Oct
19

Hoping that Hunter can help wake up the offense

By

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Last night’s Game Three loss wasn’t just an ass-whoppin’, it was a historical ass-whoppin’. It was the worst shutout loss in Yankee postseason history, and the three baserunners were the fewest they’ve ever had in a playoff game. Cliff Lee was already one of just five pitchers to strike out ten-plus Yankees in a playoff game (the other four are or will be in the Hall of Fame), but yesterday he became the first man to do it twice. There’s no shame in losing to a pitcher of Lee’s caliber, but it’s not as if the Yankee offense set the world on fire in the first two games of the series either. Therein lies the real problem.

Brett Gardner‘s second half crash back to Earth (.232 AVG since the All Star break despite a .311 BABIP) has predictably continued into the postseason, except now he can’t rely on mediocre pitchers to walk him once every six trips to the plate to remain productive. He also seems to have resorted to the desperate act of sliding into first now, even though it’s been scientifically proven to slow you down. Derek Jeter has struck out in five of his last six plate appearances, including three straight on swings-and-misses at fastballs up in the zone yesterday. Mark Teixeira … I don’t even want to talk about him. His second straight terrible postseason is again propped up by one big homer against the Twins, par for the course during the worse non-rookie season of his career. Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada are a combined 5-for-34 with three walks in the series. Outside of Robbie Cano and Curtis Granderson, the offense simply isn’t getting it done this postseason.

The good news is that if there’s one pitcher on the Rangers’ staff that can help ignite an offense, it’s Tommy Hunter. The burly righthander pitches to contact (his 5.8% swinging strike rate ranked 133rd out of 146 pitchers with at least 100 IP this year) and gives up lots of homers (1.48 HR/9, ranking 136th), two things the Yankees need a little help with right now. They’ve faced Hunter a few times in the past but just once this season, getting to him for two runs in five innings of work. They’ll need more than that tonight, I can assure you.

Tonight’s Game Four isn’t a must win, but the Yanks have to play with that kind of sense of urgency just to get themselves out of this funk. Perhaps the lineup changes – Lance Berkman in at DH, Curtis Granderson up to the two-spot – that come with facing a righty will help, but those changes are really nothing more than cosmetic. The starting nine they trot out there on a given day is more than enough to win, but right now very few are playing up to their abilities. Several players just look straight up old to be quite honest, and that’s a bad thing, because reversing age-related decline is pretty much impossible.

Cliff Lee was brilliant last night, let’s not take anything away from him, but the Yankees haven’t hit at all in this series save for one inning in Game One. If they lose tonight, A.J. Burnett will almost undoubtedly be the goat, but if the offense can’t muster anything off Tommy Hunter, then I’m not sure they deserve to win anyway. They Yanks are set up for a breakout offensive game, and championship caliber clubs have to find ways to win pitching matchups like this, especially at home.

Categories : Offense, Playoffs

284 Comments»

  1. Yeah but if we had Damon and Matsui and Melky! Well… we’d probably be in the exact same spot, or worse.

    I get why people are content to just blame the offense, but let’s face it, it’s not like the three pitchers Texas have thrown have been bad and we just couldn’t hit them. They’ve all been good, it happens, it’s why the playoffs suck. If you get good starting pitching anything can happen. The Rangers have, the Yankees haven’t. Cliff Lee tends to make everyone look bad.

    That said, if Tommy Fucking Hunter shuts the Yankees down tonight, I’ll be joining people on the cliff.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Ironically, Melky got released today.

      • Joe says:

        Pick him up!!!

        /dumbanddumber’d

        • Rob says:

          Trade Gardner and I say why not?

          • Mister Delaware says:

            Because he produces less than Gardner on both sides of the ball but costs more money?

            • Rob says:

              Isn’t he league minimum on waivers?

            • Murakami says:

              Actually, Melky, although he didn’t do much in the 2009 ALDS or WS, had a great ALCS last year. Hit .391 and drove in four runs, with a .948 OPS. Um, that helped us win that series.

              Yankee Stadium is also a better park for him. Brett Hero’s numbers, which stunk any way in the second half, might take a hit, too, if he had to hit in front of Derek Lowe rather than Derek Jeter. Brett Hero also is decent in LF, but has problems in CF. Thankfully, we have a CF now who is defensively better than both those guys.

    • vin says:

      “That said, if Tommy Fucking Hunter shuts the Yankees down tonight, I’ll be joining people on the cliff.”

      No point on even getting on a cliff. We would’ve been bombed off the face of the earth by that point. I know Cliff Lee is human, and he doesn’t ALWAYS dominate, but if the Yanks don’t win the next 3 against Hunter, Wilson and Lewis they’re cooked.

      I’m a realist, not a ledge dweller… they need to run the table starting tonight.

      • Greg says:

        That’s exactly my thought

      • AndrewYF says:

        Hey, if you guaranteed me a Game 7 right now, I’d take it.

        • Murakami says:

          I think a Game 7 is likely. I think Texas is a fine team, but I can’t see losing 2 of the next three to these guys. People get caught up in one game, the media, even more so in all this garbage about “demoralizing” defeats, etc. It’s baseball. Losing 8-0 beats losing 2-0, if you think about it. That game is over, and those six extra runs don’t change the status of the series.

      • Murakami says:

        Right, and if we should win two of the next three, it will at least be a moral victory for us, and we all know Yankee history is built on those. We should just forfeit Game 7.

        Maybe the Mets would be a better fit for you?

    • Tank Foster says:

      Are you kidding? They have been horrible at the plate.

      The post was excellent, especially the part about age-related decline.

  2. Ryan says:

    Does last night’s game make anyone want the Yankees not to get Cliff Lee in the offseason? Call me a competitor, but there is nothing I want more than to keep playing that smug son of a bitch and eventually beat him.

    • pat says:

      No, I want him on our team.

    • Frank says:

      Anyone who can pitch like that can be smug. And I’d rather he be smug in pinstripes.

    • Guest says:

      Call me crazy, but I didn’t see any smugness out of him. Just awesomeness…pure perfect location, changing speeds, great movement awesomeness.

      Really hope that we see him in pinstripes–soon.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Agreed. If we sign him now, the narrative will forever be that we couldn’t beat him, so we hired him.

    • CBean says:

      No, that was my only comfort last night. I can’t wait to see him do that in pinstripes.

    • chris c. says:

      “Call me a competitor, but there is nothing I want more than to keep playing that smug son of a bitch and eventually beat him.”

      This is an oranizations that’s had Clemens, Brown, Johnson, Mussina, Rogers, and tried to get Curt Schilling………and Cliff Lee strikes you as smug???

    • Ryan says:

      Look, smug or no smug, I’m sick of this guy beating up on us and would like nothing more than to beat him, not join him. (I realize I’ll end up rooting for him… I really hated Johnny Damon when he was on the Red Sox).

      • Murakami says:

        I still hate that signing, even though I warmed to Damon. We should have signed Beltran and not Big Randy. Would have solved our woes in CF a lot sooner. But George must have his toys.

    • Jill says:

      I don’t want to see him in a Yankees uniform next year. But I’m a Rangers fan. And I love seeing an overpaid team get beat….especially Alex Rodriguez, the biggest waste of money that Rangers former owner Tom Hicks ever spent $ on. You can make up for in money what the Rangers team has this year….a lot of heart. I know the series is far from over, but I definitely like what I have seen so far.

      • Jill says:

        I meant, you CANNOT make up for in money what the Rangers team has this year

      • Sayid J. says:

        The Rangers have heart? That’s a new one.

      • Tank Foster says:

        Why does everyone become so childish and immature about the number of the payroll?

        Look, it’s pretty simple. Baseball players constitute a market, like anything else. The market, for the most part, is efficient. Guaranteed commodities – high value players, proven over multiple seasons – get the highest salaries. Some teams can afford these players, others can’t. The Yankees have the most money in baseball because they are a well-run organization. Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, the Mets, Chicago, Atlanta, and Anaheim are similar, to varying degrees.

