and Guzman legs it out. That’s a fine decision.

          • See my response below to Mike.

            • YankFanDave says:

              I agree, mostly. The pitching decisions were questionable but made some sense. However, taking Arod out for a pinch runner just did not make sense, Matsui yes – Arod no! What did confuse me about his use of the bullpen was the yoyoing of who was getting ready: Joba up, Joba down; Marte up but Coke sitting; Coke up, Coke down – Mo up in a hurry. Girardi was just plain over-managing (over-thinking) as he is prone to do. In the end though, let’s remember that if the Yanks hit with runners in scoring position (1st inning is a great example) the game would not have come down to the bullpen.

    • Zack says:

      And if it was a play where ARod didnt score from first (that Guzman would have) and he was left at 3B at the end of the game, there would be complaints that you dont play for the 11-12th inning, you play for the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs down by 1

    • Mike Axisa says:

      No way, you have to pinch run there. You have to absolutely make sure that run crosses the plate before all that over stuff even becomes an issue.

      That’s the same logic as saving your closer for the save opportunity on the road in extra innings. You’re worrying about the situation that may never come.

      • I disagree. An inferior pitcher has a better chance at succeeding in a clutch situation that’s probably over his head than an inferior batter.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Except the only way the inferior batter even comes into play is if he scores a run to tie the game first. That run has to score, or you lose. Period, end of story.

          You can’t worry about the 10th or 11th or whatever inning if you’re not in a position to even get there in the first place.

          • Yes, but are you telling me A-Rod can’t score from first on a double or from second on a single? The difference in how useful their respective speeds are is negligible. Though it might have made more sense had Guzman attempted to steal, he didn’t even do that.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              The difference in their speed is far from negligible. Guzman can run laps around A-Rod, especially with the bad hip. If Matsui shoots a double down the third base line, Guzman has a way better chance of scoring.

            • “Yes, but are you telling me A-Rod can’t score from first on a double or from second on a single?”

              This was my problem with it. A-Rod runs well, it’s not like A-Rod runs like Hideki. I don’t think the slight increase in speed outweighs the value of having A-Rod stay in the game. I didn’t have a huge problem with that move, but I did disagree with it.

              • Zack says:

                If Arod makes the last out at home and is out by a half a step then everyone here would rip Girardi apart for not PR for him.

                I see no point in worry about the 11-12th innings when you’re losing in the 9th

                • Look, I hear you, which is why I said I didn’t have a big problem with the move or anything, but surely you can see why some people feel differently about this one than you do. I guess I just have more faith in A-Rod’s speed than some people do. A-Rod’s not a poor or even average runner, the dude is fast. I understand the move, I just think it’s a borderline call and I would have gone the opposite direction with it.

                • Count Zero says:

                  Agreed – this was my line of thought as well.

  8. danny says:

    i went for a walk and im still so mad, the angels are a good team but the yanks are making it so much harder then it needs to be. swish was swinging for the fences there when all we needed was a hit, any kind of freaken hit

  9. Moshe Mandel says:

    I have had very reasonable Yankee fans tell me Robertson should have started the 7th. I have had other very reasonable Yankees fans tell me Hughes should have. Others have said Burnett should have. Others said that once two runners got on, Mariano should have come in. Others said Joe played it right. My point? I really do not think there was a “right” or “wrong” move there. Girardi had a number of equally solid options, and it did not work out. Pinning this loss on Joe is ridiculous. The pitchers just did not get it done.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      Thats actually the conclusion Ive come to and I am a Girardi hater so to speak.

    • Do you at least agree that trotting out A.J. or keeping him out there after the Mathis hit was the wrong decision? I have no problem with going to Marte and then Hughes. Bottom line is that Hughes didn’t do the job. I just don’t think A.J. should have faced two batters in the 7th, both with no outs.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        Yeah, once Mathis reached, that has to be the point where you make a change. It’s better to prevent a rally from even starting than letting one start and figuring out to wiggle out of it.

        • EDUB says:

          What about the fact that Mathis, who I’m well aware is a below average career hitter, was already 2 for 2 against AJ last night. For whatever reason he was very comfortable against AJ already. I had a problem with leaving him in for Mathis and an even bigger problem leaving him in when he gave up the single to Mathis.

          The Yankees had fully rested bullpen and AJ clearly did not have his best stuff. I just do not see an argument at all for leaving AJ in there to start the inning

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I wanted Burnett in the game for Mathis. After that point, your choice is AJ or Marte for Aybar, and Aybar is better against lefties. Also, Aybar had hit 4 groundballs against AJ thus far in the series. Again, you can quibble with it, but that is not a “bad” decision.

    • JGS says:

      agreed. Hughes shook off Posada about 8 times before throwing that pitch to Guerrero. running up the ladder can work, but the pitch needs to be at his eyes, not right down the middle. arguably good idea, poor execution

  10. Salty Buggah says:

    Ugh, that Swisher popout came on a fastball that was as middle of the play as one can get on Gameday. Disgusting. AJ and Hughes had bad days.

    Here’s to celebrating a pennant win on Saturday in the new house.

    • Yep. FOX never showed the replay, but I went to Gameday check. Nick should have been able to just flick his wrists at it and line it into left center. He overswung like whoa.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Swish is just all sorts of messed up at the plate. He simply got overpowered on that FB. Nobody is going to feel better but maybe its time to sit Swish.

      • Jake H says:

        My wife even said that was right down the middle. Swish at that at bat looked way too excited. He did a good job getting it back to 3-2 but really that was a pitch he should have gotten a hit on.

    • Count Zero says:

      It’s worse than that — 3-2, bases loaded, Fuentes pitching — not only was it a meatball, it was a meatball which everyone in the world knew was coming. You’re sitting dead red in the middle of the plate and you still popup to SS?

      Let’s face it — if he can’t at least hit that pitch hard somewhere (I understand if he lines out, or flies to the track or scorches a one-hopper to Figgins) — he’s not going to hit anything right now.

      Swish needs a day off — not that playing Gardner is a great option, but he has a far greater chance of getting on base than Swish does right now and the outfield defense improves.

  11. Ben84 says:

    It’s really a shame that two very poor pitching decisions (among many other head scratchers) have forced this to a 6th game. If the Yankees blow this, I think the Yankees need to be in the market for a new manager. This team and its fans deserve better.

    • Chris says:

      I agree. How could Girardi be so stupid as to bring in his 8th inning guy with a lead and two outs in the 7th? You can’t possibly expect Hughes to get one out in the 7th inning before giving up a hit.

      • Yup. What Chris said. The decisions to bring in Marte and Hughes were not the wrong ones. In fact, I wanted to see Hughes in to start the inning because I figured Hughes for four or five outs and Mo for the other four or five outs.

