Sep
29

Rays clinch wildcard on walk-off homer

By

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Baseball achieved perfection on September 28th, 2011. Just shut down MLB. We’re never going to top this.

One Strike

I mentioned this the other day, but when we sat down a few weeks ago to figure out what series would be a good one to attend, we picked this one because it had the potential to be meaningful. Then the Yankees went and clinched everything within a matter of days, and as far as they’re concerned, this series meant nothing. Just don’t get hurt, that was the goal. I flew down Monday morning expecting three Spring Training games, but holy smokes. This was the most amazing trip ever.

I can’t even put this into words. This one had total laugher written all over it (more on that in a bit), but then the comeback. Oh my goodness that comeback. Boone Logan got it started with his general awfulness, and Luis Ayala continued it by allowing a huge, enormous three-run homer to Evan Longoria to cut the deficit to one in the eighth inning. Then Dan Johnson. My word. I mean, you do realize the Rays were down to their final strike of the season, right? Down a run, two outs, 2-2 count, and Cory Wade left an 83mph changeup right over the plate to his teammate with Tampa’s Triple-A affiliate earlier this year. Solo homer, tie  game. This place was nuts. Completely deafening.

Johnson has a knack for this stuff, you know. He hit a monster pinch-hit homer off Jonathan Papelbon in September 2008, keeping the Rays in first place during their run to the World Series. He hit a walk-off homer against the Sox late last season as well, keeping them within striking distance of the division crown, the division crown they eventually won. There’s a reason Jonah Keri calls Johnson the Great Pumpkin, the guy rises up once a year to do this. Simply amazing.

(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Just One More Strike

At some point during the bottom of the 12th inning, half the televisions in the press box tuned into the Red Sox-Orioles game. The Sox were still winning at that point, but when I turned my head to look at the screen, all I saw was outfielders running for a ball. The crowd erupted. I have no idea how they knew, but they knew. The Orioles had just tied the game. The cheers were so loud that B.J. Upton had to step out of the batter’s box. Papelbon had Nolan Reimold down to the final strike of Baltimore’s season when he gave up that game-tying  double, the same final strike of the season that Johnson was down to against Wade. Just one more strike. That’s how close each team was to the end of their season. One strike.

A few moment later, Robert Andino – surely Robert effin’ Andino by now – singled to left. Reimold chugged around third. The cheers started about halfway between third and home, and they somehow got even louder when he slide in safely with the winning run. One more strike, that was it. That close to winning the game, and Boston couldn’t get it done.

Not even a minute later (apparently it was eight minutes later according to the announcement here, but I don’t buy it), Longoria hit Scott Proctor’s 56th pitch out of the yard on a line drive to left. Game over, season over. For the Red Sox, anyway. The Rays completed the comeback from seven runs down and nine games back, and are headed to the postseason as the wildcard team. Boston goes home, home to answer questions about a historic September collapse. This place just exploded. I thought the building was loud after Johnson’s  homer, but that was nothing. The fans were just warming up their vocal cords. I can’t believe that just a few days ago, I came down here expecting boring games. This was absolutely  incredible. The very  reason I love this game. No other sport can top this.

(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Save Some For The ALDS

As you already know, things started very poorly for the Rays right in the very first inning. What should have been a scoreless, 19-pitch inning for David Price turned into a one-run, 29-pitch inning when Ben Zobrist booted what should have been an inning-ending ground ball by Robinson Cano. Completely routine play, Zobrist just straight up botched it. Just like that, the pressure was on Tampa.

The game was decided (or so we thought) after Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam on a 3-2 fastball with two outs in the second, a shot that took the wind right out of the sails of pretty much everyone at Tropicana Field. Price completely missed his spot, but that wasn’t the problem. You know what the problem was? It’s that Price allowed a double to Eduardo Nunez, a single to Brandon Laird, and a walk to Derek Jeter. You’re just asking for trouble when you do that, and Tex was happy  to oblige.

It was 5-0 after the grand  slam, the Yankees tacked on two more runs when Teixeira hit a solo homer in the fourth and Andruw Jones hit a solo homer in the fifth. This was Tex’s fourth multi-homer game of the season, and the 33rd of his career. Just think, he came in with just seven hits in 31 career at-bats against Price (.226).

