Yanks take Game Two on another Angels’ fundamental mistake

ALCS Game Two Spillover Thread 10 9
Watch Game 3 on the big screen in center

With rain in the forecast and concerns over whether or not they’d be able to get the full game in, the Yanks and Angels started Game Two on-time only to experience nothing more than quick shower. Up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, the Yankees drew first blood in the second inning thanks to a two-out walk by Nick Swisher and a triple into the gap by Robbie Cano. They tacked on another run in the very next inning on a Derek Jeter opposite field homer, and with AJ Burnett in control, things were looking good.

Burnett, making just the second postseason start of his career, started the game off by throwing first pitch strikes to 13 of the first 15 batters he faced. He had wicked run on his fastball and was commanding it to both sides of the plate – an extreme rarity for him – and dropping his curve in for a strike. Good AJ was in the house, at least until the 5th inning rolled around.

Still maintaining that two-run lead, Maicer Izturis ripped a leadoff ground rule double into right, the hardest hit ball off Burnett all night. Mike Napoli, who for some reason I think is way better than he actually is, flew out to center on the first pitch, but Erick Aybar singled back up to the middle to bring the Halos within one. AJ lost the plate and plunked Chone Figgins – 0-for-October up to that point – to put runners on first and second with one out. Bobby Abreu flew out to deep left after a 10-pitch battle with Burnett, but Torii Hunter walked to load the bases with a pair of outs. Jose Molina, Burnett’s personal catcher, must have gone out to the mound a half-dozen times to talk over pitches that inning, but one pitch that wasn’t in the plans was a 55-ft breaking ball to Vlad Guerrero. The ball got away from Molina, and Aybar trotted in from third to tie the game.

Burnett managed to throw another inning-plus and his final line (6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K) was actually pretty good, but the lead was gone. His counterpart, lefty Joe Saunders, justified Mike Scioscia’s faith in him by twirling a gem despite some early struggles. He completed seven innings, putting just seven men on base and giving up just the two early runs. It was certainly not what Yankee fans had in mind when they found out he was starting over Scott Kazmir, but give the man props, he pitched very well.

With the score tied, the Yanks certainly had their chances to push a run or two across in regulation. Melky Cabrera led off the bottom of the 5th with a single, and was followed by Molina’s bi-weekly base hit. With runners at first and second with no outs and the top of the order due up, we were all begging Derek Jeter not to bunt. In retrospect, maybe he should have. Jeter bounced into a tailor made double play to kill the rally, although the replay showed that he was actually safe at first. Ssuch is life.

Two innings later,  Swish ripped a leadoff single into left and was promptly lifted for pinch Brett Gardner. I intentionally left the “runner” part off there because Gardner never bothered to attempt to steal second. Instead, Robbie Cano banged into another double play, the third in three innings for the Yankees. Every time we thought “okay, this is when they make their move,” it seemed like the rally was instantly squashed. Talk about frustrating.

Not to be outdone, the Angels blew some prime run scoring chances of their own. Erick Aybar  reached base when Cano mishandled the routinest of routine grounders with one out in the 7th, and he eventually moved on down to second after Phil Coke walked Figgins. With Aybar dancing off first, Coke certainly seemed distracted. He rebounded with a big strikeout of Bobby Abreu before giving way to teh bull in a china shop. Joba coaxed a weak grounder out of Torii Hunter, but Jeter had no play at first and just ate it. With the bases loaded and the dangerous but not quite as dangerous as he used to be Vlad Guerrero up to bat, Joba pumped three straight fastballs before getting Vlad to swing over a slider for strike three. The threat was over, and oh yes, there was a fist pump.

Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera combined for three nearly flawless innings of relief, with Mo needing just 25 pitches to record seven outs. They were followed by Al Aceves in the 11th, who was working on eight day’s rest and showed clear signs of rust. Aceves walked the utterly useless Gary Matthews Jr. – a guy making eight figures this year – to leadoff the inning, and two batters later Figgins flared a single into right for his first hit of the postseason and 3-2 lead. A Torii Hunter double play later, and the Yanks were looking at having to mount another come from behind win against Brian Fuentes.

