Scherzer shuts Yanks down to even up ALDS

Open Thread: A Look Back At 2011
Fan Confidence Poll: October 3rd, 2011

The best-of-five is now a best-of-three, and the Tigers have homefield advantage. The Yankees late rally came up short in Game Two on Sunday, but that’s better than going down without a fight (O’Neill Theory!). The 5-3 loss sends these two teams to Detroit with the series tied at one.

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)mmm

The Ninth Inning

We’ll start at the end of the game, because that’s really the only part of the game that got Yankees fans off their feet. Down 5-1 to start the frame, Nick Swisher hit a solo homer on Jose Valverde’s very first pitch. Pretty good start. Jorge Posada worked the count full then hit a triple (!!!) to almost dead center. It was a legit triple too, over the head of Austin Jackson and off the wall. No one fell down, nothing like that. The Yankees had one run in with a man on third with no outs already, so they were definitely in business.

Russell Martin came to the plate, and his at-bat really defined the Yankees brand of offense. Martin saw eight pitches total, including a) two fouls on tough fastballs just off the outside corner, and b) a take of a similar pitch for a ball to put men on the corners with none out after the walk. You can point to his batting average all you want, but at-bats like that are part of makes him so valuable. Martin stood his ground and fought off tough pitcher’s pitchers until he got something to hit. When he didn’t get something to hit, he took his base and brought the tying run to the plate. Just a monster at-bat, I can’t say enough about it.

That brought Andruw Jones to the plate, who took over in left after Eric Chavez pinch-hit for Brett Gardner earlier in the game. We’ll talk more about that decision later on, don’t worry. A fastball hitter against a fastball pitcher, Andrew ripped a line drove to right that Don Kelly caught for the first out. Very hard hit ball, just not in the right spot. Posada scored to make it a 5-3 game, but there was one out. The second out came one batter later, when Jeter swung through an inside fastball for strike three. The Cap’n also ended the fifth and seventh innings, both times with two men on base.

The Yankees were down to two outs, but they had the right guy at the plate. Curtis Granderson crushes fastballs and hit the second most homers in all of baseball this year, and one swing of the bat could have tied the game. He got ahead in the count 2-0, but fouled the third pitch back. Alex Avila should have made the catch near the Tigers dugout, but he slipped on the Yankees logo in the on-deck circle and the ball fell harmlessly. It was a huge break, giving the Yankees more life when they had no business having it. Three pitches later, Granderson was on first base via a walk, representing the tying run. That brought Robinson Cano to the plate, who is exactly who we all wanted to see up in that spot.

Already 29 pitches into what was supposed to be an easy outing, Valverde was one mistake away from losing the game. He went after Cano with the hard stuff, and Robinson was pretty late on a few of them. The first pitch was a called strike and it might have been his best one to hit, the next three fouled off. With the rain starting to come down, Valverde went to the splitter and got Cano to ground out weakly to second. Inning over, game over. The Yankees fought hard to put themselves in a position to win, but it wasn’t meant to be. On the bright side, Valverde had to throw 34 high stress pitches, which could have an impact in the next game or even the one after that.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Freddy Sez: Why Am I Pitching To Miggy?

Freddy Garcia’s afternoon didn’t start all that well, but there’s really no shame in giving up a two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera. He’s one of the best hitters in the world, and it was a bit of a Yankee Stadium special to boot. Bad job letting Magglio Ordonez (3-for-3 in the game, really?) be on base when Miggy did his thing. It was a bad start, but that’s all it was. Garcia retired 13 of the next 14 men he faced, taking the ball into the sixth inning without breaking a sweat. Okay, that last part probably isn’t true. I’m sure Sweaty Freddy was sweating.

Anyway, things unraveled in that sixth inning, all thanks to an error by Jeter. Austin Jackson hit a grounder to short, but the throw was in the dirt and Mark Teixeira was unable to make the scoop. The leadoff man was on and the heart of the order was looming, but the bullpen was not yet doing anything. Ordonez picked up his third hit after that, putting men on the corners with none out. Now it was a real mess, but in stayed Garcia. It was the right move for at least one batter, because Delmon Young struck out to setup a potential rally-ending double play. The problem? Cabrera was due up.

Why Garcia was allowed to pitch to him, I’ll never quite understand. The Walk Bonds Chart says to not walk him in that spot, but if they didn’t want to intentionally load the bases, that’s at least a spot for a strikeout reliever. Instead, Miggy hooked a hanging changeup back up the middle, scoring Jackson from third to increase his team’s lead to three-zip. Still in there, Garcia then allowed a single to Victor Martinez to make it four-zip. That ended his day, and Boone Logan managed to escape the inning with two strikeouts.

