Oct
12

Bring on the Tigers: Yankees headed to the ALCS after Game Five win

By

For the third time in the last four years, the Yankees are headed to the ALCS. CC Sabathia carried his teammates to the ALDS finish line against the Orioles, throwing a 121-pitch complete game in the Game Five win.

(Elsa/Getty)

CCan’t Be Beat

The Yankees are paying Sabathia an awful lot of money for games like this. The Orioles had pushed them all season long, first for the division title and then in the ALDS, forcing a decisive Game Five in their first postseason series since 1997. Both offenses came into the game struggling in a major way, and it really felt like the first team to score would win. Sabathia made sure that would be his team.

The Yankees and Orioles traded perfect innings until (who else?) Nate McLouth slapped a single to left to open the fourth. Sabathia retired the next three batters without a problem, as he did following a leadoff walk to Matt Wieters in the fifth. Those were the only Orioles to reach base in the first seven innings, but the do or die moment(s) came in the eighth. The Yankees had a 3-0 lead (more on that in a bit), but a Wieters single and a five-pitch walk by Manny Machado brought the tying run to the plate with no outs.

Sabathia’s pitch count was a very manageable 89 at this point, but he started to leave some pitches up and out of the zone, particularly away to right-handers. That’s how he fell behind in the count 3-1 to Mark Reynolds, a hitter who was very capable of tying the game with one swing. CC pumped a fastball in the zone for foul before putting him away with a slider on the outside corner for strike three. That was one out. Lew Ford followed by slapping a single past a diving Derek Jeter at shortstop, scoring Wieters from second and again giving the Orioles first and second with one out.

(Elsa/Getty)

Suddenly the game was very uncomfortable. The tying run was on-base, the go-ahead run was at the plate, and the season was on the line. Sabathia went to a 2-2 count on Robert Andino, who chopped a little grounder to the third base side of the mound. CC fielded the ball, look to the unoccupied third base (Eric Chavez had charged the ball), then fired to second for no out. Machado had beat the throw. The bases were loaded with one out and Baltimore’s best hitter — how messed up is it that McLouth was their best hitter? that’s just not cool — was at the plate.

Sabathia was laboring but Joe Girardi stuck with his ace to get the left-left matchup, and his faith was rewarded when CC struck out McLouth on four pitches. The fourth pitch was a wipeout slider down-and-away, Sabathia’s money maker. The Yankees escaped the jam one batter later as J.J. Hardy showed the world his Molina-esque speed — he hit a soft hopper to Jeter that I thought had infield single written all over it, but the Cap’n fired over to first to get Hardy by two full steps. Hard to believe a shortstop could be that slow.

Girardi elected to stick with Sabathia for another inning, and he fired off a perfect ninth inning for the complete game, the first of his postseason career. I don’t think the final line — 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K — actually does CC justice since he labored in exactly one inning. Outside of that eighth inning, the Orioles had two baserunners. Two. As has been the norm of late, Sabathia buried hitters with his offspeed stuff, throwing just 62 four-seam fastballs out of 121 pitches. Twenty-one of his 27 sliders went for strikes (!), including ten swings and misses (!!). Only 11 of his 22 changeups went for strikes, but he used it not necessarily to finish hitters off, but to get ahead in the count.

Sabathia was utterly dominant not just in Game Five, but in both of his ALDS starts. He struck out 16 and walked just three, allowing only a dozen hits. CC recorded 53 of the 54 possible outs in his two starts (!!!), setting a new ALDS record with 17.2 innings pitched. The previous record was 16, held by Justin Verlander (2012) and Cliff Lee (2010). The previous Yankees record was 15.2 by David Cone in the 1995 ALDS. Coincidentally enough, Cone threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. Sabathia was a monster for the Yankees in the biggest game of the season, continuing a stretch of pure dominance late in the season. What a stud. A true ace.

(Al Bello/Getty)

Surprise Attack

As I said earlier, both offenses were struggling in a big way coming into the game. Teams will take risks when they’re struggling to score runs, and for the Yankees that meant having Mark Teixeira steal a base. I’m not joking. Even with his bum calf and the best throwing catcher in the league behind the plate, Teixeira swiped second base with no outs after his leadoff single in the fifth. He was the team’s first baser-runner of the day.

The Orioles, of course, helped the Yankees out a bit. They were not holding Teixeira on first even though there were no outs, allowing him to take a nice big lead. He got a great jump and beat the throw without much of a problem. That’s basically what needs to happen for Teixeira to steal a base — the other team kinda has to forget about him. Raul Ibanez came through yet again as the next batter, plating the run with a ground ball single back up the middle. Teixeira chugged in without a throw and the Yankees were up 1-0 just like that.

Out Of The Infield

Since the entire series was close, I think the Yankees did our collective blood pressure a favor by tacking on an insurance run in the sixth inning. Jeter walked with one out then made it all the way home when Ichiro Suzuki ambushed a first pitch fastball from Jason Hammel. He clobbered the pitch off the wall in the right-center field gap, only the fourth ball he hit out of the infield in the series. Despite the bone bruise on his right foot, the Cap’n looked more than fine rounding the bases and had no trouble playing shortstop. After four tight and stressful games, the two-run lead felt like a 200-run lead.

