Oct
21

The inevitable post about the extra off-day

By

The extra days off in the first two rounds of the playoffs have helped the Yankees — in theory. (Communism works, in theory.) It has allowed them to plan for a three man rotation, which is key when you have only three reliable starters. Yet in the ALCS there has been a drawback. It could constitute too much time off.

Yes, it’s tough on the fans. After just 18 off days over the season’s first six months, the Yankees have played two games in a row just twice this postseason. Most of us preferred it that way — the Yankees gained a strategic advantage by choosing the long ALDS — but it still doesn’t make the month go by any quicker. For fans, the extra off-days in October are painful.

In this case, it’s not just about the fans. The players have to be feeling it, too. In one way I’m sure they appreciate the rest. Over 162 games even tough guys get sprains, sore arms, and muscle pulls. But at some point I’m sure they want that rhythm back. With no more than two consecutive days with a game, it’s tough for some of those players to get to where they were in the regular season.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why the Yankees’ offense is slumping (or was slumping, if you believe they broke out last night), but being out of rhythm is certainly one theory. The clearest example here is Teixeira, why by anecdotal accounts takes time to find his groove. It’s tough to find and stay in a groove if you’re playing every other day. Tex had a few decent at bats last night. I’m sure he wants to build on that today.

In fact, I’m sure the whole Yankees team wants to play today. Who wouldn’t want to play the day after you trounce your opponent? The Angels looked defeated by the end. After Juan Rivera grounded into a double play to kill a potential sixth-inning rally, the Angels went down without a whimper. Only Kendry Morales drew a three-ball count the rest of the way, and he ended up flailing at a 3-2 pitch. The Yankees want to come back out today and finish the job. Instead, they have to wait for tomorrow.

I’m grateful for the edge the Yankees get from the extra off-day, and I’m sure they are, too. The ability to go with only three pitchers, three very good pitchers, is an advantage for a team that doesn’t have a reliable fourth option. But there is a downside, and it’s not just related to fans who want baseball every day. Baseball is about rhythm, and these off-days in the playoffs mess with that. The good news is that it works both ways, and there seems to be no team more asynchronous than the Angels.

Categories : Playoffs

76 Comments»

  1. MattG says:

    It’s good for us slobs with families. I can even go to the gym tonight. And I still get to watch baseball.

    It’s like a day off for me too!

  2. count crapulent says:

    Baseball season is ending in a few short weeks. While I don’t want the ALCS or WS go 7 games, I am grateful for stretching it out as much as we can (without the Yanks having their backs against the wall).

  3. I would love for them to be playing today, but let’s be honest, it’s all about the money. The extra day off lets a team’s ace pitch up to 3 games in the LCS, and sets up the potential to have two aces facing off in game 7. I don’t know if that’s ultimately good, bad, or really either, but it is what it is. Might as well enjoy Dodgers-Phillies tonight.

  4. JM says:

    It’s the Scioscialism!

  5. Arman Tamzarian says:

    While I wish they would play 2,3,2 with off days in between. I do think it allows you to savor the games a bit more, before immediately jumping into the next game. These have been some great games and idiotic calls to scrutinize, isn’t that half the fun of watching sports?

    • count crapulent says:

      well I don’t think I could have handled listening to 2 days of how Girardi is an idiot for pulling Robertson or Mo’s a cheater and there was nothing else to talk about. Unless you want to talk about the anemic offense and why the F we got to an 11th inning in the first place.

      But that’s history thanks to last night’s decisive win.

  6. JM says:

    I liked the travel between cities off-days because that at least made some sort of sense, but a cross-country trip if the Yankees don’t finish them off without an off-day? That, to me, makes zero sense.

  7. misterd says:

    The break out last night lends some support to the rhythm theory, as it was the 4th game in 5 days.

  8. misterd says:

    BTW – I am heartily annoyed at having baseball on Halloween. I have other things to do that night. Thank God for DVR.

    Still, I wonder when I’m going to be watching Game 7 of the World Series between the Macy’s Parade and Lions game on Thanksgiving.

  9. Ace says:

    “(Communism works, in theory.)”

    If this is a Simpson’s reference, I applaud you

  10. RichYF says:

    Loooooooveeee the Major League reference. Excellent job.