With Fast Freddy Guzman and Brett Gardner hitting fifth and sixth after pinch running earlier in the game, Alex Rodriguez led off the bottom of the inning representing the last real threat in the Yanks the lineup. Fuentes started him off with two fastballs up in the zone, but Alex took both for strikes and faced a quick 0-2 hole. In year’s past, this spot was almost an automatic out for A-Rod, but he lifted Fuentes’ third fastball up into right field, and it found it’s way over the wall to tie the game. It may have been a cheapie, but the wind had been knocking balls down all night (and yesterday as well), so A-Rod had to put some muscle into it. A postseason of heroics continued, but more importantly, the Yanks were alive.

Even though it seemed like they were in trouble all night, the Yanks bullpen really did a tremendous job in this game. They combined to allow just five hits and four walks (three intentional) in seven and two-thirds inning, giving up the lone run by Aceves. The offense, on the other hand, seemed to hibernate at times. They went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base, not exactly how you draw it up in the playoffs. Let’s not forgot all the defensive miscues tonight as well, two by Cano. Thankfully, the bullpen did their part and held down the Angels just long enough.

Five hours after first pitch, Jerry Hairston Jr. pinch hit for Fast Freddy, and led off the 13th with a single right up the middle in his first career playoff at-bat. Everyone in the world knew Gardner was going to bunt Hairston over to second, and sure enough he did. The Greatest Manager Who Ever Lived ordered starter turned reliever Ervin Santana to walk Cano to get to Melky Cabrera, the man responsible for like, ten walk-offs this year. Usually we rip on people who swing at the first pitch after the pitcher walks a guy, but Melky placed the ball perfectly in the 3.5 hole, and instead of making the right play and going to first for the out, Izturis attempted to gun down the lead runner at second, throwing the ball away in the process. Hairston rounded third and scored, and the Yanks had themselves a walk-off, 2-0 series lead.

This was one of those gut punch games, meaning that whoever lost would feel like … well, like they got punched in the gut. The Yanks have all the momentum in the world going into Anaheim now, and will send Andy Pettitte to the mound in Game Three on Monday. Not even Mother Nature could stop them.

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ALCS Game Two Spillover Thread 10 9
Watch Game 3 on the big screen in center
  • Dela G

    i was always told that the angels and twins are the most fundamental teams in baseball

    yeah… about that…

    • BklynJT

      Vs. the Yankees is where fundamentals come to die.

  • Tom Zig

    We play today, we win today

    • Esteban

      Das it

  • Dela G

    by the way, anyone watch the postgame on MLB Network?

    all of the announcers were saying Joba belonged in the pen and gave no valid facts/reasons, etc for him to be there

    one of them even said “i could live without that” when talking about joba’s fistpump & roar

    • Esteban

      At this point, I don’t care what people say about the Yankees or their opponents. I have 100% confidence in them.

    • whozat

      Fortunately, the only people whose opinions matter are Cash and Hal. And they, fortunately, are neither stupid nor pandering to their ill-informed audience.

    • DSFC

      Hey, whaddya know – a good starting pitcher STILL makes for a very good relief pitcher? Who could’ve seen that coming?

    • a realist

      Yeah. I love that “He’s just ordinary as a starter” crap the MLB guys and Steve Phillips always spout out. My favorite was Mitch Williams talking about how Joba is custom fit for the pen and recalled Joba’s uncanny ability to breeze through the first 9 when starting. Never get the truth get in the way of a good story, I guess.

      • Pete C.

        Chaimberlain’s talent and pitching ability were never in question. What we’re seeing is an apprenticeship. And believe me, any connotation of that word will have precipitous highs and lows that are going to occur as he grows into whatever roll he winds up with.
        I’m not saying I think he belongs in the pen, but is it me, or doesn’t he look more comfortable coming out of the pen than when he starts? Maybe he just needs another season of starting in the majors, personally that’s what I think, but look at body language and to me a lot of the time he looks happier in a relief roll. I do know this, if you like what you do you usually do better.
        Let the derision begin.

        • pete

          ehh not really disagreeing, but honestly i don’t really care if joba likes relieving better. He’s got too much talent to pigeon hole him into such a minimal role. Naturally after a year and a half of mostly mediocre starting, he’s not going to show as much enthusiasm for it as for the relieving that comes so easily. When he’s 27 and acing his way through the AL-East, then I think his mindset will have changed.

