Oct
16

Yanks grab victory from the jaws of defeat with late rally to take Game One

By

There are wins, there are big wins, and there are wins that remind everyone who the team to beat is. The Yankees were staring at a five run deficit in the late innings of Game One with no answer for C.J. Wilson, but they’re the defending champs for a reason. Some stellar bullpen work and an eighth inning rally later, Mr. Sinatra was letting to rip with New York, New York.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Let’s do this chronologically…

Gardner Slides In Safe

Every game winning rally has to start somewhere, and in Game One it started with a weak groundball to first to lead off the eighth. Brett Gardner hustled down the line and pulled a page out of the Melky Cabrera playbook. sliding head first into the bag. His hand slipped in under Wilson’s foot and that was it, the Yankees had their foots in the door.

Derek Goes Down The Line

Robbie Cano had gotten his team to within grand slam distance with a solo homer in the seventh, but Jeter pulled them even closer in the eighth. He yanked a double down the leftfield line, driving in Gardner to make it a 5-2 game in Texas’ favor. The tying run was on deck, and the line had put in motion. The hit improved the Yanks’ chances of winning by 6.9%.

Swish & Tex Take Ball Four

Jeter’s double ended @str8edgeracer‘s night, and Ron Washington handled the ball over to the ageless Darren Oliver. Oliver had a great season and it stood to reason that he could record three outs before giving up three runs. Turns out he could even get one out, instead walking Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira on 13 total pitches, loading the bases for last year’s playoff hero.

Honorable Mention: A-Rod Hits One Through Michael Young

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

There’s no substitute for hitting the ball hard, and few do it better than Alex Rodriguez. He wasted no time jumping all over sidearmer Darren O’Day’s first pitch following the walks to Swish and Tex, grounding it sharply to Young at third. The ball ate him right up, coming closer to hitting him in the face than settling into his mitt. Jeter and Swish came around to score, Tex moved to second, and the score was suddenly 5-4 with still no outs in the inning. The WPA swing on this one registered at +.166.

Biggest Hit: Texas Is Now Aware

After the three time MVP brought the Yanks to within one, the possible 2010 MVP stepped to the plate facing yet another new pitcher. This time Washington gave the ball to funky southpaw Clay Rapada, who promptly laid a first pitch fastball right over the plate. Cano did what he’s been doing all season, lacing the ball back up the box for a single, a single that drove in Teixeira and tied the game.

Texas’ lead evaporated just like that, before a single out was recorded in the inning. This was the biggest hit of the game in terms of the WPA swing, checking in at +.266. Wowza.

Mr. Thames To You

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

I told you Marcus Thames would be important in this series, and he wasted no time proving me right. After Cano’s single tied the game, the Yanks’ designated lefty masher dug in against (yet another new pitcher) Derek Holland with a chance to give his team the lead, but he had to work for it. The first pitch was a fastball for a strike, the second a fastball for a ball. Thames swung and missed at a slider in the dirt, and Holland tried to get him to bite on it again but to no avail. The sixth pitch of the at-bat, a 2-2 fastball on the inner third was the one that sealed the Rangers’ fate. The pitch broke his bat, but Thames got enough of it to bloop it into shallow left and allow A-Rod to cross the plate as the go-ahead run. The comeback was complete, and then some.

In a season of big hits for Marcus, it gets no bigger than this one right here. Believe it or not, the WPA swing was just +.066, but we all know how big it really was. The numbers will never truly express the emotional high.

Not So Good, Very Bad CC

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Given the outcome, it’s easy to forget that CC Sabathia was pretty terrible in this one. His command was non-existent, his breaking ball did more ball than break, and it was a chore right from the get-go. CC allowed the first three batters to reach base and eventually come around to score on a Josh Hamilton homer (in an 0-2 count, no less. It was an awful pitch, a cement mixer slider that just spun out over the plate and did nothing. It wasn’t until a runner got thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch that the first inning ended. Yeah, it was ugly.

The final line was 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 WP with one balk. It’s entirely possible that the nine day layoff screwed him up (one start in the last 17 days), but that’s no excuse. CC has to be better than that and he knows it. Thankfully the rest of his team bailed him out.

Leftovers

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Unsung hero: Dustin freaking Moseley. How about that guy? Two perfect innings, four strikeouts, and 21 strikes out of 27 total pitches all against the meat of Texas’ lineup. All told, the bullpen allowed just one hit and two walks in five scoreless innings or work, striking out six. The lone hit was a ten hopper just passed the outstretch arm of a diving Robbie Cano to lead off the ninth. The Yankees swing-and-miss bullpen has been a great asset all season, and it showed why again tonight.