(Elsa/Getty)

The Grandyman Can

Through the first four games of the series, Curtis Granderson had a .180 OPS. Yes, OPS. He was flailing at everything and looking so lost at the plate that I wanted him benched. Girardi instead kept his 43-homer man in the lineup, and Curtis responded by going deep off left-hander Troy Patton in the seventh inning to make it a three-run lead. It was a bomb, landing several rows up the second deck in right. After the game, Granderson credited Ibanez for his five-pitch a-bat against Patton an inning prior, which gave him a sense of how he would be pitched. He homered on the same 2-1 slider that Ibanez fouled off. Raul does it all, eh?

Leftovers

McLouth very nearly hit a solo homer in the sixth inning, one inning after the Yankees took the lead. He yanked the ball right down the right field line, but it sailed just foul. The play was close enough that the umpires went to the instant replay system to confirm the call on the field. TBS then went up to that section of seats and asked the usher what he saw, which I found kinda funny. We can laugh now, but it definitely was no laughing matter at the time. I think we were all in “hold on for dear life” mode once they scored that first run.

(Elsa/Getty)

Alex Rodriguez, obviously, sat the game out in favor of Chavez against the right-handed Hammel. Chavez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and I thought it was pretty telling that Girardi opted to stick with Ibanez against the left-handed Patton with men on first and second with two outs in the seventh rather than pinch-hit with A-Rod. Raul struck out to end the inning, and I think the only thing that would have been more damning for Alex was if Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez got the call to pinch-hit instead. It’s kinda weird that both clubs had a member of the 600-homer club on the bench (the Orioles sat Jim Thome against Sabathia), something that I can’t imagine has happened before.

Granderson (2-for-3 with the homer) stole a base in that fifth inning as well, and I’m sure Wieters hasn’t had many two-steal innings in his relatively young career. He threw out 39% of base-stealers this season and the Orioles only allowed 63 steals as a team in 2012, by far the fewest among all AL clubs. Granderson didn’t score, but it goes to show how aggressive the Yankees were going to be as two of the first three players to reach base tried to steal (and succeeded).

The Yankees only had five hits overall — Teixeira’s single, Ibanez’s single, Granderson’s single, Ichiro‘s double, and Granderson’s homer — but they also drew three walks (Jeter, Ichiro, Teixeira). Nick Swisher (0-for-3), Robinson Cano (0-for-4), and Russell Martin (0-for-3) contributed nothing offensively. The first dozen Yankees to bat made outs, but eight of the final 18 (.444 OBP) reached base. Let’s hope that late-inning success is an indication that the offense is starting to wake up.

Just to tie a bow on it all, the pitching staff finished the series having allowed just ten runs in 51 total innings (1.76 ERA). They struck out 42 and walked just eight batters. The Orioles scored more than two runs just once, and that was the three they scored in Game Two. Sabathia’s Game Score (82) was the best by a Yankee since Roger Clemens’ gem in Game Two of the 2000 World Series. The pitching staff was on point all series, what a job by those guys.

Box Score & WPA Graph

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights. Believe it or not, this is the first time the Yankees have beaten a non-Twins teams in the ALDS since beating the Athletics back in 2001. Nice to have that monkey off the back. The Bombers are 11-3 all-time in the ALCS, which honestly surprised me. Better than being 3-11 though, so I’ll take it.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Rest? There’s no time for rest. The Yankees and Tigers kick off the ALCS on Saturday night, when Andy Pettitte gets the ball against Doug Fister. Both pitchers will be on regular rest (actually more in Fister’s case). That game is scheduled to start at 8:07pm ET.

Categories : Game Stories, Playoffs
  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Or Mike will post the recap immediately, so the succinct version need not apply.

    The key thing the Yankees need to avoid in this upcoming series is the thing that plagued them in their previous playoff losses to the Tigers.

    In both 2006 and 2011, the Yankees took Game 1 at Yankee Stadium.

    Promptly, in both years, they lost Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, putting them on the spot and requiring them to win a game in Detroit. They didn’t in 2006, they did last year, but ruined it by losing Game 5.

    Justin Verlander starts Game 3. He’s the best pitcher in baseball. You want to know how the Yankees can minimize the damage of Verlander?

    Defend the home field advantage. Take both games at Yankee Stadium, this time around. The worst that can happen is a 2-1 deficit, and three cracks to win two games before Verlander rolls around again.

    Easier said than done, of course. But still, this much just has to be said. No rest for the weary, and the Yankees better be ready tomorrow night. It is a cardinal sin in a 2-3-2 format to drop Game 1 at home – there’s no guarantee the series will ever return to your home ballpark.

    • forensic

      You basically copied your comment again, so I’ll do the same:

      Unfortunately, Game 2 is the tough one. I don’t know if they’d start Kuroda on short rest since I don’t think he’s ever done it before. That means it’s on their 5th choice. If they can have Phelps do it after 27 pitches yesterday, then they have a shot (especially against Sanchez), but if Nova or Garcia has to start, I’m not so sure either one could out-pitch even Sanchez right now.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        Just figured that the recap post would be up soon, so discussion in the prior comments section was going to end soon. That’s why I posted a succinct version.

        Glad you reposted as well. Helps discussion flow better.