          • Mike Pop

            Plus, aren’t all pitchers going to look more comfortable in the bullpen?

            For the simple reason that they’re only out there for 3-6 batters mostly. Less opportunities per appearance, so less time to look uncomfortable. I mean, the obvious is they can just let it fly. Don’t have to worry bout getting through the order 2-3 times. Just get a few outs, that’s all.

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

          I’m not saying I think he belongs in the pen, but is it me, or doesn’t he look more comfortable coming out of the pen than when he starts?… look at body language and to me a lot of the time he looks happier in a relief roll. I do know this, if you like what you do you usually do better.

          (thinks for a second)

          I don’t give a shit.

          • steve (different one)

            if the yankees ride Joba the reliever to a title, i will gladly suffer through all of the inevitable outrage all winter about returning him to the rotation.

            win it all, and i won’t care one bit what the Francessa’s have to say.

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

              Agreed.

              Even if we don’t win it all though (and we will), I’ll still gladly suffer all the idiots ranting about their idiocy.

              Because I’m right, and they’re wrong.

  • Dela G

    Last, someone needs to put an APB for Mr Mark Teixiera’s bat

    his defense showed up, but his bat is still in the ALDS

    • Rey22

      His early amazing defense got completely lost in the whole mess of an epic game we had. But it was very impressive.

      • Salty Buggah

        Yea, he saved A-rod and Jeter errors today. It was crucial in a game like this.

    • Salty Buggah

      Eh, it never really showed up in the ALDS except in the A-rod 2-run HR and Tex walk-off HR game. I think it’ll come around.

      We’re still winning without our #3 guy hitting so it’ll only be better when he starts to hit. JD came alive again and so will Tex.

      • Larryf

        These games wouldn’t be close with Giambi at first-nor would A-rod and DJ’s defensive stats be what they were/are. Tex is a winner!

    • vin

      He’s just saving it for the WS.

    • Lanny

      Yea because its not like his two hits won a playoff game against Minny or anything. And its not like they didnt walk him in extras last night. Relax

  • steve (different one)

    still can’t figure out what Izturis was thinking there. would have been man on 2nd/3rd two outs, as opposed to 1st/3rd with 2 outs. the only run that matters is Hairston.

    was he thinking a DP?? if so, that’s pretty terrible.

    • DSFC

      Yep, had to be. Izturis got greedy, or maybe someone told him between innings how much Buck and McCarver swooned over his defense and he got a big head about it.

  • Rey22

    I told myself that it was unfair to expect a HR from A-Rod against Fuentes because he could only be ridiculously clutch a certain amount of times and he had his quota with Nathan. Thought over. BOOM. Ball gone.

    • pat

      I thought to myself it would be unfair to expect a HR from Arod because they would be absolutely batshit retardo to throw him anything to actually hit.

  • Salty Buggah

    I am soooo drained out of energy right because of this game but I’m still super happy.

    Before the game, since I couldn’t really watch it, I hoped for a delay or extra-innings game so I could catch some of the end. Needless to say, I was able to watch almost 3 of the last innings and am very happy I could.

  • Chris

    45% of the way to #27.

    What an exciting game. Never a dull moment.

    Another source of fun if you’re so inclined: although virtually any Red Sox blog applies, few can master both comedy and stupidity quite like Halos Heaven.

    • DSFC

      Are you suggesting that the Angels DON’T have a better bullpen than the Yankees????

    • http://phabfour.blogspot.com/ Double-J

      Dear God, that site is like a congregation of people who should be removed from the gene pool, post haste.

      • thurdonpaul

        lol, i agree with you

  • JGS

    on replays, it looked like Guerrero actually beat out the third strike wild pitch at first, but it also looked like the ball bounced off of Vlad as he left the box, so he was out anyway.

    two wrong calls canceled each other out and they wound up with the correct one–has that ever happened?

    • vin

      There was a lot of weird umpiring in this game.

      • DSFC

        hey hey hey, show me where a phantom tag is in the rule book! I DIDN’T THINK SO!

    • baravelli

      The rule about a batter being out if he is touched by a ball after he leaves the box only applies to a batted ball. Since this was a wild pitch which never touched his bat, Vlad wasn’t responsible for it being in his way. As long as he doesn’t intentionally kick it or something, he has every right to run through it, the same way that a runner on the basepaths isn’t obliged to get out of the way of a thrown ball.