At one point the top four hitters in the Yankee lineup were a combined 0-for-12 with three strikeouts. After that they went 3-for-4 with a pair of walks. Everyone in the lineup reached base at least once except Jorge Posada, who lined out to left and hit a ball to the track in that eighth inning.

Nick Swisher … stop effing bunting. That bunt attempt in the ninth following Jeter’s leadoff double had to come from (or at least be endorsed by) the dugout (he made three attempts to bunt and no one told him stop), so stop telling Swish to bunt Joe Girardi. He predictably popped it up in foul territory, failing to advance the runner. Jeter never came around to score, but thankfully the Yanks didn’t need him too.

Just as a quick aside: how the hell does Neftali Feliz not get in this game in the eighth? Ron Washington used five (!!!) relievers that inning and not one was his All Star closer. He was managing to the save stat, which is as stupid as it gets. I do thank him for that, however. Texas has still never won a playoff game in their home ballpark.

WPA Graph & Box Score

This what crushing the hearts of Rangers fans everywhere looks like. MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs some other neat stuff.

Up Next

Phil Hughes gets the ball in Game Two later this afternoon. Colby Lewis goes for Texas. That one’s got a 4:07pm ET start time.

Categories : Game Stories, Playoffs
  • Adam P

    Is the bunt that bad in that situation? Playing for one run?

    • Anthony Murillo

      Swisher shoud be swinging away like he has been all season. Let him hit…

      • Jon in CUO

        Handling in-game tactics for the Yankees should be the easiest managing job in baseball. Let the best players in the game do what they do, right?

    • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

      The runner was already in scoring position, too. Plus, Swish has great numbers. It’s not like he’s a crappy hitter anyway.

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

        But he is a crappy bunter.

        • Chris

          Actually he’s not. He’s generally a pretty good bunter (just not so much last night).

    • dalelama

      It wasn’t poor strategy just poor execution. It is hard to believe that someone making millions per year can’t lay down a bunt.

    • JerseyDutch

      I say let Swish swing. The only people I want to see bunt are Gardner and Pena. We’re not a smallball team.

    • Tank Foster

      I say no. Swisher is a pretty good hitter. He needed to hit the ball to the right side there, or get a hit. He also is good at getting walks, and the Ranger’s pitcher was on his heels. Why give him a gift out? I say, pressure the pitcher, make him work. There’s almost no risk of a DP there, so the worst thing that happens is….he doesn’t get the runner over, which is what happened with the bunt attempt anyway. The best thing that happens is Swisher gets a hit, and we’re looking at another big inning. If it’s Gardner, or Cervelli, or Pena….maybe.

    • OldYanksFan

      Because the Yankees can mash and everyone loves mashing, most Yankee Fans hate to see Swisher bunting in that situation. I’m not sure (someone check me), but I believe statistically, a man on 2nd, no out situation has a fractionally higher chance of scoring runs (or is it scoring more runs?) then a man on 3rd, one out situation.

      That being said, that ‘stat’ (and all stats) is a generalized average of 1,000s of games, and takes nothing specific into account… score, inning, teams, pitcher, batter. To that, in our specific situation, I did prefer the bunt. While we have had trouble with ‘man on 3rd less then 2 out’ situations before, with Teix and ARod coming up, you would think we could score ONE run.

      In that case, going to the 9th with Mo coming in, that one extra run is just about the clincher. My only caveat is that Swisher is not a great bunter.

      When Washington had his team sac bunt in the 9th against Mo, was that a dumb play? I’m certainly no expert, but Yankees fans must be more adversed to the sac bunt then all other fans put together.

    • Little Bill

      If you are going to bunt there send up Golson to do it. Golson was coming in the 9th for defense anyway. Swish swinging away would have been the best move, he is one of our better hitters.

  • K

    Thanks for the writeup… How does Mosely get a meager .015 WPA out of his stellar performance?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      I’m guessing because they were trailing by like 4/5 runs at the time.

  • Tim

    Everyone calling Alex “choke-rod” needs to shut it.

    • FIPster Doofus

      If A-Rod’s godlike performance last fall didn’t make them shut it, nothing will.

    • Sean C

      That was one troll that called him that. The only way A-Rod can be called that is an 0-for the rest of the playoffs. This won’t happen. And even then, there are 8 other hitters in the lineup that pick up the slack at any given time. For reference, people just need to see what happened last night.

