Nova, Cano lead Yanks to Game One win


More than 24 hours after starting, Game One of the ALDS is officially in the books. The Yankees rode two of their best young homegrown players to a blowout win over the Tigers, giving them a one game to none lead in the best-of-five series.

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Before The Rain

As you know, this game really started on Friday night. The Yankees and Tigers got just an inning and a half in before rain forced the game to be suspended until Saturday, throwing a wrench into everyone’s pitching plans. CC Sabathia struck out four in his two innings of work, the only blemish a Yankee Stadium special solo homer from Delmon Young. Justin Verlander walked two and allowed a run without letting a ball out of the infield in his inning. It’s a shame, it looked like CC was on and Verlander was struggling. Alas, the skies opened up and we’ll see these two aces in Game Three on Monday.

He hit that one to Alburquerque. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Have Yourself A Night, Robinson

Just before the playoffs, the Yankees decided to switch up their lineup just a little bit, installing Robinson Cano as the number three hitter against righties while Mark Teixiera slid down to fifth. One game into the playoffs, the move has been a smashing success.

The score was still tied at one in the bottom of the fifth, and Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter combined for two quick outs. Two outs is the perfect time for a go-ahead rally, so Curtis Granderson did the honors of singling to right to extend the inning. Doug Fister, who we’ll talk about in a little while, caught just enough of the plate with a 1-1 fastball, and Cano smashed it out to left. I thought it was gone off the bat, but the ball hit off the table top of the left field wall and bounced back into the field of play. Umpires reviewed the play and (correctly) ruled it a double, but Granderson scored from first anyway. Cano had given the Yankees a 2-1 lead, and he wasn’t close to being done.

Just one inning later, the Yankees really had something cooking. Gardner singled in a pair of runs after Tex doubled (to the opposite field!), Jorge Posada walked, and Russell Martin moved them up with a ground ball. Jeter singled to put runners on the corners, stole second uncontested to put men at second and third, then Granderson drew a walk to load the bases. That was the end of Fister’s day, and in came strikeout machine Al Alburquerque. Alburquerque misses a ton of bats with his slider, but Cano doesn’t miss many sliders when they hang up in the zone. Robbie hit a no-doubt grand slam into the second deck to right, blowing the game open and giving the Yankees a nice seven-run cushion. In 43.1 regular season innings, Alburquerque allowed zero homeruns. That changed two pitches into his postseason career.

Cano added another run-scoring double in the eighth, stretching the lead to 9-1 and allowing him to finish the day 3-for-5 with two doubles and the salami. It was the Yankees first postseason grand slam since Ricky Ledee victimized Rod Beck of the Red Sox in Game Four of the 1999 ALCS. Cano’s six runs driven in are a new Yankees LDS record, and the most by someone wearing pinstripes since Hideki Matsui went off on the Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 World Series. I think he’ll be just fine hitting third, just fine.

Super Duper Nova

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

It technically wasn’t a start, but who cares? Ivan Nova was absolute money in “relief” of Sabathia, taking the ball to start the third inning and leading the Yankees right to the ninth. He ran into one real jam in the fifth (more on that in a bit), but otherwise did not allow more than one runner on base in an inning until things were all but decided in the ninth. New York’s number two starter struck out five and it seemed like every one came in a big spot, and he got six other outs on the ground.

The two runs Nova allowed came when he was out of the game, otherwise known as garbage time. A Delmon line drive to the foot in the ninth seemed to slow him a bit, but there’s no shame in that. Nova came up huge against a pitcher that came into the game with much more hype, and he’s the reason the Yankees have a one-game lead in the series right now. Cano’s contributions were obviously huge, but Nova really carried the team on his back.

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

This Ain’t The AL Central, Doug

The Yankees are now 3-0 in the three games they faced Verlander this year, but this isn’t about him. It’s about the job the Yankees did against Fister, who the MSM would have liked you to believe was second coming of Roy Halladay because of his September performance. He allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, but then retired eleven men in the row. The Yankees showed no mercy the second and third time thought the order; seven of the next ten men they sent to the plate reached base. Fister’s final line was six runs on seven hits and two walks in just 4.2 IP, the first time he allowed more than two runs in an outing since August 14th, his third start as a Tigers. It’s almost like facing seven AL Central teams in your last eight regular season outings can skew your performance.