        Hughes just didn’t execute. That’s on him.

        • Ben84 says:

          I wanted to see Hughes start the inning too. That’s my point. We’ve all seen enough of AJ to know that such a pressure situation isn’t exactly his forte. As soon as they took the lead, it should have been Hughes to Mo…case closed. Girardi put way too many layers between Mariano and victory. That’s what makes his bullpen management so poor.

  12. China Joe says:

    I know everybody here has 2004 on the brain, and that’s only natural. The Yankees showed problems putting a team away again. But this is almost a totally different team from 2004. Even Pettitte wasn’t on the team back then. Remember the Rays last year? The Red Sox came back on them when they could’ve clinched the pennant. But Matt Garza came up huge and the Rays pulled it out. It’s all about the starting pitching, and we have the edge.

  13. BigBlueAL says:

    The weather for Saturday does suck big time though. Not to look ahead much but if Game 6 is rained out and Game 7 becomes necessary we are looking at Game 1 of WS Burnett and Game 2 who knows because if not Pettitte on 3 days rest than who???? It would possibly mean Gaudin twice in the WS.

    Please end this series in 6 games, or at the least no rain on Saturday.

  14. Mister Delaware says:

    Game 6 is huge as far as setting up the rotation for Philadelphia. Like really, really huge.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      Big time as I mentioned above. Thats why ending a series as soon as possible is always the best thing and the who cares they still lead the series we can win the next game kinda doesnt fly when there is still another series to play.

      But as long as they win Game 6 it really doesnt matter, heck even winning Game 7 wouldnt be ideal but not horrible, BUT playing Game 6 and 7 on Sunday and Monday would really be horrible.

    • JGS says:

      less of a problem when we light up Cliff Lee

  15. JMK aka The Overshare says:

    No one is more disappointed in this loss than I am. I had my delicious victory steaks and a wonderful bottle of scotch, but unfortunately, I still feel hungry and so, so thirsty. I also had to cancel the bow-legged escort I had called. There can be no celebration tonight.

    Now, that said: I have no problem with Burnett starting the inning. His pitch count was low and he’d cruised since the 2nd. I do take issue with him leaving Burnett in after Mathis singled. Marte did a solid job and Hughes simply did not execute. Not Girardi’s fault. His job is to put his players in the best position to win and I think he did that with Marte and Hughes. It just didn’t work out. I do not understand why Joba was brought in though. I still think it’s baffling that Joba is the #2 guy out of the pen.

    Also, what’s up with Hughes and Swisher? Phil does not look like the pitcher he was in the regular season. Maybe it’s nerves? Mechanics? Injury? Same goes with Swish.

    Despite these questions, I feel it’s worth it to remind everyone that we still have the advantage in this series. 1) We’re up by a game. 2) Andy at home is better than what they’re throwing out. 3) CC is better than anything they have. 4)Walk-off factor is huge.

  16. Jake H says:

    Great points Ben. I thought that this was locked. Here is my turning points.

    1. Burnett gives up a hit to Mathis. I have no problem with Burnett starting the inning off. He had been cruising but AJ is one of those pitchers that at times just loses it. You go batter by batter. This is to go to the WS and when you have a lead this late in October you have to go for the win. Ego’s don’t matter, winning is all that does.

    2. Hunter’s at bat. Hughes started off with a FB outside then another one outside. It looked as if he wasn’t sound since he normally has very good control as a starter and as a reliever even better. I would have liked him to throw a curve ball on the next pitch. If you go off speed there pitchers have to hold the ball back a bit and a lot of time’s that corrections a mechanical flaw.

    3. With Vlad up there and him down 1-2 Phil shakes Jorge off. I would have liked him to go out there. Get on the right page, don’t throw any signs down and just let him pitch.

    While this lost sucked the Yanks still have 2 great shots to go to the WS. My only thinking is this. The Angels have the pressure this next game but if for some reason they win then I think all the pressure is on the Yankees. Right now I don’t think Swish can take any of that.

    • I have more of a problem with Vlad’s at-bat than Hunter’s. To paraphrase NoMaas, I feel dirty agreeing with McCarver, but he should’ve dropped a curve, not a cutter to a guy with a slider-speed bat.

      • Jake H says:

        Oh I agree. I think he at least have to waste a pitch. I just wonder if they were trying to set Vlad up by going up high to change his eye level. Then drop a curve. It was pretty obvious that Hughes didn’t have his FB command.

      • Chris says:

        If he three th fastball at Vlad’s eyes, then it would have been fine. If he couldn’t locate the fastball then why do you assume he would locate the curve? He easily could have hung it or bounced it past Posada to let the run score.

  17. Accent Shallow says:

    This was just painful. How is Jeff Mathis, an absolutely terrible hitter, just killing this team?

    XBH after XBH, and he fucking sucks. Ergh.

  18. Accent Shallow says:

    So, uh, no one has anything to say about Jeter? That hit that Hughes gave up past Jeter wasn’t exactly a rocket. Maybe some other SS gets to it, and the inning ends.

  19. Accent Shallow says:

    Joe Saunders is just not a good pitcher, and there’s no way someone with as fat a face as his and as weak stuff as he has is having two good starts in this series.

  20. mustang says:

    When so many things go wrong it’s best to leave it at a team lost and move on. This is the reason for home field advantage and winning 103 games to have your two best pitchers with one game to go at home.

    I’m going to be cheering my ass off at the Stadium on Saturday when they take this shit. Until then hold on because the anti-Yankees shit is coming full strength it’s already started on ESPN.

    • mustang says:

      PS- After every Yankees playoff win I try looking for extra coverage on ESPN or ESPN NEWS. I find very little of it for some strange reason I didn’t have that problem tonight.

  21. BigBlueAL says:

    Shockingly, John Kruk expects Saunders to pitch well and the Angels to force a Game 7.

  22. danny says:

    i think what pissed me off the most was how this messes things up for the WS, but i just want to get there, no matter how.

  23. Drew says:

    AJ threw less than 90 pitches. He had been cruising. Why people complain about him starting the 7th I do not understand.

    Girardi called upon D-Mart. He came in and did his job. He preserved the lead and got 2 outs.

    Phildiesel shat the bed.

    Even still, I thought we’d get it in the top of the 9th.

    Swish let me down big time, I did the Holy Rosary and everything. It went to 3-2 and I thought the big G was rollin with me and the Yanks. Not to be.

    At least it gives us something to watch on Saturday, the victory will be more fun at home.

    • It was a completely different ballgame. Fresh game, fresh pitcher to keep the momentum.

