Tex, Grandy power Yanks to Game One win

Yanks take Game One behind Granderson, Teixeira
How Curtis Granderson failed before he succeeded

Not to sounds cocky or anything, but as Yankee fans we’re privy to plenty of postseason games. We’ve been here before. No matter how tense and stressful we remember these games being, the real thing is always worse. Wednesday night’s ALDS opener against the Twins did wonders for everyone’s blood pressure, featuring back-and-forth lead changes and more jams being worked out of than I care to count. The Yankees prevailed and really stole a win because their best players came through in big moments, and they now enjoy a one-zip lead in the best-of-five series.

(AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)

Biggest Hit: The Grandy Man Can … And Did

Through the first five innings, the Yankees couldn’t muster a damn thing off Francisco Liriano. They squandered a first-and-second, no out situation in the third inning, which had September’s fingerprints all over it. Liriano retired ten straight from the third through the sixth, but it seemed like he suddenly hit the wall with one out in the sixth. That late season fatigue I talked about in the Game Thread appeared to rear it’s ugly head at the wrong time for Minnesota, but the right time for New York.

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Mark Teixeira followed Nick Swisher‘s leadoff strikeout with a double yanked down the leftfield line, and six pitches later Alex Rodriguez was walking down to first. Robbie Cano, the team’s and possibly the league’s MVP, shot a ground ball single through the first base side, driving Tex in from second for the Yanks first run. Marcus Thames struck out for the second out of the inning, but Jorge Posada plated another run with a line drive single over the second baseman’s head. Liriano, sitting at 102 pitches, was left in one batter too long to face Curtis Granderson.

For the first, I dunno, five-and-a-half months of the season we heard a whole lot about how Grandy’s struggles against lefties were going to cost the Yanks in a big spot, and for those first five-and-a-half months of the season they did. But then Granderson pulled hitting coach Kevin Long aside in August and asked for some help. The two remade the centerfielder’s swing, and even though it’s a small sample, Grandy crushed southpaws to the tune of .286/.375/.500 the rest of the season.

Liriano was gassed and Granderson was looking up the zone, and that was a bad combination for the Twins. The fourth pitch of the at-bat was a 94 mph fastball out over the plate and well up in the zone, and Grandy absolutely annihilated the pitch, sending it out to deep right-center. It bounced off the extra tall wall out there but would have probably been out in the Bronx (which would have been the first homer Liriano allowed to lefty batter this season), but it in the end it didn’t matter. Cano and Posada crossed the plate as the tying and go-ahead runs, and Granderson was on third with a triple. The WPA of the play was a whopping .298.

Honorable Mention: Tex Marks The Spot

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Yanks let the Twins tie it back up in the bottom half of the sixth (more on that in a bit), but that didn’t last very long. Jesse Crain relieved Jose Mijares who relieved Liriano, and got a quick first out in the seventh when Derek Jeter lined a ball out to center. Swish jump on a 0-1 fastball and grounded it up the middle for a single, not the prettiest hit but they all count the same.

Tex and Crain have a bit of a history, with the former taking the latter deep back in May. They showed the replay during the game and apparently that ball landed in the suite level of the New Stadium, just below the upper deck, so it was definitely a monster shot. Once they reminded us of that homer, everyone got a little greedy and wanted another one. Can’t help it, it’s the nature of Yankee fans.

Crain attacked the Yanks’ first baseman early with fastballs, throwing three in his first four pitches for a 2-2 count. He dropped a curveball in the dirt to run the count full, but the sixth and final pitch of the at-bat was quite simply a meatball. The slider just spun in place and hung up right in Tex’s wheelhouse, and he did exactly what good hitters are supposed to do to that kind of pitch. He lifted it into orbit and towards the rightfield corner, and the only question was fair or foul. It dropped it fair, right next to foul pole to give the Yanks a 6-4 lead. The WPA of that swing? Right behind Grandy’s triple at .284.

Biggest Pitch: Don’t Forget To Pick Up The Pieces Of Your Bat, Denard

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Before this game, Joe Girardi told reporters that he was a little bit hesitant to bring Mariano Rivera into a game for more than one inning. A few hours later, he marched out to the mound with runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth and signaled for The Sandman. When push comes to shove, Girardi made the best move he possibly could have, going to Rivera for the four out save. There’s no tomorrow, no sense in planning for it.

Mo did what he always does, and that was pound the lefty hitting Span inside with cutter after cutter after cutter. The problem is that the first three were too far inside and all went for balls, but Rivera recovered as he usually does. A called strike and a foul ball ran the count full, and the sixth pitch of the confrontation resulted in the familiar sound of a bat breaking and a ball getting beaten into the grass. The routine dribbler to Jeter ended the threat and the inning. Since we’re talking WPA here, this one checked in at .131 for the Yanks.

