Thoughts following Game Three

Ibanez comes off the bench, carries Yankees to Game Three win
Key to Game 3: Kuroda & Martin vs. Flaherty
(Elsa/Getty)

I didn’t sleep very much last night, but boy did I sleep well. Something about a win like that, a miraculous comeback in the late innings of a huge game, just makes me sleep so soundly. The Yankees, especially these 2012 Yankees, have a knack for pushing you away with ugly play only to suck you back in with huge moments like that. You go from hating them to loving absolutely everything about them in the amount of time it takes Raul Ibanez to run the bases.

1. So … what the hell happens with Ibanez in Game Four tonight? Does Joe Girardi automatically start him after last night even though left-hander Joe Saunders and his massive platoon split is starting for the Orioles? Would he be better holding Ibanez back on the bench and strategically deploying him as a pinch-hitter against a right-hander late in the game? You’ve got to give him as many at-bats as possible and not count on him to come off the bench with the big hit every time, right? Too many questions for one bullet.

2. Everyone’s focusing on Alex Rodriguez and moving him down in the lineup, but doesn’t Girardi have to sit Curtis Granderson tonight? I love the Grandyman as much as anyone, but he’s been absolutely dreadful this series as well as for most of the second half. With Saunders starting, it might be worth it to start Jayson Nix (or I suppose even Ibanez) in left in Game Four. Brett Gardner hasn’t had many at-bats lately and you might be asking too much by starting him against a lefty-crusher like Saunders. Either way, yeah let’s get Curtis on the bench for at least one game. He’s been terrible.

3. The starting pitchers, however, have not been terrible. If you had told me a week ago that worst start from CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda was going to be three runs in seven innings, I would have assumed the Yankees swept Baltimore pretty easily. Even the bullpen has been fantastic, with five scoreless innings including 3.1 by David Robertson. The Orioles have scored seven total runs in 29 offensive innings this series. I feel like that isn’t being talked about enough. New York’s pitchers have been stellar.

4. You might have been asleep for this one, but the Athletics made a comeback of their own and walked off against the Tigers in Game Four of their ALDS matchup. It took Jose Valverde all of eight pitches to blow a two-run lead in the ninth and 14 pitches to lose the game. He was getting hammered too, all four hits were hit right on the screws. Anyway, I mention this because the win by Oakland forces Justin Verlander to pitch in Game Five today. That means he won’t be able to start in the ALCS until Game Three. Jim Leyland has been unwilling to use him on three days’ rest as well, so Verlander wouldn’t get the ball again until a potential Game Seven. If Detroit wins today, it’s possible that whoever they play in the ALCS (hopefully the Yankees) will be able to push them to six games and only see the best pitcher in baseball once. That’s huge.

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Ibanez comes off the bench, carries Yankees to Game Three win
Key to Game 3: Kuroda & Martin vs. Flaherty
  • RE Junior

    I would put Nunez at DH.And have Ibanez come in(if necessary)to pinch-hit in the later innings.

    • TLVP

      +1 if Jeter can play the field (and we know he can these days)

    • MannyGeee

      I am afraid, but you almost have to DH Jeter and his gimpy leg, and put Nunez and his floppy arm at SS.

  • JW

    I agree — Girardi’s going to have some pretty interesting decisions making the lineup tonight. That said, he might not have too much leeway if Jeter’s not able to play the field. If he can’t, he’s got to be the DH, right? Nix at short. Raul to come up big as a pinch hitter.

    • CountryClub

      If jeter doesnt have a broken bone they’ll just shoot his foot up. Especially since it’s on the top.

  • Eddards

    1. If Jeter can play the field, Ibanez DHs. If Jeter has to DH, bench Ibanez.

    2. Yes. Gardner hasn’t hit since April but he can’t be any worse than Granderson. Play Gardner and hit him 9th.

    3. The pitching for both clubs has been phenomenal and I have all the confidence in the world in Phil Hughes to keep it going. They still have not used Dave Phelps so he’s ready if Phil stumbles.

    4. Big comeback for Oakland. Detroit is now in the situation we don’t want to find ourselves in which is why tonight’s game is so important. Win tonight and we’ve not only got HFA but a leg up on the starting rotation as well.

  • Rob in CT

    I think they’re going to have to start Nix at SS. Jeter could barely walk. Jeter DH, Nix SS, ARod at 3B (against a LHP, this makes sense). Ibanez on the bench, ready to PH.