        Should teams like the Yankees NOT spend their revenue on player salaries? Should their ownership pocket huge amounts of money, and field mediocre or average teams?

        And is it really a zero-sum game? The Yankees pay the highest salaries, but this also saddles them with a perpetually aging team, because the only “proven” players who are available as free agents are usually players near the age of 30, and most players peak at age 26-28 or so. So the Yankees are paying for depreciating assets.

        Also, the Yankees heavy use of the free agent market punishes them in terms of draft picks and so forth, so the Yankees ability to grow a team from college and minor league players is much less than that of teams like Tampa, Minnesota, etc.

        Maybe I’m off base…..maybe you could explain in more detail your statement about enjoying seeing “overpaid teams get beat.”

        • chris c. says:

          The Yankees have the most money in baseball because they are a well-run organization.

          I see. The Twins are a well run organization. Why don’t they have a ton of money like the Yankees do?
          Please don’t try to insult the intelligence of people who actually understand how the world works, and instead just enjoy the many advantages that your team provides for your viewing and paying pleasure. There really is no need for you to try and turn the New York Yankees into some clever and crafty organization full of baseball masterminds who once tioled in filth yet cunningly rose above, unless of course it makes you feel better.

          • Tank Foster says:

            That’s an obnoxious reply. And it makes no sense. I wasn’t suggesting the Yankees were “crafty,” nor that other well-run teams were equally rich. The Yankees have a well-run organization that makes the most of the revenue opportunities available to them. It took Boston years to realize they could operate the same way, and when they did, they prospered. Some markets are smaller, like Minnesota, so they will never have the $$ the Yankees or Boston has.

            Why don’t you give me the benefit of your superior intelligence and explain to me how the world works?

            • chris c. says:

              “That’s an obnoxious reply. And it makes no sense. I wasn’t suggesting the Yankees were “crafty,” nor that other well-run teams were equally rich. The Yankees have a well-run organization that makes the most of the revenue opportunities available to them”.

              In a New York market. If Steinbrenner bought the Indians, this shit would not at all be possible in Cleveland. And they were already a historic organization when they were bought…….they were just in the midst of down years. So are they smarter than the Mets? Yes.

              “It took Boston years to realize they could operate the same way, and when they did, they prospered.”

              Do not compare NY to Boston. They in no way have the same revenue streams. They also have about half the stadium capacity.

              “Some markets are smaller, like Minnesota, so they will never have the $$ the Yankees or Boston has.”

              Okay……so do you not see a disadvantage right there for the Twins? They can’t keep Santana, and can’t even flirt with players like Teixeira or Sabathia. That alone makes the sport uneven.

              “And is it really a zero-sum game? The Yankees pay the highest salaries, but this also saddles them with a perpetually aging team, because the only “proven” players who are available as free agents are usually players near the age of 30, and most players peak at age 26-28 or so. So the Yankees are paying for depreciating assets.”

              If this isn’t the biggest “poor little rich kid” statement ever, I don’t know what is. I mean for christs sake, they can also sweep bad signings under the rug and start again.

              “Why don’t you give me the benefit of your superior intelligence and explain to me how the world works?”

              You want me to explain the inequities of the league to you? Forget it. You should know before you post your Ode to the Yankees. I’m a huge Yankee fan, but I’m not a blind follower of big market nonsense. I have way more pride than that.

      • Murakami says:

        Jill, in all good spirit, I am so not interested in hearing you wax poetic about the “heart” of your team. Perhaps, though, if I may suggest, a site full of Ranger zealots could better appreciate the sentiment?

      • JerseyDutch says:

        The old “we have more heart” argument? Please. That’s so tired.

      • detroit_yankee says:

        “Coach McGinty, what will Washington need to get back into
        this ballgame?”

        “Heart. You gotta have heart.”

        /replacements’d

    • LarryM.,Fl. says:

      After Lee’s consistently brillant performances of late, I’m sure teams willl be holding winter cake sales to make up the coin to sign him. To stop at will the Yankees offense makes other teams take notice.

      As far as the Yankees looking old, we are in a world of hurt. Arod, jeter and Posada look horrible at the plate. It makes you wonder how much should the Yankees truly sign Jeter for and how long of a contract.

      I think the world of the guy but he’s no 20 million dollar player, he’s no 15 million dollar player if he gets more than 12 million its out of respect for time served. Thinl of the millions taht could serve the team well in other areas.

    • Murakami says:

      Inclined to not want Lee, either. But smugness? The guy is just a fine pitcher.

  3. iYankee(next generation from Apple) says:

    Imagine the comparisons people will be making all day to AJ and Kevin Brown. With an offense that has basically tanked, is taking horrible AB’s, and cannot seem to defeat the RISP reaper that has plagued the team for now three months, hope lies in a man who hit two batters in a simulated game and hasn’t pitched since the end of September.

    If I am the Rangers, I like our chances. Come out swinging right away, get a few cheap hits and let AJ implode. Not a great situation to be in for the Yankees.

    • A.D. says:

      Yeah if your the Rangers (or at least a Rangers fan) you pretty much would be assuming this series is over. You got Burnett to face today, then another Lee bullet in the chamber, should be your guaranteed 2 wins to finish off the series regardless of what Wilson & Lewis do

      • Jill says:

        Oh no….I am a Rangers fan and KNOW this series is far from over. I expect tonight to be a high scoring game on both sides. It’s anyone’s guess who will end up on top at the end. I do think it is pretty lame how the Yankees handles Josh Hamilton (or should I say doesn’t handle). Josh broke a record for walks in the postseason that was held by none other than Jackie Robinson because your team seems to be afraid of him.

        • Sayid J. says:

          Lame? It’s called strategy.

        • Mattinglys Love Child says:

          Hamilton is by far the best player on the Rangers. For the Yankees to pitch to him out of pride would be moronic.

          Oh, and I have no idea what walk record you’re talking about. Barry Bonds walked 10 times in the 02 NLCS, 13 times in the 02 World Series. Hamilton has walked 5 times so far….

        • JerseyDutch says:

          We should just let him hit more home runs. That would be smart.

  4. Rob says:

    I don’t know how anyone can look at this Yankee team and not see a clear need for more offense in 2011. The status quo is getting old, fast.

    • pat says:

      Didn’t we lead MLB in scoring this year? Or is that just my imagination?

      • A.D. says:

        Agreed, and I fail to believe a player loses it one month to the next.

      • Guest says:

        Of course leading the league in offense isn’t good enough, pat. Everygame needs to end 10-0 Yanks, or changes need to be made–stat. It’s true. You can look it up.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          It would be nice if Tex got his head out of his ass though.

        • Rob says:

          No, they need players capable of hitting throughout the year. This team has exactly three players who we would expect to get tired – A-Rod, Jeter, and Jorge.

          Then they have another three who played over their heads for parts of this year – Swisher, Gardner, and Thames.

          That leaves exact three hitters to carry the offense – Cano, Tex, and Granderson. Given that two of the three are lefties, it’s no suprise they’re struggling against southpaws.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            When did Swisher play over his head? He’s performed at a similar level in 2006, 2007, and 2009. This is who he is.

            • Rob says:

              2010. He’s not a .900 OPS hitter. People started getting carried away with him. His second half?:

              .276 .337 .496 = .833

              That’s the hitter he is. Good not great.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                15 outfielders had an OPS > .833 this year. 15, out of 90 starting outfield jobs.

                • Rob says:

                  That’s a poor use of stats. The team they’re playing has two of those 15 – in fact, the top two overall, right? Meanwhile, Swisher was the Yankees’ best OF bat and he’s good but not great.

                  • Mike Axisa says:

                    What do the Rangers have to do with anything? You’re talking about next year.

