Nov
03

Playing the blame game as late rally falls short

By

With two on and out, with the top of the order up and the Yanks facing just a three-run deficit, we wanted to believe that the World Series would end on Monday night. But while the Yanks whittled away the Phillies’ six-run lead to just a two-run gap, they couldn’t overcome those final two runs.

And so as the World Series heads back to New York for a Game 6 match-up against two unannounced pitchers probably named Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez, let’s play the blame game.

A.J. Burnett
Staked to a 1-0 lead in the first, A.J. Burnett could not hold the Phillies. Pitching on short rest, he had no command early, and Bad A.J. reared his heard. He gave up a hit to Jimmy Rollins, and then he hit Shane Victorino with a fastball flush on the right index finger. The next pitch was a fastball, 94 miles per hour and right down the middle of the plate. The ultra-hot Chase Utley deposited it into the right field seats, and the Phillies had a 3-1 lead.

“It was supposed to be a sinker away,” Burnett later said of this key pitch, “but it ran right back over the middle.”

Not only did it not sink, but it wasn’t close to being outside of the strike zone. Burnett settled down for six outs, but in the third, he fell apart. Walk, walk, single, single. The Yanks found themselves down 5-1, and Burnett found himself on the bench. After just 53 pitches, Burnett’s Game 5 was over. Because he threw so few pitches, he could be available for bullpen work on Wednesday or Thursday. Whether the Yanks would go to him is another question altogether.

After the game, Burnett talked about the Yanks’ braintrust’s decision to start him on three days’ rest. The short rest, he said, had no bearing on his stuff. “I felt strong,” he said. “It’s just a matter of locating pitches. I didn’t throw strikes, there really isn’t much else to say.”

The results bore him out. His velocity was there; his break was there; the results were not. On a night when Cliff Lee didn’t have his best stuff, when the Yanks tagged him for five runs and ten baserunners, A.J. could not get the job done. Goat Number One.

Phil Coke
We didn’t know the Yanks would mount a last-gasp rally in the 8th and 9th. We didn’t know the Yanks would twice send the tying run to the plate in the 9th. And so, down by six runs, Joe Girardi did during Game 5 what he almost did during Game 4: He gave the ball to Phil Coke.

Coke was flat out awful. Chase Utley hit a 3-2 fastball — another 94-mph job right down the middle — over the fence in right-center field for his Reggie Jackson-tying fifth home run of the World Series. After retiring Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, Coke faced Raul Ibañez. Although Ibañez hits lefties better than righties, although Joe Girardi manages by his ever-important Book, Coke stayed in the game. Ibañez, a non-factor so far this series, belted a 420-foot home run deep into the night. It was an 8-2 game, and Coke was gone.

Later, Coke would seemingly shake it off. “I want the ball again tomorrow,” he said. “That’s all I’m thinking about.”

He can have the ball tomorrow for the Yankees do not play tomorrow. On Wednesday, though, if the Yanks have a lead or are within striking distance of the Phillies, you can bet that Damaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain or the seemingly redeemed Phil Hughes will be handed that baseball.

We could argue the fallacy of the predetermined outcome all night long. If the Yanks mount their comeback and if Phil Coke gets the job done, then the Yankees tie the game on Derek Jeter‘s ill-timed double play. Instead, Phil Coke struck back. Goat Number Two.

Derek Jeter
Dare I suggest that Derek Jeter deserves some criticism for his play tonight? Dare I throw the Captain under the Game 5 bus?

As a leadoff hitter, Jeter went 1 for 5 and saw just 16 pitches. With two on and no out in the top of the 9th, he was the tying run. He got ahead of Ryan Madson 2-0 and then took a pitch he should have shellacked. On the next ball, he bounced into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play. Although a run would score, the Yanks could not overcome that failure. We saw “past a diving Jeter” twice on key plays, and we saw the captain, a former Mr. November, not come through when he was needed the most. While Mark Teixeira left four runners on and struck out as the tying run to end the game, Derek deflated us when we were at our highest. For that, he gets the Goat Number Three hat.

And so here we are. The Yankees come back home for one final home stand. They were the best team at home this year, and all they have to do is win one game. Let’s put this one behind us, sit out an off-day and go get ‘em on Wednesday.

Categories : Game Stories
  • dkidd

    the only player i blame is cliff lee for being slightly less sucky than aj

    i agree with the poster in the previous thread who predicted an offensive explosion in game six. you can just feel it building. tex is obviously overdue. cano and posada are starting to take good swings. matsui’s getting back in the line-up. the masochist in me wants a nail biting finish, but there’s a good chance game 6 could be a laugher

    and on the off chance we lose game six, cole hamels has the emotional stability of angelina jolie in “girl, interrupted”

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      and on the off chance we lose game six, cole hamels has the emotional stability of angelina jolie in “girl, interrupted”

      Bonus: they use the same eyeliner, too.

      That’s gotta count for something, right? Right?

      • dkidd

        right!

        sorry to leave you hanging for 18 minutes

    • History Teacher

      HOW COULD YOU SERIOUSLY WRITE THAT ABOUT JETER. NO REAL YANKEE FAN WOULD EVER GET ON JETER…I DON’T CARE WHAT HE DOES.

      • dsss

        No real Yankee fan would be so blinded they couldn’t admit what was happening.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    I think we all would have signed up for taking 2 of 3 in Philly after Game 2.

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

      Oh yeah. I shouldn’t discount this. All things considered, taking 2 out of 3 on the road is fantastic.

      • Jake K.

        Sure. But when you get the first two and have a really good chance to win the third, it hurts a little. I like the position we’re in, but you don’t want to give a good time life.

        • Jake K.