Cano was obviously the highlight on offense, but this was a total team effort. Gardner’s two-run single in the fifth (in an 0-2 count, no less) was big because it gave the Yankees some breathing room before Cano broke it open. Granderson reached base three times in five plate appearances (the single and two walks), and he saw a total of 30 pitches. That’s huge. Jeter had a pair of hits, and the five through nine hitters all had one hit. Teixeira and Posada added walks. Alex Rodriguez was the only Yankees not to reach base, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and the RBI groundout on Friday.

(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)


Underrated moment sure to be forgotten because of the blowout: Alex Avila getting thrown out at the plate fifth inning. Nova started to show some kinks in the armor that inning, allowing a walk and two straight singles. Avila chugged around third on the second single, but Jeter’s relay throw from Granderson to home was picture perfect. Martin had plenty of time to apply the tag, the second out of what would be a scoreless inning. If that run scores, all of a sudden the Tigers are up one with men on the corners and just one out. Who knows what happens then.

Gotta mention Posada’s latest stupid baserunning blunder. The Yankees had runners on second and third with no outs against Fister in the second inning, and for whatever reason, Posada broke for home on Gardner’s ground ball to third. He got hung up on the bases and was tagged out. The out completely changed the inning, because instead of second and third with one out, it was first and second with one out. Yes, Fister balked the runners over, but Derek Jeter was already behind in the count by then. Didn’t come back to hurt, but good grief.

In my series preview, I said that the only way to contain the great Miguel Cabrera was by keeping runners off base in front of him. Miggy went 0-for-3 with a walk, but more importantly, he came to the plate just once with men on base, and that wasn’t until the game was all but decided in the ninth inning. Cano, his three-hole hitter counterpart, had runners on base in four of his five plate appearances. Story of the game right there.

Unfortunately, Mariano Rivera was pressed into action when Luis Ayala couldn’t record the final two outs of the game after Nova exited. He only threw three pitches (a strikeout, of course), but these two clubs will play three games in the next three days. Wasting some of those bullets with a six-run lead, even if the bases were loaded, is not inconsequential*.

* Just be clear, I’m not complaining about Mo being used, just that Ayala was so awful that Rivera had to be used. This one’s on Luis.

With 50,940 fans in attendance, this was the largest paid attendance in New Yankee Stadium history, regular season or playoffs. I’m guessing the suspension had something to do with that, I’m sure a few people hit up the secondary market Saturday morning.

Box Score & WPA Graph

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats.

Up Next

Sunday was supposed to be an off day, but these two teams will play Game Two of the series because of the rain. That one starts at 3:07pm ET, and will feature Freddy Garcia and Max Scherzer.

Categories : Game Stories, Playoffs
  • bobtaco

    Thank God Arizona didn’t take Cano.

    Thank God San Diego gave Nova back.

    • McLovin

      I thought it was texas that didn’t take Cano.

      • bobtaco


        “Cano blossomed early this season when the Yankees decided to replace Tony Womack at second, which may have surprised some of the teams who scouted Cano near the trading deadline in 2004.

        Cano was extensively scouted by the Diamondbacks, Royals and Mariners – Arizona was seeking a match for a possible Randy Johnson trade, Kansas City was looking for prospects for Carlos Beltran and Seattle checked out Cano as it shopped Freddy Garcia. None liked Cano enough to make a deal happen, though the Yanks eventually sent other prospects to Arizona in last winter’s Johnson deal. “

        • Brooklyn Ed

          The A-Rod deal went down in early 2004, and Texas had first dips on Cano. They chose Joaquin Arias instead.

        • Gonzo

          He’s talking about the A-Rod trade. The Rangers wanted the younger SS (Arias?) instead of Cano.

          • bobtaco

            Thank God the Rangers passed on him too… :-)

          • McLovin

            Yea they wanted Arias and they took him.

    • http://none Favrest

      It goes to prove that the Yankees don’t know what they’ve got.

      • Jorge

        It would mean that….if you’re looking hard for something bad to say. What it’s indicative of is the imperfect science of player development, which every franchise is guilty of.

        • Evan

          Well articulated. This is a good day guys. Remember that.

  • JBID

    Doug Fister? No.

    Ivan Nova? Absolutely.

    Superb game.

    • David, Jr.

      It was the most significant thing about the game. Playoff pressure affecting Nova? No.

  • Brian S.

    Robbie=best hitting second basemen in baseball.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Best hitter in baseball. Period.

      • Brian S.

        There are better ones. Joey Bautista is the best in the bigs right now.

        • Thomas Cassidy

          Nope. Sorry, but I take Cano up with that situation than any other player in baseball. Before Bautista, Granderson, Jeter, Pujols.