Honorable Mention: CC Finishes Off Hardy

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Things were most definitely not easy for CC Sabathia tonight, but we’ll cover that in a bit. After Granderson had given the Yankees the lead, Sabathia appeared to be on his way to a shutdown bottom of the sixth by getting two quick outs from Minnesota’s three-four hitters, Joe Mauer and Delmon Young. CC was careful with Jim Thome all night, and he walked him with two outs, one of the many September frustrations that popped up in this game. Michael Cuddyer doubled on a ball that was in the diving Brett Gardner‘s glove, but he fumbled it and put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. A five pitch walk to Jason Kubel loaded the bases.

At this point, with Sabathia at 102 stressful pitches and David Robertson up in the bullpen, most figured Girardi would go to the righty against rookie Danny Valencia instead stick with his ace’s struggling command. He didn’t, and CC did what was previously thought to be unthinkable, he walked Minnesota’s third baseman on four pitches to force in the tying run. With another righty due up in J.J. Hardy, Girardi again left his ace out to clean up his own mess.

Sabathia reached back and poured a 94 mph fastball over the plate for strike one, but a slider dropped out of the zone for a ball before two fastballs ran the count to 2-2. With his 111th and final pitch of the night, CC pulled the string on a changeup and got Hardy to swing over the ball for the inning ending strikeout. The Twins tied it up, but they left the bases loaded and weren’t able to do any more damage. The WPA of this strikeout sits at .104.

Honorable Honorable Mention: D-Rob Gets The Hall Of Famer

CC gave way to Boone Logan, who retired Span and Hudson before allowing a ground ball single to Mauer on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. He’s a great hitter, it happens. Could have been worse. With two outs in the seventh Girardi went to Robertson to face the righty swinging Young. We all know D-Rob can struggle with his command from time to time, and sure enough he started his outing by walking the former Devil Ray on six pitches.

That not only put the tying run on base, it also brought Thome to plate, which is always scary. One mistake and forget about being tied, the Twins would have had the lead. Thome’s one of those guys who always comes to the plate with a man in scoring position, even if the bases are empty. He’s got that kind of power.

Robertson stole strike one with a 94 mph fastball right down the heart of the plate, and it was easily the best pitch Thome had to hit on the night. The young righty then went to his bread-and-butter pitch, the curveball, to handle the rest. The first one hit the dirt for a ball, but the next one caught the corner for a 1-2 count. The third straight curve might have been the single best pitch of the night, dropping right out of the zone with Thome’s bat swinging clear over it. Robertson got the strikeout to end the threat, showing what kind of weapon his swing-and-missability is in the postseason. Just for the sake of completeness, the WPA of Thome’s strikeout was .078 in favor of the Yanks.

CC Grinds It Out

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It was clear early on that Sabathia wasn’t on top of his game. His fastball command was just a bit off, perhaps the result of an eight day layoff between starts. Span led the game off with a single, and even though the Yanks would escape the inning unscathed, they weren’t so lucky the next inning. CC hit Thome to start the frame, them hung a 2-0 fastball to Michael Cuddyer who absolutely clobbered the pitch, hitting it out to dead center. An impressive shot anywhere, but especially in the vast expanses of Target Field.

The final line on CC’s night was six innings, five hits, four runs (three earned), three walks (all in that sixth inning), and five strikeouts. He did retire 11 in a row before walking Thome with two outs in the sixth, but in general it was a grind for the big guy all night. He threw a ton of pitches early and ran deep counts, and that last inning of work would have driven mere mortals insane. It sounds crazy, but Sabathia did what aces do in that sixth inning even though he loaded the bases and walked in a run with two outs. He limited the damage in what could have been a very, very messy situation for his team. A lesser pitcher turns that into a two or three or more run rally, not just one. Sabathia will have to rest up, because he’s getting the ball three days from now in Game Four, which I sure hope is not necessary.


(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

A big thanks to goes out to Ron Gardenhire and Hudson for sacrifice bunting following Span’s single in the first. It reduced Minnesota’s chances of winning by 1.8%, which isn’t much, but every little bit counts.

Speaking of bunts, Swisher needs a smack upside the head for squaring around with men on first and second with none out in the third. He didn’t get it down on the first attempt then swung away, but still. Sheesh, you’re smarter than that man.

That doesn't make any sense. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Kerry Wood had to be bailed out by Mo in the eighth, but it certainly wasn’t an ugly inning for him. He struck out Cuddyer with a 96 mph piece of cheese up in the zone for the first out, but he then walked Jason Kubel on six pitches and allowed Valencia to reach on an infield single. A weak grounder to Cano moved the runners up to second and third, bringing Girardi out of the dugout. A shaky outing overall for Wood, but he definitely did not get smacked around.

Derek Jeter only had one hit on the night, but he hit three balls right on the screws. The process is good, and soon enough the results will be there. Gardner drew a walk and saw 25 total pitches in four plate appearances. Tex had two hits, Posada had two hits, and A-Rod reached twice on a single and walk. He also had a heads-up steal with two outs in the eight, but he was left standing at second. Still a great play on his part, the man’s baseball instincts are off-the-charts. Every Yankee hitter reached base at least once, but at the same time Tex and Cano were the only ones not to strike out.