In between the first inning homer and the sixth inning, error-induced rally, Freddy pitched really well. Four runs in 5.1 IP doesn’t really do his performance justice; he walked zero and whiffed six guys, getting nine of his remaining eleven outs on the ground. It’s the postseason, I think Joe Girardi should have been a little more liberal with the bullpen in that spot. Freddy gets some applause from me, he gave the Yankees a chance to win.

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Where’s The Offense?

Freddy gave the Yankees a chance to win, but the offense definitely did not. Max Scherzer, he of the 5.23 ERA on the road this season, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Cano broke it up with a bloop single to left with one out. It tied the longest no-hit bid against the Yankees in playoff history, matching the 5.1 IP that Paul Abbot and Norm Charlton held New York hitless in Game Four of the 2001 ALDS. They were late on Scherzer’s fastball and behind on his offspeed pitches, which is why they hit basically nothing hard.

Granderson got them on the board with a solo homer to leadoff the eighth, but it wasn’t until that ninth inning that the Yankees mustered any kind of quality rally. Everything else seemed to die before it even got going. Scherzer was very good (just two hits and four walks in six innings), but the offense didn’t exactly put up much of a fight. After throwing 27 pitches in the first inning, the Tigers’ right-hander needed just 36 over the next three innings.

Girardi’s Decisions

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Lots of talk about two moves made by Girardi in this one. First, he pinch-hit Chavez for Gardner in that seventh inning, only to watch Joaquin Benoit strike him out on three pitches. I liked the move, but apparently I’m in the extreme minority. The Yankees hadn’t put a damn thing together all game, so I figured the change of pace was worth a shot with the most powerless hitter on the team at the plate. I didn’t expect a homer, just something more than Gardner looking at some fastballs down the middle before rolling over for a ground out. Yes, I know Benoit has good numbers against lefties because of his changeup and all that, but we’re talking about one at-bat. The past X number of lefties not getting hits does not make it less likely that Player Y will get a hit next time up.

The second decision was using Luis Ayala in the ninth, which is completely indefensible. I don’t like to talk in absolutes, but this was clearly the wrong move as soon as he jogged out of the bullpen. Ayala was completely ineffective in Game One and also in the final game of the regular season, and sure enough he allowed a run that seems pretty big considering how the ninth inning played out. Girardi talked about being able to use his top relievers for three days in a row before the game, well where were they? He managed that inning like it was some meaningless regular season game, not the playoffs.

No good vibes from Andy's first pitch, unfortunately. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)


It’s pretty obvious that Alex Rodriguez can’t bat cleanup tomorrow. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in this game and is 0-for-8 in the series, and he just hasn’t been right since the knee and thumb problems. Bat Teixeira cleanup, move A-Rod to fifth, that’s it. Otherwise Detroit will pitch around Cano all series and not pay for it. Also, you gotta love the boos coming back. Alex is such an easy target, everyone just piles on and uses him as an outlet for their frustration. Jeter (-.206 WPA, by far the worst in the game) plays a major role in the death of three rallies and commits an error that leads to a multi-run inning, but hey, let’s boo A-Rod!

Ayala was pretty awful, but Logan did his job to escape that sixth inning. He did balk the two runners over before getting his two strikeouts though, a gentle little reminder that it’s never easy with Boone. Cory Wade threw 37 pitches across two scoreless innings to kinda keep things in order. You can argue that someone better, Rafael Soriano or David Robertson maybe, should have been pitching those innings, but I don’t have the energy to argue it anymore.

Granderson, Cano, Swisher, and Posada were the only Yankees with hits. You know what the first three did already, and Jorge added a single back up to the middle to his ninth inning triple. Granderson, Cano, A-Rod, Swisher, Posada, and Martin all drew walks as well, and Russ even took a pitch to the hands to reach base. Jeter, Teixeira, and the Gardner/Chavez/Jones spot did not reach base. Unlike Game One, Cano came to the plate just once with men on base, and that was the game-ending at-bat. In fairness, Granderson did hit a homerun in front of him in one of the four baserunner-less at-bats.

Gardner slid head first into first base (again), so naturally he was out. That’s an epidemic with this team, it goes back to Melky Cabrera, but no one seems to care. The entire organization seems to think that it actually helps you get to the base faster. One of these days someone will break a wrist, maybe even someone important like Martin, and I guess that’s what it’ll take wake everyone up, or least someone with some pull in the organization.

Box Score & WPA Graph has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stuff.

Up Next

Like I said, it’s a best-of-three series now, and both teams have their ace going on Monday. CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander will each make their second start of the series following the Game One rain suspension,  and although it’s not a true “must win” for either team, it sure is a game neither can afford to lose with A.J. Burnett and Rick Porcello lined up for Game Four.

