Ibanez comes off the bench, carries Yankees to Game Three win

Update: Jeter day-to-day with bone bruise on left foot
Thoughts following Game Three

This was shaping up to be a very bad night. The Yankees looked lifeless for the first eight innings of Game Three and were two outs away from a 2-1 series deficit … but Raul Ibanez. Baseball has a way of making your jaw drop, and Ibanez provided not one, but two jaw-dropping moments on Wednesday night.

(Alex Trautwig/Getty)

There Is Only One #HIROKtober

As hideous as the offense has been, the Yankees have been getting some absolutely stellar work from their pitching staff this series. Hiroki Kuroda followed the lead of CC Sabathia (8.2 innings and two runs in Game One) and Andy Pettitte (seven innings and three runs in Game Two) with 8.1 strong innings in Game Three, allowing just two solo homers and five total hits. Both homers came on first pitch sliders, the first by number eight hitter Ryan Flaherty in the third and the second by number nine hitter Manny Machado in the fifth. Machado hit a hanger up in the zone, but the pitch to Flaherty wasn’t bad at all. It was at the knees and he golfed it out.

Outside of the two homers, Kuroda was pretty dynamite. He pitched out of a defense-created bases loaded jam in the fourth and retired 12 of the final 13 men he faced after Machado’s dinger. Command, especially of the splitter, was a bit of an issue early on, but Kuroda figured things out later on and wound up throwing 65 of his 105 pitches were strikes (62%). That’s usually nothing special, but after the first few innings it was pretty damn good. All told, the Yankees have gotten a 2.63 ERA out of their top three starters in the series. These guys have been brilliant and it seems to be flying under the radar.

Mr. Big Hit

(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees plated their first run in the third inning, when Derek Jeter tripled in Russell Martin with two outs. Center fielder Adam Jones deserves a huge assist for the play, I have no idea what the hell he was doing going after the ball. That ball was very catchable and Jones just seemed to be moving in slow motion as he went back to the wall. Whatever, I’m not complaining.

Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez stymied the Yankees after that though, as he retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced following the triple. After pitching very well in Yankee Stadium during the regular season, the 28-year-old rookie carried it over into the playoffs and held the Bombers to just the one run in seven innings with his fastball-changeup-slider mix. He pitched very well and deserves some credit, but the Yankees looked rather feeble at times.

After Darren O’Day breezed through the eighth inning, closer Jim Johnson entered the game in the ninth and promptly retired Ichiro Suzuki on a fly ball to left. Alex Rodriguez, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on the night and 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts in the series, was due up next, but Joe Girardi instead pinch-hit with Ibanez. There’s been a lot of talk about moving A-Rod down in the lineup given his lack of production, but the skipper again batted him third to start the game. Down a run with two outs to play, Girardi said told Alex he had been struggling and he wanted to give Raul a shot with the short porch. “My gut told me to make the move … (it) was the best thing to do,” said Joe after the game.

Just like Martin in Game One, Johnson fell behind in the count to Ibanez and left a sinker up the zone. Raul did what he does best, and lately that’s been come up with enormous homers. He tied a game in the 13th inning against the Athletics three weeks ago, tied a game against the Red Sox last week, and tied up Game Three of the ALDS with a solo shot to right. It wasn’t hit particularly deep but it wasn’t a Yankee Stadium cheapie either. The game was tied and the first one to greet Raul with a high five in the dugout was A-Rod. I love and hate that guy so much.

Beat Them At Their Own Game

The Orioles have been lauded for their dominant bullpen all season and rightfully so, as their relief corps have been nailing down one-run wins since Opening Day. The Yankees turned the tables a bit on Wednesday, as three relievers — Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano, and David Robertson — combined to allow just two baserunners in 3.1 innings of work following Kuroda. Logan struck out the only man he faced (Jim Thome), Rafael Soriano finished the ninth and handled the tenth, then David Robertson tossed up zeroes in the 11th and 12th. It’ll be long forgotten come the morning, but the bullpen deserves major props for holding down the fort.