    If Jeter is able to play (and move well enough to play SS… well, at least as well as normal), then you probably DH Nunez but I could see going with Ibanez because… well, because.

    As for Granderson, man, maybe. Against a LHP, Gardner may be a better call. But I don’t know… Gardner’s hardly played all year. He can physically hit, but how rusty must he be?

    • Cris Pengiucci

      He can physically hit, but how rusty must he be?

      And while Granderson has been bad, let’s not forget that Gardner would not only be rusty, but also facing that same very tough lefty that Granderson would be facing. Not sure Gardner does any more than Granderson does. Perhaps Ibanez in the OF tonight is the best option.

      • NJ_Andy

        Gardner does provide a significant upgrade in defense. Even if he bats as poorly as Granderson (and that’s unlikely) he’s still a plus for the team.

        Additionally, Gardner’s a pretty good contact hitter (when he swings) and with his speed + the defensive miscues of the playoffs so far, I could see good things happening.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I agree with this. Although I think we need Grandy to perform if we want to win the WS, so I’m completely OK with running him back out there.

  • CountryClub

    Gardner may not get a hit, but at least he’ll make the pitcher work. Something Granderson doesnt do when he strikes out on 4 pitches 80% of the time.

  • Jim Is Bored

    I think there’s no one in baseball I enjoy watching fail more than Valverde. Screw that guy.

    • Starks

      There are a few guys i dislike as much but certainly velverde is close to the top. Heck even his own manager dislikes his shenneningens.

      • MannyGeee

        i cant wait for Cherrington to trade for Valverde so I can focus all my hate in one relatively shitty direction

    • jjyank

      + infinity

    • Get Phelps Up

      Now that Papelbon is in the NL, I definitely agree.

    • MB923

      Toss up for me between him and Papelbon

      Although I did enjoy K-Rod failing quite a bit as well.

  • Frank

    I say Nix starts at SS, Jeter DHs and Granderson stays in the lineup. A-Rod at third although perhaps not batting third. Offense needs to wake up because the O’s will score off Hughes.

  • TLVP

    If you play Gardner you lose his speed as a pinch runner which you might very well need for Teix. At the same time Granderson has been good coming off the bench and taht could eb a good way to change his mental approach.

    It really is crazy that we discuss dropping someone who hit 43 HR’s this very season.

    • JonS

      Not really when you consider he had the second worse 40+ HR season in baseball history.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......sons-ever/

      • MannyGeee

        is that real??? holy crap. I didnt even know those two things could happen together (non-Adam Dunn Division, of course).

  • Cris Pengiucci

    Another thing I haven’t seen mentioned regarding Baltimore’s loss last night: I heard it was their first walk-off loss of the season. The 2 extra inning losses to the Yankees during the regular season happened in Baltimore.

  • Frank

    Have to give props to O’s pitcher, Miguel Gonzalez. He knows how to pitch and isn’t fazed by the big stage. Nice find for the O’s.

    • Eddards

      The starting pitching on both teams has been unbelievable. All 3 of the starters for the Os have done their jobs, it’s been Johnson that’s blown it for them. All we heard about this year was how the Os have no starting pitching and that couldn’t be more wrong. They’ve got a good, young team and they’ll be around for years to come.

  • CountryClub

    Nix is 3 – 10 agaisnt Saunders with 3 HRs. Ibanez is 8-23 with a 1.027 OPS.

    A lot of Yanks have good numbers vs him:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/.....e-saunders

    • CountryClub

      BTW, Swish and Teix have awful numbers against him.

      • Squints

        Bingo. Drop Swish and put Ibanez in right, Jeter DH. Swish has a couple base hits this series but nothing that blowing you away.

    • Frank

      So did the Rangers going into last week and he shut that team down in Arlington where he was winless. Stats don’t mean squat in the post season and with this Yankees anemic offense.

      • CountryClub

        Stats mean plenty. They just don’t guarantee anything.

        • vin

          Also, stats from four years ago mean less than recent performance. Saunders has been murdering lefties this year… At a LOOGY level.

          It all depends on if Jeter can play the field. If so, then I’d put Nix in LF with Eduardo at DH, and give Curtis a breather.

    • beachbum

      looking at those numbers, clearly have to start Arod and get Jeter in the lineup some way, some how. I bet Joe puts Nix at short and DHs Jeter, with Nunez on the bench to pinch run for Jeter’s bum foot in a late inning situation where Nunez’ speed could score a tying or winning run.