How about that craptistic job by the umpires with two outs in the ninth? Young’s line drive was caught by defensive sub Greg Golson at his shoestrings, but they ruled it a trap and the inning continued. Rivera ended the game one pitch later when he got Thome to pop-up to third, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but still. Get that call right, man.

As for Rivera, he looked like himself while recording four, really five outs. He broke at least four bats, the only one I’m not sure about is Young’s non-hit hit. That’s a pretty sweet ratio though.

Moral of tonight’s story: never count this team out. Plenty of people had one foot already off the ledge in the second and third inning. Chillax, y’all. They got this.

WPA Graph & Box Score

At one point the Yanks’ win expectancy was down to 12.4%. Solid comeback, I’d say. MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs some other cool stuff.

Up Next

Game Two, Thursday evening a little earlier than usual. That one starts at 6:07pm ET. Yankee hero Andy Pettitte gets the ball against Yankee disgrace Carl Pavano and his mustache.

Yanks take Game One behind Granderson, Teixeira
How Curtis Granderson failed before he succeeded
  • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    The Thome ABs against Robertson and River scared the bejesus out of me, but alls well that ends well.

  • Spaceman.Spiff a/k/a Rivera Venue Blues

    “I’m not trying to be a dick or anything, but if you say that the game is over and it’s the third inning, you can fuck right off.”

    -Joe Pawlikowski

  • Pessimistic Fan

    Felt like a nail biter the entire game, but a win always manages to alleviate those feelings.

    Hope Andy does well, he didn’t have as much time to work out any kinks in major league games as I would have liked coming back from his injury.

  • Mattchu12

    I had a mini-panick attack because that blown call gave Jim Thome the chance to tie up the game, and he has more than enough power to just do that. Just one more reason for the Pro-Instant Replay Crowd, and they have my irrelevant vote after the Umpires gave the Twins a chance to tie the game on a silver platter.

    And yes, I know someone will probably bring up Jeter’s not-so-hit-by-pitch and the Granderson homer that followed against the Rays, and I was plenty happy to be the right side of that at the time, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’d gladly give back those two runs if it means keeping umpires from giving teams extra chances to beat us when it really matters.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      I know someone will probably bring up Jeter’s not-so-hit-by-pitch and the Granderson homer that followed against the Rays

      Uhhhhh what?

      • Mattchu12

        The missed call in Tampa Bay where Jeter was given first base without getting hit by the pitch, and then Granderson hit the two run home run to take the lead?

        I know it’s a bit hypocritical to complain about giving Thome a chance to alter the outcome of tonight’s game when we were given the chance to alter the outcome of that game against the Rays when the Jeter-HBP call was blown.

        • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig


          You mean that game?

          That was the only game this year against Tampa that Jeter was HBP.

          • Sayid J.

            Yes, and Granderson followed with a HR that gave the Yankees the lead. If the Yankees had not blown the game right back the following inning we would have been the beneficiary of a win from a blown call, would’ve played Texas in the first round with home field advantage and then the universe would have exploded.

  • OldYanksFan

    One foot on the ledge…. just because the Twinkies had an 87% chance of winning in the 6th…. errr… I mean it’s just a 7 out of 8 chance of winning…. aahhhh…. no reason for us to be nervous…. ya know, with all the runs we scored in September and all…. I mean… ya know… well… errr…. nervous? Me? I mean…. maybe a little… I mean….

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

    • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

      Oh boy. Ohhhh boy. Let’s all just take it easy.

      • Sayid J.

        There’s nothing worse than being up 1-0 in the series. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

    I noticed that sign during the game and that sign was… well.

    It was special.

    Good stuff, Yankees.

    • Brian in NH

      very ridiculous sign. But its always fashionable to hate on the yankees payroll, winning tradition, and rodriguez.

    • JerseyDutch

      That’s why we’re always in the running. They worry about payrolls and the past. We worry about winning games.

      • Joe P


    • goterpsgo

      Hey haters – take your hate, your lame ass signs and your whining and shove it up your asses!!!!!

      Magic number: 10.

    • CBean

      Yeah, my reaction to that sign was, “we will, thank you.”

  • dkidd in sunny la

    that was such a great game. there’s no one in our line-up that I’m not happy to have up with men on

    i don’t care that the announcers are rooting for the twins, but the lack of a call on tex’s hr was deflating

    oh, and Iove curtis granderson

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Yeah I noticed that on watching the highlights. I only caught the bottom of the 8th inning till the end of today’s game because of class. Why did the announcers make it sound like nothing happen? Couldn’t even hear the crack of the bat. You guys are national TV announcers. I’m not asking for you to like the Yankees, but at least call the game fair for both sides.

      • Sayid J.

        Same thing on Granderson’s triple. Awful.

    • JerseyDutch

      The TBS announcers were shameful. You don’t have to be a fan but call the game professionally, ferchrissakes. The thundering silence when we scored or made a big play was simply a disgrace.