(Alex Trautwig/Getty)

Just Get It To Raul

“Just get it to A-Rod” is a phrase I’ve muttered many, many times through the years whenever the Yankees were losing in the late innings. Just get Alex another at-bat and he could make it alright with one swing. After being lifted in Game Three — A-Rod joked after the game that it was the first time he was pinch-hit for since high school, and I can only assume that coach was fired soon thereafter — things had shifted to “just get it to Raul.”

The bullpen allowed Ibanez to come to bat again in the 12th, an inning he led off against the left-hander Brian Matusz. I’ve been crushing Girardi for leaving Ibanez in against tough southpaws in the late innings of tight games all season, but I am very glad to look like an idiot now. Raul hammered the first pitch of the inning, a high fastball on the outer third, into the second deck in right for a walk-off solo homer. You could see his True Yankee™ wings sprout as he rounded the bases with Yankee Stadium rocking and his teammates waiting at home plate.

At +.827 WPA, Ibanez just had the fifth biggest playoff game in baseball history, and all he saw was three pitches in two at-bats. He also became the first player in baseball history to homer twice in a playoff game he didn’t start. That goes back to 1903. The Orioles had gone 76-0 when leading after seven innings during the regular season, so this was their first loss of 2012 in those situations. Baltimore is also 0-3 against the Yankees in extra innings this year and 16-0 against everyone else. Ibanez made some big things happen in Game Three. Big, big things.


(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees only had seven baserunners in the 12 innings … well, eleven innings and one batter. Jeter went 2-for-4 with a triple, Russell Martin went 2-for-4 with a double, and Nick Swisher went 1-for-4 with a single. Ibanez’s two dingers account for the other two baserunners. The Yankees didn’t draw a single walk, so the rest of the team went a combined 0-for-25. Not good, Raul really bailed them out.

Jeter left the game in the ninth inning after fouling a ball off the top of his left foot in the very first inning. He played through it for the next eight innings, but he was clearly hobbled and having a hard time running. For the Cap’n to leave a playoff game, it had to be pretty bad. Jeter was diagnosed with a bone bruise and is day-to-day. I’m sure he’ll be in the lineup in Game Four, even if he’s just the DH. Jayson Nix replaced him at short and made a nice grab on an inning-ending line drive double play in the tenth.

Two very weird random moments in the game worth mentioning. First Nate McLouth got caught stealing second in the first inning, but he made it to the base safely only to over-slide and get tagged out on the shortstop side of the bag. Robertson and Mark Teixeira had a mini-collision in front of the mound on a pop-up in the 12th, which allowed Mark Reynolds to reach base. Baseball, I guess.

Box Score & WPA Graph

The WPA graph doesn’t do this game justice. Nope, not at all. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, and you should totally watch the highlights even if you saw the entire game.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

It’ll be Game Four on Thursday night, as the Yankees will have a chance to eliminate the Orioles and advance to the ALCS for the third time in four years. Phil Hughes will get the ball for New York while the left-hander Joe Saunders will start for Baltimore. That game will start at 7:37pm ET because the Athletics pulled an Ibanez and walked off against the Tigers, forcing a Game Five.

Update: Jeter day-to-day with bone bruise on left foot
Thoughts following Game Three
  • King George

    Simply amazing.

  • Eddard

    There’s something magical about this team. Russell in Game 1, Raul in Game 3. The starting pitching for both teams has been tremendous. Tip your cap to Girardi, he called it. Never thought he’d ever PH for A-Rod. Great move. It kept us alive. It gives us a chance to line up CC for Game 1 of the ALCS. Detroit lost. Great day for baseball.

    • MannyGeee

      I thought there was a strict “no hat tip” rule in the playoffs?

    • Laz

      Yep, Verlander is pitching tonight too. Means that he wouldn’t get into series untill game 3 on normal rest.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    The Mysterious Force is good. Really good. But Mystique and Aura are even better.

    • mustang

      well said, well said

    • RetroRob

      Mystique and Aura with the Dark Lord coming off the bench. A winning combination.