    • JerseyDutch

      Haters gotta hate. People are going to dump on A-Rod cuz he’s A-Rod.

      On a side note, I’ve been perusing comments on MLB.com and other boards and the Yankee hatred is reaching comical levels. I think there’s going to be a senate hearing on game one…

  • Mark

    If Swisher is going to bunt, and we all know he is a terrible bunter, why not let Golson go in and bunt since he was going in to play defense for Swish? Have no idea if Golson can bunt, but he is faster, and can’t imagine anyone being any worse than Swish at bunting.

    • OldYanksFan

      I think that’s a good thought. However, it Joe did that and Texas tied the game, the Girardi hate would be huge.

      While we are NOT a small ball team, I think next Winter, that any of our guys who bat 1st or 2nd, should get some bunting skills. I’m an old guy, and you can’t expect all mashers to be able to bunt for the base hit… but in my day, EVERY player could at least sac bunt. It’s a lost ‘art’ in today’s game.

      As a kid, there was not greater playing then watching a Mantle AB that resulted in a 500′ HR. But Mickey played to Win, and was a great bunter. Even late in his career,=, with no legs, Mickey bunted for a few base hits a year.

      I would never trade ‘a HR hitter for a bunter’, but being able to bunt only makes a player better.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        but in my day, EVERY player could at least sac bunt.

        I don’t know when your day was, but I never recall Winfield of Jackson bunting.

        Your day earlier? I never saw Maris or Skowron bunt either. Sorry, I don’t go back to the 50′s, but I can’t imagine Casey asking Mize or Bauer to bunt either.

        Mantle was a freak of nature; incredible speed and incredible power. Not fair to compare anyone to him.

  • stuart

    swisher maybe bunt on the first pitch. once he hit it foul, take the bunt off. jeter is on 2nd he can score on a single probably. terrible terrible play. i doubt girardi called for it, but he needs to tell swisher to swing away, end the story.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Girardi may not have called for it, but he didn’t stop it either. That was just awful on everyone’s part.

      • MikeD

        If Girardi didn’t call for that bunt, then in essence what the Swish Man did was overrule the manager by deciding to bunt the runner over to third. That’s why I’m sure it was Girardi’s decision.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Yeah, I agree. It’s doubtful Swisher would have attempted to bunt three times if it wasn’t up to the manager. Remember Swisher trying to bunt in the Twins series? Girardi put an immediate stop to that. This time, it was a Girardi move to bunt (and a bad one at that).

          • dalelama

            It isn’t Girardi’s fault Swisher couldn’t execute the most basic of plays that is like blaming Girardi for someone dropping a pop up. If anything I would blame Girardi more for not bringing in someone faster who could bunt better but I don’t know if they have anyone like that other than maybe Cervelli who I seem to remember bunted well this year.

            • FIPster Doofus

              You’re right that the lack of execution was Swisher’s fault, but it was a really bad move by Girardi to even have him try it, IMO. The runner was already in scoring position; odds were Swisher, he of the .290 BA, was going to at least make contact and move the runner over, and maybe even get a base hit to score Jeter. I’m not much for bunting, especially with a hitter who is more than capable at the plate.

              That said, your point about subbing for Swisher is well taken. If Girardi was that hellbent on bunting, perhaps he should have taken Swisher out (after all, Golson played RF in the ninth anyway).

  • Kit

    The one time Dustin Moseley is actually worthy of that lens flare picture, and nothing? I kid, but he did a great job and I’m really happy we got the win.

    • CBean

      It was pretty amazing but also like bizarro world. CC can’t throw strikes to save his life and suddenly Mose is a strikeout pitcher? It was odd but I’ll take it!

  • China Joe

    If you guys like a little schadenfreude, do yourselves a favor and watch the ESPN recap of the game. Hearing the anchors groans when A-Rod shoots the ball past Michael Young in the 8th is priceless.
    “If that ball wasn’t it so hard it would’ve been a double play!!!”
    -All the brilliant analysis you’ve come to expect from ESPN: “If their hits weren’t hit so hard they wouldn’t be hits at all!!!”

    • FIPster Doofus

      Here’s a guy who if he puts his glasses on, he can see better.

      /Frank Caliendo as John Madden’d

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      That’s always the best part of a big Yankee victory…watching the dopes on ESPN whine about it.

    • Marcus

      Is that a direct quote? If so… ugh…

    • JerseyDutch

      Yeah, and the Yankees would lose more games if they didn’t score more runs than the other team.