          Cano is the best hitter in baseball.

          • Brian S.

            What’s Jeter doing in there?

            • Thomas Cassidy

              Because he still gets hits when they need him too. Hitting .330 when he’s healthy helps, too.

              • forensic

                Ah, so he was just hurt for that terrible year and a half? And have you looked at his risp numbers this year?

              • Sayid J.


      • Rainbow Connection


      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Eh, I’d take Miguel Cabrera.

        • BK2ATL

          Me too. Beast mode at the plate every at-bat.

          • Thomas Cassidy

            Who would you rather have up with the bases loaded, Cabrera or Cano?

            • Brian S.

              Cabrera. His OBP is much higher than Cano’s.

              • Thomas Cassidy

                So? He’s also not going to be pitched around when the bases loaded, so his OBP will drop.

                Cano’s stats with the bases loaded are better than Cabrera’s anyway, including OBP.

                • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                  Cano is more likely to chase garbage pitches with the bases loaded than Cabrera.

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              Miguel Cabrera vs Robinson Cano career with bases loaded.

              Cabrera: 114 AB, .430/.420/.614/1.034 2 Homers, 119 RBI

              Cano: 140 AB, .321/.314/.571/.886 7 Homers, 129 RBI

              I love Cano, don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite player, but I’d take Cabrera slightly over Cano.

              • Thomas Cassidy

                Maybe the past few years, but I’m talking about this year. I’m not knocking Cabrera at all, I would just rather have Cano up.

              • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

                I love Cano, don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite player, but I’d take Cabrera slightly emphatically, and without even a moment’s hesitation over Cano.

                Fixed. And there is no shame in that. It doesn’t mean Cano isn’t awesome, he is.

                • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                  Fair enough. But you get my point.
                  Plus, a little bias was into me saying I’d take him slightly. I’m 18 years old and he’s one of the few guys on this team I’ve got to watch for their entire career.

                • http://none Favrest

                  I would take Cabrera if he’d lose 25 pounds, and take a breathalyzer before his at bat. Cano had Swisher protecting him for 97% of the season. Now, he has Arod. How’s that working out?

                  • Brian S.

                    Lineup protection is a myth.

                    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                      Agreed. Last season Miguel Cabrera had guys like Brennan Boesch, Ryan Rabern, and Jhonny Peralta protecting him and he still mashed. In fact, he was second in the AL MVP.

              • mbonzo

                Cabrera is a better hitter, but if I was picking a team I would pick Cano over Cabrera because he’s a middle infielder and the first base market is full of good hitters. Not to mention Cabrera’s off field issues.

            • BK2ATL

              Cabrera is probably the best hitter in baseball. Point blank.

              I love having Cano on our team, and his results, but Cabrera is doing what he’s doing with Victor Martinez protecting him, who is pretty decent. Just saying.

      • well you know

        I love love love Cano. But better hitter than Miggy Cab and his .344 BA and his 180 OPS+? Can’t say that myself.

        If you throw in D, there’s an argument for better player.

      • ItsATarp


        Nope not even close. But Best hitting second baseman argument can be made. (Pedoria has that goddamn wall)But not the best hitter…at least not this year.

  • 27andCounting

    We straight up fisted fister. Lets win tomorrow so CC can crush Verlander on Monday.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    10 more wins.

    • Reg

      Dude you have the best user name. I’ve been a die hard sweaty freddy fan since he arrived in march

  • forensic

    That 9th inning is why I will never understand why MLB counts runs against pitchers like they do. I know fractions could get messy every so often but it’s absurd that Ayala gets off scot free on that and Nova’s numbers take a bigger hit.

    • Rainbow Connection

      David Robertson has made a career off that rule!!!

      • BK2ATL

        Bullshit. Robertson’s made a career off of shutting down RISP situations with Ks and other outs.

        Ayala’s numbers are exactly what the OP stated. He’s gotta be the worst 2.06 ERA pitcher in history.

      • Brian S.

        Not this season.

      • http://none Favrest

        Robertson has made a career of bailing out starting pitchers. When he comes in, he has held the situation, and runs very rarely score. Ayala is worse than his numbers. Stats don’t tell the whole story. It’s a good lesson for nerds everywhere. When he was needed most, Nova was lights out.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          Ayala’s peripherals (e.g. Inherited runners allowed to score) do in fact tell the story that his old school stats over rate his performance and value.