      • Drew says:

        I know, plus he sat for a long half inning.

        I just don’t think it was meant to be.
        I mean, most people wanted Hughesie in to start the 7th. You can say he would have succeeded if he started the inning but bottom line, he didn’t have his location. I don;t see it working out too differently.

    • danny says:

      well i did want them to clinch at home, but now i got what i wished for and i want to take it all back!!

    • Slugger27 says:

      AJ threw less than 90 pitches. He had been cruising. Why people complain about him starting the 7th I do not understand.

      im with u on this… i dont get the big deal about aj starting the 7th, and leaving him in to face aybar is a call that could go either way but certainly isnt something to throw him under the bus for

      honestly, i thought he did everything right. my only question was marte over coke, but it worked out

      everything else i thought he managed as well as he could have. maybe d-rob over joba as well, but again, thats not a “bad” decision, just one that couldve gone either way

      blame aj’s first inning, and blame hughes for missing his spot by 2 feet, but i think the decisions girardi made put us in great positions to win… we just didnt

      • Buffra says:

        The reason for not bringing Burnett back in has nothing to do with Burnett. All year Hughes has started the inning and rarely come in with runners on. Why change what won you 103 ball games? Girardi is changing his pitchers’ routine at precisely the wrong time. He’s blowing he series !!

  24. Dan says:

    Man, I wish I was gonna be there for Game 6. But I’m a student at Michigan, so I’ll be at our big game vs. Penn State, which will hopefully end by 7 (a 3:30 start). That way, I can settle back home in time and watch the game with Joe Buck (who’s been slightly better than I remember) and Tim McCarver (who is as bad as ever) on the call.

    I agree that we should all be happy with a 3-2 lead out of Anaheim and understand the fact that the Angels can’t beat us at the Stadium 2 games in a row, let alone 1. Pettitte will get it done and send us back to the WS.

  25. @-BOMB says:


  26. misterd says:

    I have no problem with keeping AJ in for the 7th, so long as no one got on base. But with thestruggles he’d had all night, I would have put him on the shortest leash ever. Definately a mistake to let him pitch to the second batter.

    After that, I don’t have any issues. When you start out 0-4 get one pitch away from tieing the game in the 9th and basically lose because they beat your bullpen stud, the loss goes more to the winning team than it does your manager’s decisions.

  27. Conan says:

    Did anyone else think Gardner should have started over Swisher, especially with the horrendous numbers Swisher has lifetime against Lackey?

    Granted, Swisher probably would have been pinch-hitting in the 9th, but perhaps he could use a “breather” on the bench for a game and let things slow down for him.

    • Jobamania says:

      a breather? all these off days arent breathers enough?

      • Conan says:

        He needs to sit – he looks absolutely lost at the plate. However, with lefty Saunders starting Saturday, I’m sure we’ll see Swisher’s name in the lineup, taking up at least an inning’s worth of outs.

  28. So I’m going to go way outside the box here. Rebecca just asked if you at all consider going to Mo with two outs in the 7th. Here’s my way outside-the-box plan that managers, who manager scared in the postseason, would never do. I bet the Yanks win it though.

    Rivera gets the ball in the 7th. He gets to face Hunter and we’ll assume he gets an out. He sets down the Angels in the 8th and maybe is at his pitch for the 9th or maybe can get an out. The Yanks need someone to close it out, and they can turn the ball over to Andy Pettitte.

    I bet the team wins. I bet no manager would ever do that. Am I nuts? Rivera would get the highest leverage situation in the game.

    • Conan says:

      I was thinking the same thing – you need your money pitcher in the big spots. And Mo has been “huge” this series.

    • Zack says:

      I followed you until putting Andy Pettitte in for the 9th.

      • Well, who would you go with? Sabathia on a day’s rest for two outs? If Mo is economical, he could go 2.1 innings, but assume he can’t and assume someone reaches base. Who do you want facing Chone Figgins in the 9th?

        This is of course purely hypothetical.

    • Ben84 says:

      That’s why Girardi screwed up though…he put way too many layers between Mo and the end of the game. The formula was a simple one…Hughes until he struggles and then Mo. Thinking that AJ and Marte would be better options makes no sense.

    • kunaldo says:


      I was thinking the same thing dude…look, the game is on the ropes, we JUST took the lead. If we keep them down right there, they’re deflated. Maybe Mo has a low pitch inning, and he can go 3. If not, I was ready to go K-rob, or whoever.

    • Lefty says:

      Actually, Ben, if you go back to the spillover thread, I was alone in saying that we should bring out Mo for the dagger, and get out of it then and there since that was as high of a leverage as it gets.

      Then you can bring out Hughes or K-Rob to get them thru the 9th, because if anything, we can stretch Mo out fir 6 outs and if you dint feel comfortable with him going for more than 2 whole innings, then you have your WHOLE bullpen as an option to get just one measly little out.

      That was my take, becase essentially, whomever would’ve gotten that out right there would’ve gotten the “save”. No one seemed to agree with me, but hey, such is life.

    • trueblue says:

      Not all games are “saved” in the 9th. I wish more manager would realize that.

  29. ansky says:

    Negatives: 1. AJ should’ve been gone the minute Mathis got on. 2. Whats going with the Phranchise?

    Positives: 1. Tex’s big hit. If his bat comes alive the Angels are fuuuuucked. 2. I said this after game 3…the Angels just cant fully put us away. They’ve had to fight for that last out in both their Ws.

    ….Side Bar in YS3, tonight’s 9th inning situation would’ve TOTALLY ended in a walk-off!!!

  30. [...] Confidence Poll « A Game 5 seesaw lands ALCS back in New York Oct [...]

  31. Jobamania says:

    im so tired of joe g.

    this guy goes from 2 complete opposites
    its unfathomable where the heck his bullpen management skills have gone

    hughes has struggled all postseason, why leave him in when he failed to execute against vlad? that was already too late and he was clearly overthrowing EVERYTHING. he didnt have a fastball for shit. not even a meeting after that sequence? we had coke in the pen for a reason, and thats to turn around batters and lefties….why not bring in coke against morales? His complete mysteries and patternless decisions need to end. When the fuck are you gonna actually give robertson some credit for what hes done for you and actually get him in a non extra inning game? joba has done nothing, hughes hasnt done much.

  32. ansky says:

    Another thing I dont understand…where the heck is K-Rob…why has Joba moved up on the depth chart. How do you have a pitcher nicknamed Houdini, but you never you use him??? He should be renamed bermuda triangle b/c he’s disappeared.

  33. Jobamania says:

    yankees NEED to end it saturday. they need to slap around saunders and i really hope teix has broken out but his at bat against fuentes was despicable.