          *team*, not time

          • Bo

            I don’t think anyone wouldnt have signed up for a 3-2 lead.

            But when you have a chance to put a stake in a heat you gotta do it.

  • TheZack

    Just like the Angels series. Let’s hope

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Also, something tells me the Stadium is going to be electric Wednesday. It was in Game 6 of the ALCS, and I assume it’ll be even louder now.

    • adeel

      it’s only sweeter when you get to win at home.

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

      I hope they get at least half as loud as the Philly fans. I mean, really…

  • JGS

    “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. It’s one of those things, a year in, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”
    -Cole Hamels, on the 2009 season

    Ladies and gentlemen, your potential Game 7 starter

    • TheLastClown

      Nope. Yankees in 6.

      • JGS

        hence potential

  • Salty Buggah

    WPA agrees with all of your blame

  • stuart

    burnett is never to be trusted. he is so far from an ace it is ridiculous…

    he is hit or miss and thin kabout the baggage. personal catcher, bad on the road, etc…

    he deserves a lot of criticism… coke is just a homerun machine.. the guy has given up about 8 hrs to lefties on the year.. in limited innings…

    • TheLastClown

      The personal catcher is GIRARDI’S decision. AJ has said it doesn’t matter to him.

      He’s erratic. He’s always been erratic. No one EVER said he was an ace, just that he pitches like one when he’s on.

      He is to be trusted as the #2 starter. When he’s on, he’s a 2nd ace. When he’s not, he’s very mediocre. That’s not a reason to trust a pitcher who’s always mediocre.

      Stop with the AJ hate.

      • ICEMAN

        AJ in not CC he shouldn’t start that game plus that put us a low hitting sure out on the bottom 3 of the lineup!

      • Nathan

        Exactly.

        If you know a person is a thief and you let them into your house, you shouldn’t be surprised by the potential of theft.

        AJ can be lights out or can get lit up. He is truly an enigma.

        I personally would prefer someone more dependable with less pure stuff as a #2 pitcher (healthy Wang, for example).

        But at least he’s out of the way…Andy and CC back home.

    • Salty Buggah

      The return of stuart

    • larryf

      Coke seems more of a thrower than a pitcher. Doesn’t seem like he knows where his pitches are going except right down the middle fastballs. Phil’s curve looked good again…

      • larryf

        sorry-meant Hughes. We have our “Phil” in the pen….

        • Bo

          I guess he forgets the Game 2 start.

  • Salty Buggah
  • dkidd

    this is our first season in a brand new ballpark, the first time the yankees have moved in 90 years (don’t count the renovation), and we have a good chance to win the world series at home

    meet the new boss
    same as the old boss

    • SteveD Fla

      Nice!!!! The WHO ! Love em.

  • Salty Buggah

    What’s the forecast like? Don’t want any rainouts

    • BigBlueAL

      Well if it is rained out on Wed then Pettitte and CC will be on regular rest the next two days. Of course it would also mean Lee could pitch Game 7 on 3 days rest.

      • Salty Buggah

        Exactly. And CC on short rest vs. Hamels (or Happ? Doubt it though) >>>> CC on full rest vs. Lee on short rest. But I think we win anyway.

  • Jobamania

    In the end, coming back home in game 6 up 3-2, anyone would take that.

    But not to take anyway from ur awesome post, but just how awful was the umpiring tonight? I stopped looking after the 3rd inning but the ball/strike zone was laughable. I couldn’t believe how TERRIBLE the strike zone was for burnett. and it wasn’t like he was just not getting one of the high, low, in, out. there was no pattern, he wasnt getting straight up STRIKES.

    /rant

    Oh and the real phil coke showed up tonight. this guy just loves giving up homeruns, its hilarious. I’m so glad marte has overtaken this idiot.

    • Jobamania

      oh and robertson also threw one down the pipe which was called a ball. hilarious

      • Bryan

        Anyone care to guess who the winning pitcher was for clinching the AL East, ALDS, and ALCS? That’s right, it’s game 6 starter #46 Andy Pettitte. It’s just meant to be.

        • Tom Zig

          Wow. I didn’t realize that.

        • Tom Zig

          A stalwart from the dynasty years matching up against the pitcher Yankee fans hate the most.

          Holy epic narrative Batman!

          • Joe D.

            Can we get Mark Wohlers signed to a quickie contract with the Phils before Wednesday night? At the rate Lidge and Madson are going, I think Philly would welcome the move…

        • ICEMAN

          Anyone care to guess who the winning pitcher was for clinching the AL East, ALDS, and ALCS? That’s right, it’s game 6 starter #46 Andy Pettitte. It’s just meant to be.>>>

          and twice we ask AJ to close the series! Now the old reliable is back in the Yankee mound to win it all.

  • BigBlueAL

    Nice to see Hughes pitch 1 1/3 and only allow a 10 hopper up the middle for a hit to Ruiz. 10 strikes out of 12 pitches.

    • yankees=warriors

      Same here.
      Hope he’s now back to his normal self and will be able to contribute in the next game.

    • larryf

      3 curves for strikes in a row. I liked that even though Ruiz the pest got a hit. Their pests are better than our pests so far.

  • Mike Nitabach

    I don’t blame any of them. Baseball is a sport where succeeding at the key physical act 30% of the time puts a player in the top 1 percentile and where a winning percentage of > 60% is rarified territory. Shit happens.

    • Bo

      So no one gets the blame for a loss?

      So everyone gets a trophy! Why even have a winner and loser??

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I normally hate comments like this from Bo, but this time I don’t mind. It’s pretty apprpriate.