                    • Rob says:

                      It’s who they’re playing. Matchups are a big part of the game. And right now, how many positions are the Yankees really better? Combine that with the better starting pitching and it’s no surprise the Rangers are in command. The Yankees live or die on their offense but it’s based on old players in decline.

                    • Sayid J. says:

                      Matchups are a big part of the game. And right now, how many positions are the Yankees really better?

                      I would say the Yankees are betting at 2B, RF, 1B, 3B and C

                    • Mister Delaware says:

                      Its a testament to how many stupid lines have been thrown around here in the past 14 hours that it almost (literally) took an hour for someone to point out that matchups, in terms of our LF versus their LF or our 2B versus their 2B, are certainly not a big part of the game.

                    • chris c. says:

                      “The Yankees live or die on their offense but it’s based on old players in decline.”

                      You’re the same guy who wants to replace Gardner with a 31 year old who has bad knees.

                  • Tank Foster says:

                    I get your frustration, Rob, but you are seriously confusing an offensive slump with “bad offense.” The Yankees have an excellent offense.

                    Age? Alex Rodriguez at 35, even at the end of the season with a sore hip, is better offensively than 90% of players in baseball. Everything’s relative.

                    I don’t know that there’s anything statistical to back up the notion that older guys “get tired” at the end of the year and can’t perform. It’s a “meme”, just like saying inexperienced players become tense and choke in the playoffs.

                    Look, I know as Yankee fans we want to be the team that has every Strasburg, Tulowitzki, and Heyward that comes along. The reality is, we make a deal with the devil and accept that we aren’t going to get the great draft picks and the cream of the crop young players (at least not very often), in order to allow us to always have proven producers on the roster. Proven producers are, by definition, experienced, and often they’re on the wrong side of 30 when they become available.

                    It’s just how it is.

                    By the way, where, exactly, do you think the Yankees could upgrade their offense, relative to what it is now? How many catchers, for instance, have better numbers offensively than Jorge?

              • Johnny O says:

                You can’t look only at his 2nd half and ignore his first half. See: Confirmation bias.

              • Chris says:

                Swisher in 2009: .869 OPS
                Swisher in 2010: .870 OPS

                That’s the hitter he is. Eighth in the majors in OPS among outfielders.

                • Rob says:

                  That is selective sampling. You really want to throw out the other 2500 PAs from his career?

                  • Mike Axisa says:

                    .864 OPS in 2006. .836 in 2007. Shockingly, he got better as he moved into his prime years and a better ballpark.

                    • Rob says:

                      What is a “better” ballpark? He actually hits slightly better on the road than at YS 2.0.

                      I say .830 OPS. You say .860 OPS. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s good not great. By himself, he’s fine. As the top OF bat? Yeah, the Yankees can and should do better, especially since 3/5ths of the infield is 35 or older.

            • chris c. says:

              “When did Swisher play over his head? He’s performed at a similar level in 2006, 2007, and 2009. This is who he is.”

              The problem is, Swisher is in the 2 hole, and he hasn’t hit a lick lately. Since September 1st, he’s hitting .229 with 4 homes and 9 rbi.
              May as well throw Kearns in there against lefties.

              • Rob says:

                Well, the other problem is Jeter isn’t a leadoff hitter. That top 4 is killing them, actually. Hard to score runs when the only guy doing anything is the #5 hitter.

                • chris c. says:

                  Gardner should be leading off. At least he tries to show some spark. Everyone else is just sleepwalking through this. Not gonna happen though……can’t upset Jeter.

                  • larryf says:

                    This. Gardy leads off. Granderson second. Cano third. Everyday lineup.

                    Lefties or righties on the mound.

                    /Kevin Long

                    • Tank Foster says:

                      1. Gardner
                      2. Granderson
                      3. Cano
                      4. Teixeira
                      5. Rodriguez
                      6. Swisher
                      7. Posada
                      8. Berkman/Thames
                      9. Jeter

                      Any thought about (gasp) giving Kearns a start, maybe in LF? Yes I know he was a guaranteed K for most of the year, but don’t you try something when you’re offense is this awful?

                  • Murakami says:

                    “At least he tries to show some spark.”

                    Oh, dear. I don’t even need to comment, do I?

      • iYankee(next generation from Apple) says:

        Yes they did but total runs scored does not mean they don’t need offense. Winning 20 games by a margin of 8+ runs and then losing 20 games by a margin of 2 runs will create enough of a gap to allow a team to have more runs scored than other teams who cannot produce large winning margins.

        But that alone does not equate to having a good offense. What people need to say when they speak of offense is that we need a more consistent line up that is not always altered based on silly match ups. Sometimes leaving a Granderson in the 7th or 8th spot all season long is what the play needs (unless there are injury needs). Sometimes I think Joe kills the offensive flow because he over analyzes things.

        • chris c. says:

          Never keeping a consistent line-up throughout the season definitely kills the flow. But you can’t tell Girardi that. He knows everything.

          And it looks like we’re stuck with that nonsense, because the Cubs just hired themselves a manager.

    • Sayid J. says:

      Getting old, yes, but with the exception of Posada, they aren’t going anywhere for a few years.

    • So, what do you propose that will improve the offense that scored the most runs in 2010?

      • Rob says:

        Problem is there ain’t much. It comes down to Werth and Crawford, and I think Werth’s game will hold up and fits much better. Without A-Rod and Jeter, it’s a thin lineup. They need a true impact bat from the right side, especially against LHP.

        Montero could be it too. But will they give him the ABs he needs?

        • How do you know Werth will hold up? What evidence do you have? He struck out 147 times and hits worse outside of CBP, Swisher’s past and this career year stacks up against anything Werth has done, but you don’t see Werth every day and just assume he is better.

          And yeah, Montero could be the bat, but who the hell knows? He hasn’t even had a major league plate appearance yet.

          Simple fact is you don’t have an answer on how to markedly improve the offense because it simply can’t be done without making trades or making cuts that will never happen.

          • Rob says:

            Cutting Gardner back to a 4th OF is easily in the realm of possibilities. It damn well should be.

            Outside of that, yup, there’s not much they can do. I fail to see how that’s a point in the Yankees favor though.

            • Good, we agree there’s no solution then and saying the Yankee offense, which lead the league in runs, needed to be improved was pointless.

              • Rob says:

                Um, treating Gardner like a 4th OF is the solution presented, thanks. It’s both realistic and without a trade or cut needed. He becomes what he’s always been. Then they replace that bat with one that can actually slug .500.

                This team needs upgrades. Old and good players aren’t enough. The older are getting older before our eyes. The good regress from great to show their true colors. It’s no surprise then when only 3 of 9 hitters do much of anything at all.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Gardner’s a waste as a 4th outfielder. Greg Golson could do his job then. At least suggest trading him while his value is high. Sheesh.

                  • Rob says:

                    Not really, but things are never that simple. Call Gardner a 3b if you’d like. He’s good enough to start, but not good enough to anchor a corner spot on a championship team.

                    While he’s cheap, he’s good insurance. But he gets exposed with too much playing time.

                    • Chris says:

                      Here are the primary LF from the Yankees championships in 1998-2000:

                      1998: Chad Curtis
                      1999: Ricky Ledee
                      2000: Ricky Ledee/David Justice/Shane Spencer

                      I’ll take Gardner over any of them.

                    • Rob says:

                      Except those teams had O’Neill and Bernie. Swisher and Granderson are poorer approximates. And Ledee put together a ten-year career. Let’s see Gardner do that.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Pretty loose definitely of ten year career, eh? Ledee only had two seasons with more PA than Gardner had LAST YEAR. Gardner has more than 44% of Ledee’s career plate appearances after two full seasons in the bigs.

                    • Rob says:

                      Let’s see Gardner hit Ledee’s peak before we call him better.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Haha, what’s Ledee’s peak? The ONE season when he had more than 300 plate appearances, he hit .236/.322/.381.