  • Dave in VA

    Gotta love that Jose Valverde meltdown in Oakland.

    • http://yankeesblogtbnl.blogspot.com Derek

      MLB is loving this. Two game fives, and potentially two more. Good start to the postseason.

    • stuart a

      could not happen to a nicer guy. valverde a mega jackass.

      they also have to pitch verlander again, go for the yanks if they beat the O’s.

    • UpstateYanks

      You said it- Nothing makes me happier than watching that guy get beat. So classless, you can’t dance around the f-ing mound like that after every save.

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

    This is getting lost in the other thread. Yeah right:

    Tonight may have been more remarkable than Sept. 28, 2011.
    I am not kidding.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      Yeah, no way. That Rays-Yankees game was one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen. Coupled with the walk-off Red Sox loss AND the Braves collapse…today was good, but not THAT good.

      Excellent postseason though.

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

        But this was the playoffs, the A’s 9th inning rally was a season-saver, and the Yankees 9th inning rally may have been a de facto season saver as well.

        Both nights are/were incredible. Can’t go wrong with either. But just as 9/28 featured three incredible games, 10/11 featured two incredible playoff games. Playoffs > regular season, even Game 162.

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          I disagree-playoffs are NORMALLY better than the regular season, but when it’s an ultra-important game 162 it virtually is a playoff game.

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


            Let’s just say it’s a fricken’ privilege to watch these games. Nights like tonight (and 9/28) remind you why baseball is the greatest sport on earth.

            • Rocky Road Redemption

              Fuck. Yeah.

        • jesse


  • Leonard

    And it looks like the A’s just walked off against the Tigers…feeling about 100 times better about things than I did three hours ago.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Lost amidst all of the truly epic whining, from regulars, optimists, and trolls alike, was this gem by Big Member:


    …BTW, that game thread was horrible. I DEFINITELY made the right decision to avoid game threads in the playoffs (at least until the game ends). Seriously, almost every single person in that thread was ludicrously over the top with the criticism-before the game was over!

    I’m not saying I wouldn’t be as bad if I was on the thread, but honestly that’s because it’s hard to be positive with both the team playing badly AND everybody on here crying for the dismemberment of various players (yes, I’m exaggerating).

    If you guys find yourself getting too emotionally negative, get up and watch the game away from any sports blogs. Trust me, it makes a HUGE difference. That’s not to say it isn’t depressing, but at least you don’t need to hear a gazillion different people saying it all the time.

    • Pat D

      Yea, it sucked. I was as negative as anybody. The whole Zen baseball concept has abandoned me again now that it’s the playoffs. I just can’t take the losing.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        I mean, sometimes negative threads are entertaining when the team comes back and wins it, especially when some of the regulars keep a cool head and can then mock the trolls, but reading this thread was sort of like looking into the blackest pit of Hell. It was rotten to the CORE. Even after the HR fans seemed to be really pissed.

        Seriously people, the game was tied, and it’s the playoffs. Winning pretty no longer has any significance.

        • RetroRob

          Missed the thread, but there are fans who only notice the negative side. The Orioles, for example, have only seven runs in this series. To the negative fans no credit goes to Yankee pitchers. Yet when the Yankees hitters don’t put up ten runs a game, it’s all about the Yankee hitters’ failures and nothing to do with the opposition pitchers, who were good enough to make it to the postseason. It really is odd. You wonder how these people ever became baseball fans.

      • RetroRob

        I find the game threads relaxing during the season, but not so during the postseason when every pitch and AB is big. Tension is already running high, so I don’t need the nervous nellies and ledge jumpers t0 add to it all. Yet I’ll usually make it to half of them if I’m not out watching the game elsewhere as I was tonight.

        The second Ibanez HR was funny. Was at a friend’s home watching it with a few people, and someone turned the sound off during the commercial. We were chatting when Ibanez blasts the first pitch for a HR, but none of us were looking. We all look at the TV suddenly and see what we think is a replay of Ibanez’s last HR. One guy mumbles is that a replay? Then with rising tension another says, no I don’t think it’s a replay because this one is in the second deck, maybe they’re showing one of his past HRs. Yet within a couple more seconds we’re all now sure it’s not a replay and we just missed the game-winning HR. I’m now yelling, “where’s the damn remote, get the sound back on. Raul just hit another HR!”

