Hoping that Hunter can help wake up the offense

Sometimes, you gotta go to Mo
Cubs name Mike Quade manager
(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.

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Sometimes, you gotta go to Mo
Cubs name Mike Quade manager
  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    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.

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

      Ironically, Melky got released today.

      • Joe

        Pick him up!!!

        /dumbanddumber’d

        • Rob

          Trade Gardner and I say why not?

          • Mister Delaware

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

            • Rob

              Isn’t he league minimum on waivers?

              • Mister Delaware

                Its not midseason.

            • Murakami

              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

      “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

        That’s exactly my thought

      • AndrewYF

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

        • Murakami

          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

        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

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

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

  • Ryan

    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

      No, I want him on our team.

    • Frank

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

    • Guest

      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

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

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        What do you mean, now? The Yankees always do that! They have a guy pitching tonight that they signed because they couldn’t beat him.

        • JerseyDutch

          Good point. I still don’t like it. :)

    • CBean

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

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      “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

      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

        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

      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

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

        • Mattinglys Love Child

          Actually, I think you meant talent. Talent can beat payroll anyday, ask the Mutts.

      • Sayid J.

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

      • Tank Foster

        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.”

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          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

            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?

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “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

        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

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

      • detroit_yankee

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

        “Heart. You gotta have heart.”

        /replacements’d

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      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

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

  • iYankee(next generation from Apple)

    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.

      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

        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.

          Lame? It’s called strategy.

        • Mattinglys Love Child

          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

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

  • Rob

    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

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

      • A.D.

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

        • Rob

          Except when they o-l-d.

          • Chris

            They get old in one month?

            • Rob

              Jeter and A-Rod have been old the whole season.

              As for Jorge, check out his career post-season numbers:

              .239 .349 .377 = .726

              • Johnny O

                Nobody was complaining all that much in the ALDS. Again, the offense scored the most runs in MLB, so I’m going to trust 6 months worth of results rather than 3 games worth of results, one of which was against Cliff Lee.

                • Rob

                  I’m not surprised. You might be. The point stands: Old players aren’t going Score Truck in October.

                  • Chris

                    Actually, older teams generally fair much better in October than younger teams.

                    • Rob

                      Really? Is that why Jeter at SS last year was the oldest ever to win a ring?

                      Posada is a shell of a player in October. A-Rod is heading in the same direction.

                      Meanwhile, why is Jeter still batting leadoff?

                    • Mister Delaware

                      So the old team won last year. Good.

      • Guest

        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.

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

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

          • rek4gehrig

            Or his ass out of his head. Whatevs. He just needs to start hitting.

        • Rob

          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.

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

            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

              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.

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

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

                • Rob

                  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.

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

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

                    • Rob

                      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.

                      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

                      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.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “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

                    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

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

                • Rob

                  What’s Mike doing with Gardner then?

                  Swisher IS a .830ish hitter. His entire career says so.

                  • Mister Delaware

                    Sure, and if you do no weighting Nelson Cruz is an .838 OPS OF. His entire career says so.

              • Chris

                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

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

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

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

                    • Rob

                      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.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “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

                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.

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  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

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

                    Lefties or righties on the mound.

                    /Kevin Long

                    • Tank Foster

                      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

                    “At least he tries to show some spark.”

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

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      Oh, now you’re nitpicking cliche’s? You’re clearly out if ideas, aren’t you?

      • iYankee(next generation from Apple)

        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.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          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.

          • AndrewYF

            *groan*

            This tired myth again.

          • Tank Foster

            Nonsense? Joe Maddon has used dozens of lineups, and it doesn’t appear that the lack of “flow” prevents them from winning. Both approaches – steady, and variable – have worked.

    • Sayid J.

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

      • Rob

        Exactly the problem and when they rely on guys who are good not great in the other positions. I’m looking at Gardner and Swisher.

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

          Go ahead, name the rightfielders better than Swisher. It’s a short list.

          • Rob

            I’ll take Jayson Werth, thanks. Move Swisher to LF and Gardner to the bench or to spell Granderson.