  • Salty Buggah

    K-Rob was pretty effective again tonight.

    2 AJ Burnett starts in this postseason. 2 Walk-offs. 2 Pies delivered by AJ. 2 K-Rob wins.

    Can you believe that including the playoffs, we have had only ONE (!?!?!) homestand all year without a walk-off? That’s just really really amazing.

  • Salty Buggah

    A-rod broke the record of most game-tying HRs 7th inning or later in a postseason tonight. He was tied with Chuck Knoblauch, Albert Belle, Javier Lopez, Jim Leyritz, Johnny Bench, and Shane Victorino with 2 coming into tonight. But now he is sole possession of 1st place with 3. Hope he increases that number in the rest of the playoffs.

    • Esteban

      maybe some game winners in there too

      • Salty Buggah

        +27

    • Salty Buggah

      Actually, I think that’s an all-time record, not just for one postseason. That’s even more amazing. I can’t tell for sure though, anyone know which it is?

      Also, there’s this:

      A-Rod has an RBI in six straight postseason games, which is tied for the longest streak in 50 years.

      • Salty Buggah

        And another amazing feat:

        All eight of his RBIs in this postseason have come on hits that have either tied a game or put the Yankees ahead

        • Salty Buggah

          And this:

          A-Rod became the 3rd player EVER to hit a game-tying HR in extra innings of a postseason game.

  • Salty Buggah

    Who are your early ALCS MVPs?

    I’d so far CC is with Jeter 2nd and A-rod 3rd (maybe tied with Jeter). Damon has a chance if he keeps swinging like this.

    • whozat

      The angels’ infield D? No?

    • Rey22

      A-Rod’s just been too amazing for me to vote against him getting it in the end. But yeah, if it were up to right now, it’s gotta be C.C.

      • Lanny

        Way to get ahead of yourselves. Already planning MVP’s.

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

          Typical.

  • Salty Buggah

    Haha, Matsui looked so weird hopping around after the walk-off. I dont think he’s ever shown that much emotion before.

    Oh and someone tell the Angels, ONLY we are allowed to capitalize on the opposition’s mistakes and no one else so don’t even try!

  • DSFC

    So who else can’t sleep after all that? I’m still pumped up.

    • Salty Buggah

      Me! Even though my legs and eyes are killing me and I have no energy at all. But I still can’t sleep.

    • Rey22

      I have an 8am fly. I think I’m just not gonna sleep at all.

      • DSFC

        I hope you’re not a pilot

        • Accent Shallow

          +1

    • Joey

      Awesome stuff, so psyched (still). And yes, I’m on the east coast

  • vin

    In the first 5 postseason games, the Yanks have faced 4 really, really good pitching performances. Of course they’ve won them all. That’s how you win championships. Very impressive.

  • pat

    Angels have scored 4 runs in 22 innings.

  • thurdonpaul

    wowwwww i just got home from the game, my hands hurt from clapping and my throat hurts from yelling, wowwwwwww what a freakin gameeeeeeeeeee

    • Handtius

      +27

  • Brian

    Can’t wait for Game 3. Looking forward to a big game by Pettitte.

  • andrew

    Usually we rip on people who swing at the first pitch after the pitcher walks a guy,

    Well the walk to Cano was intentional, no? Doesn’t that change that whole idea?

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

    I wore my A-Rod jersey to a game for the first time tonight.

    I think it was a good choice.

  • BigBlueAL

    This postseason so far has reminded me alot of the late 90’s Yankees postseason wins with the pretty poor offense but excellent pitching saving the day.

    The past few Yankees teams in the playoffs couldnt win games like this because their pitching was just not good enough. This team is a great mix of both offense and pitching and in the end boy how true it is in regards to power arms come postseason….

    • pete

      it reminded me of how we always used to capitalize on other people’s mistakes when our bats weren’t mashing.

    • steve (different one)

      gotta give some credit to the Angels’ pitchers too, no?

      it’s not just that the Yankees had a bad offense, the Angels are a legitimately good team.

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

        They are.

        We’re just better.