    • Kiersten

      I’ve always said that the pitcher who put the guys on base should get charged with half the runs and they guy who let them score gets the other half.

      Had Mo cone in right away, Nova would probably have a 0.00 ERA.

  • CP

    It’s almost like Doug Fister’s amazing run of great starts in the second half was built by beating crappy teams.

    • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

      lol it was….

  • forensic

    The bad thing about Cano’s game? He won’t see a single pitch to hit the rest of the series and A-Rod is still being pretty much invisible behind him. Hopefully he figures something out soon…

    • BK2ATL

      Or maybe move Tex up to 4th behind him. A-Rod really isn’t swinging well right now, and looked lost tonight.

      I read that he was working with KLong a lot recently. We haven’t see the results yet.

      • mbonzo

        Arod did not look lost when he drove the ball to deep center.

        • BK2ATL

          Did you see his other at bats???

          • mbonzo

            He knocked in the Yankees’ first run off of Verlander and drove a ball to deep center that might be a homerun on another night. I’m not worried.

            • forensic

              That RBI should’ve been an out at home but as we’ve seen all series the tigers give away plenty of outs with poor defensive decisions. That fly ball was a pretty routine catch and would never have been a HR. Couple other weak grounders with those.

              • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                The fly to center was caught almost at the wall and defiantly would have been out on a normal day.

          • nsalem

            Yes and they weren’t that good. Be patient. He’ll be alright. Cream will rise to the top.
            Tex hasn’t been looking great either and he did some damage tonight. All you need is a couple of good swings.

            • BK2ATL

              Did you miss the last game of the season? Tex was the main reason that we were up 7-0…..

              and Ayala was a big part of the reason why that lead didn’t stand. Scary that Girardi had Mariano and Ayala warming up, yet went with Ayala first. Why have Mariano warming up at all then? If you warm him up, you better use him.

              Tex’s been hitting the ball a whole lot better in recent weeks.

              • steve (different one)

                Might there be a difference in the intensity with which a reliever can warm up depending how likely he is to go in? I’m sure Mariano was just lightly tossing until things got uncomfortable. He hadn’t thrown in 4 days.

      • ItsATarp

        2 Hard grounders and a Deep fly ball and a K on a pitch called out of the zone. (i think i’m missing an AB tho) yes he didn’t hit for avg in September but he also had a .370 OBP that month…meaning he is seeing the ball well, which is a good sign.

    • nsalem

      Ayala is what he is. Low leverage and the last man out of the bullpen. By chance he had a great ERA this year. I don’t hold it against him. Nova pitched a great game anybody can see that. Earned Runs is a flawed stat that no one should care about. Why are you focusing in on it? A-Rod had a couple of good swings tonight and will probably do some damage at some point in this series. Stupid stats are stupid stats. This was a great win on almost every level. I’m enjoying it.

  • Dan in Atlanta

    If the Yanks did win tomorrow, would you hold CC back for game 4 to give him more rest and on the off chance of a sweep, save him for game 1 of the ALCS. Conversely, if you are Detroit and win, do you give Verlander and extra day for game 4 and if you win game three as well save him for game 5/possible game 1 of the ALCS?

    Your thoughts?

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Fuck rest. CC doesn’t like it. Sometimes I would rather CC pitch back to back games then pitch on 6 days rest. I think they will give it to him on Monday regardless.

    • Tyrion Lannister

      No, they will both pitch game 3 no matter what. If you push CC back what if there is no game 4? He’d be rusty as hell for the ALCS. You want him going against Verlander to give us the best chance to end the series there and not even get to Burnett.

    • BK2ATL

      Nah, CC wanted the ball today. If you didn’t see his 2 innings last night, he was determined to beat Detroit yesterday. Even with the HR allowed, he looked the best we’d seen in a while. He was sharp and pitching with a purpose, to beat Verlander. Ace.

      He doesn’t like those long breaks. He was the pitcher most affected by the 6 man rotation crap that Girardi trotted out to appease AJ.

      I want CC out on the hill on Monday vs. Verlander to shut down Detroit in their home park.

      • steve (different one)

        The 6 man rotation was to appease AJ?

        I thought it was to see what they had in Hughes, because Colon hadn’t started a September game in 5 years, because Garcia is 100 years old, they had an insurmountable playoff spot lead (unless you are Boston, lol), and CC was on pace to throw even more innings than usual.

        CC losing a little sharpness was an unfortunate consequence, the reasoning was perfectly sound.