Open Thread: A Look Back At 2011
Fan Confidence Poll: October 3rd, 2011
  • Pat D

    I hate to be negative and/or pessimistic, but I think they lose the series if they lose tomorrow.

    Which will make work even more fun for me tomorrow, dreadng the game all day long and then being distracted by it once it starts.

    Why can’t it be possible to get paid for sitting at home doing nothing?

    • Xstar7

      “I hate to be negative or pessimistic, but I think they lose the series if they lose tomorrow.”

      That’s not really being negative or pessimistic. That’s what pretty much everyone says about game 3’s of best of 5 series which are knotted at a game apiece.

      • Pat D

        Well, yea, it is, because it’s showing that I have no faith in Burnett (only a very tiny bit) and I think that they suck in Comerica (22-27 all time, including 2006 ALDS).

        • Xstar7

          Oh, I forgot about AJ for a second. Yeah I’m about 0.0000000009% confident in AJ for Tuesday. So if they win tomorrow then this series is probably going to go five games. And if they lose tomorrow, das it.

  • Brian S.

    Mark Teixeira is even worse than A-Rod. Switching them in the lineup won’t make any difference IMO.

    • Tackaberry

      What if they went


      Tex isn’t playing much better than A-Rod, but Grandy is a guy you wouldn’t want to face with the year he is having. Thus, Cano might actually see some stuff to hit. It will never happen, but I think it probably should.

      • Pat D

        Mixing up the line up that much is asking for trouble and a boatload of second-guessing.

        It also smacks of desperation.

      • The Mick

        The way Posada is hitting maybe they should bat him behind Cano.

      • Brian S.

        The batting order isn’t going to be the reason we win or lose. We have a great offense with a lot of depth that can score in any inning. Moving some players up or down a spot won’t change that.

        • Avi

          I actually think Arod’s swing looks pretty good. He’s been getting himself out by swinging at pitches out of the zone in hitters counts nonetheless (which might indicate he’s pressing – nothing new for Arod). When he swings at strikes he has hit the ball pretty hard.
          No way I would bat off the Mark Teixeira ahead of him.

          • dalelama

            Where do you score you acid?

    • David K.

      You mean Teixeira is much much worse than A-Rod. When does Teixeira ever get a clutch hit, I mean one that is meaningful in a big game?

  • The Mick

    According to all the articles on ESPN and MLB, the Tigers have already won the series. So why are we going to Detroit?

  • ED

    Could someone explain what the O’Neill Theory is?

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I think it’s scoring runs in the late innings of a blowout and creating momentum for the next day.

    • Ivan

      The O’Neil Theory is that when a team scores a couple runs in the 9th inning, the next game chances are that the team will score alot of runs.

      • David N

        Witness the Tigers from last night to today (even though they didn’t score that many runs).

        Biggest positive I take away from today on offense is that we can get to Valverde. And not just knowing that someone can run into one and hit one out, but that we can have quality at bats, running his pitch count up and waiting for him to make a mistake. The guy is a headcase – I have a feeling that sooner or later in this series, he will have a meltdown. The trick is not to let him get his outs and walk off the field before he does so.

  • Tipsie

    I don’t have a problem with the Chavez thing, though it would have been cool to see Montero bat for Gardner (impossible, I know, as Girardi would lose his backup catcher).

    I do have a problem with leaving Garcia in to face Cabrera in the sixth. Robertson has had a ridiculous ability to wiggle out of exactly those kind of jams. If he hits a 3 run HR off of Robertson, I can live with it. Going down with your best.

    The Ayala thing made me want to jump. The appropriate choices there: Soriano or Robertson, then Hughes. Ayala is the last choice. Why save arms for situations that may never arise? Girardi became Torre there.

    Why did I have a feeling that Scherzer would pull a Morrow on us?

    • David N

      You can’t bring in Robertson in the sixth – that’s at least an inning too early!


  • The Humungus

    I guess it was obvious that Coffee Joe wasn’t going to go to SoRoMo in the 9th, but what about Phil Hughes?

    Isn’t he on this team?

  • Mike Lynch

    If we lose tomorrow, we have to start Nova on 3 days rest, no?

    • Brian S.

      No. AJ Burnett and his 3.85 xFIP in a large ballpark. He can do it.

      • Avi

        This sudden belief in Burnett after two years of utter sucktitude. Are you guys high?

        • Jesse

          No. Why can’t he pitch well? He pitched well in a few starts in September. All the Yanks need is one good start out of him to advance.

          • Avi

            Anyone can have one good start. He’s more likely to have a poor start though. To believe otherwise is just ignorant.

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

              Max Scherzer was more likely to have a poor start today and look how that turned out. I don’t like AJ starting, but it’s not the auto-loss many people are saying it is.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                Do people even look at stats here anymore?

                • TomH

                  The manager should, maybe, just be replaced by a statistician?