  • https://twitter.com/czm26 Craig

    Who to start in Game 2 (Kuroda would be on 3 days rest, and keep in mind they’re trying to give him more rest) and Game 3 (CC on short rest is fine with me? Fister, Sanchez, Verlander, Scherzer are all RHP, but I am still willing to bet A-Rod starts tomorrow, batting seventh. HAVE to stick with Ibanez as the DH.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    “The bases were loaded with one out and Baltimore’s best hitter — how messed up is it that McLouth was their best hitter? that’s just not cool — was at the plate.

    Girardi elected to stick with Sabathia for another inning, and he fired off a perfect ninth inning for the complete game, the first of his postseason career.”

    Umm, maybe I’m wrong, but it feels like a very important part of the story just isn’t there.

    • http://twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

      I was literally just about to type this. Didn’t even get to finish reading the update. haha

    • Pat D

      Yea, I’m like “there’s a paragraph missing here.”

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

        I think so too. He’ll probably correct it when he sees it.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Odd thing is, I think the description was there originally. I remember a remark about how slow Hardy was as a SS in reference to the Jeter play to end the inning that I can’t find now.

        Or maybe I’m imagining things.

      • forensic

        I was going to say the exact same thing.

        • forensic

          Woohoo!!!

          A new paragraph, I love how it ended!

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

      Crap, I moved the Sabathia photo and somehow lost a paragraph in the process. It should all be there now. Thanks for mentioning it, I never would have realized.

  • steve (different one)

    The bases were loaded with one out and Baltimore’s best hitter — how messed up is it that McLouth was their best hitter? that’s just not cool — was at the plate.

    Mike, I’m dying to know what happened next!! Did McClouth tie the game??

    • steve (different one)

      I’m too slow…

  • paul a

    Can Joe come to his senses and put A Rod back in the lineup. Even a slumping Alex is alot more of a threat than Eric Chavez.

    • steve (different one)

      Safe to say paul a and stuart a are not brothers…

      • FIPster Doofus

        Maybe they’re twins and stuart is the evil one.

        • fuckin a

          i see you’ve met my two brothers….

          ….give us a raise…..

          • YanksFanInBeantown

            Well played, sir.

    • steve (different one)

      Also, benching A-Rod today was a pretty obvious move. Had to be done. I am all for wiping the slate clean and starting him tomorrow, but Joe did not “lose his senses” today.

      Just goes to show, you will never please 100% of Yankee fans 100% of the time.

  • Wayne

    Derek Lowe should go in game 2 if the yankees are smart!

    • FIPster Doofus

      I’d rather see 83-year-old Whitey Ford start.

      • RetroRob

        Don’t speak nonsense. Clearly the start will go to Ron Guidry, a youthful 62 who was spied tossing pitches late at the Stadium last night. He can probably still touch 80mph. What more’s needed from a lefty?

  • newguy

    yeah you need to fill in the rest of the eighth. I didnt eve enjoy reading it because it bothered me so much. The slider strikeout to McClouth was one of the most awesome pitches ive ever seen

  • Pat D

    By the way, has there been any word on Joba yet?

    • Dan Gold

      He is still employed

      • Pat D

        I really don’t care if I’m going to get in trouble for this, but, man, fuck off.

  • Karl Krawfid

    Damn Jones hit 345 in the postseason as a teenager.

    Sick shit.

    • vicki

      he did kill us in 96. went home a loser though.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I want everybody here to be forced to read the thread for game three. Go ahead, read it.

    Point made.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      I stayed positive :D

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        I avoid baseball blogs during games. I can’t say I stayed positive, but I was nowhere NEAR the level of the thread-and that’s saying something, since I was pretty bummed.

        Shameless plug-to my credit, I never ACTUALLY gave up, just became extremely pessimistic about our chances. I never thought we had no shot, though.

    • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

      Game 4 too. Later tonight, I’ll put on some nice music and read through them both.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    …Also, how on EARTH do the people on MLB network think it nicked the foul pole? Every angle of the replay showed that it pretty conclusively missed.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      Because when you slow something like a ball sailing like that down to a frame by frame pace any movement can look jarring as opposed to a natural turn foul.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        What gets me is that they actually agree it nicked the pole! They weren’t even trying to say it was inconclusive-in their eyes, it nicked the pole but was too close for the umpires to change the call. Seriously? NONE of the angles showed it hitting the pole. None.

        You’re right, frozen frame by frame at a specific angle it sort of looks like that maybe, but a different angle pretty much squashed that highly optimistic theory anyway. Actually, even that angle was pretty conclusive-it only looked like an unnatural turn if you were looking for it.

    • jim p

      TBS showed a shot from the blimp and the ball was easily a foot away from the pole at that angle. But they kept saying “might have nicked.”

      • forensic

        Can’t wait till that point in my DVR’d game so I can make the determination for myself (and tell TBS and other they’re dumbasses).

      • gargoyle

        The TBS blimp shot should have been conclusive to anyone who wasn’t pre-disposed to wanting the ball to have hit the pole. It just did not hit the pole.

        I already had the volume off so no clue what the three jokers were saying but by the amount of replays they were playing I guessed they were all saying it hit the pole.