    • Yankee1010 says:

      I was just going to ask if Lou Brown was getting a hat tip. It sure seemed like they should have sacrificed the live chicken there for a bit with the RISP struggles. Now they just need hats for bats, keep bats warm.

      • PhukTheHeck says:

        All I kept thinking during Game 3 with Swisher and Cabrera was, “I can no hit curveball. Straight I hit very very well.”

        Then how many times has it been appropriate for Arod to step up and tell say “Phuk you Jobu, I do it myself”

  11. CountryClub says:

    The WS wont have the extra off day when the team is on the road. Will the Yanks pitch CC on 3 days rest twice in that series (if it goes 7) and also pitch AJ and Pettitte on 3 days rest in games 5 & 6?

    That seems like a lot of 3 days rest. I guess I wouldnt worry about CC. But AJ & Andy too?

    • Lefty says:

      In the playoffs, I don’t worry about Andy, my only possible concern is Burnett just because of his control issues…

    • ADam says:

      My guess is they go with a fourth starter… maybe even in game 5 do a hybrid start of Gaudin/Aceves… and let the pen take the rest… But you bring up a good point… not sure how i feel about andy on 3 days…. if it gets to that point… lets not count our chickens before they hatch.. still got one more game to win…

  12. ADam says:

    I love that the bullpen will have 2 full days off. Joe can afford to manage the bullpen anyway he likes to get the job done tomorrow. Wish the game was today…

  13. Lefty says:

    Skip Bayless is a hater…
    Skip Bayless is an asshole…
    Skip Bayless is the scum of the Earth…

    In other news… Did you know the grass is green?

    • ADam says:

      What’s bayless talking blindly about???

      • Lefty says:

        Saying that if/when the Yankees make it to the WS and win it, “We will see the “real” A-rod, a.k.a. A-Fraud, and we’ll see the “real” C.C. a.k.a. Can’t Count on Sabathia, rather than the Can Count on Sabathia that we’ve seen thus far in the playoffs.”

        Then the other guy rebuttled with the fact that we’ll see both the same CC and Arod we’ve seen because CC has been well rested, and Arod doesn’t have to carry this team anymore, Skip replies in classic fashion:

        “Yea, I’ll believe it ONLY after CC walks away with the win on the biggest stage against Cliff Lee,” I love the way he implies that Cliff Lee is better than CC, but whatever… Then he goes on to say:

        “And yes, Arod DOES have to carry the whole lineup because what we’re really seeing is the Angels team, and pitching staff in particular, implode and making stupid mistakes that the Phillies will not do.”

        Then the other guy replied that, he does NOT have to carry the whole lineup because anyone on that lineup on any given day can get hot and carry that team, much in the way that Melky outscored the whole Angels team by himself, and Melky is one of the Yanks worst hitters. Then Skip replies:

        “Yea, and they can also get cold on any given day, just like the way Teixeira has stunk it up” Implying that if Arod doesn’t carry this team, we will not score any runs, as he goes onto say, and I quote “The Yankees lineup consists of a bunch of chokers, and it has even infected the “great” Derek Jeter”
        SMFH…

        • Alex Gonzalez was Skip Bayless.

          • Lefty says:

            lol, probably. what a f-in joke… I mean, I don’t geti, does ESPN not want ANY credibility? No wonder why Stephen A. Smith left, even though he was a nut case himself, but at least he told it like it was, without holding any punches, and also why the only half decent broadcaster they had in Harold Reynolds left…

            • JGS says:

              well, I think Reynolds was fired for sexually harassing interns

              • Lefty says:

                yea, I had heard something like that, but didn’t know the credibility of it… But still, the only half decent guys they had on there, are no longer there… I mean, they could’ve gotten at least a non brain dead person to take over, but instead, they hire guys like Joe Morgan and Jon Kruk…

              • Tampa Yankee says:

                Yet Steve Phillips open admits to sleeping with a co-worker but only gets suspended?

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          I hate Skip Bayless with a passion. When the season started he was coming to his “clever’ line of Can’t Count of Sabathia and the Yankees were DESTINED for third place.

          STFU and jump in a fire Skip.