  • swisher’s fauxhawk

    Msn, that is the most hilarious graph I’ve ever seen.

    It went from “smooth sailing” to “EVERYBODY PANIC!”

  • dkla

    the msm really stinks. if your reaction to thrilling unscripted drama is a lazy reductive narrative (of course the yankees win, they buy the best players blah blah blah) then you shouldn’t be writing about sports.

    games like this are the REASON we follow sports. it was a thing of beauty, not a predetermined outcome based on one team having a higher payroll

    /rant’d

    on a positive note, i enjoyed how the eighth inning turned nolan ryan into wilford brimley

    • JerseyDutch

      The funny part is I looked at that pictures about a half dozen times before I noticed that W was sitting right next to him.

  • Jon in CUO

    The little two-seamer that Mose threw to strike Hamilton out in the 7th was pure genius. Madduxian.

    You can see it at the :23 second mark here: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play......d=12833577

  • WWJMD

    I never realized how many people on here that are complete pessimist. I read a couple of things posted following the Hamilton HR and a lot of people were already saying we lost with 8 innings left to play. Yea it didn’t look pretty, Im not exactly sure since I started watching when Joba came in(I hate working nights, who ever reads the newspaper?) but thankfully the offense destroyed the bullpen and we won. There just isn’t any need to give up the game with that much baseball left to play. Hopefully what I just wrote makes some of them realize that. Even though they’ll throw it out the window the second Hughes allows a run.

    • Sean C

      There were A LOT of trolls on here last night. The regular posters do not give up on the team that easily, and don’t resort to tasteless ignorance when games get out of hand like they did in this one. I don’t post on here that often, but I follow game threads regularly, read recaps and all the other great content posted on this site. The ignorant, unacceptable comments have been called out (thanks, Ross in NJ). I have never seen it that bad in a game thread, and I only hope it doesn’t happen again. Take those garbage comments elsewhere, they don’t belong at RAB.

    • JerseyDutch

      The doom-and-gloomers were out in force last night. Funny thing though, they disappeared back into the woodwork right around the eighth inning…

      • RobinsonKanoWinsFatality

        That was actually pretty disturbing. I went through the game threads and that was not pretty. I think it’s time for another over-reactor call out.

        I went to see Jackass 3D, saw that the score was 5-0 and told my friend that we needed to head to a bar and watch this game because the comeback was coming. Glad the boys proved me right.

  • China Joe

    MSM meme in innings 1 – 7: “Cliff Lee! AJ Burnett! The Yankees were down 3 games before the series even started! They’re done!”

    MSM meme after the 8th inning: “The Yankees are an unstoppable juggernaut: a joyless, high-priced machine sucking the life out of this series. The plucky Rangers have no hope!”

    Me? I prefer #2. Keep up the good work, you joyless high-priced machine!

  • Mike Nitabach

    Seeing the sour pusses on those Texan assholes Nolan Ryan and George Bush was a close second in my pleasure ranking to the Yanks winning this game!

    • dalelama

      Knowing the assholes from Chicago Obama, Emanuel, and Axelrod have sour pusses from rooting for the Cubs for years is a close second in my pleasure ranking to the Yanks winning this game!

      • Smooth Lips Cano

        Axelrod is a Cubs fan, but Obama is a White Sox fan and Emanuel “hates baseball” (http://bit.ly/cWQpRH). Sorry to take some of your pleasure away.

  • dan

    I said it early, I said it first……sweep…………all 11.

  • Mickey Scheister

    My favorite parts of this phenomenal win were the pickoff of Kinsler by Wood, take your antlers and shove em. The out at home plate in the first was monstrous, who knows how many more runs that saved. The Yanks bullpen was just awesome, Dustin Freakin Moseley, nicely done broesph! The 5 spot put up with NO OUTS and 5 pitchers, just amazing. And finally the deflation and silence of the TBS booth when the comeback began, TBS has to do a better job of getting unbiased announcers, that was awful. Best win of the season, of course!

    • dalelama

      Agree on the pick off up until that point according to the pitch tracker on TBS Wood handn’t thrown a strike. Posada almost let that run score twice, first with the passed ball and then with the girly underhand lob to CC that made the play alot closer at home than it should have been. Jorge is sure making the decision to bring up Montero next spring a lot easier. I find it hard to believe anyone could do a worse job on defense behind the plate than the “Bronx Butcher”.

      • ZZ

        First off, it was a wild pitch since Jorge set up down and in and Sabathia airmailed it high and away.