                • Sayid J.

                  Yea, do they even look at the stats!? If they did, they’d see that Porcello had a 4.75 ERA while pitching in the AL Central

            • Jesse

              Second what Freddy Garcia’s 86 MPH Heat said.

        • Brian S.

          AJ gets lots of strikeouts and grounders. I also think that Comerica might help mask his career high 17% HR/FB rate. Plus we are facing Porcello who is not all that good yet (only 23 so he could be a stud soon).

      • JobaWockeeZ

        That figure makes AJ have a league average home run rate. He’s done that like once in the AL.

        • JimIsBored (Jim S)

          Sure, but this year’s has been un-sustainably high.

          He’s definitely not incredibly likely to have a fantastic start, but as long as our offense shows up, we don’t need him to be Cy Young. 6 ip, 3/4 runs would be OK with me. And if we can’t score 3-4 off of Porcello, well then, we deserve what’s coming to us.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      not sure if Nova on short rest is any better than AJ. And that would only make AJ start game 5 against Fister.

    • mt

      Game 4 for Nova would be two days rest so no.

  • Jesus Freak

    I blame Pettite.

    If he didn’t quit, he or SuperNova would have been pitching today.

  • Eduardo

    Tomorrow’s game is HUGE for us. If we lose it means we have to start Aj while down 2-1 in the series. If somehow we win that, we have to start Nova for game 5. Yuck.

    Hell, if we lose tomorrow, use Nova on 2 days rest for a few innings with Phil Hughes out of the bullpen and piece it together that way.

    *********AVOID AJ AT ALL COSTS***********

    • Jesse

      Why is Nova starting game 5 yucky?

  • mt

    Ayala move is frustrating because it was sign that we were not being totally aggressive to try and win game.

    I was thinking same thing about Robertson – walk cabrera and have Robertson try to do Houdini act with a (gimpy) Martinez at plate with attempt at 2 strikeouts or a double play.

    Down 2-0 and being no-hit – you have to go for it. Patch together 7-9 inning with Logan/Soriano/Wade and then Ayala if it gets away from us.

    I just hate that Ordonez, Cabrera and Martinez led to add-on runs when they have been very successful against Garcia in the past (and in the game). He should have shorter leash especially when Robertson and Soriano were well rested.

    We had no right to think that at that point we were going to score more than 2 or so runs so had to put our best shot at clamping down.

  • Mike

    “The past X number of lefties not getting hits does not make it less likely that Player Y will get a hit next time up.”

    It can. Patterns of performance/behavior are not the same as random events like rolling a dice.

  • stuart a

    tex batting 4th.. no thanks. he stinks. he has made zero adjustment and deserves as much venom from the fans as arod probably more. at least arod has a theoretical excuse that he is hurt/banged up yada yada yada.

    pitching ayala just shows how stupid Girardi is. so he wants to save robertson for a higher leverage situation, then pitch soriano… indefensible. girardi manages playoff games like the regular season. he is worried about 4 straight days of playing. if they lose 3 in a row that is untrue they will go home in 2 more days..

    newsflash the hillbilly dope is pitching game 4, that is a big problem.

    texiera has made zero adjustments during theseason.. he has been seduced by homers and his lefty ab’s are generally speaking horrible. the guy is hittin in the 220’s lefty. a pop up to 2nd or 3rd is fairly routine from him….

    russel martins offensive prowess from my perspective is bad… he has very few good ab’s in my opinion. 237 is 237… he is a first pitch hitter and he has a high probability of hitting a grounder to 3b or SS..

    this offense is solo homer happy, beat up on drecks, and get walks…

    this has detroit 2006 written all over it, but hey girardi has the big 3 well rested for the offseason…….indefensible using ayala….he could have used hughes if his 4 run rationale is remotely believable……….

    • JT

      I knew we were going to have these issues with Ayala the moment I saw his name on the postseason roster. Girardi cannot help himself. He’s constantly over thinking the situation.

      Girardi, it’s pretty damn sample. Ayala sucks, so don’t ever use him in a game that matters.

  • Jesus Freak

    Time to fire Girardi and bring in Francona.

    No way Tito doesn’t use DRob in the 9th. He probably walks Cabrera, the same way he walked Montero and Jorge last Sunday night.

    On the down side, everyone would be drinking beer in the clubhouse.

    • David K.

      I’ve been saying all along that Girardi should have been fired after the 2010 season. This guy is a terrible manager. He is just as stupid as Clueless Joe Torre, although he goes about it in a different way.

      • Jesse

        I had Girardi fired in the middle of 2008.

        Do any of you remember when the Yankees had a game in the middle of the year in ’08 when IPK was supposed to start, and they were in Kansas City, and the game was delayed by an hour plus due to rain, but Girardi elected not to start Kennedy because of the long delay, yet he brought him in the middle of the game in relief?