  34. Mike says:

    I dont know how I’m going to deal with hearing another day of all the second guessing and questioning of the Yankees on talk-radio. I really hope the Yankees close the game out in six, because as everyone know’s anything can happen in any game, but it’s a lot more likely to in game seven. I’d hate to see the Yankees lose six, and then see them have a tough luck loss in game seven. Luckily we have Pettite on the mound, who I can say is one of the best pitchers to have on the hill. Not only is he amount of experience this guy has is ridiculous, but also you can bet Andy want’s to come back and make sure he pitches even better than game three.

  35. Andrew says:

    me and my buddy just got tix to game 6 but it supposed to rain and we stupidly didnt check the weather. does anyone know what happens ifv game 6 gets rained out?

    • If game 6 is delayed due to rain, Game 6 tickets will be good for Sunday’s game while Game 7′s tickets will be good for Monday. You don’t have tickets to Saturday’s game; you have tickets to Game 6. So whenever the sixth game of the ALCS is played, that’s when you get to go.

  36. ansky says:

    I hope the guys wrap it up on Saturday. I’m sick of the Torii Hunter interviews. I just dont like this guy.

  37. kunaldo says:

    Guys, I have a conundrum. I am currently searching for tix(my friend had em but sold em yesterday) b/c I really want to go to the game(being there if we clinch would be AWESOME). But, my best friend’s bday celebrations are that day in NYC. They’ll last through the wee hours, so I can always meet up with the gang after. Here’s the kicker though: I’m 6-0 this year w/ 4 walkoff wins(including Game 2 of both the ALDS and the ALCS). What do you think, should I go?

    (Yes, I know, I dont REALLY have an effect on the outcome of the game. But hey, maybe if I scream K-Rob’s name loud enough Girardi will remember he has him)

  38. Salty Buggah says:

    Ugh, that Hughes to Vlad pitch was atrocious. He completely missed his spot.

    Where it was supposed to be:

    Where it actually was:


    Simply awful.

    • dkidd says:

      which is why this game is not on girardi

    • Drew says:

      Dang Salty you always get some sick “still shots.” The crying girl the other day and now this!

      man Philly really messed up today, no need to get back into it. Also, that was after Philly shook off pee-hands a few times.

      What doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger. And this sure doesn’t kill us. Philly needs this to help him grow.

      • dkidd says:

        two more positives: if we won tonight angels fans would get to bitch about that ball four call forever and ever

        after they lose on saturday, the angels will have to take a long-ass plane ride

      • Salty Buggah says:


        I think I should post more inspirational quotes for the Yanks like I did last time.

        BTW, I didn’t make that still of the crying girl. I got from FackYouk’s twitter. These stills I got myself though because I was pissed but whatever. The way Im looking at is that Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, Dimaggio, and other Yankees ghosts wanted to see the pennant win in person and wanted to let Yanks fans witness it live in the Bronx so they extended the series for one more game.

    • ShuutoHeat says:

      Ugh, that is just…

      My confidence in Hughes during the post season took a bit of a hit in the past few outings…

      If that pitch had been high and tight, Vlad most likely (95%) swung through and hated himself for his inability to catch up to pitches thrown high and in.

      We’ve seen Vlad take really ugly hacks at pitches high and in, it’s obvious his bat speed isn’t there with pitches like that…

      Let’s hope the pen picks it’s pieces back up and put itself back together. The pen was one of the strong points for this team…to lose a strong point like the pen is killer.

      • Drew says:

        All the cool kids blame Joe. Don’t ya wanna be a cool kid?

        /peer pressure’d

        • ShuutoHeat says:

          Joe G fucked us up, it’s all an elaborate plot by Joe G to fuck with the Evil Empire that stretches all the way back to when JoPo replaced him!

          1. Joe G lays down elaborate plot to become managerial candidate, by first getting rid of Torre behind the shadows.
          2. Joe G then somehow manages to become the manager of the Yankees.
          3. He struggles the first year, which is all in his plot. In the process he hurts CMW, so that the starting rotation of 2009 is good but isn’t super. He also threatens Moose to retire.
          4. 2009 he destroys Hughes and Joba by screwing with them. All while getting the team to 103 wins, which was a miracle. All while trying to sabotage the team. (He whacked Arod in the hips shortly after his recovery in hopes of injuring him…instead it fixed him.)
          5. He tries to sabotage the team again to lose to the Twins, but the Yankees prevail because of their raw prowess.
          6. Yankees advance to ALCS, Joe G pulls the strings and seemingly gives the Evil Empire hope that they will indeed win. He screws up on purpose to give 2 games to Angels, in hopes of a high stakes game 6 amd 7 to crush our spirits.

          Fucking Joe G!!!! DAMN HIM!!!!!!
          /collapsed under peer pressure

  39. dkidd says:

    i’m choosing to take only one thing from this game: marte looks like the guy we traded for/signed. having him available to pitch to howard/utley/rollins/ibanez will be huge

    • Drew says:

      Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I had total confidence in him. I posted as much on here.

      Even though Bobby has been struggling, he’s still been hitting the ball pretty well. Anytime you get a hitter like that out in a big spot it’s reason to be happy.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        I’ve always liked Marte, though at times he didn’t reward me(and you) for my faith in him. But yea, he’s good.

  40. rob says:

    hughes may be hitting a bit of a wall. D Rob needs to get the ball in the 7th…joe continually contradicts himself in how he manages his bullpen in october.

  41. Mo Wang says:

    They can’t bench Swish. Not if the goal is to improve the offense. And this is because the morons in charge dropped Hinske off the roster for the near-useless Guzman. Without Hinske, nobody on that bench is even close to the hitter that Swisher is. And for those that think Gardner would be the better choice, how many at-bats has that guy even had in the last month? They need to stick with Swish.

  42. acb says:

    i wanted to see robertson start the 7th inning but i knew it wasnt going to happen since girardi only uses him as a last resort meanwhile hes pitching better then joba and hughes.

    i actually thought gardner should have gotten a start today given swishers stats off lackey and his struggles in the post season so far.

    and i hope molina is done catching burnett.

  43. Dela G says:

    thank god there isnt much talk radio on saturday, as i will only have to suffer through one day of wfan and 1050espn

  44. Mo Wang says:

    Yeah Robertson is the better relief option than Joba at this point. Girardi needs to wake up already.

  45. gxpanos says:

    I’m glad RAB ripped Girardi a bit. It’s still within the realm of rational discourse to harshly criticize a manager when he does something clearly wrong.

    Phil Hughes did not make his pitch to Vlad tonight. It was supposed to be up, and it wasnt. That pitch is not Girardi’s fault.