        Second, Posada played that perfectly. He ran right to the spot where the ball would land after the ricochet and therefore was able to catch it in the air. But, since he caught the ball near the ground he had no choice but to underhand it, because coming up and throwing would have taken way too long and Cruz would have scored.

        The underhand pass was direct, on a line, and led CC right to Cruz so he could tag him. And guess what? He tagged him.

        Once CC airmailed that pitched, Posada could not have played that better, but don’t let that get in the way of your Bronx Butcher narrative.

        • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

          +20

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          This.

          • ArchStanton

            No kidding, now Posada is getting hammered for plays that he made brilliantly?

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Yeah, the growing Posada hate is so dumbfounding. The guy is a borderline Hall of Famer who had a good year and gets bashed. Not that I want to bash Jeter, but if he’s protected for what he’s done in the past, why not Posada? I’m not blind to his struggles and even pointed out yesterday that most of the steals against him are in fact coming off him, not the pitching, but to just bash him for the sake of bashing him is insane.

            • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

              Giambi would have been out by more if Jeter hadn’t made such a weak girly throw from the first base line.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep/ still haven’t register /too lazy

    Big Game Moseley !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • larryf

    The fact that some even discussed starting Kearns over The Great Brettsky is just nuts.

    Agree that worrying about Montero’s defense when we have to suffer with Jorge back there is also nuts.

    I’m glad I was first to mention that watching us wipe the smirk off Dubya’s face was going to be most enjoyable.

    I love the internets…..

    • Mike HC

      Jorge had a terrible defensive game in my opinion. Embarrassing really.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        Based on…what?

  • badboy

    I’m a big Yankee fan, but should Michael Kay be saying this series is over? This is a 7 game series and I don’t think he should get beyond today’s game.

    • larryf

      Agree. Kay is a “homer” announcer who never played the game and it shows. Did you see Jeter suffering through his questions after the game? Mocking Kay was so obvious. Usually Jeter says nothing but this time he mocked Kay and said nothing. Classic.

  • http://www.or.ly JM

    I would like to formally apologize for my extreme pessimism yesterday in the game thread. I don’t act like that 99% of the time. Just that nothing was going for me that day, so I pretty much was having a bad day. I will make sure it won’t happen again for a while. (I possibly will repost this on the Game Thread so everyone who I irritated yesterday can see I’m better than that.)

    • Mike HC

      Yea, you bet me that the Yanks would not put up any runs on the board last night.

      • http://www.or.ly JM

        Ha… I remember that… so was my apology thorough enough or no?

        • Mike HC

          haha, yea, good enough for me. The Yankee win was good enough for me.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    If you look at Buster Olney’s tweets during the game. The Yankees look awful, Texas has put Phil Hughes in a must win as the Rangers are looking like they are definitely winning this series. What will be even worse is when the Yankees beat Cliff Lee. I think the ESPN crew may just explode.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Has Buster set today’s lineup yet? His ramblings were brutal. The best was when he said they wouldn’t throw Hughes on 3 days rest because of his innings caps. Does not compute. Whether he pitches 2 and 5 or 2 and 6, innings counts are going to be pretty damn close but probably less if he pitched on 3 days rest. He also seems to imply that Hughes is close to his innings limits, so are they Yankees going to shut him down if they make the WS? He’s an idiot.

    • Chris

      You don’t have to read Buster’s tweeds to hear that – just go back to the game thread.

  • Tank Foster

    With Ron Washington on our side, I think this series will be a little easier. First playoff game, game on the line, you don’t have a good bullpen to begin with….and you bring in a 4 ERA reliever to pitch to Cano? When ARod came up, Feliz should have been trotting in.

    Maybe in the regular season, thinking about the whole year, seeing what pitchers have, etc., you play it the way Washington did. But in a game like last night, where you are in trouble but still have a chance to save the game, why get beat with less than your best? So what if he had to figure out something for the 9th inning? At least get Feliz in the game and make the Yankees beat a GOOD reliever.

    • Mike HC

      Yea, Feliz was needed at some point during the 8th to stop that bleeding. Bringing in a guy throwing 100 mph can change the momentum real fast. I was licking my chops when he went to mediocre middle reliever after mediocre middle reliever. The Yanks absolutely feast on that.