  • dkidd

    another great win

    can’t believe arod got a pitch to hit with freddy providing protection

    very happy for hairston

    this team is the balls

  • Accent Shallow

    Great, great win.

  • crapulant aka i said good day sir

    We play today, we win sometime tomorrow.

    • thurdonpaul

      ietc very much

  • Mike Nitabach

    I’m too old to stay up so late!!

    It was fascinating the way the Yankees pitchers handled Guerrero. There was no question he fails to inspire much fear anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    This game was amazing. You have to wonder if these miscues are going to play with the Angels minds.

    • Tank the Frank

      Or the fact that they lost a game to a team who made MORE errors than they did and didn’t get a hit with RISP.

      That should grind their gears.

  • Tank the Frank

    Wow. All I’ve heard so far from my friends and on sports radio is how bad a job Girardi did by leaving in Mariano for 2.1 innings.

    He hasn’t done it since 2006!!

    How’s it going to affect him the rest of the series!

    Turns out he only threw 25 pitches. Has he thrown 25 pitches since 2006? Seven outs, 25 pitches. The man is simply not human.

    I’m not in love with Girardi’s style of managing, but I certainly can’t fault him for using Mo for as many outs as he can. I’m sure he kept a close eye on his pitch count.

    • pete

      I’m starting to fall in love with Joe Girardi’s style of managing.

    • steve (different one)

      All I’ve heard so far from my friends and on sports radio is how bad a job Girardi did by leaving in Mariano for 2.1 innings.

      insane. of all the decisions that Girardi made last night, this was the best one. there were one or two decisions to question, but this is simply not one of them.

      say what you want about Girardi, he understands the concept of leverage.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I slept a total of three hours after that game.

    EPIC. WIN.

  • YankeeScribe

    A-Rod was awesome.

    I’m happy for Hairston

  • Will

    Did anyone else hear Kelleher tell Gardner, “don’t worry about the jump. You are going to steal on the catcher because that fucking guy can’t throw”.

    I wonder if Giardi had some words for Gardner for not attempting to run.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Gardner has to realize that great base stealers are fearless. He’s in their to create havoc. What he did in his pinch running roll is exactly what I can do.

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

        What he did in his pinch running roll is exactly what I can do.

        We shoulda added Melvin Croussett to our postseason roster. When he comes in to pinchrun, the batter he replaces leaves first base and Melvin just comes right in at third base, to save time, because it’s fait accompli.

    • Tank the Frank

      I heard it. He definitely said steal on the catcher. He should have waited one pitch to measure his delivery, and then gone.

  • Mike Pop

    That game was just ridiculous. It’s nuts that A-Rod has a RBI in EVERY GAME this postseason.

    This team is just, well, the balls.

    Never give up hope people. Was pretty bad that people were jumping ship last night.

    • Tank the Frank

      I never gave up hope entirely. But my confidence wasn’t as high. It was a sloppy game all around by both teams. No hitting with RISP.

      The morning after, now that my head is clear, you just have to tip your hat to Joe Saunders. He pitched well. Not great, but good. And I think we’re going to see some better play in LA. You have to believe the conditions on the field had a big impact in these first two games. You put anyone out there for five hourse in that kind of weather and there’s going to be some mistakes. I think we’ll see much crisper play at LA and better hitting in warm conditions.

    • Tom Zig

      All those GIDPs were killing me, we had only 3 but should have had like 5 or 6.

      We had no business winning that game, but great teams manage to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat

      • vin

        +27

      • gc

        I don’t get comments like that. You make it sound like the Angels did everything right and it’s the greatest injustice to mankind that they lost. It makes no difference who “deserves” to win a game. Things happen. To both teams. And sometimes, you pitch a no-hitter and lose. Fact of the matter is, both teams had their sloppy moments last night. Neither one really asserted themselves as fundamentally sound. Yet one team managed to capitalize on another’s mistakes better than the other. That fact alone tells me the Yanks did indeed have every business winning that game.

  • Mike Pop

    Also:

    Seeing A-Rod and the team go nuts in the dugout after he tied it up was great.

    Seeing them all surround and congratulate Jerry in the home plate area was awesome. Just awesome.

  • miketotheg

    that was an awesome game!