  • Tyrion Lannister

    All we heard about before the series was Verlander/Fister this Verlander/Fister that. What about CC/Nova? They have pitched just as well against much better competition. I think Freddy pitches good enough tomorrow and we tee off on Scherzer.

    • BK2ATL

      Defeats the narrative that the Yankees’ SP is the worst in the postseason. Let them keep saying it, as we win 10 more games.

      I really want us to win tomorrow and head into Detroit vs. Verlander and beat him there too.

    • mbonzo

      This has been the year of the pitcher, with the Phillies signing Lee, the media has made a narrative out of good pitching beats good hitting. Thats not true though, the Yankees might not have the best starting pitching, but its above average, its their offense that makes them dangerous. We’ll keep hearing that the Yankees’ pitchers can’t compete with Shields/Price or Halladay/Lee/Hamels, but I’d like to see the Phillies’ or Rays’ competition to the New York lineup. Where are the Phillies’ Cano/Granderson?

      • usty

        I’d say the Yankees field a better team at 8 out of 9 spots. I went position by position with a Phillies fan asking the same thing (not including pitchers) and we both concluded that the only position player we’d take from the Phillies to start is Hunter Pence over Swish in right.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/EricDKoch eric

    Awesome win. 10 more. Lets win the next two and get rested.

  • Dan in Atlanta

    I am terrified of a Burnett start. Tomorrow’s winner likely wins the series.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Yankees lose tomorrow
      Win game 3
      Lose game 4
      Win game 5

      not insane, right?

      • Thomas Cassidy

        Scherzer won’t even have an anus after the Yankees are done with him tomorrow.

        • BK2ATL

          We need to be patient with him. Let him beat himself, then pounce. Should be fun.

          We just need Fredy to give us 6-7 innings, keep them under 4 runs and we’ll win this thing.

          • forensic

            6-7 innings? I’d probably be satisfied with 5 alright innings and go to the big relievers for 4 innings.

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              I see your point, but I’ll take six innings out of Freddy if they can get them, seven is a bonus.

              • forensic

                Yeah, definitely like more innings, but I just can’t get past my almost complete distrust of him in most situations.

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

              5 from Freddy, then Wade, Soriano, Robertson, and Mo to finish it off.

              • forensic

                If they have a lead, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t skip wade and go for 4 innings from the big 3.

            • BK2ATL

              Outside of a couple of recent starts, he usually gave us at least 6 quality innings. He did end up the season beating Boston, shutting them out over 6 innings.

              I’d take the same kind of performance against this Detroit lineup, which isn’t as good.

              • forensic

                Yeah, but they hit him relatively hard earlier this season and several tigers have great numbers against him. It’s just tough for me to be overly optimistic with him.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        I think the Yanks win tomorrow and win it in 4. Scherzer isn’t as good on the road as he is at home(15 games, 86 innings, 5.23 ERA, 18 homers on the road vs 18 games, 109 IP, 3.80 ERA, 11 homers at home).

        I think Verlander will out-duel CC in game 3 and I think A.J shocks the world and pitches pretty well (5.2, two or three runs–good for him anyway) in game four while the Yanks hit Porcello pretty well.

        • forensic

          I agree about Burnett. For some reason I think he’ll pitch pretty well.

          • Sarah

            I think I read that AJ has good numbers v. Detroit. But maybe I’m mixing up Freddy and AJ.

            • forensic

              Nope, you’re correct, it’s Burnett. Two pretty good starts against them this year and no one on their team has really good numbers against him personally, not even Cabrera.

        • BK2ATL

          I have zero faith in AJ. None. I truly hope it doesn’t get to that.

    • ItsATarp

      AJ looked fine in his last few outings. Just take him out when he’s showing he’s tiring and we’ll be fine.

  • Paul

    Gee, all these people a few years ago wanting to trade Cano for whomever. I was many times holding my breath that they wouldn’t.
    As for CC on 3 days rest, who knows, when did he last do that? He’s not getting any younger.

    • BK2ATL

      Even earlier this week, someone here was bantering the idea of whether it would be worth it to trade Cano for King Felix. To me, it’s a definite no. You can find starting pitching, albeit not as dominant as King Felix, but finding a total package beast-mode 2B, isn’t as easy.

      Tonight, we won with Ivan Nova on the mound.

      CC’s one of the few pitchers, along with Halladay, that I’d consider a throwback pitcher. Meaning, pitch counts, 5 days of rest, etc. don’t mean as much to them. They just want the ball and know that even if they don’t have their best stuff, they can still beat any team. We witnessed CC carry Milwaukee on his back in 2008. He rises to the challenge. He’s a true ace.