(J. Meric/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Jeter needed to go 1-for-1 or 2-for-4 to finish the season at exactly .300, but he went 0-for-3 with a walk to finish at .297. Considering where he was earlier this season, just getting up to .297 is a minor miracle.

The Yankees had runners on the corners with no outs in the top of the 12th, but got out of it when Greg Golson got caught too far off third base and Chris Dickerson struck out ahead of Brett Gardner‘s ground out. Pretty amazing how close we were to a very, very different story.

The next pitcher set to come out of the bullpen for Tampa was Jamie Shields, who threw 117 pitches on Monday. Furthermore, Joe Maddon said after the game that Upton had some cramping (I believe in his leg, but don’t hold me to that), and was going to have to come out of the game if there was a 13th inning. They were out of position players,  so they would have lost the DH.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

Oh baby. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Special Bonus WPA Graph

Up Next

Hard to believe it, but the regular season is over. The Yankees are off on Thursday in the sense that they don’t have a game to play, but they are holding a workout at Yankee Stadium in the afternoon. The ALDS kicks off on Friday night, when CC Sabathia takes on Justin Verlander and the rest of the Tigers in Game One.

Categories : Game Stories

150 Comments»

  1. Cy Pettitte says:

    I’d just like to say, I’ve literally lost all respect I had for Adrian Gonzalez. I can’t believe his post game comments. just appalling.

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/09/ad.....major.html

    • Rey22 says:

      Wow, very weak comments. Cause the Red Sox were the only team that had to deal with injuries this year. The Cardinals even lost their freakin ace in Wainwright and still found a way.

    • NHYankeesFan says:

      I didnt realize God wanted the Red Sox to miss the playoffs so much

    • mbonzo says:

      Not that bad, he’s just cocky and said the team should have won but ran in to injuries. Thats an ongoing bullet point for every Red Sox losing team. I brought it up last year, people said Francona should have won the manager of the year with all the injuries, if 2010 or 2011 happened in New York and the team blamed it on injuries, Girardi would be out of here. 2007 was a product of injuries for New York, and beloved Torre didn’t have writers pleading to give him manager of the year. Yankees are held up to another standard, and you wouldn’t find a player caught dead blaming a loss on injuries.

    • Kiersten says:

      “Ayala was getting squeezed.”

      Wow. Really? That’s weak. Not to mention, I don’t know, weren’t you playing a game while Ayala was pitching?

    • Kiersten says:

      I’m also quite a fan of the fact that when I opened that page, a giant ad for the postseason played for 15 seconds.

  2. dkidd says:

    baseball to every other sport:

    how’s my ass taste?

  3. Jerome S says:

    Oh.
    My God.

    Highlight of my 15-year-old life.

  4. Rey22 says:

    Seriously. Impossibly amazing final day of the 2011 baseball season. My mind is absolutely blown, we might never see such a perfect storm of games again.

    As a side note, none of this would have been nearly as interesting with an extra wild card spot. Something to think about.

  5. Ivan says:

    Wow one of the best days in baseball history in a long time….just amazing.

    Oh by the way..LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO @ RED SUX BITCHES!!!!!!!!!

    • Guest says:

      I won’t repeat what I said in a previous thread, except to say that this was not one of the best regular season nights in baseball history, it was THE best regular season.

  6. bexarama says:

    Yankees get swept, hit into a triple play last night, blew a 7-0 lead tonight…

    and I’m fucking ecstatic. God I love baseball.

  7. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    those are the 2 WPA graphs of the century right there.

  8. Buck Foston says:

    I think the BaseballProspectus supercomputer might actually shed a tear when it’s forced to update the playoff odds.

    Damn thing has had a bigger lovefest w/the Sox all season long than even Gammons.

  9. whozat says:

    AND the Braves played an extra-innings game with their season on the line AT THE SAME TIME AS ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING!