    • Sam P. says:

      Didn’t Skip Bayless used to be a (somewhat) credible sports journalist? Or am I imagining that?

      Either way, I think ESPN just turns you into the darkest, repressive shell of your former sports journalistic self.

      • Lefty says:

        yes, actually…

        • Lefty says:

          OMFG, when talking about whether or not Manny’s early shower will affect the Dodgers tonight, Skip replies: “If this would have been the Red Sox, they would have just shrugged it off and actually perform even better tonight”

          Wow, SMFH… And by the way, the next topic is a debate of Arod vs. Ryan Howard, I don’t even want to hear about what this asshole has to say….

      • Mike HC says:

        They have just leaned heavily toward the “entertainment” aspect, rather than actual smart analysis. Which is fine by me. I can get the smart analysis from RAB and the like. ESPN gives you characters to laugh at. Works for me.

        • Sam P. says:

          Haha, how true Mike …

          This is the only Yankee blog I check out and the first place I look for intelligent discussion. Like-minded individuals are hard to find when it comes to this sort of stuff. Haha.

      • Lefty says:

        and by the way, Sam P., to answer your question, he was a journalist along side Tim Kurkjien in I think The Dallas News? or whatever the name of the big newspaper in Dallas is…

        • Sam P. says:

          I’ll have to look that up. It’s just that your sports journalism goes to die when you join ESPN. Or so it seems with several of their folks.

          • Lefty says:

            yeah, I know it was definately in Dallas, but not sure the exact name of the newspaper… And when Tim Kurkjian got promoted, that’s when Skip got a new gig, Tim’s old gig,in Dallas

  14. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    and there seems to be no team more asynchronous than the Angels.

    I only see words like that on my Word-of-the-day toilet paper.

  15. Mike HC says:

    I have to say, these postseason games are so intense, and they last like 4 to 5 hours, I need the day off too, even as a fan!!!

    • Will says:

      Definitely agree with that…luckily, all the off days have come after wins, which gives you more time to savor the victory. Hopefully that trend continues.

  16. Will says:

    I think the time off between series is an issue, but don’t think the extra off day within the series is that big of a deal. Play 2, off day, play 2, off day, play 1, off day, play 2 is really one off day removed from a regular season schedule (play 2-off-play 3-off-play 2).

    • Mike HC says:

      I agree with you here too. I don’t know what the reasoning is, but part of it has to be that MLB want the playoffs to last as long as possible. It gives them infinitely more press and national attention everyday the playoffs are still going on, and on a daily basis.

      • MattG says:

        The reasoning is so the AL and NL CSs can have their own prime time days. Most people just watch baseball, and if you give them two games, they will choose one.

        If you give them one game, they’ll watch it.

  17. Mike bk says:

    we would be singing a different tune if yesterday was an 11 inning game like game 3 where the starter went 6 and AJ who is probably only going 6 was pitching today. we are spoiled because the pen had the off day yesterday so we would love to play today.

    schedule for the WS out yet?

  18. Rose says:

    In theory the off day seems like a bump in the road where it could rattle a good thing going…but a good team is a good team.

    Our hitting was never really there the whole time and just started getting there last night. The pitching was always there and days off don’t really hurt pitchers…because they wait or whatever anyway.

    Our pitching has been outright filthy. That’s why we’re in the situation we’re in – up 3 games to 1. We’ve allowed ourselves to be a little lost in the hitting department…and that’s the old adage that “pitching wins championships.” Although, Arod, Jeter, etc have lended a very appreciative helping hand.

    I don’t see this being a problem. It benefits them because their bullpen has been pretty taxed…especially due to yesterday…but we didn’t use ANY bullpen (I don’t count Gaudin as bullpen persay). So essentially, our bullpen is getting 2 full days off to rest. So it’s certainly helping us too.