  • Mike Nitabach

    On a more upbeat note, my wife and I are leaving Osaka tomorrow for a small mountain resort town called Kanuizawa. The hotel we are staying in has no TVs in the rooms, so my wife e-mailed the hotel staff to see what possibilities there are for watching game 6. This is what she just received back from the hotel:

    I got good news! Your husband can enjoy the live broadcast at 9:50 AM on 5th.
    We must have gotten confused about the live and recorded broadcasting. Anyway we found the game would be on live in the morning of the 5th and “Hungry Spot” would be willing to open the place for you to watch TV there. Hurray!

    I hope “Hungry Spot” has beer and peanuts!

    • TheLastClown

      At 10 AM?

      Japanese Bloody’s for me, if I was you.

      • larryf

        let’s hope for a thrilla from the Sayonara Kid. His swing and approach look good. I hope all the big bats sit on pedro’s off speed junk tonight and pepper those right field seats

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      this is awesome.

  • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

    I disagree with the statements about hoping to avoid rain. I would be really, really happy if game 6 got rain delayed by 1 day. I guess i’m the only one but i’m really really worried about Andy on 3 days rest. If we get rain and Andy gets one more day of rest I think we’d be huge favourites in game 6 against Pedro, otherwise I think there is a significant risk that Andy gets chased early, we deplete our bull penn, and a crafty Pedro walks away with a big win which I really begrudge him.

    As for the potential game 7 I think that CC on full rest against Lee on short rest also favours us heavily. Lee has never pitched on 3 days rest, our batter have seen him for 17 innings in the previous 10 days – they will be all over him, no line up learns as much as quickly about a pitcher as ours.

    CC on 3 days rest vs Hamels is still a good matchup for us but all in all, I pray for rain tomorrow evening.

    • larryf

      I think we’ll do just fine if Andy can give us 5 good ones. We have enough arms to get to Mariano. Joba/Phil/ Damaso that’s enough!

  • Pingback: Phils Avoid Elimination, Series Back to Bronx « Generation Third

  • Tank Foster

    I think Chad Gaudin might have managed to do better than 6 runs in 2.1 innings.

    With games 6 and 7 looming, I’d sure rather have fully rested AJ, fully rested Andy, and horse CC available.

    I think the Yankees will win anyway, but the Yankees scored 5 off Lee. Last night is an example of how you could have possibly hedged your bets and stolen one had you started Gaudin/Aceves.

    The idea that you “go with your best” is well taken, but let’s not forget that this strategy is not only about having the best pitcher available for each game. It’s probably as much or more about having CC for 3 games if needed, which means you ARE planning for losses, in a way.

    Pettitte better be good Wednesday, or the Yankees are going to be under alot of pressure Thursday.

    • Mike HC

      Even with Gaudin, we still probably lose that game last night, although we never know. Then there is a possibility that we still get bad AJ in Game 6, regardless of the rest. It is not like he didnt have horrible starts during the year on normal rest.

      This gets rid of bad AJ in Game 5, and we can move on with a chance to win the series with both Pettitte and CC in NY. I still like this strategy better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      Lefties hit for an OPS above .800 against Gaudin.

      I could easily envision Gaudin faring just as badly, there’s no way he gets through Utley/Howard/Ibanez twice in the order without getting scorched.

      • Bo

        Girardi really loves Gaudin. Thats why you’ve seen him once in a month.

        Come on. You really think girardi is going to trust a WS start to someone like that?

        If he goes down he’ll go down with his best.

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

      Yeah.

  • Tank Foster

    I also would like a rainout; I would prefer Pettitte on full rest, and we would have CC on full rest and AJ on 3 days available for game 7. We hit Lee for 5 runs; getting him on short rest we’d probably do better. Especially with CC on full rest.

  • larryf

    4 walks to utley next game? 3 walks and one HBP? What is the best approach to deal with this guy? If he beats us we will have to suffer with “Mr. November” for the rest of our lives. Too painful. Far worse than Robbie batting with RISP….

    • Bo

      Hit him.

      But thats not Andys style.

      The time to hit him was leading off the top of the 8th.

  • The Iron Horse

    The Captain will have a huge Game 6. That’s a guarantee.

  • Bob Stone

    Jeter, Teixeira and Cano are all due for a BIG GAME. I think all three finally come through and lead a huge offensive assault in Game #6.

  • http://twitter.com/hopjake Jake H

    While Jeter deserves some blame, I put all the blame on 2 people. Molina and AJ. I love how Kruk on BBTN said that they jumped on the first pitch and that’s why AJ got beat. He didn’t get beat because of that. He got beat because he was mechanically out of whack.

    I could tell by the first batter. He got ahead of Rollins and throws a curveball that is rolling in the zone. I don’t think AJ got more then 5 swings and misses with his curve. He couldn’t command it at all. He had no fastball command. He was getting onside of the ball since it was always going high. Molina his “personal catcher” should have seen this. Gone out to the mound pretty quickly and kept reminding AJ.

    Phil Coke also has thrown his last pitch this year. In the offseason Phil, work on your slider.

    • Mike HC

      So if you lay some of the blame on AJ for being out of whack, don’t you think Girardi’s decision to start him on three days rest had something to do with that?

      • Pasqua

        There is no way to blame 3-days rest on AJ’s problem simply considering the fact that he is one of the most inconsistent pitchers we’ve ever seen. If his performance last night were unusual, you’d have a better argument. AJ could throw that game on 1, 3, 5, or 10 days rest.

        • Mike HC

          Yea I know. I made your same argument against me above in response to somebody else.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        It’s negligible. You’ve been watching him this season, you should know how likely he is to get rocked even on regular rest.

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

        No. You can tell when AJ is on. His curve will be diving down. His curve was rolling through the zone. Molina would setup outside and down. He was missing up. That means he isn’t getting into his arm slot.