  • forensic

    CC absolutely carried the Yankees through this whole series. It would’ve been so cool if he had been allowed to finish Game 1 too.

    He so took over this series, you almost wonder if he squeezed himself into a Raul costume for Game 3…

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      That would take a whole lot of squeezing.

  • jim p

    Did they have an MVP for this series? I didn’t hear any one announced, seems odd that the media wouldn’t pick someone.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      They don’t have that for division series.

    • forensic

      No MVP for the DS’s.

      • RetroRob

        …which is really odd.

        I don’t care, but can’t figure out why.

  • stuart a

    CC came up huge literally and figuratively..

    no lefty starters for the tigers, phil coke and I am not sure who else is lefty.

    start arod tommorrow and see how it goes…

    • forensic

      start arod tommorrow and see how it goes…

      Ok, I’ve only had a couple of beers, but this just can’t be right.

      My eyes are telling me stuart actually says to start A-Rod…

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        I fell out of my chair.

      • jjyank (The Stare Is Dandy)

        Umm…I’m guessing I should be hiding under a table or something. Right? TEH WORLD IS ENDING!

        But seriously. I will be under my little dinette table.

        • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

          Haha. You have a dinette table.

      • Anthony

        its sarcasm. no other explanation.

        • DT

          Shit it has learned sarcasm? We are screwed

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

        Okay so I’m not having an acid flashback…he actually said that. Between this and the ghost paragraph in the article I’m not sure about anything anymore.

    • fuckin a

      my brutha….

      …..bring down the confetti……

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      Who are you and what have you done with stuart a?

  • Anthony

    Now here’s a question: Are these god damn Orioles going to be this good/pesky next year? Everyone talks of regressing to the mean and whatnot, but I don’t know.

    • steve (different one)

      My nightmare is they sign Ortiz.

      • Anthony

        Him and McClouth would do wonders against us.

    • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

      I doubt it unless they make some big splash in FA or a trade. You just don’t have historically good records in extra innings and 1 run games for 2 years in a row.

      • vicki

        can’t see angelos doing it.

      • Anthony

        Certainly hope your right!

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Josh Hamilton could easily end up in Baltimore

  • YeeSawn

    Somebody please tell me that Ernie and the boys are not doing this next series.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      They are. But it’s gonna be Smoltz and Darling

      • Rick in Philly

        Better than Smoltz and Alan Trammel.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

    “Sabathia was laboring but Joe Girardi stuck with his ace to get the left-left matchup, and his faith was rewarded when CC struck out McLouth on four pitches.”

    I swear that paragraph wasn’t there the first time I read it.

  • Cashman’s Resume

    Not sure I can handle another series like this. That had to be some of the most agonizing 45+ innings of baseball i’ve ever seen

  • jjyank (The Stare Is Dandy)

    Bring it, Detroit.

    • Joe F (CC!)

      Revenge for last year!

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    i said this on the last post, but it was a foul ball. i was right behind the foul pole in the first row, third deck. not sure if there was anyone with a better view or closer to the ball when it passed the pole. as i saw it approaching i was worried, but then i clearly saw it go foul. i was surprised that buck even came out to protest, to me, it was a no brainer. i would admit if they got lucky, hell, i would rub it in the opponents face at this point. it didn’t hit the pole

  • Eddard

    Chavez really showed nothing today to warrant another start over Alex. ARod should start but shouldn’t hit 3rd. He should hit 6th or 7th. Move Swisher down. Keep Teixera and Ibanez 4th and 5th as they have been your best hitters-

    Jeter
    Ichiro
    Cano
    Teixera
    Ibanez
    ARod
    Granderson
    Swisher
    Martin

    • forensic

      I love how Cano still gets a free pass from so many…

      And it’s not like Chavez had shown anything before this game. I totally understand starting him instead, but people were WAY overboard in their clamoring for it.

      • Joe F (CC!)

        A lot of people sucked and Alex received the brink of the boos.

        Grandy, Swisher, and Ichiro were pretty bad up until the homer and RBI double today for Grandy and Ichiro.

        Cano’s been blah, yes, but he’s Cano. He’s weird when he’s not batting 3rd. Why? No clue. Just hit him third anyway.

      • Joe F (CC!)

        Meant to say bulk. I’m so tired from this series.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      this is a good lineup

    • DT

      Pretty much what i was thinking

  • stuart a

    i actually agree with you on the lineup.

    give arod a start but bat him lower in the order…

    the tigers staff is all righy except coke and he stinks in my opinion.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    both the cards and nats scare me a bit. but i sort of hope the cards come back here

    • forensic

      I don’t like picking matchups much anymore, since it never works out as you imagined.

      But, I do have a clear choice here. The Cards for some reason are worrisome, but I would have no problem with facing the Nats at this point.

      • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

        The Cardinals scare me after what they did last year. The Nationals have look really pedestrian outside of the first 3 innings tonight.

      • Bartolo’s Colon

        i think its also because i have lot of family in dc and they are big nats fans. i just don’t want to deal with it. i went to the 14 inning affair in dc with them in june. i was good not to gloat, but it was very satisfying walking out of the stadium that day with all nats fans head hanging

  • 27 rings

    Pettite, Phelphs, Kuroda, Sabathia, Pettite, Hughes, Kuroda. Pitching will not be the reason they lose. If needed Sabathia could come out of pen for game 7. If not game 1 of WS.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      will phelps be ready given that he went 2 last night?

