Yanks can’t support Pettitte in Game Two loss

Yankees strand all the runners! in Game Two loss
Thoughts following ALDS Game Two

It’s a best-of-three series now. The Yankees fell to the Orioles by the score of 3-2 in Game Two of the ALDS following another rain delay, this one only 40 minutes or so.

The Ichiro Reach Around

I can’t even explain that. Ichiro Suzuki was dead at the plate on Robinson Cano‘s two-out double in the first, but then … that … happened. Sort of a double pirouette to avoid the tag and get the hand in to score the run. The TBS broadcast showed about a million different replays from all sorts of angles, and they all showed the same thing: Ichiro avoided the tag. You could see it on Matt Wieters’ face after the safe call. We give umpire Angel Hernandez a real hard time, but he got that call right. (.gif via Chad Moriyama)

Anyway, that inning featured a lot more than one great slide. Derek Jeter (line drive to right-center) and Ichiro (grounder that Mark Reynolds tried to barehand) opened the game with singles in 0-2 counts, starting the night off on the right foot. Alex Rodriguez lined into a 4-6 double play that could have easily been a 4-6-3 triple play had Ichiro not scurried back to first in time. Robert Andino made a diving stop to catch the line drive before flipping to J.J. Hardy at the bag to double off Jeter. Just bad luck for Alex, he scorched the ball back up the box but the defender made a great catch. Cano picked him up with a rocket double into the right field corner to score Ichiro, but yeah that was a terrible send by third base coach Robbie Thomson. Gotta love those first inning runs though. Second straight night too.

(Rob Carr/Getty)

Deja Vu

After the Yankees scored a run in the first, the Orioles rallied back to plate a pair in the bottom of third. Pretty much a carbon copy of Game One, right down to the hanging breaking ball to the left-handed batter that resulted in the two-run single. The two-out rally started with bloop hits from Robert Andino and Nate McLouth, at least one of which broke a bat. J.J. Hardy loaded the bases with a four-pitch walk that if you didn’t know any better, you would have though was intentional so Pettitte could face the left-handed Chris Davis. He didn’t seem particularly interested in challenging Hardy with two men on.

Davis lined the hanging slider into right for a two-run single, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Things could have been a lot worse when Adam Jones’ ground ball scooted by Jeter at short, but Hardy held at third on a ball he would have easily scored on. Replays shows that the third base coach waved him in and that A-Rod deked him by acting like he caught a relay throw from short and was about to apply the tag. No idea if that played a part on the hold, but either way a run that should have scored did not. Wieters popped up to second one batter later to end the inning, so the base-running blunder really helped the Yankees out.

Blown Chances

(Rob Carr/Getty)

Again like Sunday’s game, the Yankees had a chance to answer Baltimore’s third inning run in the fourth. Unlike Sunday’s game, they didn’t convert it into a run. Nick Swisher struck out to open the inning, but Mark Teixeira (single), Russell Martin (walk), and Curtis Granderson (single) reached base after that to load the bases with one out. In many ways, the two right hitters were due up in Eduardo Nunez and Jeter. They both make a lot of contact and that’s all you’re looking for in that spot. Unfortunately, Nunez’s contact was a pop-up to short and Jeter’s was a grounder to third to end the threat.

The Yankees did plate a run in the seventh, but not after the Orioles extended their lead to two in the sixth. Nunez started the inning with a hustle double — Davis gets an assist for his ill-advised dive in shallow right — and Jeter plated him with a line drive single to left, another hit in an 0-2 count. The managerial machinations went into overdrive after that, as Ichiro tried to bunt Jeter to second only to fall behind in the count 0-2. He wound up grounding into a fielder’s choice, barely beating out the double play. Ichiro then stole second as A-Rod struck which, unsurprisingly, took the bat out of Cano’s hand. Swisher grounded out to end the inning. The steal was just generic “let’s get the man in scoring position” stuff without regard for the game situation — a runner at first is in scoring position when Cano is at the plate. He proved it in the first inning. Gotta let him swing the bat in that spot.