        Lots of fun.

        • Rocky Road Redemption

          Very similar to what happened with me, actually.

        • JLC 776

          I was still in the bathroom….

        • Neil Treeby

          I missed it because I was over on TNT watching the Oakland/Detroit game during the commercials and switched back too late!

      • Ted Nelson

        They didn’t lose…

      • http://theevilsquare.com handtius

        Pat, no. Don’t give up on Zen Baseball. Stay away from the game threads when they’re losing. People will just drag you down, like in What Dreams May Come. I stayed away and enjoyed the game much more with some friends. I was nervous and spouting every once in a while, but I enjoyed the game more. Just took a peak at the comment thread…nasty. ouch.

    • MannyGeee

      it was a blatant troll-fest. I had to walk away for a few innings

    • JLC 776

      Avoiding game threads seems to be very sage advice. You can see it for the O’s fans on Camden Chat as well – the negativity becomes contagious and you start to actually get angry with the players.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    So…how utterly fucking worthless is A-Rod?

    • DT

      As much as Grandy, Swisher and to an extent Cano has been.

      • MB

        Granderson looked AWFUL

        • MannyGeee

          he’s bad right now. at least A-Rod is fouling off pitches. Granderson didn’t see 15 pitches last night…. in a 12 inning game!

      • Cris Pengiucci

        As much as Grandy, Swisher and to an extent Cano has been

        Make it “as much as Grandy, Cano and to an extent Swisher …” and I’m with you. Cano needs to step it up. While Swisher clearly hasn’t been anything special, at least he’s getting on base more than Cano (which as absolutly horrible to think about).

    • dalelama

      Arod has become as useful as a fart in church.

    • Ted Nelson

      He got hurt and hasn’t hit since, so there’s a decent chance the injury is still lingering.

      It’s also been 3 games in the playoffs for all these guys.

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

    Wait a sec. – when would tomorrow night’s game have been if the Tigers had won? 8:37?

    • forensic


  • stuart a

    their is nothing magical about this team there is something magial about Ibanez who has had about 10 huge hits this season, that is 7 more then arod, 7 more then swisher and 5 more then granderson.. tex almost never get s a big hit so I do not even need to mention him. imagien if tex was on a team he did not have to hide his smallness behind serial failures in swisher and arod…..

    a 40 year old pro hitter saved the multi millionaires asses again………

    • FIPster Doofus

      Come on, man. I understand your complaints, but you can’t be negative after that game. It’s just not possible.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        He’s a Mets fan, remember? Or it may be Red Sox. The point is he’s been confirmed as a fan of a rival team.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Really? I was unaware, but I guess that explains it.

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            I’m not 100% positive but I am pretty sure Mike outed him once.

        • Ted Nelson

          Haha… for a fan of either of those teams to be talking about overpaid under-performers is interesting.

          • Robinson Tilapia


    • Ana

      you are a problematic person.

    • vicki

      more THAN.

    • Captain_Turbo

      There’s something broken inside you…

    • Squints

      Your seriously overlooking his tremendous defense at first.

  • Anthony

    Another roller coaster of a game. So happy with the win, but offense, please step up soon? The pitching staff has done a phenomenal job, time to return the offer. Good for Raul Ibanez, and good on Joe for PHing. A-rod looks lost right now.

    On another note, the stadium sounded like a graveyard tonight, especially compared to Camden. Are the acoustics THAT bad?

    • stuart a

      fans are that spoiled….

      they think the playoffs are a birthright and winning ins guaranteed….

      first pitch off matusz just like boone of wakefield.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        funny coming from someone who acts more spoiled than anyone else……

      • Anthony

        Oh stuart. One of my facebook friends was complaining it was all the “rich corporate people’s” fault. I think the majority of fans have come to realize how hard the O’s play to be honest. Its frustrating as hell and makes me wonder if they really will be irrelevant next year, like so many are saying.