  • Mike Myers

    Rauulll was amazing last night. The crowd was going nuts. I completely forgot how well Hirok did….tip of the hat to him.

  • Randy

    Why is there an assumption that Detroit is gonna win Game 5? I can see the A’s figuring out a way to win this game tonight at home. The last point could be moot if Oakland has a say in all of this.

    • CountryClub

      I don’t assume that at all. I just know that if Detroit does win, Verlander won’t be pitching gm 1 or 2 of the ALCS.

    • MannyGeee

      The goal is to phace shut down guys as little as possible. so its hedging the bet that now we would phace Verlander as much as twice (should they advance to the ALCS) instead of the potential 3 times.

      but hey, seeing Verlander no times would also be phucking awesome.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Hmmmm……I’d keep it pretty simple. DH Jeter, if he can go, play Nix at short, and keep the outfield as is. When Saunders gets pounded into oblivion on the way to a series win, Ibanez can take over in the later innings to add the second cherry to the cherry to the whipped cream on top.

    Too many guys pressing and shooting themselves in the foot is my amateur-for-baseball-but-not-real-life mental health professional point of view there. Would love to see guys like Granderson and ARod calm the hell down a bit and at least put the ball in play. Keep them in there.

    We’re not behind, so it’s not quite the same context but, in the spirit of “I BELIEVE IN AJ,” it’s time for an “I BELIEVE IN PHIL HUGHES” movement tonight.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I BELIEVE IN HUUUUUGHES

    • jjyank

      I believe in Phil Phucking Hughes.

    • vin

      It’s a hell of a lot easier to believe in Phil than it was AJ. So I’m definitely with you.

      • MannyGeee

        butbutbutbut…. AJ has moar winz?!?!?!?

  • Mick taylor

    Tonite’s lineup if jeter can play ss: jeter ichiro arod cano Tex Martin swisher granderson nunezIf jeter must dh, nix at short. With the great Raul ready to strike at any pinch hit moment

  • Mick taylor

    The key to beating Saunders is not trying to hit homeruns but put the ball in play if memory serves me right, the yanks beat Saunders on the Sunday night playoff game againstthe angels at yankeestadium in 2009.

    • OXXbow

      Correct.

    • JonS

      That looks like what everyone seems to be trying to do. Hit HRs.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      If that is the key, play Gardy and sit Swisher. Swish’s power to left in YS is nothing special and outfield defense is important with Phly ball Phil on the mound. I’d play Nunez too as good things happen with him.

  • OXXbow

    The Yankees are finding ways to win, despite offensive lapses. Solid pitching wins championships and it appears the Yankee staff is in a groove right now. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

  • MB923

    I still regret selling my tickets last night to my friend. Originally we planned to go together but I didn’t want to take off yet another day of work, my vacation hours are limited.

    Sold them to him from Ticketmaster’s website, then I asked for a payment in Paypal, so I just used some of that money to buy a ticket for Game 5 if necessary.

    Although I don’t have a problem if there is no Game 5.

  • jon

    My line-up after looking at the numbers would be (jeter not fielding):
    -jeter dh
    -ichiro rf
    -arod 3b
    -cano 2b
    -ibanez lf
    -tex 1b
    -martin c
    -nix ss
    -gardener cf

    with jeter in the field:
    jeter at ss, nix in left, and ibanez dh

  • MB923
    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Epic

  • Tom Q

    So, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this, but the game was sort of a microcosm of this past September: for many innings, it seemed like the Yankees were fated to finally fall behind the Orioles…but, at the last moment, the team summoned something up and didn’t let it happen.

    I said this late in the game thread: when Ibanez hit the first home run, I thought two things: 1) there’s no way they’re losing this game now, and 2) I was reminded of ARod’s HR off Nathan in ’09 — not just because of the 9th inning timing, but because in each case it was exactly the kind of game-turning hit they’d been failing to get in recent post-seasons. Both times, it made it feel like this post-seaon will be different from the disappointing ones just past.

    I should have said it here to be able to claim bragging rights, but, when Oakland fell behind 0-2 in their series, my thought was, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went back and swept in Oakland. The A’s of late have been a completely different team at home — obviously we remember what they did to the Yanks in July, but they also survived a very tough final two weeks by annihilating teams like Texas when they played in Oakland.

    Which, by the way, makes me very happy the Yanks have home field advantage, should the A’s be the team to advance. All the people who were thinking the Yanks were better off as the second seed, want to reconsider?