        Usually guys on short rest have good command but not as much arm strength. AJ’s arm was fine, it was his mechanics that was out of whack. He got into it for only a few batters. When he struck out Jayson W and Ruiz. Problem was he was only mechanically sound for 2 hitters.

        • Bo

          His first pitches were just over the heart of the plate. He wasnt getting any corner strikes and had to come over the center. He couldnt get his breaking pitch over and they teed off the on the fb.

        • Mike HC

          You are saying that there is no possible way that short rest could have been the reason that his mechanics were off. I just disagree with that. We will never know though.

  • Mike HC

    There is no shame in losing to Lee on the road. Plus, the Yanks took two of three in Philly. No need to identify the goats.

    But Girardi should also be on the list if you are making a list. HIs decision to start everyone on three days rest could come back to haunt him. He started Molina in a game where the Yanks could have used all the offense they could have gotten. He used Coke in a waving the white towel kind of way, similar to what he did in game one against Lee.

    • Mike HC

      I think I found the perfect solution to the whole using our top guys on short rest from here on out.

      CC on two days rest for Game 6. He is a beast, he can do it.

      Pettitte on full rest for Game 7. Genius!!

      This way we still get CC on short rest, but we get a fully rested Pettitte.

      I am kidding, but in all seriousness, it is just crazy enough that it might work!

    • kunaldo

      agreed with everything but the 3 days rest thing…it’s reallllyy OK. starting ONCE on 3 days rest is not bad, especially when we’re doing it against their lesser pitchers

    • Justin R.

      Molina only had one at bat anyway.

      I still think AJ was the right call last night. Up 3-1, already took two in Philly…run him out there and go for the close out. Why risk it with Gaudin, who hasn’t started a game in forever and is awful vs. lefties? Girardi will get blasted for it, but he gets blasted either way.

      • Mike HC

        I agree, but just because I agree with Girardi’s decision, does not make it the right move. It was either Gaudin on 90 years rest, or AJ on short rest for Game 5. Clearly, AJ was not a good choice. Maybe Gaudin would have been worse, I don’t know. I still think it is fair to point a finger at Girardi though as long as we are pointing fingers. And I agree that Girardi will get blasted no matter what.

        • kunaldo

          You say AJ was not a good choice like Bad AJ wouldnt have shown up in his next start regardless. I think his suckiness had more to do with his overall fluctuations in effectiveness rather than anything with 3 days rest. Heck, even his numbers on 3 days rest show that he’s had success in those situations.

          I would rather NOT have a possibility of BAD Aj in Game 6. Give me Pettitte and CC, thank you very much.

          • Mike HC

            I know, and I agree with you, as I wrote above at 8:15:

            “Even with Gaudin, we still probably lose that game last night, although we never know. Then there is a possibility that we still get bad AJ in Game 6, regardless of the rest. It is not like he didnt have horrible starts during the year on normal rest.
            This gets rid of bad AJ in Game 5, and we can move on with a chance to win the series with both Pettitte and CC in NY. I still like this strategy better.”

            Let us see how Pettitte and CC do in six and seven before we decide if the three days rest thing was a good idea. I would have done the same thing, but maybe I would have been wrong too.

          • toad

            If you start Gaudin last night, who says you have to start AJ in Game 6? Why not Pettitte? Or start AJ but have Pettitte ready to go even in the second if AJ looks bad?

  • matthaggs

    How about putting some blame on the billion dollar organization that couldn’t find a better option than Chad Gaudin for a number 4 starter?

    The Yanks will win Wednesday and all will be right with the universe, but the front office handled this situation very poorly.

    • kunaldo

      Chien. Ming. Wang.

      Stop it.

    • Justin R.

      They had a 4th starter…Wang. He got hurt. Where would have liked them to find this magical fourth starter?

      Did you want them to clear the farm system for Washburn? The guy who was awful for Detroit after they traded for him.

      They had Mitre in AAA and he was looking like a good option for some depth at the time too.

      There was nobody else out there worth getting by the time they realized Wang was shot for the year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      The World Series never hinges on the 24th or 25th man on the roster.

      If Philly was in a similar situation – say if one of their starters went down with an injury in the NLCS – no one would be blaming Jamie Moyer.

      • Bo

        Wang was at no times this yr a 4th starter. He was awful when healthy. he wouldnt have sniffed a start during the summer as bad as he was.

        • Rob in CT

          Remember, in spring training CMW was thought of as the #2 starter. He had a non-arm injury which was supposed to have healed. Prior to that injury, he’d been a very reliable ~3.75 ERA starting pitcher in the AL East. It was reasonable to expect him to come back and be effective.

          Losing him (or rather never really getting him back) was brutal. Some teams don’t survive that. The Yanks, thanks to their resources, signed Burnett AND CC, and so they more than survived it. But it did lead to Sergio Mitre starts, and the lack of a 4th starter when Joba blew past his innings cap (and sucked while doing it).

          Was there a pickup to be made to plug that hole? The Yankees looked at Pedro, and didn’t like what they saw. Mistake? Possibly. Was there somebody else good that they passed on? If not, I’m not sure what you wanted the FO to do. I know what I wanted: Phil Hughes to remain in the rotation. But there are problems with that too.

      • matthaggs

        Wang got hurt about three quarters of a season ago. This has nothing to do with him.

        Even if Joba was pitching like ’85 Doc Gooden out of the rotation, it seems as though the plan all along was to move him to the pen towards the end of the season. So for a very long time (as in since the Wang injury), the Yanks knew that during this time of year they would have 3 reliable starters. And they did nothing about it. (Yes, picking up Gaudin and Mitre is the equivalent of nothing).