      • Pasqua

        I really think that was due to lack of talent rather than bias. Johnson had no clue how to call “big moments” last night.

        • ADam

          I was actually OK with those guys last night… Better than listening to Buck and McCarver talk about the payroll, the treatment of Joe Torre, and how every other team in baseball buys into to the team mentality.. except the yankees of course… Its a lot harder to call a game than any of us can imagine… I like the TBS games, happy we get them for two rounds… maybe

          • James

            Buck and McCarver are so terrible and such Yankee haters that I’d actually rather listen to John Sterling and Susan Waldman… That’s how bad they are!

            I actually thought the TBS announcers did a decent job as well. Maybe I was just elated that I didn’t hear Joe Buck’s voice. His game calling make’s me wish Al Trautwig was in there.

  • mikebk

    Funniest thing is before the game everyone on TBS said if the yanks lose tonight the series is over and then on YES Kay and Singleton say after the game that because we won it’s over. either way it is one game, but that 1 W puts us 10 away from 28.

  • Kenny Powers

    Girardi doesn’t know what he’s doing!

    Mixing and matchin and rest players at the end of the season doesn’t work!

    Why is Golson on the roster and not Nunez!

    Why didn’t he bring Albaladejo in?!?


    You can’t win without HFA – just ask the Rays!

    Granderson is a Bust!




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



    • Captain Jack

      NoMaas is particularly pro Cashman, SJK actually got a private tour of the stadium from C-$$$ himself. They also seem high on Granderson…they do however hate Girardi for using Chad Gaudin. They were hard on Torre, they should be hard on Girardi too. It’s only fair.

    • M&M


    • pete

      I would say more like /lombardi’d

  • Kyle

    I thought Jeter’s come-from-behind 0-2 at-bat really was the turning point in this game. great job by the CPT

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    Not even a blown call can worry Mariano.

  • BigBlueAL

    Was a little worried that CC had to throw 111 pitches tonight and having to pitch on 3 days rest if necessary might be a bit tougher after that many pitches. But then I went back and checked to see how many pitches he threw in both Game 1 of the ALCS and WS last year before pitching on 3 days rest in Games 4 of those series and he threw 113 both games so not worried any more.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      111 isn’t that many for the big man.

      • larryf

        He needed the work. I think he’ll be sharper next time if it is game 4. We won’t be seeing any more 2-0 fastballs down the middle to their few power hitters from CC anymore. His change or curve will be the offering.

        • Brian in NH

          Hopefully its Game 1 not Game 4 that he’s getting his next bit of work in.

    • JerseyDutch

      Will definitely be to his advantage. The guy seems to thrive on a heavy workload.

  • BigBlueAL

    Also tonight was Mo’s 40th postseason save and his 31st of more than 1 inning. I knew he had alot of 4 outs or more saves in the postseason but shit 31 out of 40 is crazy. Just another example of why he is the greatest reliever ever.

  • Jerome S.

    When Granderson hit the triple, it literally sounded like there were no more than five people in the entire stadium cheering.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Demoralization: the Yankees does it.

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

        Demoralization: we has it.


        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I jump in it.

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

            (kisses Pedroia giraffe)

            • Guest


  • Hughesus Christo

    Maybe the stupids will stfu about Granderson now.

    • M&M


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

        The sad thing is, this isn’t satire.

      • pete

        extra weeks of what? of whaaaat?? EXTRA WEEKS OF WHAT??????? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME

    • RKelly39

      I enjoyed the triple and the hot streak but I guess I’m extremely stupid because I’m not overwhelmed by a player with declining numbers.

  • TopChuckie

    The announcers (Ernie Johnson) got more worked up for the deep fly ball to Gardner at the warning track in the bottom of the inning than they did for Granderson’s triple or Tex’s HR.

    Stick to basketball Ernie. And he was supposedly brought in to “fix” things in TBS’s booth. I don’t care if you hate the Yankees, your call is still going to be played over and over on a big play, don’t you want it to be quality?

    • JerseyDutch


    • theyankeewarrior

      All of this. It was brutal. See my quoe below

      (already posted it, sorry)

  • Mickey Scheister

    Awesome game, it had aces, comebacks homeruns and blown calls! My only gripe was the AWFUL announcers, seriously….really….you can’t pretend to be excited, I thought the Grandy triple was a lazy fly ball and the Teix homer, eh…just another foul ball. I never thought I’d miss Michael Kay but holy fuck, it was the single worst job announcing a baseball game I’d ever heard. I’d prefer Hawk, Kay and Joe Morgan in the booth. Great game, terrible job calling it.

    • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

      johnson is a pathetic baseball announcer. go back to the nba (which i lost interest in about 1974). doesn’t he watch the outfielders on a long fly to the outfield. he said nothing but i could see on tv that the cf and rf were looking up as if the ball would be over or off the wall. and then he said the game is tied before remembering a rod was on first and scored easily. sad job.