Teixeira led off the eighth with a single but didn’t advance any further because Martin struck out, Granderson struck out, and Nunez popped up into foul territory to end the inning. I wanted Brett Gardner to run for Tex there because 1) that run is really important, and 2) his spot in the lineup isn’t guaranteed to come up again in the game. Even if it did, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez were both on the bench. Plus Teixeira is so slow he practically needs a walker, which is why he didn’t score on Granderson’s single in the third. Maybe they pitch everyone differently with the speedy Gardner on first (more fastballs?), but it doesn’t matter now. The Yankees had their chances to score runs and even went a not terrible (but not great) 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Teixeira’s single was their final base-runner of the game and Gardner never pinch-ran. Bullet left in the chamber.

(Rob Carr/Getty)

Admirable Andy

Three runs in seven innings is a pretty typical Andy Pettitte start, meaning rock solid and dependable. Allowing three hits to lefties (one by McLouth and two by Davis) was quite annoying, but otherwise he only allowed seven hits total (six singles) and walked just one against five strikeouts. Two of the hits were bloops and another two were weak little ground balls just beyond the reach of Jeter and Cano on the middle infield.

Pettitte allowed the leadoff man to reach base in fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings, but not all of that was his fault. Jeter made a throwing error on Reynolds’ ground ball to start the fourth, Teixeira allowed a ground ball to get through his legs to start the fifth (he’s lucky it hit the ump otherwise the runner would have been on second), and Andy shouldn’t even have been sent back out for the eighth. Forty-year-old pitcher nearing 100 pitches facing the molten hit Davis for the fourth time with a rested bullpen and a day off on Tuesday … get a fresh arm in there. What the hell. Anyway, David Robertson came in to clean up the inning and no damage was done. At one point he threw like eight straight curveballs. Pettitte did his part, he kept his team in the game all night.


(Patrick McDermott/Getty)

The Yankees had a four-pitching inning offensively in the fifth, part of a span in which Chen got five outs against the middle of the order on eleven total pitches. Teixeira and Jeter were the only players with two hits apiece while everyone else other than Swisher and Martin had exactly one knock. One of the two walks was intentional (Cano in the eighth) and the other was drawn by Martin. Nine of the final eleven Yankees to bat made outs, and one of the exceptions was Cano’s intentional walk. The Orioles have a really good bullpen and they rebounded to nail things down after the Game One disaster.

Hernandez had his typical ridiculous strike zone, which at times apparently shifted from being big on the right-handed batter’s box side to big on the left-handed batter’s box side. That’s just the way it goes with him though, and both teams got screwed at different times. I will say that the 1-1 called strike to Nunez in the fourth inning (strike zone plot) was a killer that changed the entire complexion of the at-bat. Here’s a strike zone plot for the entire game. Ugly.

Some Buck Showalter weirdness: After Ichiro’s stolen base in the seventh, Showalter replaced Darren O’Day with the left-handed Brian Matusz only to have Matusz intentionally walk Cano. Usually you’d just let O’Day issue the walk since he was coming out of the game. Pitchers always seems to lose the strike zone a bit after an intentional walk, and sure enough Matusz’s first real pitch was in the dirt for a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up. Maybe Buck was going to pitch to Cano and changed his mind after bringing in Matusz? Just a really weird move that ultimately didn’t come back to bite the Orioles.

Box Score & WPA Graph

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights. This one was pretty straight forward, no?

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Tuesday is a travel day, so these two clubs will reconvene at Yankee Stadium for Game Three on Wednesday night. The start time for that one will be either 7:37pm or 8:37pm ET (on TBS) depending on what happens with some of the other playoff series. Hiroki Kuroda will get that start against rookie right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. Check out RAB Tickets for any last minute deals on tickets.