    • steve (different one)

      It’s “3 days rest” from a 27 pitch outing. Pitchers have throw days between starts right? It’s not like he threw 120 piches on Friday.

      • Sarah

        He threw 75 pitches including his warm ups and bullpen.

        • steve (different one)

          which just means a “normal” start consists of about 175 pitches, right? Why count the warm ups here, when we never count them otherwise?

  • McLovin

    Pumped up going to game 2.

  • BK2ATL

    Funny (for a Yankees fan), actually grounded, article on the Red Sox woes.


    One excerpt

    “• Now that Terry Francona is out, the heat will be on Theo Epstein if the 2012 Red Sox stink it up. These are his players who quit on their manager.

    • At last count, four scouts, two assistant general managers, one manager and one general manager have asked me roughly the same question: How did the Red Sox get to a point where Francona had to start Tim Wakefeld four times and Kyle Weiland three times in September?

    Every June we hear about what a wonderful draft the Red Sox had and just a few weeks ago Sports Illustrated (in the worst-timed story ever) told us how smart Theo and his guys are.

    Fantastic. But somehow Weiland — who was 0-4, 5.09 in seven starts after the All-Star break for Pawtucket — was the best they could do? That or a 45-year-old guy throwing a knuckleball?

    And the Yankees had Ivan Nova. And the Rays had Matt Moore. And Texas had Derek Holland. Who’s the young stud starter for the Red Sox? Who’s the guy in spring training next season everybody will gather around to watch and marvel at his stuff?

    There isn’t one on the horizon. Clay Buchholz is 27, people”

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Love it. I’d love to hear Peter Gammons’ take on that.

      • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

        The last time he confronted reality he had an aneurysm.

        (too soon?)

        • Barney Stinson

          Legen-wait for it and I hope your not lactose intolerant-Dary!!!!!!!!

    • Tom

      That’s the thing… what team gets through a season with just 6 starters these days, forget 5. (And a lot of times you have a 7th guy getting more than a few starts).

      Theo needed a hit from Joe Girardi’s objective pipe to think Wakefield would be an acceptable 6th starter going into the season (beyond an emergency start) and someone like Miller or Weiland could also be counted on. (or Doubront?) And it’s not like the rotation was a bunch of workhorses (outside of Lester and Lackey, none of those other have a track record for 33 starts). And while folks can continue to say injuries…. Eric Bedard? A good guy in terms of potential upside, but they needed a guy at the deadline that they would know could take the ball every 5th day and eat innings. Theo should get hammered for that trade.

      Look at Cashman’s approach – with Hughes on the DL and Garcia and Colon (6th starter out of spring training) pitching well he still had Noesi and were taking fliers on guys like Millwood and Carlos Silva and stashing them in AAA just in case. (granted those 2 didn’t work out, but he kept looking for that potential 7th option, knowing you can never have enough options)

  • China Joe

    Cano was a beast in last year’s playoffs, but he got overshadowed by Josh Hamilton and the other Yankees’ overall suckiness. This might be the year he takes the spotlight for himself.

    Also, I remember before the 2006 playoffs, when everyone had a good laugh at Jim Leyland calling the Yankees lineup “Murderer’s Row Plus Cano.” I think it’s pretty funny that, 5 years later, with every player from the 2006 Yankees lineup except Gary Sheffield still in the bigs, Robinson Cano is by far the best player.”

    • Jonathan

      Definitely cool to think about that. Can you imagine if that lineup was all in their prime though? Easily the best of all time. Too bad ARod was mind fucked at the time and Matsui/Sheff were coming off injuries with hardly any time to get ready. That and nobody having a problem with Kenny Rodgers BLATANTLY cheating.

      C Posada
      1B Giambi
      2B Cano
      SS Jeter
      3B ARod
      LF Matsui
      CF Damon
      RF Abreu
      DH Sheffield

      Hell if the pitchers were in their primes Moose and Randy Johnson would be amazing too.

  • Jonathan

    I really didn’t think Ayala was terrible but more of a victim to bad luck. He gave up a broken bat grounder that was hit too poorly to be a double play. Then the next guy hit a 5 or so hopper through the left side. And then Peralta hit a flare/dink into CF. That isn’t awful. That’s awful luck. Not that he was dominant or throwing perfect pitches but he wasn’t awful.