    Better add a second wild card to get some late-season drama going, huh? This week was BOOOORRRRRIIIIIINNNGGGG

    • Graig not Craig says:

      While it will be tough to match the excitement of tonight any year in the future, don’t you think it is possible there will still be drama leading up to the 4 MLB wildcard slots? It could still come down to the last day of the season to determine who gets the wildcard slots.

      • whozat says:

        Then what problem are we fixing by adding them? Clearly the problem is not that there’s no drama in the last weeks of the season. What’s the problem, then, that necessitates this shakeup, and moving the Astros to the AL and playing an interleague game every night?

        • mustang says:

          The problem that the division titles have almost become meaningless because its so at par with the wild card. For some of us traditionalists who come from an era where the division titles meant everything that’s a big problem.

          • mustang says:

            And why leave it to there being a chance of having drama when they can have automatic drama built in every year.

            • There is no automatic drama built in in any system. If there were only 1 spot in each league, the race would have been over last week. 2 would have been exciting, and 5 would have been boring.

              Just gotta stick with a system, some years it’ll be exciting, some years it won’t. If we change it based on each year’s race, we’ll change it every year.

            • whozat says:

              Manufactured drama isn’t drama. It’s lame. There’ll be years where the 2 wildcard teams are separated by several games, and have already played each other 19 times during the season.

              And this notion that winning the division doesn’t mean anything is stupid. The Yanks and Phils won their divisions and had the luxury of not having to care about all the drama for the last week. The Giants were in a three team dogfight for two spots on the last game of last season when they won the division last year. Were they not playing hard?

              • mustang says:

                “Manufactured drama isn’t drama. It’s lame.”

                If they had the extra WC in 2008 there would have been a sudden death game between the Sox and Yanks in Fenway. Yep, that sounds real lame to me.

                “The Yanks and Phils won their divisions and had the luxury of not having to care about all the drama for the last week”

                And now the only “luxury” they have is 1 extra game of home field advantage.

  10. Guest says:

    Mike, you killed it in your recap. Perfectly said. Well played, good sir.

  11. Karl Krawfid says:

    espn picking Detroit and Texas.

    Get ready for a Yankee/Tampa ALCS.

  12. Jesus Freak says:

    Karl Ravech is complaining the Yanks didn’t help out Boston.

    • Karl Krawfid says:

      Sox didn’t help themselves.

    • Cy Pettitte says:

      that’s the kind of stuff that makes you wanna throw your TV out the window. I mean do these idiots even realize what they’re saying? The Sox could have gone .500 in September and taken the WC easily. Suggesting the Yankees have to help them out by unloading their bullpen in a meaningless game for them is just insane. NESPN at it’s finest.

    • Ivan says:

      Expect a couple of those. Like seriously for anybody to blame the Yankees for another team’s mishaps is just plain ridiculous. But then again its cool to say shit about the Yankees so oh well.

    • Now Batting says:

      Didn’t help out? They let Austin freaking Romine bat in the bottom of the 9th bases loaded two out tie game with Arod and Jeter on the bench!

      • Xstar7 says:

        In a game that meant absolutely nothing to the Yankees where they were trying to rest their regulars for the playoffs. It’s not the Yankees fault that the Red Sox went 7-20 in September.

    • RollingWave says:

      THey didn’t? who was the team that help Boston end their 0 for xx streak to start the season?

  13. Jesus Freak says:

    Headline in tomorrow’s Boston Hearld: “Choke’s On Us”

    HA!

  14. Eirias says:

    I’m not much for visiting other team’s sites to drink in the schadenfreude but Over the Monster is just delightful right now.

    I feel like Cartman:

    Yes! Yesss! Oh, let me taste your tears, OtM!
    Mm, your tears are so yummy and sweet!
    Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! My-yummy!

  15. NHYankeesFan says:

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com.....yoffs.html This might just be the greatest chart in history

    • Jesse says:

      Thanks for sharing. I may use that for the blog I write for.

      I’m also going to heavily criticize that NESN piece for my blog. I’ve been waiting since January to do that and the day has finally come.