    But Joe cant run AJ out there for the 7th. He just can’t. You go K-Rob (WHERE THE FUCK WAS K-ROB?!) for Mathis/Abybar. Marte for Figgins and Abreu. Hughes, Mo.

    If Joe insists on AJ for Mathis, fine. I wouldnt have, but I’ll listen to the argument. But when Mathis got on, it was ABSOLUTELY INEXCUSABLE to not go get AJ.

    The idea is, you shouldnt rip the manager if he makes the most logical call at the time, even if the move backfires; if K-Rob came in and blew it in the 7th, or Hughes blew it in the 8th (which he probably would have, considering his command tonight), Girardi wouldnt deserve to be ripped. Conversely, if he doesnt make the most logical call at the time, but it still works, there should still be Girardi rippage. Let’s say Hughes makes the pitch to Vlad and pops him up. Girardi should STILL HAVE BEEN RIPPED.

    You have to consider all the factors. AJ’s wild. He’d been hit around. He’d been sitting for a while because of the 6-run inning. You have a well-rested BP, and a day off tomorrow in case you do end up losing. There’s very little reason to let Burnett face Mathis; there is no reason AT ALL, not one reason, to let AJ pitch to Aybar once Mathis is on. NONE.

    Someone even said above that we have to remember that Girardi is managing in October for the first time. That’s crap. It’s really not that hard.

    He choked. He swung from perhaps slightly overmanaging to egregiously undermanaging the BP. And that shouldnt happen. We all had one of two thoughts after the Yanks took the lead: it was either, “K-Rob, or Hughes?” or it was “AJ with K-Rob waiting if there’s trouble, or K-Rob to start the 7th?” Nobody was thinking: “The 7th is AJ’s inning.”

    Except, apparently, the man in charge.

    • Drew says:

      At 80 pitches, pull your cruising starter. Check

      Get two lefties out. Check

      7th inning, get Hughes ready then bring him in. Check (but this was a negative, if he pitches the 7th and allows 2 runs to score, he can’t pitch teh eighth!)

      8th inning, start Joba rather than the unflappable D-rob. JOba gives up a hit but essentially gets his job done and does not allow a run to score with the help of Mo.

      No more runs score but this has to be Joe’s fault because AJ started the 7th with 80 pitches!

      Man, I know people hate Melky. I have grown to accept that. I know people hate Joe, I accept that.
      I don;t understand how you blame him for this one. The one guy we’ve trusted, aside from Mosanna, gives up runs, it must be someone else’s fault. DOUBLE CHECK!

      • gxpanos says:

        I’m not blaming Girardi for Hughes throwing a bad pitch. You didnt read my post carefully enough.

        • dkidd says:

          only thing that confused me (a little) about aj starting the 7th is joe pulled a cruising/low pitch count andy in minnesota

          it’s totally unquantifiable, but i agree with the poster who evoked the “brand new game, brand new pitcher” argument. with the angels reeling, going to the bullpen seems like more of a throat-stepping move

          • Rebel Scum says:

            Except it likely would have ended up exactly the same – Hughes sucks, gives up multiple runs. How the hell is Hughes sucking Girardi’s fault? Did he kick him in the shins before his appearance?

            Blaming the manager REEKS of Red Sox Nationism. Can’t be the players, they’re too good. How could they screw up without proper mismanagement?

            It’s embarrassing how stupid every single person has become in regards to Joe Girardi.

        • Drew says:

          I didn’t read it carefully enough? Please.

          Give some accountability to our man Phil. He gets the job done and everyone loves that Philly came in.

          Maybe you look into ish too much. Maybe I don’t look into it enough.
          When AJ allowed the first runner on in the 7th, I hoped he’d get a DP like he did several times before. Give Joe a break. I understand he fucked up the other day, tonight he let the team play and they fucked up. Plain and simple. You want D-Rob? He walks someone and we are in the same spot. Hughes would have came in, he would not have located. He didn’t have it tonight. Them’s the breaks man.

          • gxpanos says:

            Don’t know what to tell you, other than read my OP more carefully, rather than continually say that the move would have been fine if Hughes could locate.

            I quote from my original post: “Phil Hughes did not make his pitch to Vlad tonight. It was supposed to be up, and it wasnt. That pitch is not Girardi’s fault.”

      • Mac says:

        I was surprised to see Burnett come out for the 7th mostly b\c as a fan I don’t have to be rational all (or most) of the time. My irrationality did see reality however as AJ clearly faltered. His FB was around 91 in the 7th and I thought Girardi was going to give him only a batter.

        But, after seeing how Hughes and Joba were clearly ratlled, I can’t really blame Joe G for trying to get AJ to get some more outs.

        I guess he didn’t go to D. Rob since he’s still following the script of what got him here.

        I’m not ready to blame anyone – its just what happens. I’m definitely disappointed in Burnett, Hughes and Swish (he made 2 of the outs in the 7th?).

        There will be plenty of blame to go around if we don’t play the Phils. I’m disappointed, don’t like seeing fat Mike in the Angels dugout looking smug and in control and I think the Yanks are simply a much more talented team – hopefully they prove that on Saturday.

      • Nady Nation says:

        “8th inning, start Joba rather than the unflappable D-rob. JOba gives up a hit but essentially gets his job done and does not allow a run to score with the help of Mo.”

        Dude, you have an absurd definition of “getting the job done.” Joba faced 3 hitters, got one out, and gave up a double and a single. How is that getting his job done?! Mo TOTALLY bailed Joba out. He did not help Joba get his job done, he did Joba’s job for him.

  46. Summer says:

    I just wanna say I love reading your recaps. Even after a tough loss they’re rational and help me feel a little less pissed off. :)

  47. ranger11 says:

    Shit, piss, and corruption!! This game sucked monkey balls! They’ll get Saunders at the Stadium though. He’s not going to be able to do it two times in a row there. There will be an offensive orgy that not even Joe Buck could turn his eyes away from.

  48. Benny Blanco says:

    Kabak loves ripping Girardi after the fact. If he had gone to the pen to start the 7th & they surrendered the lead, you would have blasted Girardi for taking Burnett out with a low pitch count.

  49. The Artist says:

    ““We talked about it, but he was throwing the ball so well. He had put up five shutout innings and he had only thrown 80 pitches,” the Yankee skipper said.

    Of course, this is the same manager who, just a few days ago, pulled Andy Pettitte in Minnesota with a lead and at 81 pitches. Why Burnett gets a longer leash, I do not know.”

    And you criticized him for that at the time, and now you criticize him for leaving AJ in. Typical fan, classic second guess.