                    • Mister Delaware says:

                      According to Fangraphs’ WAR, to match Ricky Ledee’s career, Gardner is going to have to cost his teams 6.7 games over the remainder of his career.

                    • Chris says:

                      O’Neill 1998-2000: .295/.354/.465/.819 110 OPS+
                      Swisher 2009-2010: .270/.365/.505/.870 126 OPS+

                    • Rob says:

                      Why stop there? Run the Bernie comp.

                      This OF is not a strength. It’s not a weakness either, but it’s not going to pick up for the team’s flaws.

                    • chris c. says:

                      “Except those teams had O’Neill and Bernie. Swisher and Granderson are poorer approximates. And Ledee put together a ten-year career. Let’s see Gardner do that.”

                      You’re just going to continue to argue just for the hell of it, no matter how stupid you sound, aren’t you? It’s become increasingly obvious that you don’t know a shitting thing about what you’re talking about, so just end it already.

                    • chris c. says:

                      “And Ledee put together a ten-year career.”

                      Did anyone know that Ledee put together a 10 year career? It may be true, but what the hell was he doing for 10 years?

                • Sorry but if your only solution is essentially replacing Gardner with Werth I don’t see how that changes much of anything. Werth hits for more power obviously but gets on base less. How many games is he going to win?

                  Let’s assume Werth and Gardner were both on the Yankees in 2010. Their difference in WAR over the season was about 1 win. So congrats, you benched Gardner, got Werth for way too much money, and still lost the AL East. And likely are still in the same position we are right now.

                  • Rob says:

                    Check yourself before you wreck yourself: Werth has the better career OBP. Combined with his power, he’s a far superior hitter and one where the Yankees are weak – against LHP.

                    Moreover, if Werth were on the Yankees then Gardner gets the 300 ABs that went to Kearns and Thames and Golson. That’s an upgrade too. @ wins and they do take the East. But that doesn’t matter. They need to win three of the next four games and two are against LH starters. Good luck with that when their righty bats are old and slow.

                    • Check yourself before you wreck yourself? Did you really just say that to me?

                      This was Gardner’s first full season in the majors, he doesn’t have career numbers to cite yet, why would you use them? Are you seriously that dumb? What is wrong with comparing 2010 season to 2010 season?

                      Oh right, it doesn’t fit your ass-backwards narrative.

                      You are seriously not even worth the effort anymore. Go root for the Mets, they have a bunch of young right handed bats. Clearly that’s all anyone needs.

                  • chris c. says:

                    Sorry but if your only solution is essentially replacing Gardner with Werth I don’t see how that changes much of anything.

                    It makes the Yankees even older and slower than they already are. That’s what it changes.

                  • Rob says:

                    So now that you’ve failed on the facts, you resort to disgusting ad hominem?

                    Gardner is and always has been an extremely limited player. One decent season doesn’t change that. That kind of player should never stand in the way of an actual upgrade.

                    • He’s always been an extremely limited player? What the fuck are you talking about? He had a .400 OBP this year, what do those guys grow on trees? The ony thing he DOESN’T do is hit for power, which is made up by the rest of the freaking team.

                      If you want to trade him, fine, but benching him to make room for Werth is just plain stupid.

                      I find it hilarious that you think the team is too old and slow to be good yet you want to replace replace a young, cheap, on-base machine that plays excellent defense with a 31 year old right fielder with a history of knee injury. Makes perfect sense!

                    • Rob says:

                      So now you’re just making things up? a .400 OBP? Really? Really?

                      The plain fact is, Gardner is the only player they can realistically upgrade. If you got a problem with that, you argument isn’t with me. If you don’t then you aren’t paying attention.

                  • Murakami says:

                    Brett Gardner over David Justice??

                    Love really is blind.

                    • chris c. says:

                      There are plenty of teams who would take Brett Gardner. You’re just a spoiled little bitch. I can’t fucking stand people like you and Rob, who whine and whine and whine despite the fact that the organization has 27 rings. And you’re probably too young to remember the rough times, which makes your bullshit sound all the more worse. I mean, how the hell are you not happy to have a #9 hitter who gets on base very often and steals at a large clip?

                      In your next life, you deserve to be a Royals fan.

                • chris c. says:

                  “Um, treating Gardner like a 4th OF is the solution presented, thanks. It’s both realistic and without a trade or cut needed. He becomes what he’s always been. Then they replace that bat with one that can actually slug .500.”

                  LMAO!!!! The Yankees need sluggers??? That’s their problem right now!! Too many sluggers, not enough catalysts!

                  But hey, thanks for your solution presentation. We’ll get back to you on that.

                  • Rob says:

                    What the hell is a “catalyst” in baseball terms? Where did you learn your baseball? The Joe Morgan Academy at Fox?

                    • chris c. says:

                      A “catalyst” is what Brett Gardner was Friday night when the Yankees scored 5 runs to win the game. And he was also a “catalyst” last night by reaching 2nd with nobody out, but Captain Fundamentals couldn’t move him over.

                    • Rob says:

                      Wow, Gardner IS good. He gets credit for five runs…and with terrible fundamentals.

                    • chris c. says:

                      “Wow, Gardner IS good. He gets credit for five runs…and with terrible fundamentals.”

                      People that start ralies get credit for starting ralies. That is not a new concept…..nor is the word “catalyst”.

            • chris c. says:

              “Cutting Gardner back to a 4th OF is easily in the realm of possibilities. It damn well should be.”

              Why? You don’t like players who catch everything in sight, reach base 38% of the time, swipe nearly 50 bags, induce pitchers to throw them about 30 pitches a game, then distract the shit out of them when they’re on base? Fine, I’ll take him. I’ll bat him in front of some guys with pop, and I’ll beat your team of stiffs anytime!

              • Rob says:

                Hmmm, except you’re looking only at the best possible Gardner. In that world Melky is a .900 OPS hitter.

                • chris c. says:

                  “Hmmm, except you’re looking only at the best possible Gardner.”

                  Uh, no. Those are Gardner’s overall numbers throughout the entire season. And obviously, the guy’s been banging your wife or something, because why else would you have a bug up your ass for one of the few guys on the Yankees who is NOT the problem this postseason.

                  • Rob says:

                    Oh he’s not, huh? Hmmm, let’s see:

                    Brett Gardner:
                    ALDS – .200 .250 .200
                    ALCS – .250 .333 .250

                    Yup, that’s FAN-tastic! Catalyst!

                    Gardner played over his head for half the year. You’ll figure it out soon enough.

                    • chris c. says:

                      The only guy in over his head is you on this board. You are clearly outclassed.

                    • Rob says:

                      Ah yes we’ve come to that moment where you have nothing left to say because all your nonsense has been proven false. Ad hominem = I win!

                      That .285 OBP in the post-season is amazing! Catalyst!

                      Epic. Fail.

                    • Jayson Werth, NLDS:

                      .167/.231/.167

                      Look Ma, I can cherry pick stats too!

                      You are a moron.

                    • Rob says:

                      Ah yes, still wrong, huh? It burns real bad, doesn’t it?

                      Brett Gardner? Who knew he’d have so many fanboys?

                      He is what he is. But he’s the only one the Yanks can easily upgrade for 2011. Of course, you won’t both with facts so you resort to name calling.

                    • Rob says:

                      You also must have missed the part where Mr. Catalyst said:

                      “because why else would you have a bug up your ass for one of the few guys on the Yankees who is NOT the problem this postseason.”

                      I don’t know about you, but a .285 OBP is exactly part of the problem to me – even for the Gritty, Gutty, Gardner.

                      Catalyst!

                    • chris c. says:

                      “Oh he’s not, huh?”

                      Compared to 7 other guys in the line-up, nope.

              • Murakami says:

                It’s not that one doesn’t like Gardner. It’s that one becomes nauseated with the legions of the Smitten who exaggerate what this guy brings.