  16. Jesse says:

    This is soo priceless. To me, this tops 2004. I don’t care. That Yankee team in ’04 could at least make it to the ALCS, let alone make the playoffs for Pete sakes. Boston is the “City of Championships”. But look at their recent chokes. 18-1 choke by the Pats in ’07, Bruins 3-0 choke against the Flyers (yes I know they won the Cup the following year) the Celtics choking a 3-2 lead in the Finals against the Lakers after choking a 3-2 lead against the Magic the year before. And now this, the only team in MLB history to choke a 9 game September lead. The team that was supposed to unseat the ’27 Yanks as the greatest team ever. The team that was picked by EVERYONE to win the AL East, and picked by most of those “experts” to win the whole fucking thing. I love it how the Sux fans are now on the Detroit bandwagon. The more I hear “Go Tigers!” from Red Sox fans the more I laugh. I remember 2004 like it was yesterday, and it’s still a bitch. Although I was 10 at the time I skipped my Karate lession to watch game 7. Worst night as a baseball fan ever. And to me this trumps 2004. I jumped out of my seat for joy when Andino’s hit fell inches in front of Crawford and when Longoria’s homer creeped over the left field wall. And I’m soo happy Jonathan Papelbitch was one strike away from sealing the deal but epically failed. Two out double, two out double, and RBI hit. Amazing. You know, this was his first real blown save. His other two came when he had to get out of Bard’s jam in the 8th inning earlier in the year. Greatest day in regular season baseball histroy? Greatest day in regular season baseball history.

  17. Greg says:

    Jim Caple tweeted this:

    Cap off to Showalter’s last place Orioles. Went 13-7 against Yanks, Sox, Rays, Angels &Tigers since Sept. 7. O’s deserve playoff share

  18. Darren says:

    Sorry to repeat myself, but do you think if Tampa was out of it and the game had no implications on any other team, Girardi would have pulled Proctor for a non-pitcher after two innings/45 pitches or so, instead of hanging him to out to dry and risk even more damage to his arm?

    If so, the argument can easily be made that Girardi went above and beyond what was necessary to protect the integrity of the game. You can’t blame him for dicking around with relievers or pulling starters with a 7-0 lead and Game 1 on Friday. True Sox fans will admit the Yankees are 100% blameless for their epic collapse.

    I mean, except for NY kicking ass and clinching the division with a week to go, of course.

    • Greg says:

      Red sox fans should be thinking that it should have never come down to this point.

    • Graig not Craig says:

      Sox fans blame the Yankees for everything negative that happens in the world. Your Proctor point makes perfect sense to me, but don’t expect them to follow your logic.

    • BK2ATL says:

      Scott Proctor just did exactly what he was brought here to do, eat innings. There was no other pitcher going out there, except maybe Noesi. All Proctor did tonight was earn his paycheck. He pitched much better than anyone, including me, would have guessed. Plus, I’m pretty sure that was his last inning, either way.

      Soriano, Robertson, and Mariano were never going to pitch in this game. Period.

      Girardi and Cashman used this game to reward the youngsters and get some work in for Hughes and Burnett. They also used this game to get the regulars some real reps vs. an ace, prior to Friday. All of the 7-0 lead occurred under those circumstances.

      The B team, led by Logan, Ayala and Wade were jusr getting in work prior to Friday. There was no intention of pretending to win this game. It was like a spring training game.

      While I don’t feel great about headed into the postseason with a 4 game losing streak, you could clearly see that the Yankees had accomplished all they wanted to in this game, and didn’t really care about the score.

      I think we’re lined up and rested up for Friday. Mission accomplished.

      • Kiersten says:

        I was a little annoyed because that is a shitty way to head into the playoffs, but if this was a real game, Ayala would never have had the chance to blow it because Robertson or Soriano would have been in, and Mo would have been in in the 9th. Plus, they killed one of the best pitchers in the American League while a bunch of September call-ups held a playoff team scoreless for 7 innings.

      • MikeD says:

        Normally I wouldn’t want the Yankees to go into the postseason on a four-game losing streak, but it really doesn’t matter. It won’t be a thought in my mind come Friday, nor will it be a thought in the Yankees’ collective mind either.