        • sevrox

          I think the O’s, with Gonzalez and the Asian guy in the rotation, will be just fine next year. These are two absolute stud pitchers. O’s will be ‘here’ for awhile, methinks.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      The team was losing and looked bland and lifeless. What do you expect? FWIW, I was there for a Septemember regular season game against Toronto that they won 2-1. The Stadium was ROCKING, it was an awesome experience. When you strike out a lot and barely score the Stadium won’t be loud.

      And if it didn’t get as much louder as you’d think after the Ibanez HR, that’s understandable. They were practically in a stupor all game. I’d imagine they were all extremely shocked.

      • Anthony

        Oh yea, the game was really dull early on. No doubt about that; I wasn’t too happy either. I felt like in Camden though the fans (most of which are probably bandwagoning) were hanging on to every pitch. Maybe they were revved up just cause its the Yankees they’re playing.

        I was there this year when RAUUUL had another one of his clutch hits… also vs. Toronto. They had been tied at 2 for a couple innings and then he smacked a grand slam to right field. That was a lot of fun.

    • CBean

      I was at the game. It was loud. Fans were on their feet for every soriano and d-rob pitch and went wild when Ibanez tied and then won the game.

      • Anthony

        Wow, lucky. Yeah, it seemed like the intensity peaked towards the end. Before that it seemed dead. Granted fans didn’t have much to cheer about. I’m trying to get to the tickets to the ALCS, should be fun.

        • Laz

          yep. Orioles were screaming everytime one of there pitchers threw a strike, that is unneccesary.

    • forensic

      Outside of 2 hits in the span of 3 AB’s, what would you like them to have rooted for before the 9th? They barely even had a base runner and kuroda was just kind of quietly moving along without getting (or needing) a big K or some great defensive play.

      It was actually a pretty boring and frustrating game until the 9th.

      • Anthony

        I know, I know. It was pretty frustrating. I’m just surprised that such a subdued atmosphere can happen in a playoff game. This is the first year I really noticed it. At Camden it seemed like they were in the game the full 9 innings. I guess that’s what happens after a postseason drought, though.

    • MannyGeee

      I had a theory last night about this.

      There was some tom-foolery with the TBS mics. To the point that I didnt hear the ‘K Whistle’ until DRob came in the game. Unless Hiroki didnt get any K’s (which I doubt) or he has a strict ‘no K whistle’ policy (which I also doubt), they either turned the mics down for the 1st 9 innings to feed the ‘dead Stadium’ narrative or turned them waaaay up in extras to give the illusion that the crowd came to life in the 10th…

      either way, shenanigans Mr. Turner… I call shenanigans on your network

      • Anthony

        I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can’t say that I didn’t think the same.

        At one point during the second game at Camden they actually went down to the dugout with some noise-meter thing to really drive it home how “pumped” everyone was. Pretty funny/lame.

  • stuart a

    very worthless.

    he is a bad player they woe !114 mill to over the next 5 years before bonuses he will never collect.

    he should retire and save the embarrasment.. he will never od that he wants every last cent of money he is owed…..

    • DT

      We win and that’s all you can think about? Give it a rest for one day man.

    • DC

      You’ve reached the level of just being pathetic.

      • Ted Nelson

        Was he ever on a different level?

        • thenamestsam

          For real. If at any point you read one of his comments and thought something other than “This is just pathetic”, I fear for your soul.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Scary thought: If Johnson did his job it is entirely possible that the Yankees would have been swept by now. Amazing.

    • Derek

      Yea, but at the same time if the Yankees offense wasn’t dead they could have swept, too.

      • DT

        Seriously, our Starters have been fucking amazing. We got to use Soriano and D-Rob over our other more unreliable guys because of them. This is an under valued point.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        The point though is that theoretically the entire series can theoretically be pinned down to the idea that the best reliever in a great bullpen didn’t deliver TWICE.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, but what they’re saying is that the series also hinges on the best batters in a great line-up not just getting a hit or two off fairly mediocre starters here or there with men in scoring position.