Yankees strand all the runners! in Game Two loss
Thoughts following ALDS Game Two
  • Brandon Mauk

    The offense needs to wake the hell up. A-Rod is shot, move him down the damn order.

    • DT

      Yes because Arod is the reason tey didn’t score today. Never mind the fact that in his one AB with RISP he hit a line drive that would have scored us a run if not for a great play. Arod is clearly the reason why the other 8 guys in the line up aren’t hitting much either.

      • dalelama

        If the queen had balls she would be king. If Arod would hit the ball out of the park like he is getting paid to do he wouldn’t have to worry about an infielder catching a ball hit right at him.
        Stop apologizing for the Chokemaster General.

        • pinchhitter

          Would hardly have noticed it among all the other home runs the rest of the line-up hit.

        • DT

          So did Arod sleep with your wife or something? Maybe it was your mom.

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    Send A-Rod to AAA SWB

  • Brian S


  • forensic

    Glad you mention the Hardy walk. I haven’t commented on it yet, but that was a terrible decision, if he was pitching around him to get to Davis. I don’t care about lefty-lefty there.

    Davis is red hot and Hardy is not, not to mention that Davis is just a better hitter overall than Hardy. And it’s even worse when you consider that Hardy had been 1-17 in his career against Pettitte coming into tonight.

    • dalelama

      It seemed to me he only walked Hardy after he fell behind in the count 2-0.

  • jayd808

    A jarring loss. Spent the whole game just knowing they would pull it out and they didn’t. Now we need 2 out of 3 at the stadium and I can only give us a 50-50 shot of doing that. Game 3 is now must win. I hate this shit. Can’t we just cruise to the championship? Why turn it into a joyless drive with the kids screaming and the wife surly?

    • Rivera Venue Blues

      We only have a 50-50 shot of taking 2 out of 3 at home against an inferior team? I’m not super confident but I would’ve taken the 1-1 split in the first two games if you asked me before the series.

      • jayd808

        Are there “inferior teams” in a five game playoff? I subscribe to an “any given Sunday” view of life that is even more exaggerated in a five game playoff. Coming into this, we were on a roll. Most of the lineup was hitting and STILL we lost. It was a shocker for me and quite frankly two out of three at the Stadium is a crapshoot. I hate five game playoffs. We can take the Tigers in a seven game playoff and the ALeague will always take the NLeague in the series. We always seem to get screwed in the first round and this game was symbolic of all of that.

    • vicki

      i laughed at this. i don’t have a wife or kids but i feel you.

      will remind you, however, that all those championships we cruised to had their angsty moments.

  • Rey22

    Offense needs to wake up, but all thing’s considered, I’ll take a split in Baltimore with the next 3 in the Bronx. If they can’t win there, they don’t deserve to move on.

    • MannyGeee

      This is exactly how I feel. If you cant take 2 of 3 against Baltimore who are NOT hitting like they did to get to the dance, then you dont deserve to move on.

  • your mom

    How the hell is Angel Hernandez allowed to be a HP ump in the playoffs? They’d be better off with Stevie Wonder calling balls and strikes.

  • your mom

    I’m predicting that Phil Hughes’ next start will be the biggest start of his career. . . . . . . .

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

      It won’t be no matter what happens in Game Three. 2010 ALCS Game Six was.

      • forensic

        Well, the O’s don’t have Vlad Guerrero anymore, so there’s hope right? RIGHT???

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

    Let this be the last time baseball was played at Camden Yards in 2012.

    And no mention of Angel Hernandez is complete without this:


  • eric k

    Can’t we just play the Twins every DS? Since 2002 when we play the Twins we’re 4-0. Everyone else? 0-5. Yikes.

    Not a bridge jumper but this feels a lot like 02, 06, 11 (yes I know, no 2 seasons are alike)- but the Yanks jump out to a 1-0 lead, then lose a close game 2 where they had a ton of chances, then fall apart. Same thing happened during ’10 alcs. Weds is an absolute must-win with Phil on the mound in game 4. Feels like a 5 game series to me. Hope they can pull it out.