        They could have picked up a better pitcher (it seems as though Pedro can still get hitters out for five innings). Though I’m not particularly in favor of this they could stretched out Hughes, they could have stretched out Aceves. They could have done SOMETHING. And they did nothing.

        But let’s talk about his after Mo closes it out tomorrow. Or never.

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

      How about putting some blame on the billion dollar organization that couldn’t find a better option than Chad Gaudin for a number 4 starter?

      The reason we don’t have a better 4th starter is:

      A) Chien Ming Wang got reinjured
      B) Our top two bullpen options (Bruney and Marte) were also injured, and our preseason #3, #4, and #5 bullpen options (Veras, Edwar, and Albaladejo) who were all excellent last year all imploded and sucked, necessitating using our surplus starting pitching depth (Hughes, Joba, and Aceves) in the bullpen
      C) Mitre shat the bed

      The only way you can say the FO truly handled the situation poorly was for failing to properly anticipate the issues with Joba’s workload that resulted in him pitching about 30 more innings than they wanted him to pitch, thus removing him from the natural 4th starter role that was his. It’s a valid criticism, but a tough one, because we’re in pretty uncharted waters here; most contenting teams aren’t chasing a title and capping a #4 starter’s workload due to innings restrictions at the same time.

      All the other 4th starter options (Wang, Hughes, and Aceves) had totally unforeseen and unpredictable reasons that they weren’t available to start games in October. Just remember that if Gaudin had been on the roster from the beginning, he would have been the #9 starter on the depth chart. Hard to fault an organization for not having a better #9 option.

      • matthaggs

        Veras, Edwar and Albaladejo excellent? Interesting.

        I am merely suggesting that someone sitting at the Yankee braintrust conference table should have asked this question on or about July 31.

        “Ok, guys, first of all these bagels are delicious. Secondly, barring some catastrophe this team will be playing in October. It’s looks like Joba’s innings cap will be an issue, so let’s remove him from the October rotation for arugment’s sake. Bad job by us on that one. So we have CC, AJ, and Andy. Do you feel comfortable handing the ball to Mitre in a Game 4 scenario? Do you feel comfortable handing the ball to Mitre in a sping training scenario? Let’s move on. There’s another guy out there, Chad Gaudin, who we can get for nothing, but I’m not sure how comfortable I feel giving the ball to him either. Let’s discuss other options shall we?”

  • john

    The blame game: I personally blame our lack of a viable 4th starter, we originally thought Joba would stand up in the playoffs as a starter and at least give us something. Lets face it, AJ was Aw-Ful tonite and CC was SoSo the other night and now we have Andy 37 year old Andy going on 3 days rest. I have a really bad feeling about this, not just game 6 but if we have to go to a game 7…CC looked really uncomfortable last time out. Do I think we are going to win YES, but I think our offense better show up…I am looking at you Tex!!

  • dc184

    Attention …Attention….will Cano…Swish…Tex…please show up for work!!!! Thank You…

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      Hilarious!! I hear the Jay Leno show is hiring…

    • MattG

      Swish was in attendance the last two days, and Johnny Damon has a twinkie in his lunch pail. Robbie’s back in the DR already.

  • steve s

    How about a little forest from the trees perspective. If the Yanks were down 3-2 heading into Philadelphia for the last 2 games then things would be looking bleak. Ahead 3-2 with last 2 games at home I’d say things look pretty damn good. Saying Jeter should have swung at the 2-0 pitch is silly; that was exactly the correct thing to do under the circumstances. No need to grasp for straws to find a goat yesterday; you start your C lineup against the other teams best pitcher you were raising the white flag from the get-go; what transpired was totally predictable.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Thank you, steve s. Well said. We went up against their best starter (the only one who’s beaten us) with Gardner, Molina and a pitcher as our bottom three, the most unpredictable starter in baseball, and still made it a very close game.

      We’re now facing Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels (or JA Happ) at home, with our “A” lineup and a possible start from CC Sabathia in Game 7.

      We still have a clear advantage.

  • wilcymoore

    Shouldn’t this story have been tagged under “Rants”?

  • Pasqua

    I’ve always believed in the adage that the best thing a manager can do is guarantee victory for his team; if they win, he’s a genius, if they lose, nobody remembers he guaranteed a win.

    I feel the same way about the mainstream media. Everybody’s talking about the question mark of Pettitte on 3-days rest. If he loses, they’ll all be able to say, “Told ya’ so”; if Pettitte wins it for us, all the reporters will pretend they never brought it up.

    • Bo

      You really think no one here would remember that the Yankee manager guaranteed a win?

      Really?

      And thats just what a manager wants to do. give the other team a rallying cry and extra motivation.

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

        Did you even read the second part of what I wrote? You’re missing my point. I’m not ACTUALLY talking about guaranteeing a win, I was talking about the “gotcha” syndrome that plagues the media. They question beforehand so they can look smart after the fact. When their questions go unsubstantiated, they pretend they never said it in the first place. Christ.

  • Bo

    It was no secret that Coke was eventually going to cost us a big game. Anyone whos watched this team all yr saw this coming. Even Girardi saw it coming when he buried him on the bench.

    The real question is why was he even in there? Down 4 with the Philly pen coming into the game was a spot for Marte especially facing 3-4-5-6.

    Girardi gambled and lost.

    • Pasqua

      Girardi didn’t bury Coke on the bench! He was in the bullpen the whole time, not in the ground! Do you really think he buried him?

      Really?

      [See above.]

  • Jay

    Mark Teixeira deserves some of that goat cheese. How many times in this WS has Alex Rodriguez led off an inning because Tex couldn’t get it done? I’m personally sick of seeing that.