    • Bob Buttons the Cat

      Well technically in game one it was a tie game.

  • forensic

    I would just like to say how utterly absurd it is that there are 50,000 people in New York, most of whom are sleeping by 1AM, who will have no idea what time tomorrow’s (now tonight’s) game is until they wake up about 12 hours before game time. No time to plan travel, meals, possibly work, etc… I know it’s only an hour difference, but still…

    Absolutely assinine!

    • johnnybk

      It is definitely stupid, but thankfully as new yorkers we have plenty of experience dealing with annoyances through our day. I mean does MLB have anything on the MTA? I unexpectedly took four trains to a game in July, and I can only assume it was due to a rat getting fried on the third rail a borough away.

  • The Constant Gardner

    I was at this game. I’ve had the good fortune to be at the 2001 WS Game 5 and the 2009 ALCS game 2, but this was probably just as electric. The whole place went nuts when Raul tied it and just exploded when he won it. I didn’t feel the second deck thumping like the WS game but that’s just because YS3 is better built.

    • vicki

      brilliant sn.

  • DT

    Raul is a fucking Hero. Arod’s struggles has deter attention to the post season struggles of guys like Swisher, Cano and Grandy. Now Raul bails out their asses with two big hits.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s been three games.

  • captain kiwi

    unbelievable night. raul comes through, a’s walk off on valverde. awesome.

    i have faith that once we get through the ds, the offense will blow up for the remainder of the postseason. prove me right boys! great game!

    • dalelama

      It ironic that Girardi is being hailed a genius when it was his poor decision to have Arod in the line-up at all. Ibanez should have been DHing from the get go with Arod planted firmly on the bench.

      • Ted Nelson

        Ibanez might have gone 0-5 in that case and the Yankees lose. You can’t re-write history like that.

        • dalelama

          Sure I can, I just did.

          • Jim Is Bored

            You’re the worst kind of person.

        • Jim Is Bored

          dalelama will try though. oh will he try.

  • flamingo

    Raul is unbelievable.


  • FIPster Doofus

    They’re going to kick Saunders’ ass tomorrow and close this baby out.

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

    Still gotta win tomorrow night, though.

    Excellent win, but now we have to move on and hope the Yankees can finish in 4. Baltimore is a tough ass team. It won’t be easy to get win #3.


    I was starting to lose hope when the lineup got dominated by Miguel Gonzalez, but RAUUUUUL!!! restored my faith in humanity.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yankees have been dominated by worse Ps this season than him.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I was rooting for the Tigers to win the series, but a Game 5 is the best possible option whether they win or not. Plus Valverde blew the save! Hate that fucker, it’s always fun when he fails.

  • http://yanksgoyard.com/ Joe F

    Best game I’ve ever been to. I’m not going to sleep!

  • jesse

    What an awesome fucking game and awesome fucking night. That’s all I can say.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    When Lord Voldemort hit the first HR I pumped my fist and screamed loudly. Fucking awesome.

    When he hit the second HR my TV was on mute as I watched a youtube video. I looked up and saw the ball sailing out and at first thought it was a replay of the first HR until it hit me that the ball didn’t originally reach the second deck. I turned on the sound and started yelling again.

    No, seriously, FUCKING AWESOME.

    • vicki

      why are you watching youtube vids during extra innings of an october yankee game?

      • MannyGeee

        “youtube” = “porn”

        and I think you know why

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        (No porn)

        Because multitasking is a thing, and baseball is a visual sport(obviously, this all worked out).

  • Now Batting

    The unassisted double play deserves some credit. Runner on second…one out. If that ball is hit five feet to the right the Orioles score a run. Instead it’s the end of the top half. Only baseball

  • Bob Buttons the Cat

    I’m proud to say that I believed in Ibanez and I actually pictured him hitting the first homer! (Totally helped that somehow half the time when I see his at bat he homers)

    Totally didn’t see the second one coming though.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    The real question Mike: When will there be that guest post by Big Member that we have all been asking for?