    If you’re interested, the answer to your last question is contained in Girardi’s first line. Managers are more interested in how someone is throwing the ball at that point of the game. AJ looked great, I believe he retired 10 of 12 (or something close) so had he pulled him,

    And who would he have pulled him for? That’s right, Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain. Both of whom looked awful for the 2nd straight outing. This game was on Phil Hughes, period. He didn’t do his job. And frankly, he looked nervous out there to me.

    If anyone was over thinking things tonight, it was Phil. Angels hitters couldn’t touch his curveball all night. If a single one of them made contact on his curve, I must have missed it. During the Vladimir Guerrero at bat, Hughes threw Vlad a curveball his missed badly. (ex-catcher)Tim McCarver commented “you have to go right back to that pitch” Hughes shakes off Posada twice, gets the pitch he wanted (which was a fastball) and Vlad smokes it into centerfield. That’s just trying too hard.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      W/o men on base, who knows if they blow the lead? We criticized for pulling Andy since he really did look great. Burnett, w/2 K’s and 4 runs allowed already, just looked lucky.

    • Trapped In El Duque's Glove says:

      “If anyone was over thinking things tonight, it was Phil”

      I’ve often thought this was Phil’s problem as a starter, that he was trying to be too smart, always looking for the perfect pitch in every situation.

      As a reliever he appeared to trust his stuff more and be a little more aggressive in his approach. Last night he looked a little nervous – he seemed to be trying too hard to make perfect pitches again.

      Still, he’s young and it’s his first post season. Handling that kind of pressure doesn’t always come easily – he’ll be back.

      • The Artist says:

        I agree 100%. I’ve always felt that Hughes biggest obstacle was himself. Don’t forget all the hype that surrounded him when he came up. He tried to live up to that, and failed. But that’s typical of many young pitchers. As he gets more experience, I think that will pass.

        Again, they were missing his curve by a foot, so his stuff is fine. Just be a little smarter, and read hitters swings instead of trying to force-feed things.

  50. Renny Baseball says:

    Game’s been analyzed quite a bit here but there’s one point no one touched on: Once Hughes was in, and was not getting the job done and allowed the game to be tied, I could not understand why Girardi did not bring Coke in to face Morales. This is not a second guess. I said this as Morales was up — before he got the go-ahead run-scoring hit — that it made sense since Morales’s power threat is significantly greatest when he hits lefty which he did against the righty Hughes. He didn’t homer but the match up made sense anyway, plus by then it was already clear that Hughes’s command was not right. Point is, if you’re going to hyper- or micro- manage the bullpen, do it fully and correctly, with all of the weapons in the arsenal.

    • The Artist says:

      That’s fair. But with 2 outs, hitters missing Hughes’ curveball by a foot, and Hughes being your primary setup man having posted a 1.40 ERA as a reliever this year, I can’t go crazy about leaving him in for Morales. Hughes is the far better pitcher, and Morales is dangerous from both sides of the plate. Though he has hit most of his HRs facing Righties.

  51. Ed says:

    Probably gonna get a lot of crap for this comment, but this one hurt a lot. I always get nervous when a team loses a game played in its style. What I mean is they came back like they did all year and then handed it over to the bullpen to hold a lead like they have done all year and they couldn’t. I know its irrational,but it makes makes me nervous going into the weekend.

    • The Artist says:

      Nah. If anything, last night’s game confirms to me just how good this team is. That game had 4-0 loss written all over it, and the Angels couldn’t hold us down. I still feel good about things.

      Also, if I was an Angels fan, I would be TERRIFIED of bringing in Fuentes to lock down Game 7 to send us to the World Series. After watching him this series, I’m not sure he can do that.

  52. Joe R says:

    So if this goes to Game 7 and we win. Do we start CC in Game 1 and the rest of the WS on short rest? I think you have to. Besides I dont wanna go to Game 1 seeing AJ vs Cliff Lee. Scary thought.

    • Renny Baseball says:

      If Game 7 is on Sunday and World Series Game 1 is on Wednesday, then that would mean starting CC not just on short rest but on 2 days rest. Starting a pitcher on 3 days rest, which is what the team did last turn with CC, is usually considered a stretch, 2 days rest is generally unheard of. AJ would be on normal rest regardless of which game he starts and Petite, with Saturday’s start, could not start Games 1 or 2 and be on normal rest. Petite would probably not be considered a safe option to pitch on short 3 days rest. The team would probably be forced to flip CC and AJ as Games 1 and 2 starters, most unfortunately. Also, they’d have to either start AJ on 3 days rest in Game 4, and his record on short rest is successful, or, less likely, to avoid setting AJ up as the Game 7 starter, turn to Gaudan in Game 4.

  53. phil O'neill says:

    Nick Swisher needs to hit the bench. might sound crazy but i feel alot more comfortable with hairston playinig. swisher looks completely lost

    • The Artist says:

      Yeah, Jerry Hairston is the answer to all of our problems.

      • trueblue says:

        If Swisher’s only asset is going to be defense we are screwed. Thru 8 games in the post season he has done virtually nothing positive. The Angels had to be thrilled Swish was the guy at bat last night. Short of Guzman, no one on the roster is less of a threat right now. Watching Swish absolutely flounder has to make Cashman and Joe sick they kepy Guzman (who has done nothing) over Hinskie.

        • ansky says:

          Unless he’s serving cheesesteaks, I dont want to see Guzman anywhere near Philly.

        • Zack says:

          Didnt we go through this ‘Hinske-to-start’ lovefest back in Aug/Sept after his few HRs after his arrival? Then you see him for a few games and he goes right back to the bench where he belongs

          Eric Hinske can NOT hit LHP, so if he was in the spot Swish was in last night he wouldnt have done anything productive

        • Ed says:

          It didn’t amount to anything, but he did work a 3-2 count after being down 0-2. He popped up the next pitch, but he put himself in position to get that pitch. That’s something.

  54. Jeremy says:

    The Angels’ pen did its best to give the game away in the 6th. The Angels had to go to Weaver in the 8th because there was no one in the pen they could trust. Fuentes lucked out with Damon’s liner to Morales and is not confident enough to pitch to ARod with no one on. The Angels eked out this win. We’ll beat them.

    • ansky says:

      Agreed. They had to fight hard to get both wins. With that crappy bullpen the Yanks always have a chance. And I believe if that 9th inning situation occured at home…there would have been pie. But, I love Swish but he has been straight PUTRID.

  55. phil O'neill says:

    hairston in two plate appearances has done more in this series than swisher.