    That ninth inning had me fuming. Jeter, despite his ability to come through big at times DOES hit into a lot of double plays (18 this year). I cannot fathom why they did not pinch run for Matsui and then have that runner moving. Your team is rallying, the last thing you want to is hit into a double play.

    • Bo

      How they didnt pinch run there and at least make Madson think about the steal and keep him close was ridiculous.

      That was basic baseball especially with Jeter up.

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

        Moot. That’s a DP ball regardless.

        • JMK aka The Overshare

          What he’s saying is it might not be with a speedier runner to make Madson a bit nervous. I don’t necessarily disagree with him, but you need a player on the bench (Pena was the last one, right?), and even with Guzman in, that’s a DP.

          Still, who’s to say it wouldn’t have made an effect?

    • toad

      Let me add that McCarver’s explanation for leaving Matsui in struck me as ridiculous. “You only PR for the tying or winning run.”

      Why? The only way the number 9 spot comes up again in the inning is if the Yankees have at least a two-run lead. I don’t think that would be too terrible, even if Pena or whoever struck out then.

  • MattG

    And, with this thread, we are reminded how the emotions swing so suddenly and completely with the result of every game.

    Some small percentage of people took this into account before game 5, knowing that a loss to Cliff Lee, which was a very likely scenario if Whitey Ford were pitching, would have people panicking. You don’t manage to avoid panic, naturally. But the plan to start all three on three days rest has taken a profound hit. Everyone would be feeling just a bit better now had that been Gaudin giving up 6 in two innings, and Pettitte and Burnett were both available for the game on Wednesday.

    Take heart. Even if the pitching doesn’t come to play, the Yankees’ bats will win game 6.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      I’m panicking for an entirely different reason.

      From here on…we have a 37 year old going on 3 days rest against a very effective Pedro Martinez…and then CC Sabathia on 3 days rest for the 2nd time in a row (who hasn’t been nearly as effective in this series) against probably Cole Hamels…who may not be effective but may not be as ineffective either…he has the ability to show up…especially on full days rest…

      And it’s not a PANIC…it’s more of a slight concern.

      Our team is still the best in baseball and I have all the faith in them…I just think it would have been better had Andy and AJ been on full rest at home…even though pitching Gaudin in the World Series is pretty terrible as well…

      • Justin R.

        I don’t think Pedro will be nearly as effective this time around. Both of his other playoff starts came on extended rest. I have more faith in Andy on 3 days rest than Petey on 4.

      • MattG

        If that’s what you were thinking, you and I were in agreement. This plan laid the foundation for failure. The Yankees are certainly good enough to overcome two more poor starting pitching performances, and Pettitte and CC are certainly good enough to out pitch their rivals on 3 days of rest. The Yankees will still win. But, hard as it might have been to do, giving greater consideration to winning game six before game five would’ve been prudent.

        • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

          I 100% agree.

          You can’t assume you’re going to win Game 5 and just throw crapshoots to Games 6 and 7 hoping they never come. That’s terrible management.

          But in Girardi’s defense…there wasn’t really another option other than a Gaudin/Aceves special which was as close to an automatic loss as you can get.

          There was no easy answer to this…I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite us in the ass.

          We could have had a fully rested AJ on Wednesday and CC on 3 days rest AND Pettitte on full rest for a potential Game 7. Now we have an ineffective and sidelined AJ…a 37 year old on 3 days rest…and a not-so-effective Sabathia on 3 days rest for a 2nd straight time in a row…

          It’s not nearly as good as it could have been.

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    I don’t see how you can blame Derek Jeter. He’s been the only consistent hitter on this team from the start and he is human after all. Had AJ Burnett and Phil Coke done their jobs, Derek wouldn’t even have had to be in that spot.

    Surprisingly, AJ Burnett lasted this long in the playoffs before completely decomposing in front of everybody. I’m actually impressed with that…because AJ doesn’t put many very good starts back to back to back very often.

    Phil Coke, on the other hand, is a “lefty specialist” who is completely incapable of doing his job. Two of the lefties he faced last night hit absolute moon shots off of him…which eventually were the final daggers that put our team just too far out of reach.

    You blame AJ Burnett first and foremost…then you put the rest on Phil Coke.

    Mark Teixeira hasn’t been doing squat with his bat either (other than the 8th inning which was a 1st)…but his defense has been so good that he gets at least somewhat of a break.

    AJ has been very good for us up until last night…but he didn’t just lose last night…he was absolutely terrible.

    • Bo

      Blaming Jeter is crazy.

      And ripping him for only seeing 16 pitches is doubly crazy considering hes facing Cliff Lee.

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

      Had AJ Burnett and Phil Coke done their jobs, Derek wouldn’t even have had to be in that spot.

      Had Derek hit Cliff Lee better in Game 1, AJ and Coke wouldn’t even have had to be in that spot either, because we would have won in a four game sweep.

      See? I can play that game too. You don’t want to blame Derek Jeter for one reason and one reason only: Because you don’t want to blame him because you like him. You’re much more willing to blame AJ and Coke because you don’t care for them the way you care for Jeter.

      But let’s be clear: DEREK JETER KILLED THAT 9TH INNING RALLY. That’s a fact. We were rolling, and then like that, we had two outs on one pitch. The worst possible thing for the Yankees in the ninth inning would be a double play, and Derek Jeter hit into a double play. He abso-fricken-lutely deserves a portion of the blame for last night (if you want to play the blame game, that is.)

      • Rob in CT

        Yep, that DP ball was an absolute killer. He’s still behind AJ and Coke on the blame list, but ouch that hurt. I felt it coming too (I was, at the time, begging him through my TV to not GIDP).