    • robten says:

      I just wanted to point out that along with strong pitching, the offense is really not as bad as it might appear:

      Of the four teams in the LCS, the Yankees have:

      The highest BA (.278)
      The highest SLG (.481)
      The highest OBP (.375)
      The highest OPS (.856)
      The most walks (23)
      The most hrs (8)
      The most xbh (15)

      If you include the ALDS, the Yankees have:

      The third highest BA (.258) – Philadelphia and St. Louis are tied at .262
      The highest SLG (.462)
      The second highest OBP (.342) – Philadelphia leads at .359
      The second highest OPS (.804) – Philadelphia leads at .809
      The second most walks (32) – Philadelphia leads at 38
      The most hrs (14)
      The second most xbh (24) – Philadelphia leads at 25

      In other words, at a time when pitching tends to give teams an advantage, the Yankees’ offense is still at or near the top in virtually every category.

      Of course, the Yankees have also dominated pitching:

      Lowest ERA (1.91)
      Lowest WHIP (1.15)
      Lowest SLG (.321)
      Third Lowest OBA (.297) – Minnesota leads at .288, with Philadelphia at .295

      • tim randle says:

        nits!

        of the seven hitting categories you picked, Philly beats us in…5.

        ouch.

        of the four pitching categories, we win in 3 and philly wins 1, although i’m not sure that ERA has much of a value (how many unearned runs helped the Yanks win over the last few days? that may or may not have anything to do with the Yanks…my throwing error may/may not be attributable to anything you actually did), although i think SLG and OBA are the two most important, and i would tend to lean towards OBA as being a better indicator of pitching, which is the one Philly is currently leading.

        the good news for us is we are a perfect 1.000 in the only category that really matters, BTY (being the Yankees).

        i like andy on the road in philly against those left handers.
        i like matsui at home against their other left handers.
        i like Mo for any pitch in which he has the ball, as long as we’re not tied, and even then, i still kinda like him.
        i like tex to hit 2 dingers over the next 5 games.
        i like jeter to hit at least one game starting double.
        i like robertson to face five batters in one inning and strike out three
        i like ryan howard to break a bat that where the barrel goes farther than the ball, and for that also to happen in a crucial situation
        i like our outfielders combing with a middle infielder to catch somebody doing something stupid for an unexpected out.
        i like our three catchers against any three catchers on any team in baseball, twins included.

        bottom line, I LIKE THE YANKEES TO WIN!!!

  19. Steve S says:

    Its unavoidable now a days. Its just something we have to get used to. Its television driven and therefore they have to deal with it. Plus, the extra days off can help out if there weather considerations to worry about. That way rain delays can’t change the whole landscape of a series. Everyone is on even playing field and they use the schedule to their advantage as much as they want or can. As Mike mentioned before, Scoscia had every opportunity to bring Lackey back on short rest yesterday but he bet on Kazmir, which back fired.

    It would be nice if things had a natural flow but the league makes a lot of money off of television revenue and therefore they should try and accommodate it as much as possible. The real problem this year was the delay caused by the WBC, and I don’t want to start the argument, but it is a complete waste of time and resources. And on a personal level, I didnt get to bed last night till 1:00 am, so having tonight off really helps me out with respect to being functional at work all day.

  20. AJ Burnett's Chin Music Ensemble says:

    nice Major League quote…I noticed and appreciated

  21. Tank Foster says:

    The Phillies are a good team and not posers. I’m not sure they are as good as the Yankees, but I think they are as good as either the Angels or Red Sox.

    Perhaps the best thing in the Yankees corner is that Lee struggled down the stretch, and has been proven mortal. If the Phillies get pitching performances from Lee which neutralize CC, it could be a long series, and a coin flip as to who will win. I hate the Phillies, but I phear them.

  22. Derwood Morris says:

    not sure if it was on purpose, but nice Major League reference – “over 162 games even tough guys get sprains, sore arms, muscle pulls…”

  23. Gary says:

    Never seen such bad umpiring. That being said, I now fully acknowledge that Jorge Posada is the worst baserunner of ALL TIME, beating out former contenders to that throne, former Phillies Bob Boone and Von Hayes. Von 5 for 1 Hayes is, by the way, the answer to a baseball trivia question, “who is the only major league baseball player ever STUPID enough to be picked off first base by a pitcher using that fake to third then throw to first” trick? Last night, we all actually witnessed Jorge Posada being deked ON A DOUBLE THAT HIT OFF THE CENTER FIELD WALL AND NOT SCORING FROM SECOND BASE. I have never seen that before. How is THAT possible?

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