        It was just another one of those Girardi moves where you just scratch your head and wonder, did this guy have too much to drink last night?

      • Pat D

        Yea, that darn Joe Torre. Never did a thing right during his tenure with the Yankees.

        • Curtis

          He inherited a great team. Besides that, he was an awful, awful manager

          • JobaWockeeZ

            So is Girardi.

            • Adam

              Wow, I am glad that I am avoiding the site during game threads…sadly.

          • Thomas Cassidy

            Shut up. I’ll give you Girardi being an idiot, but not Torre.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Re Francona: If Francona was the Yankee manager DRob’s and Soriano’s arms would have fallen off. You saw what he did to Aceves this year. Francona should not be anywhere near the Yankee’s bullpen.

      • Pat D

        Now while I think Francona is being scapegoated in Boston, what exactly makes you think he’d be any better than Girardi? Everyone remembers that Francona had no success with bad Phillies teams, right? It wasn’t like he pulled a Billy Martin and got the most out of a mediocre to bad team or anything.

        • Pat D

          Oops, this was meant in reply to the original post.

    • dalelama

      Let’s start a Hire Terry Now campaign.

  • stuart a

    could not say it any better. girardi basically gave up on the game…disgraceful

    • dalelama

      That article was excellent.

  • Pat D

    I didn’t agree with using Ayala either, but guess what? That’s not why they lost.

    • David N

      It’s not, but the move is indicative of a mentality that you never really need to win a game until you absolutely have to win a game (i.e. an elimination game). That’s fine for a 162 game season with a good baseball team, but it doesn’t work so well in a short series in October.

      The Yankees needed to win this game for two reasons. Reason #1 is that they’re facing Verlander tomorrow. Yes, they’ve got CC going, which evens the odds, but you’re still realistically only talking about a 50/50 shot. Reason #2 is that they’re pitching AJ on Tuesday, and thus you’re looking at a 50% chance that the season is going to be riding on AJ Burnett’s arm. I don’t care who the Tigers throw against him – Porcello, Penny, some AA call-up – that’s not a scenario I want to see if it can be at all avoided. And it could have been avoided had they won today – that would mean a 0% chance of the season riding on AJ, and a worst-case scenario of giving the ball to Ivan Nova at home in Game 5, which you’d have to feel pretty decent about.

      And if you’re only a few runs down late in a game you need to win, you need to send out your A-team to keep it close and give your offense a shot. I’d even give serious consideration to using Mariano there if the Yankees didn’t have someone as reliable as Robertson in the pen (fortunately they do, plus Soriano). If you lose anyway, so be it, you’re still alive to play another day. But at least you gave it your best shot.

      There are very few circumstances where it’s okay to wave the white flag when down by only 3 in a five game series. If it’s Game 3, you’re up 2-0, Verlander is shutting you down, you know you have CC in either Game 4 or Game 5, and your bullpen needs some rest, then I could see it. But not when a loss would leave you tied, you’ve got a rested and deep bullpen, you’re facing the Cy Young winner in the next game, and CC won’t be starting any game after that. That’s just stupid.

      I can deal with stuff like leaving Freddy in too long, or not walking Cabrera in the 6th, because those are errors of too much belief in his pitcher. But I cannot deal with giving up on a playoff game like that (an error of too little belief in your players). To me, that’s almost grounds for firing him if the Yankees don’t make it out of this series.

  • ItsATarp

    Jeter took a huge shit on this game. Hell even the balk was largely his fault for calling Logan to turn to second when Miguel fucking Cabrera was on the bag. At least Arod managed to get on base once and make a few nice defensive plays.

  • Nhat

    Tex needs a day off, Gardner sucks recently, thus Posada should be at 1st, while Jones in the left. I would like to make order like:


    I was mad when seeing Ayala, brackman must be better than him. We had Hughes for that inn.

    • Jesse

      Have you flipped a calender lately? You know it’s October, and not May, right?

    • Curtis


  • Jesse

    I swear, if I hear one more thing about Luis Ayala pitching in the 9th I’ll scream.

    Should Girardi have gone to someone else like Soriano or Robertson? Yes. Ayala did give up one run in the ninth, but the Yankees lost by two so really it doesn’t matter, all it guarantees (pretty much, at least I’d put money on it) that Ayala will not pitch tomorrow.

    I think Garcia was better than what his line says it is. Could he have pitched better? Certainly, but by no means was it his fault on why the Yankees lost. To me it was the offense. Say what you want about Scherzer pitching well in the past against the Yankees, but this is a guy whose sucked on the road and is prone to give up the homer on the road and especially in a ballpark that yields more than it’s fair share of homers. The Yankees shouldn’t be getting two hit by this guy and not scoring a run off him. I really hope the “O’Neill Theory” works tomorrow. The Yanks will need it with the almighty Justin Verlander on the hill.