    Oh, and the Tiger loss was hugely pleasurable…to see the irritating Valverde collapse, of course, but just seeing the Tigers lose was great. They have such an easy road to the playoffs every year — lallygag 80% of the season, then coast ahead at the end in their crap division — that I really resent when they luck into playoff wins. I feel the same about the Cards; hope Washington rallies against them.

    • vin

      “They have such an easy road to the playoffs every year — lallygag 80% of the season, then coast ahead at the end in their crap division”

      I remember when the Yankees had that good fortune… back when the only thing that stood between the Yanks and a spot in the playoffs was Toronto.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    FWIW, I thought Alex was incredibly classy in his post-game interview. While I will admit that it’s pretty damn easy to handle it all when you’re still pocketing what he is at the end of the day, I appreciated what I thought was an earnest fcus on “team.” He’s going to make a very good manager some day.

    • MB923

      A-Rod is usually very good with the media. It’s those on the field actions where he takes the heat, and I don’t mean just his swings and misses consistently, but more so the HA moment in Toronto, or of course the slap of the glove in 04.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Yet those are probably two of my favorite moments of his.

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          Really? My favorite will always be his walk off vs. Tazawa in 2009.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Mine will always be the game tying HR in game 2 of the ALDS. Because I was there.

            • jjyank

              Mine was his homer off Fuentes in the ALCS. Happened right after my cousin’s wedding reception, and my whole family was all really drunk and watching it in one of our hotel rooms. Epic.

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

                Mine was 2007.

    • jjyank

      I thought that too. He definitely handled it well.

      I also think he’s going to be a good manager. He has always had a very high baseball IQ.

    • Mike HC

      Agreed. I’m not ARod’s biggest off the field fan, but I think he came off really genuine last night. You know he has to be extremely frustrated.

  • Mike HC

    Great win and great game last night … definitely an all time classic. Congrats to Hiroki and Raul for joining Yankee history and lore forever.

    No way do I bench Granderson though. He isn’t hurt. He had two dingers in the final reg season game, so it is not like he completely forgot how to hit. You have to live with him in the lineup.

  • YeeSawn

    Ibanez is the ultimate weapon off the bench right now, it doesn’t matter the situation but if you really need someone to go deep yu can bring him in in virtually every spot of the order with the exception of probably cano’s and derek’s(if he’s healthy). keep him there, at this point he’s basically gonna mind fuck the shit out of any pitcher on the mound in a big spot.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    My thoughts on the lineup tonight are DH Jeter if he can hit and run moderately. If not rest him and hope for a couple of days off with the win.

    Arod at third batting back in the order. He should be able to catch up to Saunders fastball. Nix at short. Girardi would need a big pair of stones to start Eduardo at short. I go for D at short. Hold back Ibanez. Leave Curtis in the game. Gardner just hasn’t played enough to believe that he would be an upgrade. With Gardner and Banez held back its makes us stronger offensively and defensively with their individual substitutions. Ibanez with the offense and Gardner with the defense. As the game gets older Arod or Gardner may have to be removed for a pitcher that they can’t handle.

    Phil Hughes may be able to give us a strong outing with him relying on his fastball and occasional breaking pitches. But will need the better D.

    Its up to Joe to make the tough decisions and not play Jeter if he can’t run or stand on his foot.

    With Jeter Without Jeter
    Jeter DH Ichiro
    Ichiro LF Swisher
    Teix. 1B Teix.
    Cano 2B Cano
    Swisher RF Arod
    Arod 3B Chavez DH
    Granderson CF Martin
    Martin C Granderson
    Nix SS Nix

    I could live with either lineup but Joe needs a quick hook with any pitcher in trouble especially if we have the lead.

    • LarryM., Fl.

      Sorry for the mess at the end.

  • Ted Nelson

    Consistently timing the market is impossible… You’ll end up buying high and selling low all the time. In fact, a guy like Warren Buffet makes his living zigging when others are zagging.

    Guessing when baseball players are going to get hot or cold is equally impossible. Unless you see a specific mechanical flaw he needs time to work out or a physical injury, you want to go with the guy who will perform the best over a large sample. Today’s 2 HR hitter can easily be tomorrow’s 0-5, and today’s 0-5 can easily be tomorrow’s 2 HR.

    I’m not saying don’t sit these guys. I’m saying look deeper and do it for the right reason, not because they’re “hot” or “cold.” A guy might have just worked out his mechanical issue or have gotten lucky/unlucky recently. A-Rod hasn’t hit much since getting off the DL, so there may be a deeper issue.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      Mike had said repeatidly since A-Rod has come back hand injuries tend to linger. I really think that’s why Alex’s contact skills are completely gone right now. I’ll be honest, as an A-Rod supporter, his 30+ homer power is just gone, however he still showed at least 20-25HR power projected out over a season before getting hurt.