      • forensic

        His 27 pitches are the big question. Is it too much for a throw day kind of thing or not?

        I guess starting Sabathia on short rest in Game 3 will also be a hot-button topic since he’d then be pushing Kuroda to only 1 game in the series. At this point, you’d certainly prefer Sabathia, but maybe you adjust things if the series is going well or something else goes your way?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          He’s made plenty of starts on a 50-75 pitch limit this season. If he can give the team five, that will be enough.

          These five games in a row feel like some sort of reality TV show twist (“There’s a last minute twist…..you’ll have to use your fifth starter AND work in Eduardo Nunez on the field somehow….”).

          • forensic

            That’s exactly what I’m hoping for. Even a guaranteed short start is better than the likely blow-out that would come from Garcia/Nova.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I don’t think there’s much of a shot we see Garcia or Nova start. I’d say the pitch limit start from Phelps would be the choice for sure.

    • Joe F (CC!)

      Makes ZERO sense. CC only once?

  • Eddard

    I think whether Sabathia pitches Game 3 or Game 4 will depend on the outcome of the first two games. If it’s 2-0 Yanks or tied 1-1 I probably go Kuroda in Game 3 vs Verlander, Sabathia in Game 4 on full rest and then if it got to Game 7 CC could pitch on short rest. If Yanks are down 0-2, CC pitches Game 3 on short rest, Kuroda Game 4.

    • Joe F (CC!)

      I kinda agree with this. However, I rather CC pitch game 3 regardless and not basically concede game 3 to Detroit.

      • Rivera Venue Blues

        I don’t think Kuroda vs. Verlander is a concede of any sorts. Our offense will have to score a couple runs but throwing Kuroda out there isn’t waving a white flag against Verlander.

  • JScott

    I’d run Gardner in for Swisher. Nick now has about 170 post-season PAs of near total futility. I don’t know when a short sample ceases to be a short sample, but a 170 PA sample seems like it might be ready to break from from the gravitational pull of “Planet Short Sample”.

    Also, since defense (particularly infield defense) is a Tigers’ weak spot, I think Gardner is likely to apply more pressure more often to said defense.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I’d give Swisher the first 2 games. If he looks like he still can’t calm down enough to be productive, I’d make the move to Gardner.
      His defense would come in handy in Comerica, and if he can’t hit, he can just bunt it toward Miggy every plate appearance. I’m sure he’d be able to bunt his way on at least a couple of times.

  • forensic

    Since we’re railing on Ichiro for not being able to get the ball out of the infield, how about picking on a guy who is supposed to be light-years better than him, but is still barely doing that?

    I know you’ve mentioned his disappearing act, but Cano is now 0 for his last 16 with only 3 balls hit out of the infield in those 16 AB’s.

    That’s a FAR bigger deal than Ichiro’s lack of OF balls.

    • DT

      Because admitting Cano has sucked, is like admitting it’s not all Arod’s fault. With that said. The Tigers lack any good lefties. This just sets up perfectly for Cano to refind his swing. He has been terrible versus lefties but the best hitter in the league against righties. And one would hope and think he won’t slump forever.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Cano hit, what, .615 over the final couple weeks of the regular season? Hopefully the ALDS was just an example of things evening out and he’ll get back to where he should be. I can’t see the Yankees advancing without a good series from Cano.

        • DT

          Yea his hot last week makes the slump even more perplexing. Hopefully a new series means the end of his slump.

  • vicki

    tyler clippard is 27? man, it flies.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Frankly, this series has to be a fresh start for the offense. They really could not have been any worse than they were against Baltimore. 15 runs in 50 innings, and only one inning where they scored multiple runs in the inning.

    Detroit’s pitching is better than Baltimore’s, so that part won’t make it easier. It’s just law of averages type crap. I don’t expect Alex to turn things around, because Detroit is all power RHP. But Cano, Granderson, Ichiro, etc.? It would be really hard for some of those guys to continue at the wretched paces they’re at. Swisher is a lost cause all-together come playoff time, so he’s pretty much irrelevant in this discussion.

    • forensic

      I sure hope they think of it as a fresh start and perform as such.

      I just wonder though, will having 5 straight games somehow impact them negatively, if they struggle? Will the groans continue despite a new opponent and new series, or not?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Shit turns on a dime sometimes. It could be a fresh start. It could be more of the same. I’m just glad to see a new team in here, even if it’s a much better team than the Orioles.

  • captain kiwi

    was watching the game at work. friday night would normally be a shitty night but after the yankees won, nothing fazed me. so ready for tomorrow.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    “I don’t think the final line — 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K — actually does CC justice since he labored in exactly one inning.”

    What does this even mean? Is CC’s line of 9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9K not pretty enough?

    However, out of respect for baseball, the Yankees need to forfeit the ALCS since they don’t deserve to be there after losing to fucking Joe Saunders.

  • forensic

    Holy Shit!!!

  • vicki

    motherfucking rally squirrel.

  • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

    Wow Nationals.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    St. Louis Cardinals are absolutely unbelievable.