    • BJK

      Ayala did give up one run in the ninth, but the Yankees lost by two so really it doesn’t matter, all it guarantees (pretty much, at least I’d put money on it) that Ayala will not pitch tomorrow.


      It does matter. Being down 4-3 with 1 out instead of 5-3 changes the complexion of the game and puts even more pressure on Valverde.


      David Robertson: 0
      Rafael Soriano: 0
      Phil Hughes: 0
      Luis Ayala: 2

      That’s troubling. Ayala arguably shouldn’t even be on the roster.

      • Jesse

        How do you know that the Yankees would even score two runs in the ninth to begin with if it was still 4-1? You know, Valverde has been much better this season in save situations compared to non situations. It’s certainly not a guarantee that the Yankees would score two runs if it was a save opp.

        • BJK

          Of course there is no guarantee.

          Look, the manager doesn’t throw the ball or swing the bat. All a manager can do is put his team in the best possible position to try and win the game.

          You think having Ayala on the mound does that? What kind of message does having the 11th pitcher on the depth chart on the mound in that situation send the team?

          • Jesse

            What makes you think I wanted Ayala out there? You quoted about some of the things I said, but I’m not sure if you saw this: “Should Girardi have gone to someone else like Soriano or Robertson? Yes.”

            Believe me, I wanted Robertson or Soriano, or even Hughes for that matter, instead of Ayala. But to think that this is the main reason why the Yankees lost is preposterous. The Yankees should of had a much better showing on offense against a guy in Scherzer who is terrible on the road and is prone to the homer especially in YS3.

            • BJK

              I’m just trying to explain why it mattered. It’s a big deal that Girardi went with Ayala there.

              I totally agree that a better showing from the offense would make all of this moot. But when the offense doesn’t show up, especially in an important game like this, the manager has to give the offense every opportunity to get going.

              Girardi made a bad situation worse. That’s why everyone is up in arms about it. He can’t swing the bats for his players- all he can do is put them in the best position possible to succeed. He failed to do that.

              • Jesse

                Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me it’s not as a big of a deal as people say it is. Just my opinion though.

              • Guns of the Navarone

                I totally agree with you, BJK. You’re right on the money.

                Joe Girardi managed the game expecting to lose. That’s not the way to manage a playoff game. You do anything it takes to win THAT game. There’s no long-term outlook to think about anymore.

                People here are defending his moves by pointing out whether or not it worked. Whether something he did “worked” or “didn’t work” is completely irrelevant. All a manger can do is make the right decisions and set up the pieces. Then it’s up to the players to do the job. Girardi made a TERRIBLE decision. It doesn’t matter if it ended up costing them the game or not.

  • Avi

    Anyone notice Scherzer has one blue eye and one brown eye?

    • Monteroisdinero

      It’s been noted during the season. Heterochromia is the term.

  • dkidd

    i’m generally a girardi supporter but bringing in ayala was just awful. classic over thinking.

    it’s the post-season. it’s a five game series. play to win every game

    /torre wearing shades and sitting motionlessly as 2006 slips away’d

  • forensic

    You’re surprised Ordonez was 3-3??? That was as predictable as Cabrera doing big damage. They’ve both owned Garcia in their careers, which is precisely why Garcia shouldn’t have been allowed to even start the 6th inning.

  • Jesse
  • Tyrion Lannister

    If CC doesn’t win tomorrow and we lose the series as a result, he might as well opt out of that contract and not come back at all. We’re paying him to win ballgames like tomorrow, nothing less will be acceptable.

    • Kibbitty

      If he pitches 8/9 innings of one run ball and we lose, It’s not grounds for kicking him out of NY.

    • Guest

      Yes, because our rotation would look so much better in 2012 with Nova and his begging-for-a-regression peripherals headling in it.

      The Yankees are a much better team with CC and they can afford to resign him after he opts-out. Nothing that happens today, short of a career-altering injury, changes either of those facts.

    • JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Poster-named-after-literary-characters: You win most the title of Most Reactionary Regular Commenter at RAB.

    • thenamestsam

      You know what? I don’t think you went far enough. Unless he pitches a perfect game and hits at least two home runs I think he should be drawn and quartered, and then the other pitchers should be forced to dine on his remains to remind them how we handle losers. That’s what George would have done.

      • Guns of the Navarone

        I laughed.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Some of you fans have really fucking lost it…wow

    • JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Only reason I came to RAB this morning is to see the over-reactions in the comments. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

      We have ourselves a 1-1 series where the next game is CC vs Verlander. At the very least, enjoy what should be an exciting game 3. As much as I wish the Yanks could win every game 8-0 with no drama, that just doesn’t happen. Heart-wrenching games make the victory so much sweeter.