    • mattb

      The one thing I felt was a lock coming in was that the Antlers were going to make a critical baserunning mistake in this series. Oh of course the MSM loves it, but seriously, Cruz should have been fined for trying to take third with two outs; I guess I’ll say I admire Andrus and Vlad for making up heads up plays, but really that’s more of a shocking failure by Price to turn back toward the plate after covering the bag and an equally shocking failure by Pena and the other Tampa infielders not to be screaming to the heavens to turn the hell around. I know Tampa’s a good defensive club, but frankly, except for AJ, I like the heads on our starters shoulders and no one I’d rather have than Tex anchoring that side of the infield. If Tex was in a Tampa uni, I’m not sure either Andrus or Vladdy scores, certainly not Vladdy, he’s not allowing that same boneheaded mistake to be repeated. Not sure that Ron W. and his guys really get the distinction between selectively targeted aggressive plays to pressure the D and flat out recklessness.

      And if Joe G. used his pen the way Ron did last night, there would be folks who would want his head, and though over the top, they’d have a bit of a point.

      But the good folks at TNT assure me that after four long years, this club finally has been molded to fit Ron’s style and therefore are the greatest team to ever play in any sport. And as a sidenote, when you’re literally desperate for what you now perceive to be the sweet sounds of Joe Buck, you know EJ, Smoltz and Darling have done something horribly wrong. Literally the worst telecasts I’ve ever suffered through with those three.

  • Mike HC

    Hated the bunt call. That was such a bad call it was ridiculous. We killed our own rally there.

    Girardi was nothing short of great with his bullpen decisions tonight. When to take CC out. Using Joba and Moseley and not panicking with Wood. I thought he did a hell of job in this respect.

    • Tank Foster

      I think Swisher was on his own…..but even then, Girardi should have stopped it. I don’t know about Girardi’s bullpen moves. Obviously he got results, but I think they were fortunate that Texas didn’t pound Moseley. I think Girardi’s thoughts were “let’s save CC for game 4, and maybe we’ll get lucky here.” You get the feeling that against the Red Sox, the score would have been 8-1 after 7 innings.

      But that’s negative thinking….maybe with the rest, and with good scouting, Moseley was ready for that job.

      • Mike HC

        Well, I’m sure a bunch of factors went into the decision, but I don’t think Girardi was managing this game just hoping to get lucky. I wanted CC out of the game too, and not to rest him for Game 7, but to stay within reach during this game. He just didn’t have it last night even in his good innings. You can’t one inning guy your way through the rest of that game, so who else but Moseley do you go to there?

        • Mike HC

          er, rest him for game four, and game seven really.

        • mattb

          I thought Joe basically handled a just brutally ineffective Sabathia pretty well last night. I will say that I frankly thought a reliever should have been warming in the first. He was literally that bad that inning, four pitch BB to Matt freaking Trainor, utter lack of fastball command, not to mention, you simply can’t leave your ace out there for something like a 45-50 pitch inning, period, and honestly, CC may have actually have been lucky to uncork that pitch to Cantu – but man, if that ball doesn’t ricochet perfectly, it could easily have been 6/7-0 in the first. Given that he survived the first, I was fine with giving him a chance to settle in, though if he was immediately in trouble in the second, I would’ve wanted the hook. And he did, sort of, settle in for a couple inning. Maybe Joe stayed with him a batter too long, all things considered.

          Nothing to do with rest, he threw nearly 100 pitches. And if the Yanks have a lead in this series, I’m not so sure you’re gonna see CC back on short rest for 4, even if that means he’s not lined up for 7. One prays and suspects that CC’s issues are rust related, and all else equal, I say let him just have his normal routine this time through and see if things straighten out. Not to mention, you’ll never hear me say that Andy Pettitte isn’t a great choice to pitch a game 7. What’s crazy is that Andy had the big postseason rep from his first Yankee tenure, and he was awfully hood, but folks remember the periodic blow-ups. I’d argue he’s been even better in his second stint, 7 starts, Yanks have won five of them, and the “worst” of those outings were his two WS starts last year, which were both more than acceptable in context – Game 6 in particular he was clearly starting to wear down on short rest.

      • James

        What annoyed me most about it was that there were no out and the heart of the order coming up behind him. Even if he does bunt Jeter over successfully you then have a runner on 3rd with 1 out and could already have possibly snuffed out a potentially big offensive inning by giving yourself an out with one of your best bats. This definitely came from the dugout because he tried three times. Although Swisher has shown himself to be a good bunter, I was sitting there cursing. You just knew he was going to pop out. He’s not a prototypical two-hitter, and while he can execute prototypical two-hitter things, there seemed to be no need for it in this situation.