    • Knoxvillain

      I have an irrational hate for that fucking team. I hope they lose it in the bottom of the 9th. Hard not to root for the Nationals.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        The Cardinals shouldn’t even be a playoff team.

        They fluked their way to the title in 2006, and did so again in 2011. And they’re well on their way now in 2012.

        I agree. I rooted for them to beat the Rangers then, but now? Fuck ‘em.

        • Knoxvillain

          I think I’ve always hated them because I’ve always hated Pujols. I hope it’s Yanks-Cards. I’ll take Yankees in four, please.

          • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

            It doesn’t help that the last three times the Cardinals got to the World Series, the Yankees would’ve absolutely clobbered them, but the Yankees found ways to fuck themselves over before they got the chance.

            I mean, really. 2004, 2006, and 2011 would’ve all been annihilations. No doubt in my mind.

            • Knoxvillain

              It will be alright because this year David Freese and his precious Cards will have two assholes instead of one.

            • Pat D

              Yea, 2004 was obviously the one that annoyed me the most. One of my good friends from Notre Dame is from St. Louis and we were IM’ing each other after Game 4 of that series. I told him I was upset because the Yankees would have killed them. I also said I was mad at his team for rolling over. He wasn’t overly happy with me, but he understood where I was coming from.

            • forensic

              I know it’s a STL centric discussion here, but everyone thought they would destroy the Marlins in 2003 too, but that didn’t exactly happen.

              • Pat D

                Torre not using in Game 4 and Wells not being healthy in Game 5 probably cost them that series.

                No, I refuse to acknowledge that Game 6 happened.

                • Pat D

                  That should read “not using Rivera in Game 4…”

              • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

                The power of talking about scenarios that never happened.

                You’re right, but I’ve held steadfast in those beliefs for years. And I will never yield.

          • vicki

            for me it was larussa. they’re just not as detestable as when those guys were there.

            • Knoxvillain

              He’s a whiny scumbag. Most overrated manager I’ve ever seen.

              • VT Yankee Fan (Phil Phranchise)

                Dusty Baker says, “hi!”

      • vicki

        i hate myself as i’m typing this but they’ve got a little of the yanks dynasty years thing.

        dare i say, gulp, aura and mystique.

        • Rivera Venue Blues

          Lol, except these Cardinals are barely getting into the playoffs whether it’s as the Wild Card or Second Wild Card.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Wow Cardinals.

    Can’t say I get the managing though. Down 2 in the ninth, don’t PR for Molina as the tying run when he’s on first base, but PR for him when he gets to second?

    • Pat D

      Well…it worked?

  • The Real Greg

    Great tweet fro David Schoenfeld

    Why do you sometimes get the feeling that every closer not named “Rivera” makes you want to throw up in the postseason?

    • Pat D

      Which is kind of funny since we all know Rivera hasn’t been perfect. But it is interesting how every great closer has had at least one postseason fuckup.

      I just remember 2009 when every closer blew a game except for Rivera, which kind of made it more special.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Cardinals……just wow.

  • Ethan

    Holy crap this Cards-Nats game…

  • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

    Cards-Yankees World Series.

    • Pat D

      My dad will like that. He’s been waiting since 1964.

  • Ivan

    Wow just wow….what a job by the Cardinals

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Wow.

    Cardinals will never not win the World Series ever again.

  • The Real Greg

    4 runs scored by the Cardinals with 2 outs in the ninth.

  • Just too disappointed right now

    And just like that, the National’s season is over

  • Knoxvillain

    Holy nutsack. Down 6-0 and they will win the game. Should have used Strasburg, and should have pulled Storen.

  • forensic

    Drew Storen may not want to renew his lease this month. A new place may be worth it.

  • Joe F (CC!)

    Poor Nats.

  • The Real Greg

    So two outs and Beltran on 3rd…

    walk to Molina
    walk to Freese
    2 run single by Descalso
    Descalso steals second
    2 run single by Kozma

  • Joe F (CC!)

    Freese was the go ahead run. He’s the Cardinals clutch guy.

  • CUYanks

    With all the excitement of the fans there, I honestly feel depressed to see their season end that way.

  • Pat D

    I’m going to be kind of sad that the Nats will lose. For one thing, the Yankees swept them this year. For another, I was really hoping the media would have to come up with a new storyline in case they won it all so I wouldn’t have to listen to the Strasburg shit anymore. Especially after reading that article where the anonymous GM’s ripped them. Those guys deserved to eat their words.

    • The Real Greg

      The Strasburg shit means nothing. Their bullpen is the reason for failure.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        I’d place a hefty wager that the (post) post-season narratives won’t be indicative of that.

      • Pat D

        Don’t kid yourself that the “They Shouldn’t Have Shut Down Strasburg” narrative will die.

        • The Real Greg

          Probably not, but gotta keep a level head.

          • Pat D

            I don’t disagree with your take at all, but I know the sports media all too well. Once they latch onto a story they stick with it until it’s proven wrong. And even that usually doesn’t stop them.

            • CUYanks

              At least they didn’t get crushed on the Detwiler start.

  • forensic

    Bryce Harper just swung at a pitch that I caught…

  • The Real Greg

    The Nationals have their own Rick Monday moment.