  56. Renny Baseball says:

    Here’s the thing about Girardi: This is not about one single bad decision in Game 5. This is about what has developed into the fans’, sports writers’ and, soon (if not already), the front office’s lack of confidence in his ability to effectively manage post-season games, especially in late innings. When Sabathia is not giving us 8 innings to get to Mo, how many of us are not dreading the late innings now in these post-season games because of the maze of traps that awaits that is Girardi’s baseball mind?

    While no single Game 5 decision was necessarily as poor as what happened in Game 3, there at least were a number of dubious decisions, and with confidence in him already completely eroded, not a lot of people are going to give him the any benefit of the doubt with the ongoing micro-managing. (By the way, it is not even consistent micro-managing: sometimes it is overly statistically oriented, other times it favors players based on judgment rather than merit, while still other times, it seems flat out whimsical. I think this is what drives fans crazy most of all and it is magnified most — as his over-managing has increased — in October). He always over-managed slightly during the year, and this had been his style, but it was outweighed by better than average performance. It is astonishing now what a liability he has become as a manager in the post-season, especially given all the money the team invested in its players. There is no way he can remain manager of the team if they do not get to the World Series.

    • JackC says:

      I put the game 5 loss on Burnett and Hughes’ shoulders, not Joe G, but you are nonetheless correct — the mannr in which they will have lost (if they do — I don’t think they will) the ALCS will make him a dead man

    • Here’s the thing about Girardi: This is not about one single bad decision in Game 5. This is about what has developed into the fans’, sports writers’ and, soon (if not already), the front office’s lack of confidence in his ability to effectively manage post-season games, especially in late innings.

      Fans and sportswriters are notoriously stupid. The fans and sportswriters don’t have confidence in Girardi?

      I don’t give a shit. Fuck the fans and fuck the sportswriters. Letting the inmates run the asylum is not something I’m going to agree with.

      • JackC says:

        I think the issue will become, rightly or wrongly, if the front office and clubhouse loses confidence in him. My sense, which I fully admit may well be totally wrong, is that an ALCS collapse, especially a collapse enabled in part by some odd/questionable managerial choices, will erode the meager bank of goodwill Girardi seems to have with both constituancies. Obviously, my view on all these matters is from the cheap seats and therefore purely speculative, but that’s how it strikes me.

        • Zack says:

          Right- and if the Yankees win the World Series then what do you do? Fire Girardi of course, because they won it in spite of him

          • JackC says:

            You’re conflatig two things — what is fair and what is realistic — is it nec. fair that Joe lose his job if they lose this weekend? Possibly not. Is it, if he indeed has lost the faith of his team, a given? Of course

    • A.D. says:

      This is not about one single bad decision in Game 5. This is about what has developed into the fans’, sports writers’ and, soon (if not already), the front office’s lack of confidence in his ability to effectively manage post-season games, especially in late innings. When Sabathia is not giving us 8 innings to get to Mo, how many of us are not dreading the late innings now in these post-season games because of the maze of traps that awaits that is Girardi’s baseball mind?

      Well considering Girardi is 6-2 in the postseason, and all the games have been fairly close, except for 2, both which CC pitched, I don’t really haven any qualms about Girardi’s ability to manage in the post season.

      That and I don’t care what sportswriters and other fans think. It’s results, the Yanks win this series, then Girardi has done just fine.

  57. Chris says:

    Before the series started, my ideal way for the series to play out was for the Yankees to win games 1 and 2, lose game 3, win game 4, lose game 5, then win game 6. If they win game 6, then CC will still be ready to go for game 1 of the WS, but they’ll only have a 3 day break before the WS starts. Having fewer off days before the WS is probably a benefit for the Yankees.

  58. ansky says:

    My only question is where was K-Rob in the seventh? Once AJ got 2 men on, the situation called for a strikeout pitcher. Can someone please slap Girardi with a calendar please??? this is not 2007. This is not the same Joba.

  59. donttradecano says:

    I dont know what annoys me more, the loss or the mets fans inferiority complex coming out in full force on facebook.

  60. Raf says:

    the Phranchise didnt get the job done, plain and simple. AJ left the bullpen in a hole when he was pulled but only one run should’ve scored. Phil’s curve was working and he had little control of his FB. even with a runner at 3rd you have to take the chance of bouncing a curve especially to Vlad.

  61. Paul Allen says:

    gotta love all those walks swisher has in the playoffs…and hes great at hitting for power too! No need to worry about a .245 batting avg…thats a stupid stat that dosent tell you anything

    • Zack says:

      Batting average doesnt tell the whole story.
      But I’m sure you’re one of the ‘Swisher is a 4th OF’ fans so I wont waste my time because you know they lost the last 5 years because their cleanup hitter wasnt hitting, but now if they lose it’s because of their #7 hitter…

  62. Steve S says:

    I really have no issue with the AJ decision and its really not fair to compare it to the ALDS, its a different team and a different pitcher. If he handled everyone and every situation identically I would have a much bigger issue with that. As for bringing AJ out, I have no issue with that because if AJ gets through that then you can do Mo for two innings. It seems like no one wants to say that Hughes is struggling right now. He just hasnt been throwing strikes the way he did in the regular season. I mean no offense, people want to blame Girardi, but it was 6-5 with two outs in the seventh and he had the ball in Hughes’ hands with seven outs to go.

  63. Bo says:

    I don’t see how anyone is surprised that Girardi has been awful. hes been awful for 2 yrs now. hes been saved by having the most talented and best team. They are here in spite of him and his “book”. All that great pen handling he was called for last yr wasnt really on the spot now was it?

    The worst thing about him is hes not consistent. How he pulls Pettitte after 81 pitches and doesnt pull Burnett after 80 and a 40 min half inning is beyond me. Especially with the bottom of the order up and a shutdown inning needed.

    But then he doesnt realize that Robertson now is his 3rd reliever and Joba should be the extra inning guy. That spot screamed for Robertson.

  64. Tubby says:

    The problem with bringing AJ back out is that he sat for a looooong time. Once the Yanks bat around in the top of the 7th, you have to pat AJ on the back and go to the bullpen. You can’t expect AJ, who was already closing in on his pitch limit, to sit that long and be sharp in the bottom of the 7th. Everyone agrees that the extra off days favored the Yankees because it allowed our bullpen to rest – so why not use that fresh bullpen to our advantage? What was Joe trying to accomplish by squeezing another inning out of AJ? It’s not like he needed to save the bullpen for tonight. I just don’t get it.

    • JackC says:

      I think this is a legitimate point, though I think there’s a rationale for sending him out there to start the 7th. I can’t knock him for that, as I thought it was reasonable at the time. However, the quality of Burnett’s first sequence of pitches should have served as brick hurled through Joe G’s window with a four word note attached: Get Me Out Now!