        The Yankees haven’t tried to win a single game with 100% effort since they secured a spot in the postseason. Not only were they not movitvated to win, they actually were motivated NOT to win. The Yankee players, too, enjoyed the collapse of their rival, even if they never admit it.

  19. Jesus Freak says:

    Papelbom said in the locker room, the historic collapse will only make them stronger in the future.

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Paps.

    • Chen Meng Wang says:

      I don’t think he’s even going to be there next season. I mean I can think of a couple of teams that would love to have him, and if I were him I’d still be kind of upset that they offered another closer money while I was still under contract(granted it was Mo, but still).

      • Jesse says:

        I really hope this is the start of a Boston downfall. Yes it’s very unlikely, but I can dream right? But if they don’t re-sign Papelbon they’re screwed. He had a great year this year, and who knows if Bard can handle the 9th inning. Let’s be honest, after Papelbon and Bard, the Sox don’t have much. Yes they have Aceves, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up getting Phil Hughes’d if you know what I mean. And he’s more important to them as a swing man who can start, or relieve for multiple innings rather than exclusively being the setup man.

  20. Kevin says:

    Let’s be honest here..if Girardi had wanted to win this game… RObertson and Mo would have been on the mound for the 8th and 9th.

  21. Jesse says:

    Fun facts:

    The Red Sox haven’t won a single playoff game since 2008. The Yankees have won 16 playoff games and a World Series since Boston’s last playoff win.

    The Red Sox haven’t won a playoff series since the 2008 ALDS against the Angels

    The Red Sox haven’t made the playoffs since 2009.

  22. MikeD says:

    I’m in my 40′s, and I’ve seen a lot of amazing and incredible baseball over the years, some involving the Yankees, some not. Tonight in it’s own flavor was as good as it comes.

    I went to see MoneyBall, because I had committed to see the movie on this specific night after the Yankees had locked up their postseason last week. I really wanted to watch tonight unfold, but decided it really didn’t matter. The games would still be ongoing once the movie was over. I was right.

    I really enjoyed MoneyBall, and then went off to a bar with my date and to meet some friends and then had the joy of sitting in front of a number of big-screen TVs, three directly in front of me that were showing the Yankee game, the Red Sox game, and the Atlanta game.

    The next two hours were simply put, baseball nirvana. As good as it comes.

  23. Mariano's Pimp Hand says:

    I gotta add that as a Yankee fan living in New England it is great spending the games online with all the great Yankee fans on this site.

    I don’t post a lot since I work nights but I enjoy all the articles and comments. It’s been a great year, 11 more wins to get!

  24. Kiersten says:

    Major round of applause for Brian Cashman. Yes, the Red Sox had injuries, but every team has injuries. Injuries didn’t kill them, lack of depth did.

    The Yankees played without A-Rod for half the season, lost who was supposed to be their number 2 starter for half a season, lost Colon and Garcia for weeks, but they never broke a sweat.

    • Mariano's Pimp Hand says:

      Plus Jeter missed a month, Soriano missed time and Feliciano didn’t throw one pitch for them.

      • Jesse says:

        Neither did Marte, Joba had Tommy John, the list goes on and on. Anyone who blames injuries for the Red Sox failures shouldn’t be allowed to watch baseball.

        • MikeD says:

          They were hit by injuries, but if Lester and Beckett do their job, and their offense does its job, they win easily.

          They collapsed. Period.

    • bexarama says:

      Look at the freaking Cardinals. That team was borderline devastated at times. Yes, yes, NL Central vs. AL East, but they still made it – after being behind the team they beat out by 10.5 games in late August.

    • MikeD says:

      Cashman gave the Yankees depth. Garcia and Colon (and Nova) all could have collapsed at the start, and he would have had a fleet of young arms to call on. Same thing could have happened late in the season. He ensured the Yankees had reinforcements if something bad happened. Boy Genius Theo can learn a thing or two from Cash, and I’m sure he will. Cash has learned himself and it’s clear he understands the importance of depth. It doesn’t grab the headlines, but it helps teams win championships.

  25. Jesus Freak says:

    15 years from now, when Ken Burns files his next volume on baseball history, tonight will be the centerpiece.