        • mattb

          I’m a guy who is virtually a lock to just say the bunt is the wrong play, period, not even needing to know the circumstances. That being said, if one is so inclined, I didn’t have a tremendous problem with doing it there. But if Joe called it, he’s got to be kidding. Swisher’s an awful bunter and HE’S COMING OUT OF THE GAME ANYWAY. Cervelli is, IMHO, the best bunter on the club, though I can see Joe not wanting to burn his backup catcher. So it’s got to be Pena there, who I wouldn’t rate as a fabulous bunteer, but competent. No idea really how Golson is in sacrifice situations. That said, the one rationale for sticking with Swish is if you get down two strikes and want to kill the bunt, you want Nick batting – hence the lesson: just knock the damn thing foul at least, keep it out of the air. In any event, while certainly falling prey to assuming that the Tex and ROd at bats would have the same results with Jetes having moved to third (and of course, they wouldn’t have, Tex would’ve been walked to set up the DP), just to throw it out there I’m not sure if either Tex’s or Alex’s fly gets Jetes in. Tex maybe, Alex, it’s a close play.

  • Mike HC

    Remember when some people here were concerned about our lack of come from behind wins? And that this team just does not have that never say die attitude like last years team had? Yea, I have a feeling we won’t be hearing about that anymore (until next year).

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      After the last two years of baseball, how anyone can doubt this team until the final out is recorded is beyond me.

  • Januz

    If Texas does not win the Series, they can look back at their failure to knock the Yankees out of the game totally. They had numerous attempts. 1: Not scoring more than three runs in the 1st. 2: Not driving in Hamilton from 3rd and less then 2 out. 3: Allowing Joba and Mosley to shut them down (Tack on runs would have been huge). We saw this in the Tampa Series, not knocking the Rays out, while at home and allowing them to force a Game 5. The failure to do this to Tampa, may cost them this Series, since Lee is not available until Monday. Esentially they gave the Yankees hope that they can win in six, and do not have to see Lee more than once.

  • YankeesJunkie

    The big thing is how will Texas bounce back after last night’s debacle. Yankees are putting in Hughes who has had starts in Texas which are incredible (no hitter injury and Memorial Day) against Lewis. In all likelihood this game will once again come down to which pen is better and we will see if Washington plays cute or goes to Francisco or Feliz earlier. Also if the Yankees win tonight it makes Game 3 for the Ranger all that more important. Game 3 is not a lock for Texas because of Lee, but it is there best chance at taking a game from the Yankees at the Stadium. Putting the Rangers in a 2-0 hole makes that game just that much more important for the Rangers and a chance for the Yankees step on their throats.

    • mattb

      I think the starting match-up today is fascinating. Colby Lewis may have been the best under=the-radar starter in the AL this year. The stuff doesn’t jump out at you, but he throws four positive value pitches and misses a bunch of bats. He’s also a RHP who, at least this year, has shown no splits whatsoever, in fact he’s allowed a lower OPS against when facing righties (he’s under .700 for both lefties and righties, solid). He’s also someone whom the Yanks haven’t seen this season (no recollection of whether they faced him in his prior MLB stint, I’d have to imagine so). He’s got a pretty decent velocity differential between the FB (90) slider (84) and curve (77). That said, dude’s never thrown more than 178 innings before and he’s at 206 now, counting his ALDS start, and fwiw, his ERA did spike up in August and September. He’ll also walk guys and has moderate flyball tendencies. My gut says that he’s a guy that the Yanks are either going to knock out by the third or struggle to solve all day.

      I’m about as bullish on Phil as I’ve been, which is saying a lot, since I thought once could have made a valid argument that through April and May he was the best pitcher in the AL (yeah, some crazy luck on flyballs helped a bunch). His last four outings (including the relief inning at Boston and the ALDS start) have all been in big spots and have been rock solid. Sort of seems like maybe he’s found his second wind and having his workload cut back a bit was beneficial. I frankly don’t think his two fantastic starts in TX are a large enough sample to read into much, but certainly I think the home-road split is real and he’s been terrifically effective on the road all year. Also a nice matchup against TX where, other than Hamilton, its the righties that scare you, who’s the second most dangerous lefty in that lineup, Moreland? I’ll be awfully surprised and disappointed if Hughes doesn’t turn in roughly 6-7 IP, 2-3 R tops and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s lights out again.

      As to the pens, you have to figure Washington will reverse course over dramatically, I’ll bet he’ll go to Ogando in the sixth if he has a small lead. Embarrassing job by him last night, maybe he missed the meetings where it was pointed out that the Yanks lefties hit lefties just fine, and yeah, that includes C-Grand too, and his nice little .429/.500/.613 line thus far in the playoffs, which of course has largely been produced against two very very good lefty starters and a third pretty good one. Using five guys, none named Ogando or Feliz, at least while TX still had the lead is just inexcusable. Oliver and O’Day you understand, good set-up guys, the other three, wow.

