Open Thread: ALCS Rained Out

(Harry How/Getty Images)

Apparently the baseball gods don’t only hate the Yankees after all. After sitting through two lengthy rain delays in the fifth inning last night, the Rangers and Tigers saw Game Two of their ALCS matchup postponed due to rain tonight. The game will be made up at 4pm ET tomorrow afternoon. To make matters worse for Detroit, they lost Magglio Ordonez due to an ankle injury and will have to replace him on the roster. They were already without Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young, and will be down to an outfield of Ryan Raburn, Austin Jackson, and Don Kelly. Yikes.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The late football game is the Packers at the Falcons (8:20pm ET on NBC), which might actually be watchable. Talk about whatever you want here, anything goes.

Phelps debuts in the desert

Francisco Gil has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season, likely due to some banned substance issue. The 22-year-old righty can charitably be described as a fringe prospect, but he’s a useful organization arm capable of soaking up whatever innings the prospects leave behind.

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (7-3 loss to Scottsdale) Friday’s game
Corban Joseph, 2B: 1 for 4
Rob Segedin, LF: 0 for 4, 3 K – ouch

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (5-4 loss to Scottsdale) Saturday’s game
David Phelps, RHP: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 29 of 48 pitches were strikes (60.4%) … I don’t know if there’s a pitch count, but starters are limited to just five innings a start out here
Chase Whitley, RHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 4-1 GB/FB – a dozen of his 19 pitches were strikes (63.2%)
Dan Burawa, RHP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1-1 GB/FB – eight of his 13 pitches were strikes (61.5%)
Preston Claiborne, RHP:1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1-1 GB/FB – ten of 15 pitches were strikes

It’s worth noting that Ronnie Mustelier has not played since leaving a game in the fourth inning earlier this week. No idea what’s up. Also, they don’t play on Sunday’s in the AzFL. Must be nice. Rosters for the various Latin America winter leagues are not out yet either, and probably won’t be for a few weeks.

Talks between Yanks, Cashman going well

Via Buster Olney, talks between the Yankees and Brian Cashman about a new contract are going smoothly, and the two sides could have a deal done as soon as next week. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion in recent weeks, so news that talks are going well isn’t all that surprising. I wonder if Cashman will push for a little more control given how bad the ownership-driven Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano contracts look, but I suspect we’ll never know.

Saturday Night Open Thread

At least I can enjoy watching him now because he's not facing the Yanks. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Wow, was today not weird? Nice lazy Saturday with gorgeous weather … and no Yankees to watch. I kept looking at the clock to see if it was 1pm out of habit, but alas, no baseball to be watched. I hate this time of year, having to figure out a new routine after the end of the Yankees season. Oh well, it’s a necessary evil no matter how far they go in the postseason.

Anyway, Game One of the ALCS starts at 8:05pm ET and can be seen on FOX (Verlander vs. Wilson). I’m sure there’s plenty of college football going on as well, plus the Devils and Islanders start their season tonight. Talk about the ALCS or anything you want here. Enjoy.

Did the Short Porch Sink the Yankees?

Amount of parks this is a home run in: 1.

The “too many homers” narrative was one of the most common ones to the plague the Yankees this year, staring from game 1 (home runs from Granderson and Teixeira) and dragging all the way through the season. The Yankees eventually finished first in home runs with 222 and second in total runs with 867, meaning that roughly 25% of all the runs the Yankees scored were via the longball. While this seems like a lot, the fightin’ Baltimore Showalters had 191 home runs and 708 runs, pulling almost 30% of their runs from dingers. I guess that’s what happens when you employ Mark Reynolds. Yankees fans have spent most of the year making fun of this narrative and defending the team from it.

However, it was the long ball that both carried and sunk the Yankees in this short series. The right field short porch that has been so constantly vilified (but only when the Yankees hit homers in there), allowed Delmon Young, Miguel Cabrera, and Don Kelly to launch it out of the park. Two of those homers, Kelly’s in game 5 and Cabrera’s in game 2 would help sink the Bombers entirely. According to Hit Tracker Online, Delmon Young’s homer in the first part of game 1 would have been a homer in only one park: you guessed it, New Yankee Stadium. Cabrera’s was a homer in only two, while Don Kelly’s would have gone out in five different stadiums. Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson (Game 2) both would have left the park in seven different stadiums, while Delmon Young (a la game 5), and Robinson Cano (both times) hit it big enough to go out in every park.

It would have been nice if the Yankees could have take advantage of their own homer-friendly park (and Derek Jeter certainly tried), but in lieu of that, a clutch hit would have helped, in either Comerica or New York. Could the Yankees not get the hits with runners in scoring position at the most unfortunate time this year?

Game 1

Yankees: 2-for-12 w/ RISP, one homer (Cano)
Tigers: 4-for-7 w/RISP, one homer (Young)

Yankee Stadium Specials: one (Detroit)
Yankee hits w/ RISP that weren’t homers: (2: Cano, Gardner)

Game 2

Yankees: 0-for-7 w/ RISP, two homers (Swisher, Granderson)
Tigers: 3-for-10 w/ RISP, one homer (Cabrera)

Yankee Stadium Specials: one (Detroit)
Yankee hits /w RISP that weren’t homers: 0

Game 5

Yankees: 2-for-9 w/ RISP, one homer Cano)
Tigers: 1-for-9 w/ RISP, two homers (Kelly, Young)

Yankee Stadium Specials: 0 (You could argue Don Kelly’s was, but I’m going to say no.)
Yankees hits with RISP that weren’t homers: 1 (Cano, though this did not score a run)

It’s morbidly entertaining to me to see that another team can take advantage of a stadium feature that the team was constructed to use for their advantage, and then use it to thoroughly beat the Yankees. I’m not complaining about the short porch, just saying that it helps and harms in equal measure. The two runs Cabrera scored in game 2 were all that decided the game, and the tentative YS Special of Don Kelly’s dinger decided the series in the end. Plus, in Yankee Stadium, the Yankees went a total of 4-for-28 with runners in scoring position with a bases loaded walk, with only one of those hits being a home run (Cano), and one of them not scoring a hit at all. That really says it all.


PS: Does anyone have an official qualifier for what makes a Yankee Stadium Special? Footage? Exact row?