      • Januz

        I can’t stand Johnson. I remember a game several years ago when the Braves were playing the Pirates, and the wrap-up and highlights were done by Johnson. Everything was Braves this, and Braves that………… Except during closing credits when they gave the final score………. Pirates won. As bad as he is, he is still better than listening to McCarver (Who might be my least favorite announcer after his his comparing the Yankee Front Office to Nazi Germany & the USSR).
        The strangest thing is our arch-enemies the Mets and Red Sox have some of the best announcers in the Business (Don Orsillo is in my humble opinion the most underrated broadcaster in MLB), while we have some of the worst. Best teams announcers. 5: Red Sox (Would be higher except for Remy. (Remy does nothing for a game)). 4: Mariners (Dave Niehaus nuff said), 3: Giants (Krukow and Kuiper). 2: Mets. 1: Dodgers (Vin Scully not even close).

        • steve (different one)

          The funny thing is you might read this and thing Januz is off on one of his rants, b/c surely no one would compare a baseball team to Nazi Germany. Then you remember that it actually happened.

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

            I laughed.

          • pete

            I love Januz’s rants. Januz’s mind works like no other. He can connect dots that nobody else in the universe would ever connect. It’s pretty awesome.

  • nsalem

    the man’s baseball instincts are off-the-charts.

    almost a great play by A-Rod by flipping the ball to 2nd on Valencia’s
    infield hit in the 8th.

    • Accent Shallow

      Did they have a shot at the runner at first? Seemed unnecessarily cute to me.

      • Carcillo

        It was too weakly hit and between ARod and Jeter.

        There wasn’t an easy play, I’ll put it that way.

    • larryf

      His fake throw to first wasn’t that great. Needs to talk to Kate and Cameron and Derek about acting.

  • Carcillo

    Twins/Yankees games give no meaning to the phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

    • Carcillo

      *new meaning

  • theyankeewarrior

    “Granderson hits a towering fly ball to right…

    …aand it’s off the wall…

    …the Yankees have tied the game”


    • James

      As much as I hate shoddy announcing… good… let’s even demoralize the TBS announcers. We’re the Yankees, we care about titles not the lack of enthusiasm from the supposed neutral announcers.

      Back at the track… at the wall… we are TIED!

  • Frank

    I never thought I would say this, but listening to TBS’ announcers last night had me wishing ESPN was doing the broadcast.

    • Januz

      If you read my post on Johnson above, you will know what I think of Johnson. Atlanta Braves Sports South TV telecasts are without question the WORST in MLB (Even worse than listening To Dwaynne Staats). I would have preferred to hear Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven (Twins TV) then Johnson etc, at least they are good at what they do.

    • CBean

      I bitch about Michael Kay the entire season but as soon as the post-season starts, I miss him.

      • Klemy

        Agreed. The homerun call was just terrible. It was a huge moment in the game and they didn’t even sound like he hit the ball.

  • Josh S.

    I don’t know if this has been covered in this blog today, but the TBS announcers for last night’s game were so incredibly bad that I had to watch the game on mute. I was almost begging for Tim McCarver and Joe Buck to come out and take over (seriously – they would’ve been an upgrade and I hate them both). Not to mention that John Sterling would’ve been a luxury had I been listening to the radio.

    Ernie Johnson could possibly be the worst broadcaster I’ve ever heard. Teix’s homer – I had no idea whether it was fair or foul until I saw the score change on TV. D-Rob’s strikeout of Thome to end the 7th, I thought it might’ve been a foul ball until they went to commercial and I figured he struck out to end the inning. I used to like Ron Darling but jeez, is he captain obvious or what? And every pitch and at-bat for him is THE game changing moment. I mean, how many times did he say in every game there is one moment, one at-bat, blah-blah, that changes the course of the game. Well, he said it about 100 times, so I guess that’s a lot of opportunities and not just one. Awful – just absolutely awful. I feel like I got stupider listening to these idiots. Every once in a while Smoltz would say something somewhat intelligent, but he hates the Yankees, so screw him.

    Sorry for the rant – had to get that off my chest. I’d love to watch a game on TV without the announcers and just the stadium sounds (never gonna happen) but at least have a little bit of emotion when there is a big play in the game regardless of which team. Never heard a worse game called, but the Yankees came out on top which is the most important part. Let’s go Pettitte in game 2!

    • Marsha

      I could not agree more. At one point, I suggested muting the TV and listening to John and Suzyn but the rest of the crew roundly booed my suggestion. Maybe tonight we can mute the TV and listen to the ESPN announcers on the radio. Where is Kim Jones when you need her?

      • Marsha

        Forgot to mention (and I haven’t signed up for self-editing yet) that I detest John and Suzyn so when I suggest listening to them (mainly in jest) you know the TV announcers are pathetic.

        • Sayid J.

          I think the editing feature was turned off last night after it slowed down the site a bit too much.