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

              I like Jayson Werth, but he’s not free.

              • Rob

                He will be – at least for the Yankees.

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

                  Really? Sweet.

                  • Rob

                    You know what I mean. Cash is not a Yankee problem. Sign Werth and Lee and call it an off-season.

                    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                      Oh is that all? Have you called Cashman and told him this line of higher-level thinking that clearly escapes him?

                    • Rob

                      Actually it’s Cashman’s m.o. He’ll have no problem spending cash. Problem is, he spends it on the wrong pieces at least half the time.

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

                      And what makes you think Werth is the right piece?

                    • Rob

                      Werth’s OBP, SLG, defense and righty bat. All are needed on this team.

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

                      Oh come on. You know it’s not that simple.

                    • Mister Delaware

                      Werth is 31. Cusp of old. And we know old players suck. Especially in the postseason. Except when they dont.

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

                      Werth is 31. Cusp of old.

                      Don’t forget his long history of knee issues! He’ll be Hideki Matsui health-wise before his next contract is up.

                  • Rob

                    True, it’s not that simple. But they do need all of those things and only Werth is readily available to provide them. They certainly don’t have an upgrade for Gardner in the system. It’s sad but they’re locked in everywhere else.

                    Montero helps, but only if he spells Jorge.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              I’ll take Jayson Werth, thanks. Move Swisher to LF and Gardner to the bench or to spell Granderson.

              Wow, you’d make a great GM. Now you’ve got a bunch of guys sitting around waiting for a home run.
              If Gardner is on the bench, the Yankees are down 3-0 this series. I’m sorry you don’t understand the game well enough to realize that.

              • Tank Foster

                Right. Because Gardner scored all 5 runs himself in that inning.

                Not that Werth is necessarily a good idea…it all depends on the hierarchy of needs, what’s available, and his price.

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  “Right. Because Gardner scored all 5 runs himself in that inning.”

                  Oh, cut the shit already! If it was Jeter who got on to lead off the inning, the press and fans would be doing backflips about his myriad of intangibles.

              • Murakami

                All hail Brett Hero!

                …now if he could just learn to bunt and to hit the ball out of the infield…

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “Exactly the problem and when they rely on guys who are good not great in the other positions. I’m looking at Gardner and Swisher.”

          Yeah, how can they be relying on Gardner, who has the 2nd highest average on the Yankees this series, and jump-started their only win. It’s not like the problem might be Teixeira and AROD, who are 2 for 24. The Yankees don’t realy rely on them.

          • Rob

            Good luck replacing A-Rod or Tex any time soon. As for Gardner his OBP this post-season isn’t even sniffing .333.

            Catalyst!

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

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

      • Rob

        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?

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          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

            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.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              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

                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.

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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                      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.

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

                      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

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

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

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

                    • Mister Delaware

                      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

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

                    • Rob

                      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.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “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.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “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?

                • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                  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

                    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.

                    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                      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.

                  • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                    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

                    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.

                    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                      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

                      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

                    Brett Gardner over David Justice??

                    Love really is blind.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      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.

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  “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

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

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      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

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

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “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”.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “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

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

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  “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

                    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.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

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

                    • Rob

                      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.

                    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                      Jayson Werth, NLDS:

                      .167/.231/.167

                      Look Ma, I can cherry pick stats too!

                      You are a moron.

                    • Rob

                      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

                      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!

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “Oh he’s not, huh?”

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

              • Murakami

                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

                • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                  “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.

                  • Rob

                    No one here has called Gardner “useless” much less tried to prove it.

                    Meanwhile, learn something about sample sizes then get back to us.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      If I learn nothing more about baseball, you’d still need three more lifetimes to catch up.

        • Chris

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

          • Rob

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

            • Chris

              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

                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

                  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

                    “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?

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

                      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

                      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.

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

                      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

                      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.

                    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

                      “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

                  No one literally wears cement boots in the field.

                  • Rob

                    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

                      That is literally unfunny.

                    • Rob

                      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

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

    • Adam

      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

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

      You should follow his teachings, and his development.