      I did think it was ironic that even if we’d won that game, Valverde wouldn’t have had a blown save. He’s begging for one at this point.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Come on! You don’t find some of these comments hilarious?

  • Buck

    Yanks are done.

    • Pants Lendelton

      Done? With two game yet to be played ? How so ?

      • JimIsBored (Jim S)

        Didn’t you get the memo? The winner of game 2 automatically wins the ALDS.

        • Kevin

          Guess that means Tampa and Philly should pack their bags as well.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Jeets cannot turn on inside fastballs from right handers and ARod isn’t much better. Teams will be pounding these guys inside the next, oh 3-7 years. Oh and 2 strike changeups to Tex are also a recipe for always getting him out.

    Jeter likes to yell a lot when a runner is straying off second too far but…..

    Cabrera is not stealing 3rd and pitchers should just step off if he does yell.

    Finally, sad that Montero will get no post season abs if we lose this series. Hey, at least he got some abs in meaningless September games.

  • Dagra

    Girardi is saving Soriano and Robertson for games 6 and 7 of this series.

  • Sarah

    My biggest issue with the PH for Gardner is that Chavez has faced Benoit a bunch of times (14) with only 3 hits, a much larger sample size than Gardner (0/3 with a walk). At the very least, it seems more possible than Benoit makes a mistake and Gardner hits it since he hasn’t faced Gardy enough times to own him.

    Bigger issue overall is probably letting Freddy stay in to face Cabrera and Ordonez. That puts the game out of reach.

    • Mickey Scheister

      I too was perplexed by EC as opposed to sticking with the gritty one or giving ether Jesus or Jones a crack at Beniot.

      Someone needs to shake Giradi and advise it’s not Sept anymore. Garcia should’ve been pulled for Sori, like Detroit did with Max and Beniot pitching two innings.

      Bottom line is, it’s hard to win a game when it take six innings to record the first hit and the 8th before the first run.

    • DB

      I agree, also Gardner at least has a chance to get on due to his speed. Another problem is the move weakens the team defensively for the rest of the game. You can sacrifice defense for offense when you are down to try to gamble to make it closer, but it wasn’t like you were bringing in someone with success against that pitcher so the move made absolutely no sense.

    • ArchStanton

      In that SI article, Benoit said he was happy to face Chavez as he has faced him so many times, and was relieved to not see Gardner at the plate. I wish Gardner would catch fire again as this team is so good when he’s on.

  • Mickey Scheister

    “He managed that inning like it was some meaningless regular season game, not the playoffs.”

    All of this. I was screaming at the wall mounted 1080p 65 inch. Where was So/Ro/Mo, at least Robertson? Fallacy of the predetermined outcome considered. Terrible call, and it cost em a run.

  • Tiny Tim

    Game 3 is for all the marbles. Detroit won’t beat us again in NY with Nova on the mound. And I don’t feel too confident in game 4 with Burnett on the mound. The rain delay certainly affected the series and we won’t know who it benefited the most until after tonight’s ballgame.

  • B-Rando

    So is this where i line up to jump off the cliff??

    Seriously, what the hell is going on here? Some of you have lost your damn minds.

    The series is tied up with 3 games to play. What about the Tigers play has shown you their unstoppability?

    • Kostas

      It is not the Tigers play so much as it is the Yankees lack of play. They are not swining the bats well right now – save Cano and a couple other seeing singles.

      As per usual ALDS games that are not against Minnesota, the Yankees do not perform well if they are not up 2-0. The lock up, make bad choices and even tonight facing Verlander. CC could throw a 1 hitter and the Yankees will still find a way to lose.

      Ultimately, the fate of the team comes down to AJ. Either to seal the series or keep it alive. That is like being trapped in the middle of a fire and hoping it misses you as it burns everything.

  • Mike

    We have to win tonight .. and we will

    You can put on the BOARD !!!!!!!!! YES !

    • Pat D

      Don’t ever do that again.

  • Eddy

    I have a real good feeling that A.J is going to throw a damn good game tomorrow.

    I know most people will roll their eyes and laugh at me because it’s A.J, but I just have an odd feeling about it.

    • Mike

      rolls eyes

      • Guns of the Navarone

        rolls eyes AND laughs at him

    • Sarah

      I want to believe.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I agree that sliding into first is stupidity at its maximum. I have heard Harold Reynolds arguing to the contrary at MLB. I do not see anyone flying through the air faster than he can run. There is no Superman. I used to like Harold Reynolds until he aired that young Moore of the Rays had been in jail. I mean what does he gain by maligning a youngster like that. Also the TBS crew surely are delighted when the Yankees are losing. They mention Verlander going against us. Hey we have Sabathia and he is not missing an arm.