  65. ansky says:

    On the bright side…I really truly hope this means the Molina/Burnett tandem is over. There is no way we can keep playing with 2 automatic outs (swish/molina) in the lineup. When this was first planned I had no problem wiht it b/c I thought Swish would be hitting. But he’s been totally lost at the plate so we need ever bat we have in there.

    • What do you suggest they do, though? Hairston cannot be counted on for any sort of offense, Gardner’s the same, and I don’t think Freddy Guzman should be allowed to touch a bat. If Hinske were around, maybe you sit Swisher when they’re facing a righty from here on out, but I doubt that happens. I have much more faith in Swisher (and Cano, and Tex, etc) breaking out of a slump than I do in getting any sort of contribution from the bench.

      • ansky says:

        I know Swish stays in there. There is no one else. My point is that Jorge can start catching AJ now.

      • steve s says:

        Gardner is clearly a better choice (offensively and defensively) now than Swisher to start Game 6. Get him in the game and he’ll make something happen.

  66. A.D. says:

    Frankly as long as they win this series, I don’t care how long or what it takes.

  67. crapulent aka I said good day sir says:

    Phil and Joba should be forbidden from shaking off Jorge. It just should be “whatever he puts down, THAT is what you throw. Idiot.”

    • Camilo Gerardo - your inception? fuck perception, go with what makes sense says:

      just sad that even with phil’s missed spot on vlad, he is still was very close to grounding out. that and Damon’s rocket lineout in the ^9

  68. Tom says:

    Bottom Line is Girardi messed up.

    1) Burnett should not have come out for the 7th
    1a) He should have been taken out after the first hit

    You start the inning with Robertson or Hughes. Starting an inning is a lot different then cleaning a mess up.

    I will give props to Marte, he did his job.

    Andy will bring it home for us. Hell if we have to bring Mo in for 2 innings

    • Zack says:

      Hmm and if Hughes starts off the 7th with 0 control of his FB and blows the lead I will guess and say your post would read:

      “Bottom Line is Girardi messed up.

      1) AJ was cruising since the 1st, with 80 pitches, you HAVE to leave him in
      1a) He micromanages with his stupid notebook

      If AJ gets a guy on then put Hughes in- he’s been a stud all year, dont baby him now- he can get outs with guys on base.”

    • It’s really not Girardi’s fault that Hughes missed his spot to Vlad. If Hughes hits that spot, the Yankees most likely win.

      • Tubby says:

        I don’t think anyone is blaming Girardi for Hughes missing his spot. The blame, if there should be any, is for putting your relievers in a situation that they didn’t need to be in. With 9 outs to go and a bullpen full of fresh power arms, you need to give your relievers a chance to start the inning fresh, mow down the bottom of the order, and preserve the lead. AJ did his job. He gave his team a chance to get back in the game. He was obviously in a great rhythm, but that rhythm was broken with the 40 minute rest. 80 pitches or not, there’s no reason to expect AJ to be able to gear it back up after cooling down for so long. Bring in K-Rob, Joba, Hughes, mix and match, whatever…but it was time to turn the game over to the ‘pen.

        • I’ve got no problem with Burnett starting the inning because of said rhythm. He should’ve been taken out as soon as Mathis reached, though. Even with a long rest, I still trust Burnett against at least Mathis.

          • Tubby says:

            I trust Burnett against Mathis too, but I also trust every bullpen arm against Mathis. There’s nothing to be gained by having Burnett face Mathis. The advantage of letting the bullpen start the inning >>>>>> any advantage Burnett has over Mathis.

  69. Bo says:

    A big concern now would be the weather. If Game 6 is pushed to Sun and the Angels get it to a Game 7 they can start Lackey over Kazmir/Weaver.

    • Yeah, but, if the weather pushes things back, the Yankees could (and should) go to Sabathia for Game 6. I think we’d all agree that if CC pitches Game 6, there probably ain’t gonna be any Game 7.

  70. Virginia Yankee says:

    giradi is not bill martin casey or even st joe –

    for those who have forgotten – st joe threw away games 4 5 6 against the sawx and game 5 against the marlins with bad decision — joe g is on his way he needs to turn it around

    he is not using his eyes and the most recent performance of his players to determine who plays — no manager seems to recognize where the game hangs in the balance and willl benefit from being managed

    no matter what he did during the season hughes has not been effective in the playoffs — he therefore can’t be trusted in dire situations

    swisher is in a monumental slump — he has opportunities to plare runners from 3rd with less than 2 outs or to move a runner — last night’s abat is not a one off – it is simply the latest in a string of futile efforts – easy to say tex, matsui, cano have been nearly as bad but there are no alternatives for them

    firemen used to put out fires — either start a reliever with no one and no out or in a dire game saving situation use your game saver – MO — but we will not see the end of the closer crap in my lifetime

    get swisher out of the lineup — go with hairston againt a lefty and gardner against a rh — if joe f does that he will get second guessed to death — but etter to have 3-4 effective ABs than one pinch runner
    – get rid of a useless pitcher and activate Hinske for the WS

  71. Tank Foster says:

    Tough loss, for sure. I had the opposite feeling in the 7th–I wanted AJ in there. He was pitching well. I was seriously disappointed in him for the first time though when he choked under that pressure.

    Marte was great, and then Hughes….shook of Jorge before that Vlad single, too.

    Oh well.

  72. thurdonpaul says:

    we play today, oops tomorrow
    we win tomorrow, das it

    next time CC pitches is on wednesday in game 1

  73. Tommy P says:

    BRUTAL game by Girardi. I just read a great article somewhere else on why Rivera should have been used in the 7th instead of Hughes. Hughes was just terrible, which surprised me. Maybe it was the pressure of the moment.

    I just hope we can handle the pressure of games 6 and 7. We’ve got the two pitchers I’d want on the hill in Pettite and CC, but I am worried about CC. I know he’s done the short rest thing before, but it has to catch up eventually. He’s at like 250+ innings for the season and we’re not to the World Series!

    Anyways, great post with lots of comments. That makes for a good forum! Also, if people would like to see some great New York Yankees memorabilia, head to my client Steiner Sports. It’s a great link in any Yankees Blog

  74. Tank Foster says:

    No Rivera in the 7th. He doesn’t pitch enough in those situations…don’t like it there. I would have started the inning with AJ, but after the walk, would have brought in Robertson. Thinking maybe Robbie’s elbow is bothering him, because Joba isn’t as good, and Joba has been getting more use than Robertson lately.

  75. Kiko Jones says:

    Shouldn’t Cano have scored on the missed throw home to get Matsui? A-Rod was waving him home…

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