    I hope I get my voice back by monday. :P

  • Tank the Frank

    Good photos in the ESPN recap; and then I came across this gem:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....=291017110

    Former Yankee Dave Winfield huh? How are you involved in baseball in any way and not know what Reggie Jackson looks like?

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Reggie looks like he’s about 5’4″ now. In a pickup basketball game I was at the other day, Yogi dunked on Reggie.

      • Tank the Frank

        Yogi: This bores me. Anyone up for a game of basketball? How about you and your friends, vs me…and the revolution.

        He was crossin’ cats, grabbin’ rebounds like Charles Barkley. I was there I seen it. You don’t believe it? You think I’m making it up? I dare you to challenge Yogi Berra to a game of ball. CHALLENGE HIM! Aight! And make sure your people is there to see the game, because you might get embarrassed.

      • MikeD

        Yeah, just how tall is Reggie now? He was 6′ in his playing days, and Jeter is 6’3″, yet there’s about a foot difference there. Must be the angle, or maybe Jeter’s on elevated ground. I mean, if not that, then that means people lose like 5″ or 6″ in height by the time they’re in their early 60s!!!!

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

      Not to mention, Dave Winfield

      A) Is the tallest man in the picture like 90% of the time
      B) WORKS FOR YOUR FUCKING NETWORK NOW. You can call him up and ask him “Hey, Dave, is that you?”

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I still don’t get why Izturis threw to second.

    • Tom Zig

      Neither do I. Throwing to first was the easier play.

    • Mike Pop

      Hahaha Matt, just let it go man. Just let it go.

      His response was pretty funny.

      “I’m not going to change the way I play, I wanted to be aggressive,” Izturis said. “I take full responsibility.”

      http://ow.ly/15VDub

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Hahaha Matt, just let it go man. Just let it go.

        NEVER!

  • steve s

    I hope Cano stayed nice and warm in that hoodie cap he was wearing as he did his best to give the game away. It had to impact on how he played (I know he hit a triple early and made a nice running catch but otherwise he was brutal last night). Leave that hoodie off next time Robinson. If you’re too cold to play then I’m sure Hairston would be thrilled to go out in your place wearing shorts just to get a chance to play.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Yeah, I’m sure the hood made him misplay those balls. Did it hurt him when he hit that triple or made that nice catch out in no man’s land in CF?

      • Mike Pop

        I heard he didn’t even wear it to stay warm, but to keep the back of his head a little more comfortable when leaning back in the clubhouse.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Typical Robbie. Get this man off the team and bring me David Eckstein!

          • mike

            Joking aside, I remember Cano had the fielding yipes against the Halos in 2005 – im not sure if they were marked as errors, but he was atrocious in the field that series.

            Robbie giveth and taketh away in the field – as amazing as he turns the double-play, he can make a fan insane when he plays balls to the side instead of getting in front of them, or when he is out of position when runners are on base and the ball goes thru the infield.

            If there was ever a doubt, we are seeing how important defense really is, and in this battle of attrition (especially with the way Girardi is managing the pen with fewer pitching options the deeper the Yanks gewt into the game) he has got to make those plays.

            • whozat

              If you’re never going to get a hit with runners in scoring position, the importance becomes magnified, yeah.

    • steve (different one)

      with Jeter screwing up and the Angels bobbling a bunch of balls (didn’t really hurt them), i have to think the weather was a huge factor here.

      i love Jeter, but his error could have cost them the game as well.

  • Coach6423

    Anyone figure out how the angels threw anything but strikes to Arod in the 9th? I mean, you have Guzman and Gardner “protecting” him, and you throw him 3 fastballs. INCONCEIVABLE!!!

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Yeah, I really don’t get that.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      That was the stupidest pitch selection I’ve ever seen. Ever. It made no logical sense to throw that pitch.

      He could have thrown that pitch almost anywhere else in the zone and it would have made more sense than throwing it to that spot.

      • Tank the Frank

        That’s why he’s Brian Fuentes.

    • MikeD

      All three pitches were basically the same. Fastballs on the outside. I think A-Rod took the first two for strikes because he couldn’t believe they were going to throw him a single strike with Guzman and Gardner up next.

      Pitch 1: Damn, they just threw me a fastball and I let it go by. I gotta give Fuentes credit. He threw the pitch I least expected to see. No way I’ll get another one.