  • CUYanks

    I honestly don’t know which NL team I’d fear more if they advanced to the World Series.

  • captain kiwi

    holy shit cards.

  • forensic

    Wow…

    I don’t even know what to say about Storen, Strasburg, and the whole Nattitude thing…

  • Just too disappointed right now

    How appropriate that Descalso catches the last out

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    I feel absolutely terrible for Nationals fans, and I never empathize with other fan bases.

    Just an unbelievably cruel joke spun on those poor bastards tonight. Their dream season derailed because those St. Louis bastards struck once again.

    • CUYanks

      Yes. It felt so much better when it was against the fighting Nolan Ryans.

    • Joe F (CC!)

      I don’t really care. That was us last year. Different circumstances same result. I hate that feeling, but 29 fan bases feel it every year.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        No playoff baseball in the District since 1933.

        They were one strike away from a date with the Giants beginning on Sunday, back in D.C.

        And then the Cardinals score four runs.

        It’s easy for us not to let playoff losses “sting” (relatively speaking) as much as other fanbases. It’s because we’re privileged to watch playoff baseball every year. Other fanbases, other than the Cardinals, are not so lucky.

        • Pat D

          And I was already telling my mother how the NLCS was going to be a rematch of that 1933 World Series, being that it would be Washington against the Giants.

          Not the same Washington team, of course, but it worked for my story.

    • Anthony

      What a heartbreaker.

  • CUYanks

    This should just underline how happy we should be that the Yankees survived to the next round. In baseball, nothing is guaranteed. Also, highlights the value of a guy who can take it all the way home, ala Verlander or Sabathia.

  • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

    I can only imagine what RAB would have looked like if the Yankees lost Game 5 like that.

    • Ethan

      Something in my apartment would have definitely been destroyed that’s for sure.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

      Since I wasn’t home today, God knows what I would’ve done.

      Probably something that would’ve severely maimed me. Only because I couldn’t destroy one of my valuables at home.

  • forensic

    Heh, TBS can’t even identify the names of the people they are interviewing on air correctly.

    Way to go MLB. Money rules the world!!!

  • The Real Greg

    Drew Storen has a Twitter account. That’s going to be gone in a matter of hours.

  • Nathan

    Wow…that was the most boring interview ever…Kozma? Geezus.

  • CUYanks

    The last 3 WS champions are all still alive.

    • Jimmy Jam

      Hey, you forgot that we actually have 4 recent WS champions alive… well, if you consider 1984 recent, that is…

  • Knoxvillain

    Cardinals over Giants in 5
    Yankees over America’s Armpits in 6

    Yankees over Cardinals in 7

    That is all.

  • Pat D

    Giants — pedestrian offense, really good starting pitching, decent (I think?) bullpen

    Cardinals — decent enough offense, decent enough pitching, decent enough (I think?) bullpen

    Gotta say then that I’d rather beat the Cardinals so my dad gets his revenge.

  • edmond

    The only home team in the 4 LDS that won were the Yanks! (A’s, Reds and Nats all lost). This is huge. The Yanks have a much better overall team, and are proven winners

    • stuart a

      cards have a very good offense and they are gamers plain and simple.

      heartbreaking loss for the Nat’s…

      ow.

    • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

      Maybe there IS something to the theory that the 2-3 format is giving the “road” team an advantage…

  • forensic

    I’ve now updated my dream team of TBS buzzkill announcers:

    Ernie Johnson and Dick Stockton sharing PBP, with Buck Martinez doing color and David Aldridge doing interviews.

    Seriously, those guys could make a walk-off grandslam in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the World Series when down by 3 sound like a routine Tuesday night game in May…

    • Get Phelps Up (wins needed: 8)

      I actually really like Stockton and Brenley. I agree about the others, however.

      • The Real Greg

        I agree with you. Stockton gets too much crap, IMO.

    • Pat D

      Stockton still has the good PBP voice though he’s been going senile for a few years. He doesn’t show a tremendous amount of excitement, I’ll grant you that. He’s not much worse than Joe Buck in that respect, really.

      I’d much rather listen to Buck Martinez than John Smoltz again, but we won’t get that option.

    • vicki

      we’ve bitched about tbs all week but i’ve thoroughly enjoyed the studio team. boomer, obviously; but eck also has some charm, and even victorino had his moments.

  • The Real Greg

    These are (wait for it)… “The Walking Red” St. Louis Cardinals

  • VinRae

    So if we make it to the World Series, who would you want the Yankees to face?

    • DT

      Probably the Giants. Lesser hitters, good pitching but far from unhittable. They are a lot of fly ball pitchers who will have trouble in YS.

      • CUYanks

        I also agree Giants, though they do have some fine pitching. The Cardinals, with Carpenter back, are a scarier team than their regular season record suggests.

    • Pat D

      I said the Cardinals in an earlier post, just so the my dad gets his revenge after 48 years.

      The Giants might be “easier,” but this is the playoffs and anything can happen.

      But…gotta beat the Tiggers first.

    • RetroRob

      The Minnesota Twins?

  • DT

    I swear Kozma sounds like a fucking Zombie.