  • Knoxvillain

    Ibanez didn’t hit 40 homers in the regular season, but am I the only one who feels like he did?

    Every time I’ve ever seen Ibanez he launches a bomb into RF it seems like.

  • RetroRob

    BTW I’m not quite there yet, but I think I might have been wrong when I wanted Damon signed over Ibanez. Not 100% there yet, but I’m close to thinking I was off base. Close.

    • vicki

      youre not there yet?


  • 28 in 2012

    Thank you, Raul!

  • Laz

    Something nice now:

    Tigers lost, so that means Verlander has to pitch again on Thursday. That means that if Tigers advance on normal rest Verlander would only pitch games 3 and 7. Lets hope for a win with hughes so they save CC and Pettitte. Then Kuroda would get thrown against Verlander and still give a chance.

    • vicki

      end of the a’s/tigres game waa pretty octoberly too.

      thank you, oakland rednecks.

  • vicki

    i rallied my underpants. it worked.

    • MannyGeee

      I think that’s hot? I mean, I’m pretty sure that sounds hot… but then again, it might not be.

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    BiG Member’s prediction turned out to be wrong but it made me lmao. Thanks.

    I was one who preferred Damon but giving Ibanez a chance to be a Yankee post season legend turned out much better. He is either a much better guess hitter than ARod or just not a head case. A little of both I guess.

    I would sit Swisher (with far less power from the right side and at YS) and play Gardy in left tonight and please-no crap about lefty/lefty after Raul last night. I would play Nunez as well despite the risk on defense if Jeter DH’s.

    Gardy and Nunez increase our small ball chances big time and both guys can bunt for a hit or bunt a runner over.

    • Ted Nelson

      Or A-Rod’s hand is still hurt… He hasn’t hit for any power since coming back.

      I would also play Nunez, but with Gardy it’s not about lefty, lefty… the issue is that he’s barely swung a bat in months. He has 3 MLB PAs since April and not many in the minors recently either. I haven’t been watching him practice, but even if he looks good in batting practice or a simulated game it’s not a live game. Swisher was better from the left side, but still posted a .342 wOBA from the right side. There’s no wrong answer, but I think it’s more likely Girardi sticks with Swisher.

  • Kevin

    Stayed up until 4.15am in England watching that game. I was in a zombie-like stupor by the end. Woken up at 8.50 by recruitment agents phoning. Totally worth it though. Due to unemployment I’ve seen the Tour de France, Tour of Spain, Tour of Britain, Euro 2012, Wimbledon, US Open, Olympics, Paralympics, more NFL than ever before in my life, Ryder Cup…..but I’m most thankful for being able to see post-season Yankees. Let’s go Yankees!

    • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

      That sounds awesome. Cheers, dude.

    • Jon in CUO

      Cheers mate

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    If Joe Saunders stymies the Yanks, then I don’t know what to say. That guy is fucking terrible.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    I know that most of us fans think that Arod should be moved down in the lineup (but not tonight against a lefty). It is not as if Cano, Swisher, Teix and Granderson are tearing the cover off the baseball. That was a great move by Girardi in hitting for Arod who would most likely have struck out.

    • MannyGeee

      Bat them ALL 9th!!!!

      1. Jeter
      2. Ibanez
      3. Martin
      4. Ibanez
      5. Ibanez
      6. Ibanez
      7. Ibanez
      8. A-Rod

      That work?

      • goterpsgo

        You forgot Ibanez.

    • dalelama

      Actually the obvious move by Girardi was made necessary by his stupidity in not DHing Ibanez in the first place. Arod’s only useful place at this moment is on the bench.

      • http://theevilsquare.com handtius

        your contribution adds nothing. I deduct 10 points from your score.

  • MannyGeee

    In support of St Philip of Hughes, I will be replacing all words beginning in ‘f’ with ‘ph’. I will not only be doing this in txts and on RAB, but throughout my normal day to day work correspondences.

    I do phully expect this to back-phire in my phace at some point. But phuck it, its the playoffs…

    I phully expect you jerkoffs phind a way to support Phil as well, instead of lamb-basting him like you did yesterday when you were convinced that he would be going in an elimination game.