  • mattb

    I don’t think the importance of winning that ballgame can be overstated. To go down 1-0, with Lee and Burnett yet to make their respective entrances and with CC suddenly looking a whole lot less of a sure thing then one would have imagined. I’m gladly willing to chalk up to the long layoffs and certainly think that’s by far the most plausible explanation – the one thing that scares me is that after looking pretty darn strong through 5 and 2/3 in Minny, CC melted down in a way I can’t recall ever seeing from him before – no one on, two out and all of a sudden he’s putting four straight on, almost unimaginably with three of those being walks, including walking in the tying run; and last night just picked right up on that, I haven’t seen CC’s fastball command so scary bad since his opening day start at Camden in ’09 – really, four pitch walk to Matt Treanor? And then totally uncorking the ball on the first pitch to Frenchy – scary in that the team is maybe lucky he missed so badly – and of course that he made the play and the ump got a tough call right – because otherwise I didn’t see him getting out of the first without at least another run or two.

    That said, while they’re all huge and don’t think for a second that I’m assuming Lee beats Andy in game 3, I think Games 2 and 4 are where this series will be won. My thinking at the moment is that I actually don’t want CC back on short rest for game 4 unless it’s an elimination game and I’m prepared to say that I prefer Andy going in game 7, with CC in the pen if need be. Which means I think it’s key that AJ pitch game 4 and one would very much hope he’s able to do so with the Yanks up at least 2-1 and all else being equal, the win probability today is probably greater than it will be against Lee.

    And game 4 in of and itself is huge. AJ’s got a better FIP than Hunter and while still lousy, was considerably better at home all year. He’s also had some success against the Rangers. No reason why the Yanks shouldn’t be the money pick to win game 4 at home, And if you win AJ’s start, gotta believe this club finds ways to win two of the other five games out there.

    Not that it’s so bold, but win today and I’d be surprised to see this series last more than five. Not a crisis if they get beat, but I think you’re looking at this thing going six or seven in that case.

  • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com matt damon wayans

  • JimAbbottFan

    I must admit, I did stop watching the game after 7 innings (yeah, great timing). No excuses, I just wasn’t enjoying the game. With the TV off, I just relaxed for a bit with peace and quiet in the house for once. After a nice break, I turned the game on and saw Thames smack in the go-ahead run. It’s frustrating not watching the best part of the game, but I should know better with this team.

    So far the trend these playoffs is the ‘rust’ from not playing exists until the last 1/3 of the first game. Hopefully this CFB win gives them the momentum that they rode in the ALDS. I’ll also make sure to stick around for the entire game this time.

    Also, CC obviously is not looking like his usual self. Yeah, the long rest could be attributed, getting squeezed on the zone early on didn’t help either (though the umps expanded the zone for wood later). I think CC should be in a better position in Game 5 since, A. He will be playing at home
    B. He will be playing on normal rest

    I’d love for a sweep, but I’ll take whatever amount of games it takes to win the series.

  • Carlosologist

    The Yankees have won 198 games dating back to 2009. 99 of them have been comeback wins.

  • Guest

    I am LOVING the Rangers choice to be LOOGY-rrific. Its so…thoughtless. It’s almost as if they aren’t paying attention.

    Cano lead the MAJORS in HRs of lefties. If you are thinking about bringing in a LOOGY against him, take a deep breath, and just don’t do it.

    Granderson has been crushing lefties for two months now.

    Gardner has no significant lefty platoon split.

    So why would you bring in weak pitchers who can only be successful against lefties who can’t hit lefties? Wouldn’t you better off by having more pitches thrown by better relief pitchers?

    Whatever, I’ll take it. Love the LOOGY!

    • mattb

      This is where Girardi, despite the occasional puzzler gets it right – in the postseason, you use your A relievers. Oliver and O’Day are part of TX’s front-line pen options and had every business being in the game, at least when it was 5-2, 5-3. Using the other two LOOGYs was borderline malpractice, I don’t know if you go to Neftali, he’s not really a multi-inning closer yet, but you damn sure go to Ogando.

  • pete

    Wow i just read through the 2nd game thread last night. Captain Jack, you’re lucky Beer Boy was around to make you look better

  • rek4gehrig

    Can someone say DUSTIN MOSELEY? :-)))

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