    • MannyGeee

      this feels NOTHING like 06 or 11 to me. Those teams felt overmatched going into every game. even after last night, i feel like they can claw our way out of this one and move on.

      • eric k

        The Yankees were over-matched in 06? They scored like 900 runs, had beat Det in the season series 5-1, were facing Kenny Rogers in a big game….

  • Jonathan

    I completely agree with Mike about the 1-1 to Nunez. It started off with him taking a great hack at a fastball up and in and fouling it back. Then taking a pitch for a ball. He honestly looked locked in strike zone wise but after taking a pitch 14 inches inside he started swinging at EVERYTHING. I know he isn’t the most patient hitter but he just looked like he went from looking for a good pitch to jesus I have to swing at everything, especially now that it’s 2 strikes. That could have blown the game open if he gets a hit while being up in the count or even walks to turn the lineup over. Either way we are miserable at situational hitting and with teams avoiding Cano, Granderson turning into a shell of himself, Swisher looking scared out of his mind and ARod unable to hit for power anymore…we just don’t hit a lot of extra base hits. Jeter/Ichiro/Nunez are singles hitters and Martin/Ibanez are low average run into one sometimes hitters. With only one guy in the lineup that needs to be accounted for we’re stuck needing to get a bunch of singles and walks strung together to score runs. After Tex went for the double yesterday I thought he was okay (because he was able to bust it. he was out but it was because he didn’t bust it out of the box) but after seeing him not even really being to 3rd when Adam Jones got Grandy’s single I was shocked. He’s hitting well but has missed out on 2 surefire doubles and didn’t score on the Grandy single. We may need to move him up in the lineup so he’s hitting with guys on since he’s unable to advance more than a base at a time. And Swisher could probably use being dropped down. Rant over.

    • vicki


  • stuart a

    not 1 comment fro mMike on how bad arod is..

    • Mike Stanley

      A-Rod had a much better game than the Statuesque Shortstop.

    • Mike Stanley

      A-Rod had a much better game than the Statuesque Shortstop.

    • DT

      2 line drives, one which got caught. He had two of what? the 3 hardest hit balls of the night? Should we blame Arod for the other player’s RISP fails?

      • Squints

        I like Arod but he doesnt get paid $29 mil to hit infield line drives, hit it in the gap or over the gate. Drop him to 5th or 6th in the lineup see if he wakes up.

    • vicki

      i forget: which players do you like, stuart? the ones who beasted tonight?

  • jim

    do you sabersuckers still love that swisher guy, what a bust

    • Ryan

      Do you trolls still love bridges??

    • DT

      Right because Swisher didn’t help us get to the play offs in th first place.

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    This is the final chance for Swish for me. If he ends up 1 for 35 with risp in his Yankee post season career, let him go.

    No arm, no speed, no clutch hits in the post season.

    I’m done.

    Sign Ichiro for 1 year and play Gardy.

    • vicki

      you’re emotional right now. think, man.

      • Monterowasnotdinero

        I think it was well thought out. 1 for 33 is pretty bad and pretty factual.

        We don’t need Nick $wisher to get to the post season.

        Does he lose millions with a few more crappy games in the post season?

        Ok-maybe I’d resign him for less.

        Rotating Gardy, Grandy and Ichiro in CF seems like a good plan. I’d take Swish as a DH but our old left sided infield prevents that.

        • vicki

          if you’d take granderson over swisher i can’t even talk to you.

          • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

            They are both limited players (agreed) but with our power from oft-injured vets decreasing rapidly, I’ll take Grandy’s 40+ and YS swing. Play him in RF a bit more to limit his defensive liabilities.

            • MannyGeee

              But with power from our oft-injured vets decreasing rapidly, maybe think about re-signing the guy who rarely ever misses time, hits almost 30 out a year and plays a pretty mean 1B on top of an average RF… and also, he had a nice game 1 (1-2 with 2 BB & 1 RBI).

              • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

                A case could be made for either player and their skill sets.

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

      Game 1 says hi

  • Mick taylor

    What about trying ibanez in the 3 hole. He would get good pitches to hit in front of cano arod dropped to 5th as dh Chavez plays 3rd and swisher is benched

  • vicki

    shame on you, defense. not only the E6 and E3 but some other plays that just shouldve been made. with the old dude on the mound i want them to field like it’s the 9th inning of a no/no. just shameful, the lack of focus, behind a yankee LEGEND.

    that said, this was always the one game we would give to the baltimore bucks. come home, end it, and go A’s.

    • MannyGeee

      I want nothing to do with Oakland. But fight to see one more day and force Verlander to pitch another game.

  • Mick taylor

    Arod should bat 5th and I would bench swisher why is girardi afraid of this guy he won’t be on the team by Friday if he keeps choking at the very least swisher should bat 9th the yanks threw a way good start by andy and they have been lucky that Adam jones has not been hitting and showalter was dumb enough to play thome I expect the orioles to score more runs in ny if swisher bats 5thagain the yanks lose this series if he bats anywhere but 9th they lose the series a

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      But Swish walks!

      And when he gets on base, watch out.

      Dude can fly but, speed is overrated of course.

    • MannyGeee



  • sevrox

    A split in Baltimore is fine. Tne Yankees winning 2 out of the next 3 in Their House is most do-able.

    I hope they re-sign Ichiro for next season – he’s evidently rejuvenated and loves playing in NY.

    Optimistically Buoyant Sevrox

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      I like Ichiro too. He is a versatile and durable player whose game should age well. Legs are still good-hard to double up. With a little rest during a long season I think he fits in well. His hot streak in September was very important for the team.

  • Mike

    Against RHP this season

    Chavez – .298/.365/.543
    A-Rod – .256/.326/.391

    I’ll bring it up anyway even though it’s an extremely SSS, Chavez is 3-6 off Gonzalez with a HR. A-Rod does not have an AB against him.

    Is there anything wrong whatsoever with benching A-Rod for a game and letting the actual Better hitter of the 2 this year getting more AB’s? I don’t care about how much $ he makes. Jason Giambi made $18-$20 million a year and was left off the entire postseason roster in 2004 and was limited to being a pinch hitter in 2007.

    Start Chavez and Bench A-Rod, if not move him down way in the order.

    And if any of you are worried about a media storm, who cares? There’s a media storm already for letting A-Rod to continue to bat 3rd.

    Girardi always goes by the binder and the numbers. If the numbers say Chavez is better, then why not play him over A-Rod?

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      Agree on that.

  • JohnC

    Kuroda is going to have to pitch a great game tommorrow night cause Gonzalez has shut the Yanks down twice in 2 starts at the Stadium this year. He is very tough.

  • JohnC

    In fact, I was surprised the O’s didn’t start Gonzalez in game 1, electing to go with Hammel instead

  • moonimus

    Tough loss. Bottom line O’s got it done and the Yankees did not. Those bashing Swisher are nuts. Yes the famine in the postseason is frustrating but Swish gets us to the playoffs. You guys would probabaly have benched Tino Martinez during the late 90s when he became fairly pedestrian. Anyway, I think girardi should consider moving grandrson down in the order. He looks lost and completely out of sync with some bad at bats. If those graphics on tv of the strike zone are correct, Curtis is taking pitches he should crush as strikes. Seems like he takes a first pitch hittable strike, swings at a pitchers strike, and then at 0-2 they are making him look foolish. He does not look right at the plate at all. Hopefully he will find his stroke back at home but he should bat last.

    • Jose M. Vazquez

      You want him to bat ninth? He was batting eighth last night.

    • Squints

      Move him down in the order? He was hitting 8th last night, you cant move him any lower. Im sorry but 40 homers and over 100 rbis doesnt belong hitting last.

