Garrett Atkins just singled to left in the 8th inning of the Rox-Phils game. As Jayson Werth fielded the ball, a second ball landed next to him, presumably thrown from the stands. The fantastic TBS analyst says (paraphrased):
You can see here as Werth handles the ball it lands next to him, it’s either a ball or a piece of fruit.
A piece of fruit, huh? Really? · (0) ·
First, a plague of locusts descends on the Jake during the bottom of the 8th. Then, we learn that Bob Sheppard will miss his first postseason game at Yankee Stadium since Oct. 4, 1951. But I’m not superstitious; are you? · (4) ·
The Yanks’ loss tonight sure was disheartening. They failed to hit; their star set-up kid — and remember, he’s just a kid — couldn’t deal with a swarm of bugs and was a little wild; the back end of their weak bullpen failed to get outs in key situations.
For a small but vocal minority of Yankee fans, the fault for this team lies with Brian Cashman. The Yankees GM hasn’t been able to field a World Champion team since 2000, and even then, that team was largely the product of his predecessors Bob Watson and Gene Michael. So Cashman, because his teams are continually flawed, despite a payroll that has finally grown to $200 million, should be fired.
Well, I do not buy it for one second. When Brian Cashman inherited the Yankees — a team he, as an assistant general manager, helped construct — they were at the start of a great run of World Series championships. His work led the team to three World Series championships, five American League Championships and a playoff berth every single season.
But for some Yankee fans, the team has failed every year after 2000. Who cares about the two AL Championships and the seven playoff appearances? Who cares about the 686-445 record with a.607 winning percentage tops among all Major League teams from 2001-2007.
So are we supposed to blame Brian Cashman because he’s put together a team that wins during the regular season but can’t win during the playoffs? I don’t think so. If you put together teams that win in the postseason but can’t get there, what’s the point?
The bad part are these best-of-five series. While I hate to make excuses, they’re hardly indicative of a team’s ability over the course of 162 games. Cashman has, while working with a very overbearing boss who insisted on giving Jason Giambi a contract about two years and $40 million too long, to name one, put together one of the most successful baseball games of all time. You can’t top that no matter how poorly the Yanks have done in October.
Meanwhile, the Yanks are down but not out at all. They face Jake Westbrook on Sunday and, if they survive, Paul Byrd on Monday. If the team clicks, there’s no reason to count them out and every reason to expect a game five. If they make it that far, you’ll see far less criticism of a team that, while flawed, isn’t exactly a disaster.
Nothing. Who cares? When your $200 million team has only two guys who get outs in the bullpen, you won’t win playoff games. It’s that simple.
Blame Luis Vizcaino for being utterly terrible. Blame Cashman if you want. Blame Torre for sticking with Matsui. Blame the bugs for the distraction and Posada for his inability to block Joba’s sliders in the dirt. But really, you need more guys who can get outs in the bullpen against the 7-8-9 hitters and you need hitters who are going to hit. What can you do?
The Yanks can easily beat Paul Byrd and Jake Westbrook in the Bronx. That’s hardly a tall order. Clemens on Sunday; Wang on Monday; Pettitte in Cleveland on Wednesday. We can do it.
So we’re seeing Joe Torre repeating the past.
Fact: Hideki Matsui is slumping badly and has been since mid-August. The guess is that his recently drained knee is bothering him more than we realize.
So what does Joe do? He puts Matsui, the weak link, in between Jorge and A-Rod. I guess he figures Carmona will attack Matsui while pitching against A-Rod and Posada. I would much rather see Giambi there, but such are things.
Win today and everything looks rosy.
Sorry for the extended down time. We were too depressed about last night’s game to keep up the site. Just kidding. Hosting problems.
Continue bemoaning what is only a game one loss here. And remember: The Yanks are 5-0 in DS history after losing game 1 and just 2-5 when winning game 1. Hooray for meaningless stats.
Not much time to talk today. Feel sympathy for me, please: I have a rehearsal dinner tonight which happens to basically run the length of the Yanks game. The groom is a huge Yanks fan, so I’m hoping he’s accommodated for this. I’m not banking on it, though.
There’s not much to talk about from last night. Wang was terrible, leaving balls up in the zone all night. Ohlendorf didn’t help. Hughes might have pitched his way into a Game 4 start (solo homer or not, that was the best he’s looked since returning from the DL). Matsui and Jorge failed in huge spots, and A-Rod didn’t really get a chance until the game was out of hand (yes, I realize that he popped up with Abreu on first in the third). But all of this was pretty clear; it’s not like anything subtle caused the Yanks to lose last night.
As Ben says, it’s a must-win today. I can definitely see this one going in the Yanks’ favor. And then it’s all up to Clemens and Mussina/Hughes. The Yanks will put themselves in the best position to win the game if they sit Hideki (thereby giving him another two full days off) and starting Giambi at DH. This is so obvious that I expect Torre not to do it. · (12) ·
In the end, the score doesn’t matter. The Yanks find themselves in a familiar position: down 1-0 in the division series. And tomorrow — or, at this point, later today — is another game. They’re 5-0 since 1995 when down 1-0 in the DS. Let’s see it happen again. Win today, and they head back to the Bronx with a split. It’s that easy. · (4) ·