    • Januz

      One obvious problem is having NATIONAL LEAGUE Announcers calling ALDS Games. They have limited knowledge of either the Yankees or in particular, the Twins. They should have either had Wells in the broadcast booth, or had Bremer in the Broadcast booth (Target Field), and Kay in the Broadcast booth (Yankee Stadium), you would have gotten far superior insight about the teams.

  • Chris

    Speaking of bunts, Swisher needs a smack upside the head for squaring around with men on first and second with none out in the third. He didn’t get it down on the first attempt then swung away, but still. Sheesh, you’re smarter than that man.

    I have no problem with someone (even Swisher) trying to catch the defense napping and laying down a bunt. As long as the goal of the play is to bunt for a hit, it’s not a bad play. The problem with the sacrifice bunt isn’t the bunt part, it’s the sacrifice part.

    • steve (different one)

      And even in that spot, I know I will be chastised for this, I don’t think it’s *that* terrible a play. Yes, it’s still early. And yes, it’s Swisher. But…we don’t know how Swisher was seeing the ball from Liriano. He might have felt like he had no chance at a hit, so why not play for 2 runs in what is likely (obviously didn’t work out that way) going to be a low scoring game? That’s something the “matrix” won’t show: Swisher’s comfort level hitting against Liriano.

      Also, there is obviously a difference between Hudson and Swisher’s bunts. Hudson moved a man to 2B with one out. Swisher was trying to move men to 2nd/3rd with one out. The Twins were still going to need a hit to score, so it was dumb. Swisher was giving the Yanks a shot to score without a hit and a chance at 2 runs with a hit.

      The math is still going to work out against the move, but I think it’s lot more defensible.

      • Sayid J.

        I can live with this explanation

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

    Seriously, Ernie Johnson, John Smoltz, and James Woods can’t be the best team of talent that the Turner family of networks has at their disposal to broadcast the lead LDS series they’re televising.

    We may have more luck with Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, and Soledad O’Brien.

    • Fair Weather Freddy

      They dumped Chip Carey for this guy? GEEZ!!. I thought it was butler Lurch announcing!

      • Sam P.

        But do you really want to be “FISTED!” into right field by Chip Caray?

        I sure don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      Can we get Dr. Sanjay Gupta to give injury reports and speculate on the effects playing baseball has on someone’s brain (i.e. maybe Posada’s brain now equals an NFL player’s because of all the foul balls directly off his mask)

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

      They should seriously just dump Smoltz. Great pitcher, has no business announcing games (kind of like Tino). Darling is a great announcer and provides more than enough analysis from the pitcher’s point of view. Get a hitter or someone else in the booth who knows what they’re doing.

    • Yank the Frank

      I hear Rick Sanchez is available.

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

        We should have a Rick Sanchez-Ronan Tynan booth. That would end well.

  • Pasqua

    I’d take Chip Caray’s penchant for “fisting” over Johnson’s comatose play-by-play any day. At least Caray brought energy, if not accuracy.

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

    I said it last year, and I forgot who originally came up with the idea, but TBS would get so much acclaim if they actually did this.

    For the division series games, throw out the stupid national announcers, some who probably never watch baseball the whole year. Instead, get permission to take the play-by-play announcer of the home team and put him in the booth. Take an analyst from the opposing team and put him up there with him. Bam, you automatically have an awesome, knowledgeable broadcast.

    Twins play-by-play guy with Flash/Kenny in Minnesota, Kay with a Twins analyst when they play in the Bronx. Simple, effective, keeps everyone happy.

    • steve (different one)

      It was Michael Kay’s idea to use the home team’s announcers in national broadcasts and then use the SAP button to get the visiting team’s announcers.

      Of course, no one else in the booth asked Kay…WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HEAR THE GAME IN SPANISH??

      Kindof an unbelievable moment. This happened a week or two ago.

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

        Of course, no one else in the booth asked Kay…WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HEAR THE GAME IN SPANISH??

        Fuck ’em. Damn illegal immigrants takin our jobs.

        GO BACK TO OHIO!

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

      Plus, a delicious possibility of violence nightly.

      I’m down.

    • Sayid J.

      I was just thinking about that while watching the game. I think it would be a great way of having two knowledgeable announcers in the booth and would create an interesting dynamic. Even if there were some tension, that would probably be good for the broadcast as long as it were kept under control. Also, then fans across the country would catch a glimpse into things about each team that we couldn’t get from the national broadcasters.

      Good for fans. Good for the broadcast. Good for baseball. Good for TBS ratings. Bad for TBS announcers, so it won’t happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000129806431 ElGranCuloFace a.k.a. Henry

    Man… Am I fan of THEE GREATEST fucking team or what? Holy shit…

  • Hughesus Christo

    I see the desire for a homer broadcast is strong with this crew.

    Not saying EJ isn’t terrible, but come on. This has also been done to death.

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

      I don’t want a homer broadcast crew, I want a broadcast crew that acts like they actually give a shit about the game being played.

      Ernie, Smoltz, and Darling seemed comatose. For both the Yankees and the Twins plays, btw.

      This felt like a spring training game, from the levels of enthusiasm for ANYTHING put forth by that talentless crew.