      • YeeSawn

        You’ve really got to live w/ AROD in the 3 spot right now. Ibanez isn’t going to hit a bomb every PA and he’s more of a weapon off the bench anyway. Swisher and Tex aren’t viable options there right now either. Also, if you move AROD down and put Cano 3rd, then inevitably our 4-5-6-7 hitters are going to be Tex, Swisher, AROD, Grandy…..those four all hitting back-to-back right now is no good.

      • chrisF

        I’m not sure only because initially after coming off the DL he was hitting really well. He hit 3 home runs in two weeks and OPS’d above .900 and was squaring up the ball quite well. Then the two weeks after that and into the postseason he’s really struggled. Particularly I’ve noticed since the day after his 3 hit game against Oakland where Mesa missed the base.

        The point being, if his hand injury was still lingering, how come he hasn’t struggled the whole time he’s been back? He hit a home run against the Rays that I swear is still going. One of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen in that place. So we know the power is still in there. Is it a possibility that he didn’t feel it at first and it’s coming back now? Because I agree that right now he’s just having trouble making contact, and I find it hard to believe that a player with his ability can struggle to hit the ball this much.

        Hopefully it’s just a slump, nothing more and he gets going against the lefty Saunders today. About the best you can hope for I think. He’s not leaving the lineup.

  • thenamestsam

    I know Granderson looks 100% lost up there right now, but I think you have to stick it out with him. He has looked lost for big chunks of this season and he still ended up with 43 homers and a 116 wRC+. How many times this year has he looked lost for 3 straight games and then popped a homer in the next one? There’s just no way of knowing when he’s going to break out of it, so I don’t see much of a choice but to ride with him until he does.

    • Jim Is Bored

      That pitch he swung at above his eyes yesterday was just awful.

      • thenamestsam

        Absolutely it was. But if the Yankees had benched him every time he took an ugly hack at a terrible pitch this year we would have missed out on a lot of game-changing homers.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Oh I know. I wasn’t trying to make any broader point there, just, holy crap. I had to get up and walk around after watching that swing.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    I would not bench Grandy either but would bench Ichiro who is having problems getting the ball out of the infield. What is the difference in striking out and making an infield out? I would miss Ichiro’s defense but would put Ibanez in left field, even though I’d cover my eyes every time a ball is hit his way. Jeter will probably play but if he can’t then maybe he can Dh. I would move Granderson or Swish to second in the lineup so one of them gets better pitches to hit. The rest of the lineup would be: Arod third, Cano fourth, Teix fifth, Ibanez sixth, Granderson or Swish seventh, Martin eighth, and Nix ninth.

  • rek4gehrig

    “I didn’t sleep very much last night, but boy did I sleep well.”

    I am still in an ecstatic daze.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Just rewatched the end of the game and its pretty amazing that tbs did a piece on how clutch I banes has been of late and then he hits a first pitch homer.

  • Conor

    Hughes gives up so many fly balls that Gardner should get the nod in center and bat ninth. He’s such an upgrade over Granderson on defense and its easy to imagine him taking away a double over the course of the game. Ichiro, Gardner and Swisher is a very good defensive outfield.

    Ibanez should stay on the bench. Last night’s home run was his first of the year against a lefty, let’s not get carried away. Leave him to pinch hit in the late innings.

    Given Saunders effectiveness against lefties I might hit Jeter, Swisher, Cano, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Martin, Ichiro, Nix, Gardner. I think Jeter and Swisher are the most likely to be on base for Cano and Swisher really thrived early in the year hitting second. He’s best when he’s just focused on getting on base.

    • YeeSawn

      Swisher moving up to 2nd would probably do him some good. But that 7-8-9 combo of Ichiro, Nix, Gardner scares me. As bad as Grandy has been, at least he can catch a mistake and maybe hit a bomb, especially at YS3. That being said, his AB’s the last couple of weeks(especially last night) have been horrible, and I couldn’t knock Joe for playing run prevention over run creation.

      • YeeSawn

        If this team is gonna win it all though, I think it’s so important for Grandy to at least put some fear in whoever is pitching when they face the bottom third of the lineup. When he does that out of the 7/8 hole, there really aren’t any easy innings with this lineup

      • CS Yankee

        Last couple of weeks?…didn’t he go 2-2 with two dingers in game 162?