  26. fin says:

    They gota fire tito right? I mean someone has to be held accountable. Cant fire the team. Coaches will have to do. I’m pretty damn sure if they yankees collapsed in a similar fashion as the Sox, he would be fired before he left the ball park.

    • fin says:

      Bah watching sports center highlights of todays games…obviously i was reffering to Girardi.

    • FachoinaNYY says:

      I hope the RS make a bunch of Rash decisions like this. I personally think firing Francona would be a terrible move for them, so I hope they do it!

      Blow it up RS!

  27. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    thought this was pretty cool: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_.....sday-games

  28. Karl Krawfid says:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/b....._collapse/

    This goes right up there with Denny Galehouse, Bucky Dent, Mookie Wilson, and Aaron Boone (who visited the Sox dugout before the game – how’s that for an omen?)

    Ouch.

  29. aRX says:

    And to think, I was worried the end of the season was going to be boring!

    Gotta say though, I’m a bit disappointed that yet again, despite the stars aligning to give us two wild card ties on the final day, yet another year without a game 163 :/ Oh well, I shouldn’t be greedy, one epic historic night of baseball is enough :D

  30. MikeD says:

    One more item to add in this night.

    I’ve been a Yankee fan since Billy Martin. I was never a huge fan of Martin as a kid, although I was always the first to admit that more than any other Yankee manager I’ve watched, he had the ability to win games. I do believe Billy Martin actually added wins to the team, and there are very few managers I would say that about. One of the other managers I would say that about is Buck Showalter. As bad as the Orioles are, I do believe he helped them win another four or five, maybe even six games more than they would have if they had another manager. There are very few managers I can say that about. Martin is one of them. Showalter is another.

    Tonight would not have happened if not for Buck Showalter. I can’t prove it. I’m a sabermetic person going back to my first Bill James Abstract in the the early 80s, so I generally dismiss statements such as the one I’m making here, yet I’m sure of what I’m saying. Showalter makes a difference more than most other managers. In my more than 35-years of being a Yankee fan, Showalter is my favorite manager because he never ever gives up. That seems to annoy some people here when the Yankees play the Orioles, yet it’s the reason I like Showalter.

    Thanks, Buck.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Agreed. He did it last year too. I was at a game at Camden in early Sept. Andy’s comeback/return game. The O’s beat Mariano and played like the 7th game of the WS when they were, as usual, 30 games out.

      Buck predicted the Rays would get in!

  31. Karl Krawfid says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V8m8OiXcuE

    Has to be posted again

    Goodnight!

    • JAG says:

      To be fair, if winning that game had mattered to the Yankees, the Rays in all likelihood would not have come back against Robertson and Rivera. So Shaughnessy was right…in the alternate universe where the Yankees do everything they can to help the Red Sox.

  32. JAG says:

    It’s nights like tonight that make me wish the Rays played in the NL East instead of the AL East, because I’d love to root for them all the time. They’re such an enjoyable team to watch, and they’re so good. They’re like the Rockies plus pitching (…).

    Thanks Yankees for clinching everything last week so I could root for the Rays to crush the Red Sox dreams without guilt.

  33. Bavarian Yankee says:

    BEST LOSS EVVVVER :D

    goodbye Roid Sox, nobody will miss you :D

    Luis Ayala, man of the match :D

    btw: strange feeling to root AGAINST the Yankees these last days.

  34. Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan says:

    Maybe the most exciting hour in baseball I’ve ever seen?

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I FUCKING HATE THE RED SOX!!!!!!!!!! If the Yanks go all the way this will be the perfect season.

  35. Jimmy says:

    It will still take about 84 years of this stuff to make up for 2004, but its a great start.

  36. Sal says:

    Since this series was meaningless. I hate to admit it, I was rooting for the Rays and Orioles.

    check this out!!!

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/01/20.....story.html

  37. Sal says:

    Sox article about from January comparing them to the 1927 Yankees.

    A must read…..

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/01/20.....story.html

  38. Monteroisdinero says:

    So if we lose to the Tigers-is the “EPIC COLLAPSE” the salve that soothes all wounds?