    • mick taylor

      swish gets us in the playoffs? yeah right. how about my suggestion back in february that i would have signed carlos beltran for the money 13 million spent on swish and jones . carlos beltran would get us in the world series. but this whole yankee team is under achieving. how do you lose to an oriole team without markakis roberts and jones not hitting. and in arod’ defense he is old and is coming off a broken hand. after roger maris broke his hand he lost all his power. the difference between arod and swish is arod is not producing because he is old and injured he is not choking wheras swisher s just choking

  • steves

    Last night was a house money game. The 2-3 format now turns out to be a big advantage for the Yanks. Girardi has a well-rested bullpen which is another big advantage. Interesting anomaly if it happens; Yanks possibly will play 5 straight home playoff games on 5 straight days;

    • Eddard

      There’s no such thing as house money. It’s now come down to a 3 game series. The Os have played us well in YS. Kuroda and Phil have both had rough starts down the stretch and this offense has shown no ability to come through in the clutch. They’ve had one good inning. Are we still the favorites at home? Yes but it’s gonna be close. If they can split the next two games it’ll come down to CC.

      • beachbum

        “this offense has shown no ability to come through in the clutch”

        . . . like in the ninth inning of a tie game against one of the game’s best relievers

    • Frank

      You do realize the O’s won 6 of 9 in the Bronx this season? Plus, Hughes pitches game 4- not exactly a sure thing, especially if they drop the game tomorrow. Last night’s loss was huge, but not surprising. Same issues that have been present all season- lack of clutch hitting and inability to close out an inning after getting 2 outs.

      • Mike

        Which makes me wonder if the Yankees lose Game 3, do they start CC in Game 4 on 3 days rest?

        • Squints

          Interesting point. Im a Hughes fan, so i say let Phil start, maybe showing some confidence in the kid will go a long way now and down the line. I gotta hope the Yanks beat Gonzalez even though hes pitched them well, theyve seen him enough and should have a good beat on him by now.

          Id bet Joe Binder goes with CC though, i know the big man would be up to it.

      • steves

        So your argument is the Orioles have the advantage because they happened to win 6 of 9 at the Stadium against an injury depleted roster that also included beating up on Nova twice and Garcia? Ask Buck if he’d rather be playing the next 3 at Camden Yards or at the Stadium. Nothing is a “sure” thing but the set-up is all advantage Yankees.

        • rek4gehrig

          Good point. We can/should take 2/3 at home. Darn it!!!!!!!

  • John

    I’m not sure what’s more frustrating at this point – A-rod and the level of suck that he brings to the 3 hole, or Swisher and his complete playoff ineptitude.

    Those of you on the Swisher love affair need to check yourself, before you wreck yourself. As a Yankee he is 17-106 in the Postseason, good for a .160 average. I love his regular season contributions and consistency, but he’s an absolutely horrid hitter in the playoffs.

  • mick taylor

    the yank hitters played last night like it was the last game of a road trip in may and had their bags packed. they never called time to slow down chen, did not work counts and fielded atrociously. everyone is crucifying arod but i don’t think he is choking. he can’t hit like he use to because he is old and injured. roger maris could not hit for power after he broke his hand. wheras swisher is young and healthy but is doing what he does every post season , choke. he is worse than arod.

  • thenamestsam

    Trolls are out today huh? Yesterday everyone was like “Tonight we’re playing with house money”, but they lose a tight game and everyone is panicking. Got to win 2 out of 3 at home against an inferior team. Anything can happen, but no reason not to like our chances.

    • DC

      They are the same group that was saying they would be happy with a 2 game split at Baltimore before the series started.

      • rek4gehrig

        LOL. I wonder what the Nationals fans are saying about their split.

  • grassnot paper

    can anyone explain why girardi did not pinch run for tex in the eight

    this is another in a lengthening list of managerial lapses

  • Zack

    The worst part was watching Chen pitch like crap and still come awya with the win.