      Pitch 2: Holy shit. Another stike and I let it go by. I saw it coming, but figured it had to be some trick pitch that’s going to fade out of the zone. This sucks. The two best pitches I’ve seen all night.

      Pitch 3: Ehis guy’s really smart. He’s paralyzed me on two pitches by throwing the unexpected. If he’s on his game, he’ll probably try coming inside, probably up and in, tie me up, push me off the plate before throwing a pitch low and away on the fourth pitch to get me to extend my strike zone. Hope I get over anxious. Not going to do it. I’ll get it back to 2-2 and look location. Hmmm, here it comes. Wow looks like he’s going outside, can’t possibly be a strike. Crap. I think it’s another fastball. I’m swinging!

      As he round the bases, “man that guy sucks.”

  • dkidd

    two more things:

    psyched that marte came through

    that aybar call was correct. you can leave the base early, but he never even touched it

    also, i hate aybar

    • Tank the Frank

      I know. I very odd play. I’ve never heard so much crap about a call when it was actually called correct. I understand second baseman take liberties all the time on that play. I’ve seen Robbie do it (and get called on it once) a few times. But you have to at least make an effort to make it look like your foot is grazing the bag. Aybar was nowhere near the bag and the correct call was made. Not that it mattered.

      • steve (different one)

        people keep missing that this was NOT the neighborhood play that “always” gets called. that usually involves not touching the bag as you sweep across it to avoid a guy sliding into 2nd.

        this just wasn’t that play.

        Aybar had a TON of time, and he actually hopped and planted his feet around the bag, before making the throw. it was obvious and it was an excellent call.

        i find it funny how last week everyone wanted computerized strike zones and instant replay to avoid the human error component of the game, and now people are upset b/c a play was called by the book and the “human” aspect was ignored. i guess whatever goes against the yankees is the right stance…not that the Twins didn’t have the right to be upset, they did. but the outrage that Buck and McCarver had for the CORRECT call was kindof crazy.

        finally, i thought the home plate ump was very good last night. is Laz Diaz generally considered a good ump?

        • dkidd

          joe buck moralizing about how the game was “too good” to be decided on that call. asinine.

          joe buck praising the angels bullpen after fuentes blows it in the 11th. priceless.

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

          i find it funny how last week everyone wanted computerized strike zones and instant replay to avoid the human error component of the game, and now people are upset b/c a play was called by the book and the “human” aspect was ignored.

          I addressed this. The issue is not that the rule is not normally enforced and should be enforced correctly. The issue is, it’s not really fair to begin enforcing and unenforced rule arbitrarily, with no forewarning, in the middle of a playoff game after decades and decades of not enforcing it.

          If the umps are going to start calling the neighborhood play correctly, they need to do it by issuing a memo to all teams before the season starts acknowledging that the rule has not been enforced in the past but will be enforced starting from April. You don’t just start following the rule to the T on October 17th willy-nilly.

          • steve (different one)

            i don’t disagree, where i disagree is that this particular play is a textbook example of the “neighborhood” play.

            i think it’s slightly different.

            and as for my commentary, i just thought Buck’s moralizing was out of hand. no one was upset when Jeter got called out incorrectly and it could have cost them the game. they ackowledged it and moved on. just ignore me, i just hate Joe Buck. i admit it’s not 100% rational.

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

              i don’t disagree, where i disagree is that this particular play is a textbook example of the “neighborhood” play.

              You do have a point there; Aybar was way off the bag and was practically BEGGING for the ump to rule against him. If there was ever the perfect example of a time where the umps should have made a moral point and enforced the rule fully, that was it

              That being said, I still don’t think the ump should have ruled against him. Playoff games shouldn’t really be about making moral points, IMO. “Fairness” sometimes demands continuing to adhere to a wrong and incorrect standard until aggressive and definitive measures can be taken to fix the wrong and incorrect standard during a time where all parties have sufficient advance knowledge so they can alter their behavior.

              • steve (different one)

                all Aybar had to do was make a sweeping motion with his foot. even if it took him FURTHER from the bag than he actually landed, he would have gotten the call.

                by stopping short and planting his feet, he shined a spotlight on the fact that he wasn’t touching the bag.

                wierd play, and i don’t disagree with your “big picture” take.