    • Pat D

      Yea, TBS (as well as Fox, ESPN, MLBN, you name it) seems to passively root against the Yankees. Most highlight packages I have seen them air regarding this series show more positive Tigers highlights than Yankees highlights.

      If Ernie Johnson was doing this series, it would be ten times worse.

    • Sarah

      TBS and MLB Network have lost their freaking minds over this series.

      When the first game was rained out, they were all “Oh, advantage to NY because they only have to face Verlander once,” but after yesterday “Advantage to Detroit because the Yankees still have to face Verlander.”

      Apparently Verlander is better than every other pitcher in the history of baseball and cannot be beaten.

      Also I have a new term for what happened yesterday: the Verlander effect. The team is focused on getting to Verlander today, not on hitting yesterday. Bad team, bad!

  • Greg

    Just an overall shitty game. Couldn’t have really asked for more from Freddy. He simply doesn’t have the stuff to go out and completely shutdown a strong offense and match an opposing pitcher putting up zeros. Hopefully he can give 5 strong innings…which he did….and give way to the bullpen. He should have been pulled earlier but the pitching really wasn’t the problem as…..

    …the offense just completely sucked. Jeter was terrible, couldn’t get a hit with guys on when we needed it and Tex and Arod, frankly, just look awful. Neither one could even muster a hard out in 7 ABs between the two of them. I’m so sick of the Arod injury excuse. If he wasn’t healthy this year he’s never gonna be. We came into the year hearing how great and in shape he looked, blah, blah, blah, and we all saw what happened. I don’t even count on him anymore.

    It’s pretty simple, when anyone other than CC pitches the offense needs to put runs on the board. We have been saying this all year and we have been saying that come playoff time when it is Freddy’s turn or Nova’s turn or Colon’s turn we would need to score at least 5 runs and that should be OK to carry us because we have the offense to do so. So far we are 1 and 1 sans CC. Now the big man needs to come up big.

  • Kgatch

    AJ can give us one good start in that big ballpark….his leash will be short and since Girardi hasn’t used the good bullpen pitchers all we need is 5 innings of 2 or 3 runs. If they can’t hit Porcello than the Yankees don’t deserve to win

    AJ has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, I could see him having a decent start

    Honestly, do you thing any Detroit fan feels good about Rick Porcello’s chances vs the Yanks?

  • Darren

    In the name of Stump Merrill, that Sports Illustrated article was infuriating. I was at the game and wondering why no one was warming up when Garcia came out for the 6th. After the error and single, that would have been a perfect opprtunity to bring in Roberston for the strike out to keep things close.

    In any event, I hope all of the crazy comments are just venting and that most of you will kick back and enjoy it. And even if we lose tonight, you still need to believe.

    While Burnett can easily made a doody in his pants, it also would not be weird for him to pitch great for 4 or 5 innings, as he’s done about 20 times this year before blowing it all within a 5 batter sequence. The key will be whether Girardi is smart enough to remove him for Robertson (not Soriano please!!) before Molina takes him deep.

    /Time machine’d

  • Monteroisdinero

    If AJ pitches well that should be enough to provide cover for the final 2 years of his ridiculou$ contract.

  • virginia yankee

    Amazing how light your criticism of Girardi is. – gonna lose your Stadium Pass

    Alex has no CURRENT PERFORMANCE REASON to be in the STARTING LINE-UP- He has not RECOVERED and may never be ARod again after the hip/knee — we CAN HOPE he does but that is for NEXT year not the NEXT IMPORTANT GAME in a short series (3 games now) – play the kid –

    EVEN TORRE HAD THE GUTS or discipline or right assessment to sit Tino — play the kid

    – Jeter has returned to AWFUL – BIG FASTBALLS beat him -we have another BIG FASTBALL Game Tonight it’s Jeter’s age and synapses — I’m not mad at him playing but — DEAL with it; you can’t have 2 holes in 1-4 in the line-up. Play the kid.

    I hate seeing Posada in the game – i want the ROOKIE but Jorge has acquitted himself.

    WHERE WAS THE RELIEF PITCHING in a 2-0 game – at least Shertzer was throwing a lot of pitches – KEEP GAME 2-0 – I have been angry at GIRARDI throwing away high-leverage situations all year — well this was a BIG GAME – there may be no need for relief tomorrow — THERE IS NO NEED FOR AYALA, ever

    Pitching BURNETT — Got to be TOTALLY NUTS – like he is going to be be fitted with a magic slipper? I guess CC needed extra pressure to be perfect. The Yankee can beat Verlander — but not with ARod, Jeter, Posada, and Gardner inn the lineup- NEED to fix 2 of those holes at the least