  • Jonathan

    Can someone please explain to me why nobody in the media has called out Jim Leyland for his lineup? Their top 3 hitters have OBPs of .317, .303, .302 and Avila/Peralta hit 6th and 8th with OBP of .389 and .345? Hell their averages are almost the same as Young/Magglio’s OBP. It’s obviously awesome for us but good lord..how can you be the manager of an MLB team and have your 2nd and 4th best hitters hit 6th and 8th? I couldn’t decide really if Avila is better than VMart but he had a better year this year so I put him 2nd. If Delmon Young wasn’t drafted #1 overall I doubt he’s even in the majors.

  • Miller Time

    for once I do agree with the gentleman on MLB Tonight…the 4-3 double play was huge. Leyland puts on the hit and run and if Ordonez doesn’t hit that ball up the middle and/or Cano isn’t there you have 1st and 3rd with 1 out…almost has that 2009 feel where there were some nice breaks/things that went the Yankees way against the Twins and almost had that “destiny” feel.

    • BK2ATL

      Yeah, that double play and the Grandy-Jeter-Martin play at the plate both turned out to be huge plays for us.

      Let’s hope. Things have certainly started out well for us. Even the rain seems to work in our favor, as we’ll only have to face Verlander once. With luck on our side and performing as expected, things are definitely looking up for us.

      Let’s go Fredy!!!

  • BK2ATL

    By the way, IPK faced a real lineup tonight and…

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      He should have IBB’d Fielder and Lucroy.

      • BK2ATL

        Not according to ace IPK….

        from ESPN
        “The Diamondbacks decided not to walk Fielder, who had 38 homers and 120 RBIs in the regular season.

        “I’m not going to do that,” Kennedy said. “I just hung that curveball.””

        Apparently, the record and stats went to his head. It’s the postseason. You gotta know when to pick your battles. IPK, Kyle Lohse and even Jim Leyland learned the hard way.

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

          I put that on the manager. Kennedy should want to face Fielder and think he can get him out, but it’s up to the manager to say “no, you’re over 100 pitches, you’re walking him.”

          • Rockdog


    • China Joe

      I don’t know why there’s bitterness toward IPK. He’s turned into a pretty damn good pitcher, and the Yankees traded him for a pretty damn good center fielder. And, if I recall correctly, the Yankees starter a pretty damn good pitcher tonight and he pitched pretty damn well. Nothing but smiles all around

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Damn straight.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        Some of us remember, and are apparently still somewhat annoyed by, his blah, lackadaisical responses after poor outings. His language back then reflected a lack of both caring and sense of responsibility.

        • Zack D

          So controlling your emotions = not caring?

  • The Constant Gardner

    That was a 2-1 game no way you let Fielder swing the bat with FIRST BASE open, rookie manager made a rookie mistake.

  • Kevin

    Looks like Doug Fister’s 1.79 ERA couldn’t handle a real lineup.
    Don’t get me wrong..he is a good pitcher…but lost among all that gushing that MLB and everyone was doing was that during his Tiger tenure, he had yet to face a single team that was over .500.

    • Tom

      His new found K rate was also grossly inflated by 2 starts against Cleveland (where he had 22K in 16 IP). Take those 2 starts away and his K rate in Detroit is essentially the same as it is in Seattle (I realize you can’t just artificially strip away two data points but it shows how much variability is in some of these stats when the sample is so small)

      The K rate made a nice narrative on why he’s suddenly better, but I think it regresses back toward 6 rather quickly next year.

      The other thing feeding some of the ERA is a BABIP of .245 which is not sustainable.

  • Rich in NJ

    Beyond Jeter’s throw, Gardner’s hit, and Cano being Cano, it was nice to see Teix going the other way batting LH.

    They might be better off going with a 24 man roster than having a 25 man roster with Ayala.

  • David N

    I could watch Cano’s slam all night. What a beautiful swing.

  • The Constant Gardner

    It’s funny how far Robbie’s come remember back in ’05 LDS how easy it was for the Angels to get him out, back then he swung at anything, but with his tools you knew once he developed any sort of plate discipline he could be a force

    • Jimmy

      Remember the “bad influences” cloud that hung around Cano in his first couple years? Good thing we got rid of Bobby Abreu.

      • BK2ATL

        Bad influences??? You mean, Latino friends. I don’t recall any “bad” things that either Abreu or Melky Cabrera influenced Cano on. Maybe Abreu could’ve negatively influenced Cano around walls??? Maybe Melky could’ve brought around a porn star for Robbie? Yeah, whatever.