                He’s a limited player who brings a great dimension:speed.

                He doesn’t really know how to drive the ball, he hasn’t learned how to bunt, apparently, he is fast in the outfield but doesn’t get the greatest of jumps, and is prone in CF to the opposition taking the extra base.

                He’s a better fit for LF, but doesn’t have that much slug. The Yankee lineup, however, makes up for that to some degree, as does his base stealing ability.

                He is a limited but useful player in this lineup. He is not a Folk Hero who is some savior with an unlimited ceiling.

                Nevertheless, he’s a useful player

                • chris c. says:

                  “It’s not that one doesn’t like Gardner. It’s that one becomes nauseated with the legions of the Smitten who exaggerate what this guy brings.”

                  No, what he brings is actually understated. NEvermind his OBP, stolen bases, and stellar fielding. That we know. He also rattles the pitchers when he’s on base, and he led the league in pitches seen per at-bat……..and in case you haven’t been paying attention over the last few years, the object for an offense is to work the starting pitcher and make your way into the opposing team’s bullpen as early as possible. So Gardner has been the top contributer on the team this season to achieving that from game to game.

                  “He’s a limited player who brings a great dimension:speed.”

                  Fair enough. As opposed to most of the league, which consists of limited players that bring nothing else.

                  “He doesn’t really know how to drive the ball, he hasn’t learned how to bunt, apparently, he is fast in the outfield but doesn’t get the greatest of jumps, and is prone in CF to the opposition taking the extra base.”

                  Nitpicky bullshit. He gets on base 38% of the time!! Steals 50 bags!! He don’t know how to bunt? Aside from Jeter, nobody on the Yankees can bunt! Can’t drive the ball?? What, you didn’t like Mikey Rivers? Everyone in the lineup has to constantly hit bullets? Since when?

                  “He’s a better fit for LF, but doesn’t have that much slug.”

                  You need “slug” while playing the outfield? Brilliant. Ichiro should work on his “slug” in right”.

                  “He is not a Folk Hero who is some savior with an unlimited ceiling.”

                  Ahh, of course. Whenever people come up short in their attempt to prove someone as useless, they then come up with some bullshit about everyone calling him a folk hero. With what, unlimited ceiling? Nobody said any of that chief, so quit the dramatics. He’s a good ballplayer, and is still quite young, and there si no need to replace him just because a few spoiled fans can’t hak the possibility of not winning a championship.

        • Chris says:

          The Yankees scored the most runs in the majors. Why is offense the problem?

          • Rob says:

            They’re O-L-D. It’s going to get worse before it gets better without some additions.

            • Chris says:

              Jeter, A-Rod and Posada are old. Tex, Cano, Swisher, Granderson, Gardner, and Montero are not old. As the old guys decline, the young guys will step up.

              • Rob says:

                Hmmm, except the old guys have cement boots – literally – in their positions. Swisher and Gardner have been playing over their heads.

                To put it another way: Next year only Granderson has upside. The rest will be the same or worse. This is not a team built to get better and certainly not as the season wears on.

                What was their record from July-on again?

                • Chris says:

                  Swisher has not been playing above his head. Gardner may be, but we don’t know.

                  Granderson and Tex should improve next year (over their performance this year). Jeter and A-Rod will also probably be somewhat better. Cano will likely be slightly worse.

                  Yankees April-June: 5.4 R/G and 3.9 RA/G
                  Yankees July-Sept: 5.2 R/G and 4.4 RA/G

                  The 5.2 R/G would have been the second best in the majors for the full season (behind only the Yankees actual total). The problem was pitching, not hitting.

                  • Rob says:

                    “Swisher has not been playing above his head.”

                    How many seasons of his career has he been better? If anything, regression suggests he’s more likely to head towards .800 OPS than to .900 OPS.

                    “Jeter and A-Rod will also probably be somewhat better.”

                    What’s the basis for this statement?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Again, Swisher had nearly an identical OPS last year. This is who he is at age 28-29. He’ll regress eventually when he gets old because everyone does, but .870 OPS Nick Swisher is prime of his career Nick Swisher. This is who he is, he isn’t playing over his head.

                    • Rob says:

                      We’ll see. I fail to see how 2009-10 is prime, but 20008 isn’t.

                      Like I said earlier, we’re arguing about 30 points in OPS. That doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t be the best OF bat. He’s good not great.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      He’s had over 1,000 plate appearances since 2008 with an .870 OPS and over 1,000 plate appearances before it with an .840 OPS. I think it’s safe to say that’s an outlier, and why they were able to acquire him for nothing.

                    • Rob says:

                      Yeah, we’re arguing trivialities at this point. The point stands: He’s good not great. They need another bat better than what they have. This outfield can’t carry a team.

                    • chris c. says:

                      “Again, Swisher had nearly an identical OPS last year.”

                      I love OPS, but it’s not for measuring everyone. I don’t even know what Swisher’s OPS was last year or this year, but I KNOW he was a better ballplayer for the Yankees this season.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  No one literally wears cement boots in the field.

                  • Rob says:

                    Did you see Jeter’s latest “jump” throw? Or A-Rod’s range at 3B? Or Jorge’s movement on balls in the dirt?

                    Cement is the only possible explanation.

                    • Mister Delaware says:

                      That is literally unfunny.

                    • Rob says:

                      Reality isn’t funny. It’s sad. Those three are in tough shape. And people are worried about other possible upgrades to this old team? The Yankees aren’t but re-signing Jeter is not a solution at all.

                    • Mister Delaware says:

                      Would you say that resigning Jeter would “cement” the Yanks downfall from the top offense in baseball? Literally?

    • Adam says:

      The offense was strong this year, two games does not change that. In fact, I have full faith that it will bounce back tonight. At that point does that change your perception? Tex, Swish and ARod are scuffling a bit and that makes all the difference between this offense being excellent and mediocre (or worse as it has been the last two games).

      As an aside, while I understand that the Yanks were kept under wraps most of Game 1, the fact that they had to win through a comeback does not erase the offense’s effectiveness in that rally. Sometimes all it takes is one explosive inning, it counts just as much as 8 hits spread over 5 innings.

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      Hay Rob, have you ever heard of a man names Jesus?

      You should follow his teachings, and his development.

  5. Adam says:

    He really looks like Sydney Ponson, which could only be a good omen.

  6. A.D. says:

    Personally I fail to understand why they aren’t going with CC on short rest? needing 3 wins I feel like CC, Hughes, Pettitte, CC all on short rest give you that far more than Burnett, CC, Hughes, Pettitte on regular rest.

    • Frank says:

      Why CC? He’s laid an egg in 2 post season starts so far. Why does everyone see him as a sure thing? I’m perfectly fine with AJ tonight. He just needs to keep the Ynaks in the game. To me, there’s more pressure on the offense to produce vs. Hunter. They need to pound this guy.

      • Chris says:

        CC sucks on longer than normal rest, but is great on short rest. Both of his post season starts have come on longer than normal rest.

        Here are his regular season splits:

        3 days rest: 1.01 ERA 4.33 K/BB
        4 days rest: 3.60 ERA 2.75 K/BB
        5 days rest: 3.44 ERA 2.78 K/BB
        6+ days rest: 4.02 ERA 2.15 K/BB

        • Accent Shallow says:

          He’s made 4 (yes, four, not fortysomething) regular season starts on three days rest. I don’t think those four starts tell you anything.

          He has 191 starts on four days rest, 88 on five, and 39 on six or more.

          I don’t know if 39 starts is enough to say he struggles with extra rest, but the results (postseason after long layoff, Opening Day starts) seem to bear this out.

        • chris c. says:

          “CC sucks on longer than normal rest, but is great on short rest.”

          Helloooo. The problem is, if he doesn’t win tonight, who pitches tomorrow with the Yankees down 3-1? And don’t say Hughes, because the Yankees refuse to send him out on 3 days rest.