  39. mustang says:

    After all this madness I’m wondering what Carl Crawford is thinking. Leaving the Rays for the big money in Boston only to end up on the bad end of baseball history.

  40. John says:

    Way to redeem yourself.

    http://www.nesn.com/2011/09/20.....story.html

    Haha. LOL Eric Ortiz

    • John says:

      FYI this is not the article from last January that keeps getting posted. This is today’s column.

    • mustang says:

      Wow this guy has no idea.

      How does this: “Their 2-10 start to the season”

      Be a warning sign to this: “Losing 20 of 27 games in September.”

      When in-between they did this: “They went 81-42″

      Well I guess you can expect it that from a guy who wrote this:

      “In January, I predicted that the 2011 Red Sox could be the next 1927 Yankees.”

    • aRX says:

      Well, at least the guy came right up and referenced that godawful piece and admitted how wrong he was (even if he did minimize things a bit). Better than ESPN, where the so-called “experts” ALL predicted the Sox to win the division…and have now reduced the choke to a footnote while celebrating the Rays (while affording the Braves no such consideration).

      • Yeah, as ridiculous as that article was, at least he’s owning up to it. Plenty of prognosticators conveniently forget their idiotic predictions once they’re wrong.

        Still though. If that article wasn’t the epitome of hyperbole, I don’t know what is.

    • TopChuckie says:

      That article should have concluded with, “This obviously was not my calling. I pledge to do the right thing and never write another article again.”

  41. MUIDATS EEKNAY says:

    I like how the current narrative, from the ESPN front page anyway, is “Tampa stages huge comeback to get into postseaon!” and “Braves have most epic of all epic collapses to blow wild card!” All the while, the Red Sox are objectively the bigger losers here, having a bigger wild card lead than the Braves (9 vs. 8.5) and a worse September record (7-20 vs 9-18).

  42. lance says:

    The Sox blew their chances historically, but it feels weird that we played so badly for three games. Nobody hit- nobody but Cano. A-Rod looks lost. Another rook/irregular is spaced. Logan can’t get anyone out, and last night he managed to injure two guys, one ours on one pitch. I don’t feel real good right now.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Why so serious?

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      It was basically a ST game. If ARod can start hitting like he did in ST it would be great.

      Can’t blame Boone for the freakish Montero injury. His right hand should have been back behind his body.

      Golson awful in getting picked off 3rd on a grounder to third with no outs. Must get into a rundown there at least.

      This is the first and only time I will criticize Golson and Montero In the same comment!

      Dan Johnson? really? 1 HR and batting .108? with 2 strikes? wow

      I would die if I was a red Sox fan right now. The Curse of the Andino!

      Oh and Carl Crawful choked on that line drive just like he choked on a shallow flyball in YS last week.

      • Anchen says:

        Yeah I was really annoyed by the Golson out. The guy is fast but this isn’t the first time I have seen poor baserunning instincts from him.

        Carl Crawford didn’t choke =) He was clutch for his team. Don’t be fooled by who is paying him for who he plays for =)

  43. Mariano's Pimp Hand says:

    I wonder if the Os had been playing the Rays and the Yanks had been playing the Red Sawks would SoRoMo have pitched?

  44. virginia yankee says:

    As a Yankee FAN a sports FAN we have to be appalled at GIRARDI’ total lack of sportsmanship — in a game of critical importance to two competitors (and yeah I do Hate the SAWX) he all but threw this game 7th inning on. The A offense did its job providing what should have been a fair and insurmountable lead off Price no less, getting the regulars out to play a Triple A team OK – but then the onus was on pitching properly – quick hooks for guys issuing walks like free donuts, and hitting guys exhibiting no control.

    At one point I thought HE has CREATED a WS atmosphere here GREAT for the guys to experience it BUT his obligation was to WIN the game — and he AGAIN FAILED TO MANAGE

    I would fire him for ineptness and total lack of sportsmanship.

    If we face the Rays in the ALCS and they play with the kind of LAST STRIKE SURVIVAL CONFIDENCE that has carried other teams we will pay the ultimate price

    • No. To all of this. No.