      • Hughesus Christo

        On Fox, the crew is always “enthusiastic for the other team, but not us”

        Then Joe Morgan starts fellating Cano for 3 hours every weekend on ESPN, but he’s stupid and Miller pronounces some names funny (though correctly)

        It does boil down to wanting a homer broadcast. If you go to a competing team’s message board during the game you’ll hear the exact same complaints about them begin biased vs “our team”

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          So you had no problem with the guys in the booth last night? Thought they did a bang-up job, wouldn’t have preferred to have anyone else in there calling the game? If you think people are criticizing last night’s booth for no reason other than homerism, then that must be what you think, no?

          • Sayid J.

            Let’s not all jump down his throat. He has a point… people do seem to complain about every announcer, regardless of who they are. I agree, the booth last night was very awful. I particular noticed on the Granderson triple and Tex HR. But had it not been the TBS booth, we would’ve been complaining about some other awful booth, that’s all.

            • Sayid J.

              And I’m not saying he/we want a “homer broadcast,” but I am saying that no matter who is broadcasting, we will be able to find flaws. Some more than others, like last night.

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

              “Let’s not all jump down his throat.”

              I don’t think I jumped down anyone’s throat, I just asked a question.

              “He has a point… people do seem to complain about every announcer, regardless of who they are.”

              The fact that some people will complain no matter who is in the booth doesn’t mean that all complaints about last night’s booth are the result of homerism.

      • JohnathanCold

        Yes. I’m not sure they were even watching the comebacker to Mo.

        TBS crew did a shitty job and I’m ashamed of them.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      There’s a difference between a “homer” broadcast and a “quality” broadcast. People want the latter.

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


        I never rag on Kay for being impressed by big homers or big plays the opposition makes; it’s natural to be impressed by impressive shit regardless of who does it.

        Everyone should have been impressed by that Tex homer. It was impressive.

    • steve (different one)

      Come on man, it was a GIGANTIC postseason tie-breaking HR and the guy called it like it was a 12-0 game in May.

    • Hughesus Christo

      I just want to say again that EJ was terrible, but that’s probably his idea of impartiality.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        So you think he was terrible, but everyone else who shares that opinion feels that way only feels that way because they want an announcer who is a homer? Ok.

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          (Excuse the typo, I don’t have that editing thing yet.)

    • Guest

      Ditto all responses above. I would add that it made me wonder if my eyes were fooling me. “Wiat, that looks like it might a homerun, but the call seems akin to a routine flyball. Is the cameraman playing tricks on me?” The same thing with the Grandy triple.

      Overall, I thought the crew was definitely prepared, did not drive me crazy with toooo much “old school baseball” talk, and got out of the way when necessary (hard for a three man booth). BUT, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a playoff game called with such little enthusiasm. And that’s a major shortcoming.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        The Granderson triple was just as bad as the Teixeira HR. Not only did Johnson say nothing to make it clear that the ball wasn’t going to be caught by an outfielder and go up against the wall until it was literally coming down off the wall, but he said the game was tied as the go-ahead run was crossing home plate. Brutal

    • JerseyDutch

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d actually prefer Buck and McCarver over TBS’s lame crew. At least those two show some enthusiasm and a modicum of knowledge of the teams they cover. Last night’s broadcast was just bad in every way imaginable.

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

        I’ll sadly agree.

        Rambling, annoying, incorrect and stupid >>>>>>>> disinterested, aloof, banal, and stupid

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

        It’s actually an interesting question… I actually think I’d go with last night’s crew over Buck/McCarver. I seriously have to mute the TV when Buck/McCarver call a game. I muted the TV for a while last night but it wasn’t out of the kind of irritation I feel when Buck/McCarver are in the booth, I just wanted to listen to music for a while as I watched the game. With Buck/McCarver, I literally can’t bring myself to not mute the TV, without fail.

  • Jesus-The Saviour-Montero

    Great win. Hope Pettitte can do well today.

  • M&M


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

      Please stop with the caps.

      Thank you.

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


      This is hysterical, I so hope this is true.

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

        I assume his own announcing was at maximum possible volume and full of mispronounced words with extra consonants.

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

          Haha, totally.

        • Cnight_UP


  • Klemy

    I was really nervous when we left CC out there after he walked in the tying run, but it worked out fine. Overall was a great game and Grandy and Tex came through big time. Can’t wait for tonight.

  • Nuke Ladoosh

    Great recap Mike. – I’m very bummed out about being on a plane tonight during game 2 but at least your next recap of an Andy Dandy and Yankee victory will get me up to speed.

  • larryf

    It would be super technology to be able to click on a RAB option to get play by play announcing along with the game thread. We rag on these announcers so much all year-we should just do it ourselves! Call it RAB-plus or RAB-audio on demand or whatever…

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

    The oft-criticized Girardi deserves some credit for last night too. Everything he did worked, a nice counter-balance to September when everything he touched seemed to turn to dust.