          Why roll those dice when you can have Burnett pitch in a non-elimination game? This is not that dificult to understand.

          And do those CC statistics you posted give mention to how well he pitches on 3 days rest following an ultra-shitty performance? Or is that just based on him being in a groove?

          • A.D. says:

            Well wins are wins, so winning tonight losing tomorrow or losing tonight winning tomorrow gives the same outcome. You pitch CC on 3 days rest now so he can again do it for a game 7, and thus you remove Hughes or Burnett from the equation depending on willingness to start Hughes on 3 days rest.

            • chris c. says:

              “Well wins are wins, so winning tonight losing tomorrow or losing tonight winning tomorrow gives the same outcome. You pitch CC on 3 days rest now so he can again do it for a game 7″

              They don’t want to do that!! They’ve said this many many times, for whatever reason. You don’t know what goes on in the clubhouse. Maybe Sabathia is fatigued, and he told Girardi. Who knows. But the fact is, the Yankees do not want to do that. And since they don’t want to pich him on 3 days rest once, then twice is out of the questions.

              “and thus you remove Hughes or Burnett from the equation depending on willingness to start Hughes on 3 days rest.”

              Outside of his last start, Hughes has been terrific over the past month. But now you’re tossing him in the pen. And even worse, you’re grouping him in with Burnett as someone who should be “removed from the equation”. You sound about as impatiant as Steinbrener was during that 14 year playoff drought.

      • Troll says:

        How can anyone who’s watched AJ all year say they’re “perfectly fine” with him tonight?

      • A.D. says:

        Why CC? He’s laid an egg in 2 post season starts so far.

        He is the teams best pitcher for the past 2 years
        He has a great postseason last year
        His first start against the twins was 6 in 3 ER, I don’t consider that “laying and egg”

        Meanwhile AJ has been wildly inconsistent and pitched to and ERA over 5 this season & an ERA over 5.8 since May of this year.

    • chris c. says:

      “Personally I fail to understand why they aren’t going with CC on short rest?”

      What’s the point of that? If he wins, they still have to pitch Burnett tomorrow, because they don’t want to and shouldn’t throw Hughes on short rest. And if he loses, then your watching Burnett pitch in an elimination game tomorrow.
      That’s the reasson.

      “needing 3 wins I feel like CC, Hughes, Pettitte, CC all on short rest give you that far more than Burnett, CC, Hughes, Pettitte on regular rest.”

      Why don’t you go ask Bobby Cox if that’s the right playoff strategy to employ.

      • A.D. says:

        If they’re not going to throw Hughes on short rest, then there is less reason to pull the move unless you believe CC, Burnett, Andy/Hughes, CC gives you a better chances to win 3 then Burnett, CC, Hughes, Andy, which it very well may. Personally I would have no problem with Hughes going on short rest.

        What is the Bobby Cox reference?

        • chris c. says:

          The Bobby Cox reference is exactly the scenario you just described with multiple pitchers throwing on 3 days rest.
          Cox continually did this in the 90′s with Maddux, Glavine, and Soltz, throwing them all on 3 days rest in the postseason………with terrible results.

          Sabathia is the exception…….but I wouldn’t want to do that with others. And they don’t even want to do it with Sabathia, so I think he may be laboring.

  7. Chris says:

    Brett Gardner‘s second half crash back to Earth (.232 AVG since the All Star break despite a .311 BABIP) has predictably continued into the postseason

    This isn’t really an accurate representative of Gardner’s second half, yet it keeps being brought up. If you look at his second half, the problem is just a 10 game stretch at the beginning of August that drag down his numbers.

    Jul 16, 2010 to Jul 30, 2010: .222/.417/.306/.722
    Jul 31, 2010 to Aug 10, 2010: .069/.069/.103/.172
    Aug 11, 2010 to Oct 3, 2010: .268/.400/.384/.784

    • Mister Delaware says:

      And frankly, I don’t care if he’s hitting .100 if his OBP is sitting above .350.

    • chris c. says:

      Brett Gardner‘s second half crash back to Earth (.232 AVG since the All Star break despite a .311 BABIP) has predictably continued into the postseason

      Give me a break. If it wasn’t for Gardner, I’m convinced they do not win game 2. And he’s one of only two guys who even reached 2nd last night against Lee. Unfortunately, Captain Fundamentals couldn’t move him over, or the Yankees would have made it a 2-1 game in the 7th. Sadly, Gardner has the 2nd highest series batting average on the Yankees. Go pick on someone else.

    • jim p says:

      And like the hand injury didn’t affect Gardner? Which is also what happened in 2nd half of ’09.

      8th in the American League in OBP, tied for 3rd in Stolen Bases. 9th in Runs Scored. Outstanding defender. What’s wrong with people, they just don’t like the way he looks or something?

    • Murakami says:

      Mr. Gardner, people have acknowledged that your son brings something useful to the table.

      No one is going to call him Ichiro (except, well, Ron Washington, I guess).

      Please accept the praise on here with some grace and give up your crusade.

  8. kingshaffy says:

    Can someone explain why our best hitter is batting 5th? Can we PLEASE wake up and bat Cano 3rd? SHAKE IT UP GIRARDI.

    • Opus says:

      When was the last time we saw the Yankees shake up the line-up during a playoff series? Torre batting A-Rod 8th?

      • Chris says:

        That worked so well, let’s try it again!

        • chris c. says:

          Let’s see. AROD sucked. And he continued to suck.
          Call that a draw.

          The point is, Girardi should have the damn lineup figured out by now. But instead, he still changes it from day to day like we’re still in spring training.

      • chris c. says:

        “Torre batting A-Rod 8th?”

        And for the record, I had no problem with this. Torre is a manager, not a psychiatrist. The guy wasn’t hitting where he was, so what did it hurt? His feelings? Fragile psyche, because he believes it’s his god-given right to bat cleanup all the time? Please.
        Don’t like batting 8th, AROD? Then hit the fucking ball!!!!!!
        The whining in Yankeeland that went on over that was incomprehensible. You’d have thought Torre locked him in a broom closet with a pack of lions.

    • tom says:

      I INSIST WE PANIC!!!!

      The line-up the way it is was enough to create baseball’s top offense, bring the team within one game of the league’s best record, and run through the Twins. Now, because three games have not gone well (though we only trail 1-2), you want to change? You should get a talk radio show.

      • kingshaffy says:

        Right, because moving Cano to 3rd and Tex to 5th would be panicing. I’m not suggesting that Tex bat 8th.

        Maybe you haven’t been watching, but Tex’s at bats have been horrific for the past 6 weeks and Cano has been the best hitter on the team ALL SEASON. CANO NEEDS MORE AT BATS.

        But hey, you always stick with what got you there. Just like in ’96 when Torre benched Tino and went with Cecil Fielder. Glad that he PANICKED. And just like the Phillies in game 2 who moved PLACIDO POLANCO to 3rd in their lineup.

        Its called MANAGING, not PANICKING.

    • Mike HC says:

      I don’t mind this move at all. In fact, I’m for it.

      I don’t see it as a panic move. The lineup is not a huge deal, and why not get the teams clear best hitter more at bats?

      On the other hand, changing the lineup won’t do all that much, so why create all the controversy and demotions, etc … for something that won’t have that great of an impact.

  9. JerseyDutch says:

    With the lackluster bats all around him, not sure if moving him up would have much of an impact.

  10. Johnny O says:

    Just judging by this thread, the chat today is going to be Panic City. The themes will be: offense sucks, picthing sucks, AJ Burnett SUCKS, Girardi is an idiot, Cashman should sign all of the top 10 free agents this offseason because being down 2-1 in the ALCS is the 6th sign of the Apocalypse.

    • “…being down 2-1 in the ALCS is the 6th sign of the Apocalypse.”