  • Captain_Turbo

    That game has lit a fire under the collective backsides of the offense. They will come out swinging tonight and win this one big, and will carry over to the ALCS.

  • Ted Nelson

    Ibanez hits too many HRs

  • Blues

    Off topic- anyone know how plentyful scalpers were last night.. Deciding on Stubhub versus rolling the dice??

  • MB923 (formerly just Mike)

    Random question, what do you guys think of the broadcasting thusfar this series with EJ, Smoltz and Cal?

    As much as I know Cal wants to see the O’s win and as much as Smoltz probably wants the Yankees to lose after all the ass beatings they got, I think they’re doing a fairly good job. It’s good to hear at least one non Yankee broadcaster give credit when it’s due, and all have done a good job at it for players on both teams.

    I don’t like Ernie Johnson’s voice, it’s almost as irritating as Michael Kay’s and Ron Darling’s, but I will have to say that he too calls a fair game.

    Despite calling a fair game, I wish he kind of just stuck to basketball.

    • Hoss

      I turn the volume low and pretend that Frank Messer, Bill White and Phil Rizzuto are calling the game.

      • dalelama

        Amen those three were the best…White in my opinion has been the best Yankee broadcaster since my baseball life began circa 1964

    • Eddards

      Ernie should be in the studio with Charles and Kenny

      Cal should not be calling Oriole games on national telecasts. Is Jorge Posada calling Yankee games on FOX?

      Smoltz isn’t bad. He’s much more insightful into pitching than Cal, he said Matusz shouldn’t throw a fastball to Raul before he threw a fastball to Raul and it went out of the park. If only he would stop calling the baseball a frsibee or a bowling ball. It’s a baseball.

      • Hoss

        Since when did Darren F. O’Day become unhittable? Give me a break.

        • Jim Is Bored

          O’Day has been pretty unhittable all year.

    • Yank The Frank

      Ernie Johnson looks like the late great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. If only Ernie announced like Hunter wrote.

  • Eddards

    I have all the faith in the world in Phil Hughes tonight. And I think the offense can finally come alive against Joe Saunders. The best case scenario occurred for us last night – Yanks won, Detroit lost. Tonight is a big game to give us a leg up on the next series over whoever wins between Detroit/Oakland. King Phillip goes for the series clincher and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Hoss

    Assuming that Jeter cannot play, I would go with this lineup. If he can play, just substitute him for Nunez, but boy was he hobbling. Grandy needs to sit against the lefty tonight. The hole in his swing qualifies as a black hole at this point…

    1. Ichiro, LF
    2. Nunez, SS
    3. A-Rod, 3B
    4. Cano, 2B
    5. Tex, 1B
    6. Ibanez, DH
    7. Swisher, RF
    8. Martin, C
    9. Gardner, CF

    • Eddards

      I agree. They have to find a way to keep Raul in the lineup. Gardner hasn’t hit since April but sadly, can’t be any worse than Granderson. Alex gets one more game in the 3 hole vs the LHP. If he does nothing again, move him down to 6th.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      The chances of Jeter not playing are….


      • Hoss

        I hope you’re right. Then bat him leadoff and Ichiro second and we’re in business. I might even switch Martin and Swisher, but that’s splitting hairs. The keys are to get a hot hitter in (Ibanez), Grandy out against the lefty, and at least we know that Joe is willing to pinch hit for the sacred cows.

        • dalelama

          Can Nix play third? If so sit Old Purple Lips before he passes out on National TV from the pressure and hurts himself.

    • sevrox

      I’d keep Ibanez on the bench for his chance to become a hero this Fall.

  • JohnC

    Do they dare put Nunez in the field if Jeter can’t play SS or do they play it safe and go with Nix?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Oh, go with Nix. 1000% go with Nix.

      What would you rather watch, an endless loop of Alex Rodriguez striking out or an endless Eduardo Nunez blooper reel?

      • Jim Is Bored

        Blooper reel. Much less depressing and I might get a few laughs out of it.