        The kid is ice-ice cold now though…reminds me of ‘o3 WS with Soriano

    • RBC

      “Ibanez should stay on the bench. Last night’s home run was his first of the year against a lefty, let’s not get carried away. Leave him to pinch hit in the late innings.”

      ^^I agree 100000%. When Ibanez is in the lineup he doesn’t look good, but as a pinch hitter he’s fantastic.

  • Mrs. Mattingly

    Why is MLB scheduling the NL games while everyone is at work, saving the AL for primetime? Were they banking on the Yanks & another big market AL team to make the postseason? What NL teams are as big a draw as AL… Phillies, Dodgers and Braves?

    Questions, many questions…

  • Mrs. Mattingly

    Mr. Axisa,

    Are you suggesting that you’d rather face 1 game of Verlander than no games of him — if the A’s win?

    I’m on the fence about this one…

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

      No, I’m saying that if the Tigers do win, not having to face Verlander right away will be huge.

      • Mrs. Mattingly

        Do you have a preference between the two possible opponents (god willing our dear yanks prevail)?

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

          I’d probably rather play the Athletics.

  • forensic

    I don’t care about lefty-lefty too much right now, it’s more about who’s going well and somewhat about history. In short series like this, if you sit the hot hand, you’ll lose the hot hand. They don’t have extended time to get it back like they do in the regular season.

    I definitely sit Granderson, and play Ichiro and Ibanez in the OF (assuming Jeter is DH’ing) due to their strong history against Saunders and Grandy’s general uselessness right now. I was teetering between Granderson and Swisher, but since Swisher is showing slightly more life than Grandy and can turn around, I’ll give him an extra chance to play.

  • rek4gehrig

    1. Ibanez must start

    2. Grandy must sit

    3. New York’s pitchers have indeed been stellar.
    4. Unreal. Tigers fan at work had the nerve to brag after Tigers went up 2-0. Needless to say he’s been awfully quiet.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I haven’t said a word to my Orioles fan friends. I was watching with some(I live in the Baltimore area, it’s inevitable) and when Ibanez hit his second home run I did a quiet fist pump, left the room and let them sulk/rage in misery. I’m not creating any bad mojo this year.

      Watching with like 7 of them again tonight. I need more Yankee fan friends, apparently.

      • CS Yankee

        Good friends that are smart (as well) are really hard to find in life. Good luck.

    • SammySosasBleachingCream

      Only gloat when it’s all over. We need all the good mojo we can get.

  • CS Yankee

    St Phil of the high-heat, FTW tonight.

    Martin, Jete, Kuroda & I guess Raul came up big time last night.

    Arod, Teix, Grandy & Swish all are due to get it going…if I sat one tonight for a 1/2 game, it would be Grandy or Swish. Start Grit (CF)or Raul (LF) over the cold corpse of those two batters has merit.

    Arod, Teix and Cano…if one got hot, we’d likely be fine…if two got fire-red we’ll root for the green&gold heading on over on Saturday.

  • Graig not Craig

    If I’m Buck Showalter, I’m taking Adam Jones’ bubble gum away. Watch Jeter’s triple. It is catchable. Jones is nonchalantly blowing a bubble as he tracks down the ball.

    Of course, if I’m Jeter. I’m buying him a case of Big League Chew.

    • RBC

      I saw that too… couldn’t believe it.

      That’s the one thing that I’ve noticed about the Orioles.. their inexperience catches up to them. Not only that play but even the fact that both relief pitchers (both of them!) left pitches hanging over the plate to Ibanez last night.

  • mitch

    Saunders is pretty much the perfect pitcher to get arod going…a lefty that’s not going to throw a fastball by him (hopefully). I’d keep him in the 3 spot, and if he doesn’t produce, it’s time to move him to 6th or 7th.

  • MannyGeee

    So Raul gets another contract offer this offseason, right? I think that is settled now, isn’t it?

    • rek4gehrig

      ..and a marriage proposal from me :-)

    • LarryM., Fl.

      I do not think so! he’ll be 41 and how many times can you get hit by lightning.

  • David K.

    You say you’d have assumed we would have swept if we gave up only three runs a game from our starters. You forget this team can’t hit for shit. We are probably the worst hitting team among the four A.L. playoff teams. Forget all the stupid stats that show we have a wonderful lineup, I’m just talking now about getting a meaningful hit when it counts.