      Ha, that’s totally the best part about everything. It’s 2-1! It’s almost like some people maybe have never been a fan through a playoff series loss before and don’t know how to handle it. The Yanks aren’t even facing elimination! These people… I would not want to be in a foxhole with these people.

      • Chris says:

        It’s 2-1, but the Yankees have already forfeited tonight’s game (because it’s impossible for AJ to win), and CC sucks so they’ll lose game 5 too. And then the series is over.

        Of course I’m not serious, but that seems to be most people’s line of reasoning.

      • tom says:

        These same people would have been bailing on the ’98 team after Pettitte’s Game 3 loss put them in a 1-2 hole. They’ll tell you it’s totally different today, but, at the time, we didn’t yet know El Duque was El Duque — Game 4 was his first post-season start — and, believe me, after Knoblauch’s famous boner, there were a ton of bridge-jumpers.

      • RL says:

        Well, most of these people haven’t been in the situation since …. ’96? When the Yankees were the Wild Card team? That said, it’s much more important for the offense to wake up than for AJ to be great. He just needs to keep the team in the game.

      • Mike HC says:

        I would not want to be in a foxhole, period.

  11. dkidd in sunny la says:

    A win tonight and all the pressure swings to the rangers. They should be up 3-0 and they know it. Win
    tonight and it’s a best of 3 series with CC Phil Andy pitching.

    Oh, and Hunter looks Ponsonian

  12. Ed says:

    He also seems to have resorted to the desperate act of sliding into first now, even though it’s been scientifically proven to slow you down.

    Normally I’d agree, but not in this case.

    When he did it the first time as was called safe, I think it was the right move. Based on how it looked as it happened (I didn’t pay attention to the replay), I think that if he kept running his foot would have touched the base before the pitcher’s foot dig, but, he would have run into glove and tagged himself out.

    Last night’s play was a little different, it looked like he needed to run all out to stand a chance of being safe.

    Also, remember that players have often said that the slide isn’t about making it to the base faster, but about altering the umpire’s perception of the play. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but a lot of players seem to think they’re more likely to get called safe if they slide, regardless of whether or not they actually were safe. I certainly believe that it could be true. The umpire has to watch the ball, the fielder’s glove, the fielder’s foot, and the base runner all at the same time. It’s hard to focus on all of that at once. As long as there isn’t instant replay, the only thing that matters is what the umpire thinks happened, not what actually happened.

    • Not to mention the “scientific” evidence provided in the post that supposedly proves that sliding isn’t the right move is, shall we say, less than conclusive.

      • I dunno, it seems pretty straight forward to me. As you slide you’re decelerating, and therefore getting to the base split seconds slower than you would have if you maintained a constant velocity through the bag.

        The obvious except is sliding to avoid a tag, which was Brett’s thinking in Game 1.

        • Chris says:

          You’re decelerating, but you’re gaining a body length. (This only applies to a head first slide – a foot first slide is clearly the slowest option)

          If diving get’s you there slower, then why do outfielders ever dive to catch a ball?

          • I’m confused, how do you gain a body length by sliding? You’re slowing down as you slide because of the friction with the ground.

            Catching a fly ball is a bad comparison because you have to catch the ball with your hands, so diving is required to orient your body the correct way. You don’t have to touch the base with your foot.

            A better example, why do sprinters run through the finish line instead of diving for it? Same thing.

            • Er, don’t have to touch the base with your hand, rather.

            • Chris says:

              I’m confused, how do you gain a body length by sliding? You’re slowing down as you slide because of the friction with the ground.

              From where your feet are, you stretch out a body length ahead. Your feet will reach the base much slower because you slow down, but by diving you gain the 6 or 8 feet of your body ahead of your feet.

              Sprinters run through because the finish is based on the body, not the hands. Also, diving on a track would not be a pleasant way to end a race…

              I don’t know whether it really is faster, but a single example showing that it’s 10 milliseconds slower isn’t convincing to me.

              • “I don’t know whether it really is faster, but a single example showing that it’s 10 milliseconds slower isn’t convincing to me.”

                Agreed, totally, and that’s really all we’re saying here. One kid, running and sliding in a studio, is inconclusive.

          • chris c. says:

            “If diving get’s you there slower, then why do outfielders ever dive to catch a ball?”

            Oh, c’mon! Is that a real question?

        • I have no idea which answer is right… But I’ve always thought people disregarded the fact that a baseball player is racing to a set-point on the ground, and not a finish line. It’s not about getting across that threshold as fast as possible, it’s about touching the base as fast as possible. That’s why I don’t like the “well sprinters don’t slide across the finish-line” argument.

          Really though, this is way above my pay-grade. (But that SportsCenter video provided in the post does nothing to convince me one way or another, I find it pretty irrelevant that one kid in an ESPN studio got certain results.)

          • Right, but getting to the base as fast as possible just means adjusting your stride to get your shoe-top to the tip of the base. I’m sure guys like Brett have run the 90 feet to first base so many times their legs have muscle memory on how many strides they should be taking.

            • Maybe, maybe not. Look… All I’m saying is that the “evidence” provided is not persuasive, and that I think there’s more of a question here than people allow for. I’ve acknowledged in each of my comments that I have no idea what the actual answer is – I’m not really arguing with anyone here, I don’t know why there has to be one agreed-upon answer when there’s no conclusive or particularly persuasive evidence either way.

              • Mike HC says:

                It is also possible that it is slower for some people and faster for others. Maybe Gardner is super quick at transitioning into the slide?

    • Graig not Craig says:

      If Gardner had actually touched the bag he would have been safe last night. But Jeter would have GIDP before he could steal a base anyway – so why the analysis?

    • PD says:

      Normally sliding into first is a bad idea as it does slow you down. However, Gardner is not only trying to beat the pitcher to the bag but also avoid the tag. A lefthanded pitcer doesn’t need to beat the runner to the bag. He can simply tag the runner before reaching the bag. Gardner took the tag plays away from Wilson and Lee and forced them to beat him to the bag which they did not. Sliding into first is not a good idea, but against a lefthanded pitcher it’s a more strategic play than given credit for.

  13. Evan in NYC says:

    3-4 hitters are a combined 2 for 24. Enough said, they need to ignite the offense!

  14. ben says:

    Gardner isn’t sliding into first for added speed, he’s doing it to avoid a tag. If he had gone in standing in Game 1 he would have been tagged out

  15. Starks in Tampa says:

    Folks the real issue with this team is the offense in the playoffs….Cliff Lee was great yadda yadda yadda, CLiff is a very good pitcher, to me he is not a GREAT pitcher, he is not Pedro Martinez in his prime not even close…with that said the Yankees strategy against him as been all out of wack, instead of just going up there with the mind set of see the ball hit the ball they are playing too many guessing games…with that said, I believe the Yankees are in REAL trouble…they wont win this series….Rangers in 7.

    • Graig not Craig says:

      No need to turn the TV on tonight. You heard it right here. Starks says the Yankees are done. Last person out of Yankee Stadium turn out the lights.

    • pat says:

      It doesn’t matter if TO YOU CLiff Lee isn’t great. He’s been a stud for like three years now. That is a fact.

      • Starks in Tampa says:

        no doubt he is a stud but he is isnt Pedro Martinez in his prime…I bring up Pedro because he was probably the BEST Pitcher of our generation and the Yankees found out to win and beat him why? because of starting pitching and the at bats they had off him..why? because we had better hitters then, then the Yankees have now.

        • DF says:

          #1, no one is Pedro in his prime. Prime Pedro is probably the greatest pitcher ever. He’s at least in the conversation.

          #2, whether you think he is or not, the run Cliff Lee is on right now is, dare I say it, Pedro-esque.

          #3, it’s true, the Yankees had better hitters back then when they beat Pedro. The late-90′s dynasty teams were an abberation, though; the champions of champions, if you will. They were an uncommonly talented collection of players. Of course our hitters aren’t as good as them.