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

          Now, if you want to sort the blame list and put DJ’s contribution to the loss as markedly smaller than AJ’s or Coke’s, I’m fine with that.

          But to say that “he can’t be blamed at all because he’s the captain and he’s super-awesome and he’s earned our respect” and shit, that’s retarded. There are no sacred cows. Sometimes, members of the Four Rings Club™ fuck up and directly contribute to a loss.

          Derek Jeter fucked up and directly contributed to a loss.

      • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

        Ok. I worded it wrong. You CAN blame Derek Jeter…but not NEARLY as much as you blame the other 2 on the list.

        Yes, Derek killed the rally. Yes, you have to blame him for killing the rally.

        But I can continue the game as well and say that if CC was his ALDS/ALCS dominant self in Game 1…AJ and Coke probably wouldn’t have had to pitch last night either!

        But anyway. Majority of the blame goes to AJ. A very close runner up goes to Coke…Girardi gets some blame for relying on Coke to do absolutely anything at all…and Derek Jeter gets the rest of it because he did kill the rally.

        But if you look at LARGER SAMPLE SIZES, Derek has been nothing short of consistently good so how can you be “upset” or disappointed?!?!?! LOL

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

          But if you look at LARGER SAMPLE SIZES, Derek has been nothing short of consistently good so how can you be “upset” or disappointed?!?!?! LOL

          When did I ever say that I was upset or disappointed?

          I’m not. Nice try, but that shit isn’t going to work on me.

          • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

            LOL. Using verbs like “killed” to explain something that happened shows that you weren’t exactly happy with the situation…no?

            Either way, it was a joke. Just messing with ya!

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

      Jeter’s double play cost the Yanks .161 on the WPA chart. That was the second largest swing of the game. Sure, a win at that point was rather unlikely, but Jeter put it bed with that double play. Bunting would have been better in that situation than a DP.

  • Virginia Yankee

    STOP the nonsense — Hitters don’t always come through

    Players are positined one step away from the needed step

    This game is oin the brain trust–

    1- Burnnett may have been strong but he has not pitched on 3 days rest — Giradi in pitching Sabbathia on 3 days did not have to consign Burnett and Pettit to the same — Pettit is old — Sabbathia gassed —

    2- Why did genius not pinch run for Matsui – Matsui can’t steal, break up a DP or score from 1st — genius had a weapon – why not use hum

    3- Marte has been terrific and likely benefiting from regular work – with the game winnable and Tues a day off in any event why not use him

    4- now you can add Texuerra — the scouting report must have off speed away inbrigh red letters – he has not figured it out — he is lost agaist soft away– but this has been true since april — the Philies get it

    5– look at the film — all of Utley (he is a terrific hitter) hits have been from the same location – his natural plane — Yankee pitchers catchers are squareing the pitches up for him –

    6 – there is no reason not to play Matsui in Left for two games with Cabrerra down – Gardner’s swing is now early 2008 — you can’t have him molina and a pitcher inn the same lineup

    7- genius did this 6 runs simply should be enough runs

    8- if there is any good the yankees battled back

    9- bad Pettit and Sabbathia are gassed

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

      B-U-R-N-E-T-T
      P-E-T-T-I-T-T-E
      S-A-B-A-T-H-I-A
      G-I-R-A-R-D-I
      C-A-B-R-E-R-A

      I mean, for fucks sake, they’re on your own team. How hard is it to learn how to spell the names of the players on your own team that you root for?

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        He had more hyphens and dashes. He wins.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      He didn’t pinch run for Matsui because Matsui wasn’t the tying or go-ahead run. Usually you pinch run for those types of situations…or save your pinch runner for that situation. Matsui was on first and even had he scored…we’d still be down by 1 run.

      I’m not saying it was the right move…but that’s usually how managers think.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Also because there was only one man left on the bench.

        • Raf

          and Pena was not going to be stealing down 3 runs in the 9th with no outs. lets not try to forget the situation people. the DP was a killer but Pena stealing and getting caught would’ve been just as bad

      • toad

        Usually you pinch run for those types of situations…or save your pinch runner for that situation. Matsui was on first and even had he scored…we’d still be down by 1 run.

        That makes absolutely no sense here. Matsui’s run was just as critical as the winning/tying run. He has to score – this inning – or you lose. Who would you choose to run for – Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, A-Rod, Swisher, Cano, Gardner…or Matsui? Those are the choices.

        • MattG

          If Matsui scores, you can still lose. The guy behind him has to score. You don’t remove Matsui, because if the lineup moves all the way around to #5–which almost has to happen for the game to end up tied–Matsui is your right fielder and Mariano is inserted into the #5 spot in the order. Girardi has already said he would do that if needed, so don’t come back with the “he hasn’t played an inning in the field” argument.

          • toad

            if the lineup moves all the way around to #5–which almost has to happen for the game to end up tied–Matsui is your right fielder and Mariano is inserted into the #5 spot in the order.

            Maybe I’m missing something, but doesn’t that apply only if A-Rod makes the final out of the inning? So you’d have to have a HR and two outs out of Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, and then an out from A-Rod. Quite a parlay.

            • toad

              Never mind. I see your point.

        • Justin R.

          And then when he takes Matsui out, everyone cries that he lifted a big bat that could have been saved for extras, just like every game in the Angels series. Like I said, Joe gets ripped either way.

          Pena would not have been going on 2-1 and he doesn’t affect that tailor made DP. The blame there goes to Jeter, not to not pinch running.

  • Chris

    I will be concerned as soon as the Phillies show they can win a game started by not-Cliff-Lee.

  • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

    3 days rest is very difficult for most pitchers. I know as well as everyone else that bad AJ can show up at anytime, but I think it is fair to assume that there is a higher risk of AJ being ineffective on 3 days rest.