      • theyankeewarrior

        named*** damnit, should have logged in

      • Murakami

        Nice sentiment, except his real name was Yeshua. No one ever called him “Jesus,” nor would he have answered to it.

        Just sayin’…

  • Adam

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

    • Mister Delaware

      If he looks like Sidney Ponson, hit him like Sidney Ponson.

  • A.D.

    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

      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

        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

          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.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “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.

            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.

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “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

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

      • A.D.

        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.

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      “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.

        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?

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          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.

  • Chris

    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

    • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch aka Master of the Obvious

      IETC

    • Mister Delaware

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

    • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

      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

      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?

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        People aren’t bright.
        That’s what’s wrong with people.

    • Murakami

      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.

  • kingshaffy

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

    • Opus

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

      • Chris

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

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          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.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        “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

      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

        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.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          QUALITY POST!!!!!!!!

          When a manager actually does he’s job, he’s called a nervous prick. And he’s insulting his millionaires. Unbelievable.

    • Mike HC

      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.

  • JerseyDutch

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

    • kingshaffy

      at least he would have a shot at batting with men on base.

      • JerseyDutch

        Maybe. The problem seems a little deeper than Cano’s batting position.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        In all fairness, Cano had his chances with men on base in game 2 and didn’t get a hit. So it’s not like he’s contantly coming up with empty bags.

  • Johnny O

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “…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

        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

        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

        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

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

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          What if it’s a foxhole filled with, say… Twinkies?

          • Mike HC

            Well, now you’ve changed the entire game.

          • Mattinglys Love Child

            What do you mean about “these people”?

  • dkidd in sunny la

    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

  • Ed

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      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.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        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

          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?

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            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.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

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

            • Chris

              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.

              • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “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.

          • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

            “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?

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          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.)

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            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.

            • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              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

                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

      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

      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.

  • Evan in NYC

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

  • ben

    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

  • Starks in Tampa

    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

      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.

      • Starks in Tampa

        Let me ask you this…do you see this Yankees team winning 3 in a row? If you answer NO then the Yankees lose in 7. Very simple.

        • Graig not Craig

          All they have to do is win tonight. No need to think any further ahead.

          • JerseyDutch

            Bingo.

    • pat

      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

        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

          #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.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      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

        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

        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.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          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

            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.

  • Big Stein

    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

      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

        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.

  • Starks in Tampa

    notice I said HITTERS, not LINEUP…big difference

  • Graig not Craig

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      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

        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.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          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

            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.

          • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

            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.

  • Anthony Murillo

    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.

  • vin

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

  • mustang

    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

      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

      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.

  • Chris

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      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.

      • mustang

        I think its time you started coping comments like Chris above for the next CALL OUT thread.

    • JerseyDutch

      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.

  • Yanko

    Would Joe Torre bat Tex 8th tonight?

    My linup for tonight:

    Gardner
    Grandy
    Cano
    Arod
    Puma
    Swish
    PoPo
    Tex
    Jeter

    • ROBTEN

      Would Joe Torre bat Tex 8th tonight?

      Maybe.

      And that possibility is one reason why he’s not managing the Yankees any longer.

      • Yanko

        So, you dont like this linup?

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        Yeah, Torre’s not here anymore because he moved a guy down in the lineup because he sucked at the plate. I here it hurt the poor guy’s feelings.

  • Anthony Murillo
  • mustang

    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?

    • mustang

      Holy cow!
      I never realized how many Yankees fans have Mets fans sickness its really scary.

      • Mattinglys Love Child

        It’s pathetic. Loser mentality. Bunch of losers.

        The Yanks are gonna smack Tommy Hunter around. It’s going to get better. They are a better team than Texas, and will show it starting tonight.

    • JerseyDutch

      DOOOOOOOOOMED!

      (Oh yeah, and fire Girardi.)

      • Anthony Murillo

        /No Mass’d

  • Wes

    I can’t believe Cervelli is catching tonight…

  • mustang

    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

  • Joe P

    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.