      I don’t know how strongly I can say no to this opinion. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

      Plus, who were the two relievers that blew the game? Logan & Ayala, who had been on our roster all year. And the HR was given up by Wade, another mainstay. Not pitchers who we’d normally have in the 8th and 9th, but not scrubs.

      Girardi’s job was to get our team in a position to be healthy and rested on Friday. That’s it. Nothing further than that. This game didn’t matter, whatsoever, to one of the teams on the field last night.

      What did you want him to do? Burn So/Ro/Mo? Take Proctor out? Go throw the actual pitches? Good Lord. Girardi can’t do anything right in some people’s eyes.

      Also: Last Strike Survival Confidence is not a thing. If it were, then the O’s apparently have it, and it didn’t help them win more than 69 games this year, so it can’t be very meaningful.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        Gotta give some credit to the Rays and O’s. They still have to execute. Dan Johnson could have hit a bullet line drive right at a fielder to end the game. It was just an amazing night and although losing always hurts, last night was as little a hurt as possible.

        • Anchen says:

          Yeah Buck and the O’s really played out the end of the season hard. I’ll be watching how they do next year, I kinda feel they may not be cellar dwellers for too much longer. Robert Andino is probably going down among Boone and Dent in boston soon.

        • Sure, all the credit in the world to those guys. Last night was the best night of regular season baseball I can ever remember. I’m just saying it’s ridiculous to blame Girardi, of all people, for losing a game that was meaningless to the Yanks.

      • Erica says:

        This. So much of this.

        The game wasn’t important. Rest was important. Girardi made it clear he wasn’t using his big gun relievers/closer in this game.

        Ohhhhhh, people.

    • Anchen says:

      No issues here. Are you going to blame the Phillies too who did some dance of pitchers early on? That didn’t start Victorino and took Howard out? Are we supposed to get 2 or 3 pitchers up because we expect Boone to suck? And then expect Ayala to suck? You can ‘blame’ him for leaving Ayala in I guess and not using his top 3 relievers, even though he already laid out his plan with them on Tuesday. You can’t blame him for Proctor as getting all the kids in burned out just about every pitcher the Yankees had. Other than a starter the only person who might have pitched that hadn’t was Noesi. It was Proctor’s game at that point. I had no issues with it as a Yankees and sports FAN (caps are AWESOME).

    • nsalem says:

      Girardi’s obligation is to rest his regulars and I think he did a great job last night. It was a meaningless game to the Yankees. Your comments are clueless on multiple levels.

    • nsalem says:

      also if the Yankee’s lose to the Rays it will have absolutely nothing to do with what happened last night.

    • bonestock94 says:

      This is so painfully dumb. The Yankees already met all of their obligations for the regular season, their only responsibility yesterday was to keep the guys making the postseason roster well rested and healthy.

  45. Grit for Brains says:

    “This may have been the worse situation I’ve ever been involved in” – Big Papi….You did take steroids…and get caught

  46. JohnC says:

    Amidst all the hysteria over the result, I missed the early part of the game. How did Betances look? I know he only pitched 2 innings.

    • Anchen says:

      Sorta wild, missed his spots a lot I felt, but a lot of the Rays aren’t all that patient and he only gave up 1 walk. Fastball was good but not great, and he didn’t generate many swings and misses from what I remember. I would say overall he didn’t look that great but he pitched a decent amount this year, and may still have nerves/rust.

    • FachoinaNYY says:

      You and nervous with some flashes of his talent, at least IMO.

    • Darren says:

      He also had a very interesting off speed pitch that he struck out two guys on (I think). I think the announcers called it a slider but it looked like a wacky change, almost El Duque-esque in the motion and movement across the plate.

      I seriously just got chills typing the name El Duque. And there they go again. Duque was one of the best Yankee performers (and I use that word specifically) in the past 15 years. If Betances can even come close to Duque, that would be amazing and delightful and a huge achievement.

  47. Crime Dog says:

    I find it hard to feel bad for a Major League pitcher but, man, Proctor has it kind of rough. I really hope he gets one more chance with another team at some point, he could probably still cut it as a 12th man on a poor staff. He was bringing it at 95 last night which seemed bizarre to me

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