      • mike

        The umps will often look the other way on that play, but he didn’t even attempt to swipe his foot near the bag.

        Also, with a quick runner almolst on top of the SS as he is making the turn, Aybar has to make a better try because he never was in a position to let the approaching runner legally disrupt the throw by hiding behind the bag.

        The ump will let some phantom-stuff slide to protect the SS, but when he is a) not even making a good attempt and b) not anywhere near the runner, the ump has to make that call

  • Mike Pop

    The Yankees pitchers have not given up a home run this postseason.

    Awesome.

    • thurdonpaul

      ssshhhhhhh

  • dkidd

    coke
    marte
    gangster
    robertson
    joba
    phil
    mo

    our pen is deep like the ocean

  • Tank the Frank

    Everyone likes to talk about the Angels haven’t played their best ball yet. Well, you know what? The Yankees haven’t played very well either. 3-20 with RISP in the series and we’re up 2-0. Their pitching has kept them in it. But I expect the bats to come a live (I’m looking at you Tex) in the warmer weather in LA.

  • Lanny

    The mantle has been passed from LaRussa to Girardi. Joba for 2 hitters. Hughes for 2 outs. Show some trust Joe. Mariano cant go 2+ every game here.

    • steve (different one)

      Hughes actually got 4 outs, but Jeter didn’t cooperate.

      same with Joba, he only was needed in the 7th b/c of Cano’s error.

      finally, maybe Mo can’t go 2+ every game, but he certainly could go 2+ in THAT game. so what’s your point? if Hughes gets beat there, i’m sure you’d be on here complaining about that.

      2 men on, tie game, USE YOUR VERY BEST.

      i realize you need to have something to complain about, so if you want to complain, complain about lifting Swisher. using Mo there was fine.

      • MattG

        I (partially) agree with Lanny. Joe burned through the best pitchers in his bullpen without a lead. I would’ve left Joba in to pitch the eighth, went to Mo for the 9th and 10th, and I still would’ve had Hughes available.

        I also would not have used Marte for Morales–I would’ve saved him for Figgins and Abreu. You have no idea how long that game will go. Burning through bullpen options is not a great idea.

        I disagree where Lanny says you can’t use Mo for 25 pitches every game. With a max of 7 games in 10 days, you almost can.

        Someday, managers will start using their pitchers in reverse order in tie games. The best reliever will pitch in the 7th, and go as long as he can, to be replaced by the second best pitcher, and so on. That way, you’ve always got your best on the mound for as long as possible.

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

      The mantle has been passed from LaRussa to Girardi.

      LaRussa and Girardi: Both smarter than Lanny.

  • John

    Was anyone else annoyed by the extremely insulting commentary by Buck/McCarver? After clearly seeing and acknowledging that Aybar did not step on the bag during that play that Jerry Layne CORRECTLY called Melky safe at 2nd, (rather than applaud the call) they spent the last 3 innings trying to justify why it should have been a double play and talking about how relieved they were that the Yankees didn’t score in that inning because it would have put a damper on a great game to have it end with what they were insinuating was a botched call. And they wouldn’t shut up about it either. If Aybar didn’t step on the bag, which he didn’t, and Melky was safe at 2nd, which he was, how could the call be so controversial? Only against NY…if the roles had been reversed, and it had been Aybar called safe at second because Jeter didn’t step on the bag, they’d be going on and on about how impressed they were that Layne got the call right…

    • John

      Sorry…just saw the comments a few posts above…totally agree.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    2009 Yankees: 5-0 after 5 postseason games.
    1998 Yankees: 4-1 after 5 postseason games.

    BAM!

    • JGS

      1999 Yankees: 5-0 after 5
      2005 White Sox (the other 11-1 postseason): 4-1 after 5

  • t

    Why do the angels get to go home for 3 games if the Yankees had the better record? A 2-2-3 series seems more appropriate seeing as the Yankees had the better record..

    • steve (different one)

      and what’s with the food on airplanes?

      just messing with you, but you really think a 5-2 home/away split is fair? i don’t know, i wouldn’t have a problem penalizing the wild card team somehow, but this seems excessive.

    • Sleepy Carl

      There is always the basketball 2-2-1-1-1

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