  • dkidd

    my wife is a die-hard cardinals fan

    today was a very good day in our household

    • Pat D

      So in a potential World Series matchup between the two teams…will it be a challenge?

      • dkidd

        it will be an apocalypse

        like crossing the beams in “ghostbusters”

        • Pat D

          But that ended up saving the world. I mean, it caused a lot of destruction, sure, but…ultimately it worked.

          • dkidd

            good point!

            need a better movie metaphor

            • Pat D

              It will be like when……Roddy Piper and Keith David fought in They Live.

              I’m not sure why that’s the best I could come up with. I guess because they’re friends, they fight, and they’re still friends afterwards.

              • RetroRob

                errr, I’m going to have to go Google that one too.

              • Austin Aunelowitzky

                wow, just wow.

                • Pat D

                  You’re welcome?

  • JRod

    Athletics Orioles Nationals Cinderella left her glass slippers in some dude’s Camaro and is going to be sleeping behind a dumpster tonight.

  • Andrew

    Great to be a Yankee fan today. C.C. brought it home with one of the clutch moments in recent memory. Now if we can find our hitting and the pitching keeps it together we can “Start Spreading the News”.

  • cnp

    hope they dont go too hard with that champagne!

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    How on EARTH did the Cards pull that out.

    I mean, talk about a team that’s good at comebacks…two years in a row now.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Also, spare me the sympathy for Washington. Yes, as Yankee fans it’s much easier for us to get over playoff losses. But there are lots of franchises in all sports who have to deal with this every year. It sucks, but great comebacks always suck for at least one team. Sorry Nats, not your year. It sucks, but that’s sports. I’ll have to deal with it one day, and have dealt with it, just like you have.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      Plus unlike the O’s, who did it with a patch work rotation, and clutch(re:LUCKY) hits the Nats have a good rotation and decent offense and probably will be contending for the NL East again next season.

  • RetroRob

    So who gets cut and who gets added for the ALCS? Garcia or Nova? If Phelps is starting game two, they need another arm in the pen, and to do that someone needs to get removed.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      I’d say Nunie. Nix can play short, second, or third, and Gardner could be used as a pinch runner.

      • CountryClub

        Yeah, you don’t need him to DH vs a lefty since Detroit doesn’t have any.

  • BENICIO DEL TORO

    Best part about all of this: NO MORE FUCKING NATE McCLOUTH

  • Kosmo

    Giants and the Cardinals my two favorite NL teams. If NY makes it to the WS either team would be fine with me. Yanks have a long history vs. both clubs.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    you predicted the exact score in your Chat yesterday. I congratulate you on that Mike.

    • TCMiller30

      I saw that..

      That woulda been the first thing I mentioned if I did that. Haha good work!

  • CountryClub

    I realize that Chavez didn’t do himself any favors last night, but people calling for Arod to start don’t make sense to me. He’s a disaster vs RH pitching and has been all yr.

    I’m not saying I would yell and scream if he starts tonight. If he does, I’ll be rooting for him. But I think it’s much more likely that Chavez gets hot vs a righty than Arod does.

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      Check me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that Chavy has had some very good games against the Tigers. Thus, I would sit Arod again tonight.

      • Jose M. Vazquez

        If I may clarify the above statement,I will. If Arod plays, then I would sit Swisher, put Ichiro in right and Ibanez in left even if we make the defense less efficient.

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    Must play small/speed ball against Tigers. They have all righties that our big hitters can’t take deep-certainly not in their park. ARod’s #’s against Tiger pitchers are abysmal. Play Gardy and sit Swish!!! Won’t happen. Play Nunez and sit ARod. Also won’t happen.

    Bunts on Miggy and righty pitchers and SB’s would not be our style but…..

    Swish and ARod to pinch hit in late innings.

    In my dreams….

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    Do we walk Cabrera 3x tonight?

    Can’t let him beat us.

    Get into Prince’s head?

  • CountryClub

    If you’re willing to spend 100+ for tickets, there are seats available in the 300 & 200 sections on ticketmaster for tonight. Even better seats if you want to spend more.

    • Monterowasnotdinero

      That last line is true for any event….any time.

      • CountryClub

        On the secondary market, sure.

    • Hans Moleman

      I just bought tickets for Grandstand infield (415) for $65 each. I feel it gives just as good of a view (if not better) as the 200/300 sections for a fraction of the price.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    I can see where we don’t want Cabrera or Fielder beating us but there is Delmon Young who hits like an MVP against us.

  • http://stoogazzo@comcast.net Tom Morea

    Not too many comments on the great series that Bozo the Clown Swisher had. Too bad that perpetual grin on Bozo the Clown can’t wipe out his clutchless performance.

  • Hall and Nokes

    haha now you guys get to see Smoltz with a team he actually roots for. Enjoy!

  • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

    swisher, I agree was the worst. well, tied for worst with CaNO.

    a close second is some of the yankees ‘fans’ on here.

    honestly, I don’t consider them fans.
    people like Kramerica, who at the first sign of the team not getting a complete game no hit shutout, starts cursing the team and players.
    go root for the Mets.

    in any event, lets relax and enjoy a minimum of 4 more yankees games!

    Arod will redeem!!!

  • Mike HC

    Considering we made almost every Baltimore pitcher look like Verlander, I say we are ready!