        I sincerely don’t think Mike Scioscia would have bad influence Abreu around Mike Trout or Peter Bourguos. Never heard about Abreu being a bad influence in Philly.

        Melky’s such a bad influence that he was devastated by the trade to Atlanta and had his worst season in MLB. He rebounded by spending the winter working out with A-Rod, and putting up the best numbers of his career in 2011. Sometimes, the light bulb just goes off in some young players.

        201 hits,.305/.339/.470/.809, 44 doubles, 18 HRs, 87 RBIs, 20 SB, 13 outfield assists, 4.2 WAR, wRC+ 118, wOPA .349, BABIP .332

        By the way, Cano and Cabrera are still good friends. Both seem to have come into their own.

        • Kosmo

          Amen ! Melky had a terrific season.

    • Kosmo

      I seem to recall Cano leading the Yanks in RBI in the 2005 LDS.
      He stunk against the Tigers the following year.

  • The209

    ‘Chink’ in the armor!

  • Jimmy

    Putting the necessity of it aside, how cool was it to see the 42 year old Mo coming in and shutting it down like a man among boys. Three pitch strikeout. Are you kidding me? What more can you say about that guy?

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…


  • Bavarian Yankee

    great game by Cano and Nova also did a great job. Let’s go for the 2nd win today.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Did that come-backer hit Nova on the foot or on the ass? It looked like it hit him square on the buttocks.

    • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

      I believe it hit him right on the tochas…the arse I say. I think that’s why he covered his mouth with his glove and everyone was laughing on the mound. He didn’t want lip readers to see him say ASS!!!

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Just a few observations from an old Yankee fan. If Texeira keeps hitting to left field like that the shift will end and his average will increase to his norm. As much as I love Posada he is the most atrocious baserunner ever and I do not mean just this year. Fortunately he still can contribute with his bat. Nova did not surprise me at all. He has presence on the mound and attacks the strike zone. Jeter will still be himself in the clutch.

  • Zack D

    Yahoo Sports Subheadline: When it rains, it pours, something Detroit learned in the 27 hours it took to lose Game 1 of the ALDS.
    Yankees get breaks

    Love narratives.

    • steve (different one)

      Another narrative pushed constantly by the TBS crew: teh bandbox!!

      Every tactical discussion was preceeded by “esp in THIS ballpark”. It was compared to Coors at one point…

    • David N


      Cano’s ball not going over the wall is a break? Alburquerque hanging a slider to Cano is a break?

      Le sigh….

  • Monteroisdinero

    I haven’t liked ARod much this year but he did have another good ab not mentioned last night-a bullet grounder to 2B for an out. Hit it right on the nose…I think he has a big game tonight if they pitch around Robbie.

    As for wanting Miggy over Cano, we have Jesus already-what’s the problem? Patience.

    We had some good abs laying off low changeups and the Tigers had just the opposite striking out on Nova’s 2 strike changeups.

    One other thing about Montero: He would be getting creamed here for not even touching-let alone blocking-those balls in the dirt that hit the ump.

    • Kosmo

      This has quietly become Cano´s team and with Jesus in the heart of the lineup, we might be looking at an even more lethal middle of the lineup in years to come.

    • Dale Mohorcic

      Miggy will never have good abs.

  • YanksFanInBeantown


    /2005-2008 Yankees fan

    • JimIsBored (Jim S)

      A-Rod is a team player! He let his teammates have the attention for a day and look how they performed! He’s saving his hits for all the clutch situations!

      /reverse narrative’d

  • Monteroisdinero

    Sunday Times Sports Section: Big page 1 article on Sterling.

    Off topic but….an enjoyable Yankee read.

    • David N

      I grew up listening to Sterling (no TV in the house), and I got a big kick out of reading that. I hope he sticks around, flaws and all, because there’s nothing like hearing him broadcast a game.

    • BK2ATL

      Check Joel Sherman over at NYPost as well. Two pretty good articles today. One on why Banuelos didn’t make the cut in Sept, including quotes from Cashman. The other on the Red Sox woes this year and the future. Pretty good stuff.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    I think the Yanks got another gift in the 6th when Peralta did not go to second to get Posada to try for the double play on Martin’s ground out. He would have had Posada, the lead “runner” no problem and though I can’t say if the DP would have been completed with Martin heading to first, it helped that Jhonny (sic) didn’t go for the lead runner or even take a shot at the DP which would have changed the complexion of that inning and possibly even have ended it before any runs got plated.