          Fortunately, the 2010 Yankees don’t have to be as good as the ’99 version. They just have to win tonight, then try to do it again tomorrow.

    • So now Cliff Lee isn’t great? What is he, lucky? “See ball hit ball” really? That’s all there is to it huh? I guess Kevin Long missed that in the scouting report.

      You people who act like hitting Cliff Lee is so easy and just a matter of approach are seriously hilarious.

      • DF says:

        Exactly. The Yankees see the ball, and then they have no idea whether it’s going to break down, away from them, toward them, ride high out of the strike zone. Everything Lee throws looks the same out of his hand with the same arm action and arm speed. He’s a machine. He’s also not a soft tosser; he’s hitting 92 regularly on the gun. And he’s left-handed. And he has 4 quality pitches that go exactly where he wants them to pretty much every single freaking time. Seriously, look at the pitch tracker. He’s hitting the same spot over and over again.

        People think because he’s not Randy Johnson throwing 100, he should be easy to hit. It’s not that simple.

      • JerseyDutch says:

        True, but there’s nothing we can do about Lee’s skill as a pitcher. There are things we can do about our batting. Let’s hope Long figures out some way to adjust if we face him again.

        • You should have just stopped after your first sentence. If he’s so good there’s really not much you can do. If he’s on there’s only so many adjustmets you can make. They actually had his pitch count pretty high, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. You just have to hope his stuff isn’t as sharp next time.

          • JerseyDutch says:

            Ross, I never stop when I’m supposed to. :) You make a good point, maybe there’s nothing we can do adjustment-wise and we just have to hope Lee is a little off. But it’s nice to think that the Great Long can come up with something.

  16. Big Stein says:

    let’s face it, we’ve been a streaky team all year. there are stretches when we look like King Kong and then the following we look like Fay Wray.

    • Starks in Tampa says:

      thats exactly right. All year long we have been very streaky…it is what did the Rays in and they were more streaky then any team I can remember but also they didnt have the line up we have..they have Longo and Crawford and a bunch of utility players….streaky hitting combined with bad starting pitching will have you going home sooner rather then later.

      • Evan in NYC says:

        If they aren’t going to hit they need to find ways to manufacture runs. They aren’t doing that either. Prime example last night, vs a guy who was completely shutting the door on them they had a RISP with no outs. Jeter failed to put the ball in play, followed by two weak ground balls. The offense may be slumping, but if this is a championship caliber team they need to get that run home. No excuse.

  17. Starks in Tampa says:

    notice I said HITTERS, not LINEUP…big difference

  18. Graig not Craig says:

    Is it any wonder Yankee fans are shook up? This is the offensive taste that was left in our mouth from last night:

    BOTTOM 7
    - A. Rodriguez grounded out to second
    - R. Cano grounded out to first
    - M. Thames struck out swinging
    BOTTOM 8
    - J. Posada struck out looking
    - C. Granderson grounded out to shortstop
    - B. Gardner struck out looking
    BOTTOM 9
    - D. Jeter struck out swinging
    - N. Swisher grounded out to second
    - M. Teixeira struck out swinging

    This needs to be remedied tonight quickly. Score early. Score frequently. Outscore AJ’s inevitable breakdown.

    • You act like this is different from what teams normally do against Cliff Lee.

      Newsflash, people, pitchers can have good games against the Yankees. It happens. What do you want to do about it? Cut A-rod? Trade Cano? Bench Gardner?

      STOP THE NONSENSE

      • ROBTEN says:

        It’s getting hard to read through all of the nonsense. If they win, it’s luck; if they lose, it’s because they’re not trying.

        If the Yankees do lose the series, it will be the like the apocalypse in here. Of course, I’m not suggesting they’ll lose the series–reading some of the posts, you’d wonder why the team should bother showing up to any of the remaining games–just that I totally agree that people need to relax and realize that it is difficult to repeat as champions. There’s no guarantee. They’ve put a good team on the field, but so have the other playoff teams.

        People need to remember that they’re still the Yankees — the team that won 95 games and lead the league in runs scored, OPS+, and were 4th in ERA+ — everybody should just get off the ledge.

        • What do you think fans of the other teams think? Maybe the Twins fans think their players just stopped trying. I guess the Rays gave up too when Cliff Lee shut them down and struck out 10?

          It’s so stupid. People seriously get so worked up over a freaking baseball game it gets me scared what would happen if they were ever presented with an actual crisis.

          • ROBTEN says:

            It’s a combination of the team’s past success, personally identifying with that success, and having a relatively anonymous forum. Are there things to debate? Certainly. But it’s not really a debate when half of the posts are utterly insane proposals.

            Of course, we probably can all agree upon one thing: that those stinkin’ Twins are nothing but hopeless quitters.

            /sarcasm’d about the Twins.

          • chris c. says:

            Here’s the main problem……a post from a guy names “JerseyDutch”:

            “True, but there’s nothing we can do about Lee’s skill as a pitcher. There are things we can do about our batting. Let’s hope Long figures out some way to adjust if we face him again.”

            As you can see, this guy thinks he’s a member of the Yankees. So of course, this leads to “we gotta get rid of this guy, and that guy, and we gotta sign this guy, and trade this one…..”.
            The Yankees have 100,000 GM’s, managers and players.

  19. Anthony Murillo says:

    Clff Freaking Lee was pitching last night. The Yankees need to what the Rangers did, forget about it and win the next two games. Hopefully the Yankees can win the next two and go up 3-2 in the series…

    Certain people need to have faith in their team.

  20. vin says:

    Maybe AJ will uncork one into the Rangers dugout and take out Cliff.

  21. mustang says:

    I truly never wanted someone to have a good outing more then AJ tonight.
    I mean damn!!!

    I had AJ as a sleeper in the ALDS, but he didn’t get the chance so tonight the same way that Moses parted the Red Sea I predict the miracle of AJ ” No fucking chance to win tonight” Burnett will actually pitch well.

    “So let it be written. So let it be done.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Would love to see AJ come out and be totally lights out for eight innings. Will it happen? Well, it’s a long shot… but he’s got the potential.

    • mustang says:

      AJ’s numbers vs Texas this year:
      18 IP, ERA 2.50, 16 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned, 1 HR, 7 BB, 17 SO

      Texas is hit .232 agaisnt him.

  22. Chris says:

    I respect everybodys opinion but saying tonight isn’t a must win is batshit crazy. I’m not sure they can win one game no less 3 games in a row. Beating Wilson and Cliffy along the way. They have to avoid a Game 7 in worst way. I think Im gonna watch the Game 2 DVD of last years WS cuz that’s the only way Burnett is winning something tonight. That being said Go Yankees.

    • According to Rob they can’t win because their righty bats are too old and slow. Shut it down everyone! We’re going home until we too can sign Jeff Francoeur.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      It isn’t a must win because we will still have three games left to play. If we go into the hole 1-3, our chances become very, very slim, but we still have a chance.

  23. Yanko says:

    Would Joe Torre bat Tex 8th tonight?

    My linup for tonight:

    Gardner
    Grandy
    Cano
    Arod
    Puma
    Swish
    PoPo
    Tex
    Jeter

  24. mustang says:

    AJ sucks, the offense is old and can’t hit and the manager has no idea what he is doing.

    Why are they playing tonight again?

  25. Wes says:

    I can’t believe Cervelli is catching tonight…

  26. mustang says:

    For those of you that think that AJ has no chance take a look at has game log vs. Texas:
    4/17 Win 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO

    8/10 Lose 7 IP, 6H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (August was the month when everyone hit him hard except for 2 teams Tex and KC)

    9/11 Rain delayed short outing 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO

  27. Joe P says:

    Bout to hit the A train to the D and go to this game, as a hard core fan I’ll be cheering Burnett while he’s on the mound, even if he throws 4 to the backstop to lead it off.

    I really hope I don’t hear boos on the first pitch if it’s a ball.

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