    Leaving CC in to clean up his mess was the right move. Living or dying with the big man there was risky but I’m sure CC appreciated that kind of faith, knowing how quick Joe can be with the hook.

    Throwing out the numbers and starting Granderson and Gardner over Kearns was another solid move. Trust in how they finished the year, go with the strongest defense in the field. The liner that Gardner almost caught saved a run. With anyone else that’s probably in the gap. And obviously, Granderson hit 2 balls on the screws and had the biggest hit of the game.

    He left in Logan just long enough, didn’t go to another arm when D-Rob lost the zone a bit, and while I wouldn’t have been mad if he left Wood in since he wasn’t getting hit hard, you can’t argue bringing in Mo in that spot. He saw a chance to drop the hammer on the Twins and went for it.

    Anyway, it was nice to see him have a good game. Reading beat writers make fun of Joe and getting on his case for looking uptight/tense is getting very old, very fast. It’s unprofessional and I didn’t see any evidence of it last night. He looked confident to me, and managed like it.

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

    Tommie: And, the pitch… POWERED DOWN THE LINE, IF THAT STAYS FAIR, IT’S OUTTA HERE… BANGWAGON!!!!! Mark Teixeira, with an absolute MOONSHOT down the right field line that just stayed inside the foul pole, and in the blink of an eye, it’s a 6-4 lead for the Yankees. That pitch was CRUSHED, Mondesi!

    Mondesi: Indeed it was. Crain left it up in Tex’s happy zone, and while he’s had a rough go of it for a while with that bum toe, he’s too good of a hitter to miss that pitch in that spot. Huge homer.

    Tommie: And this crowd that was juiced two scant innings ago is now deathly silent. This certainly isn’t how they imagined the Target Center playoff debut playing out.

    Mondesi: Looks like we’ve got a likely candidate for the “I Got Ripped In 4 Weeks Rip of the Game”, eh, Tommie?

    Tommie: That we do. Well, Gardenhire’s going to have to pick up the pieces here, let’s see what buttons he pushes. We’ll pause 10 seconds for station identification; you’re listening to the American League Division Series on RAB Radio Network, Driven by Ford.

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

      RAB Radio? Sign me the eff up.

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

        Dynamite drop in, Ross. That broadcasting school really paid off.

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

          PS: I really would be like Monty from Major League if I was doing a broadcast, I’d be like “grounder… fielded… out.” No way I’m cut out for that job.

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

            hahaha I loved that.

            (line drive smashed to left)


            (all-out diving catch)


    • larryf


      Guy’s got an Edge…

  • forensic

    Sometimes I really wonder what a team does to prepare for a game:

    From LoHud: “Liriano looked unhitable through the first five innings. Nick Swisher said it was partially because the Yankees came into the game expecting to see a lot of fastballs. “He really went to his offspeed pitches tonight,” Swisher said. “We made a little adjustment.”

    Over the course of the season Liriano had thrown the second highest % of sliders (33.8) and the fourth lowest % of fastballs (48.6) in the AL.

    Now, I don’t know the splits of the other two games for the Yanks against him this year or if he changed his gameplans later in the year, but with those numbers don’t you have to look offspeed/breaking ball before fastball?

    • rbizzler

      I wouldn’t read too much into what the players are saying to the media concerning scouting reports, strategy, etc. I highly doubt Swish is going to give away their game plan considering they might have to face Liriano again later on in the series. My guess is that Swish was playing coy about what they were expecting.

  • Jon in CUO

    Maybe someone already mentioned this, but the crowd/booth went so quiet on Teixeira’s blast that you could hear someone (probably an obnoxious drunk wanker Yankee fan) yell out “Bye Bye!”

    It was actually a pretty nice home run call.

  • guest

    I highly recommend watching the game on mute. (The only glitch is having to see Twinkie fans’ faces and signs.) For particularly big moments–a la Grandy’s triple and Teix’s homer, turn on John and Suzyn. They’re somehow less odious when things are going well for the Yankees.

    In the future, yes on the RAB commentating. That would be awesome.

    • James

      Stay fair ball!…Stay fair ball!

      The announcing crew was terrible, but I didn’t notice their lack of enthusiasm because I was too busy walking around my living room yelling “YANKEES FUCKIN’ BASEBALL, YANKEES FUCKIN’ BASEBALL”.

      I thought Kay’s idea for the SAP button hit a few weeks ago to get the home town broadcasting was a good idea if there’s a way to still get spanish announcers on another wave length. For the most part the YES network broadcasters, are knowledgable and call big plays as big plays for either team. I don’t mind Smoltz’ lack of enthusiasm for the Yankees because he’s a great baseball mind and well… we beat the shit out of his Braves teams and got him designated for assignment from the Sox. He’s just another example of baseball being about the Yankees and (for the most part) everyone we’ve left in the dust over the years. As a Yankee fan I’ve come to expect being hated by other fans so so be it.

  • Bo

    Is that 3 passed balls by Jorge in his last two postseason games? Cashman failed in shoring up the backstop.