    In hindsight starting AJ was the wrong decision. Worst case if we hadn’t started him would have been Gaudin losing to Lee, but our bull penn would be better rested and we’d send out AJ on 4 days rest for game 6 rather than Andy on 3 days. Andy would then have been available to help in the penn is either game 6 or 7.

    I see that some people here prefer Andy on 3 days rest to AJ on 4 days rest. Fair enough – i really hope you guys will be able to tell me ” told you so” after game 6.

    • Raf

      dont compare AJ starting to Gaudin starting. that wasnt the decision. AJ was going to start another game this series if it went the distance. would you want Pettitte starting on 3 days rest or Gaudin starting on a month’s rest?

  • Ivan

    Hey it was tough loss. AJ was bad, same with Coke and DJ with that DP, however, that game was certainly winnable and at the end of the day, the yanks two out of 3 in Philly which is the big picture. Yankees close it out in Yankee Stadium and by the way, I have a hard time believing that Pedro with his stuff can shut down the yanks again in Yankee Stadium.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Tell me if this sounds familiar…

    ~AJ starts game 5 on the road, gets hit hard and gives up runs early.
    ~Yank battle back but fall short.
    ~Yanks are going back home for game 6 with Pettitte on the mound.
    ~Irrational/emotional Yankee fans are overreacting.
    ~All talking heads/MSM are saying the Yanks are doomed and their opponent will come back.

    Yup, sounds very similar to the ALCS.

    To all those who think starting Chad Gaudin was a better idea need to have your head examined. As mentioned on RAB before, Guadin has pitched 2.1 inn since 9/28. Lefties hit him to a tune of .296/.408/.415/.823 (114 OPS+) this year. I don’t imagine he would have done any better last night. Who is to say we don’t lose game 5 regardless of who started vs Lee then AJ goes all “bad AJ” in game 6 and we are really in a tough spot?

    Regardless of the outcome, starting AJ was the right decision. You go with what got you there and you don’t try and steal a game in the WS by starting Gaudin. The Phillies tried that in game 4 and that didn’t work.

    I am in full support of Girardi’s decisions to go on 3 days rest. These are big boys and can handle going on short rest. It’s not like they need to save some gas in the tank.

    I am still confident the Yanks can take 1 game vs Pedro or who ever starts a potential game 7 before the Phillies beat Andy and CC back to back.

    Plus (iirc) we do have the Paul O’Neill theory on our side heading into game 6. Also, how fitting is it that we get a chance to beat down Pedro for #27?

    /annoyed rant

    • Rob in CT

      This.

  • Tank the Frank

    I know Burnett is the easy goat, and Jeter hit into one of the most deflating un-clutch double plays in recent memory, but my frustration is staying with Mark Teixeira.

    This guy has done jack with a side order of shit. I realize he makes plays with his glove, and if he were our # 7 hitter that would be fine. Teixeira bats third in the lineup and his job is to generate runs. He’s batting in front of the only man left in the postseason that no one wants to pitch to. Yet he has consistantly shown zero ability to lay off even a league-average changeup. Pitchers would love nothing more than to throw this guy strikes and get him out in front of A-Rod, but they’ve realized that Teixeira will chase and has no ability to recognize a changeup.

    We all know what Burnett is, and any intelligent fan is not surprised in the least when he can’t even get 6 or 7 outs in a start. But when we signed Mark Teixeira, we thought we were getting a SMART ballplayer, a COMPLETE ballplayer, and he had a terriffic season for us. But in the postseason the gaping hole in his swing has been exposed. The scouting report is out and it is unquestionable. Teixeira has made no adjustments and has shown no signs of being a productive hitter this posteason, which makes me believe he has made a career out of hitting bad pitching in hitters ballparks. I believe he deserves a lion’s share of the blame with his CONSTANT non-production.

    God forbid the Yankees were trailing in the series…I think a lot more attention would be paid to Teixeira’s struggles. But since the Yanks are winning, no one seems to notice. Teixeira has the benefit of struggling for a winning team; whereas A-Rod was crucified for producing at the same level. Unfortunately for him, those teams lost.

  • dsss

    To go back and address someone’s point of not having a quality 4th starter, of course there was no way of knowing Wang would not make it back and that Joba and Hughes would flop at the chance. The thought that Mitre or Gaudin would fit the bill was wishful thinking.

    The Yankees had a chance to upgrade before the trading deadline, but didn’t. They didn’t need to break the bank for Washburn or Halliday, as there was another pitcher available.

    The Phils traded 3 not upper level prospects for Cliff Lee, and have him for next year also. There were those who wanted the Yankees to go for him. If they had, the Phils probably wouldn’t have made past the Dodgers, and the Yankees 4man rotation would have been awesome.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      And how do you know the Yankees didn’t go for him? I really hate this hindsight speculation. We have no idea what happened with Lee, other than the Indians eventually traded him to the Phillies. I’m sure Brian Cashman, who had dealt with 11 trade deadlines before, did his due diligence.

      • dsss

        I’m sure your right, but even Cash is fallible. And it’s not hindsight- I wanted him in June/July.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Maybe hindsight is a bad term here. My point is that people think the Yankees should go out and get everyone. That’s just not possible. The Yankees knew their situation, and I’m sure they looked into every possible situation. Sometimes there’s not a match, and sometimes another team comes up with a better offer.

          • dsss

            Reasonable

  • Anthony

    Lets not blame Derek. he wouldnt have been in the situation if we got decent starting pitching, it was the worst game for any of our starters this postseason. Lets blame Chien Ming Wang. He would have started one of these games so everyone wouldnt need to be on 3 days rest.

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