How to Win a Pennant with Just One hitter, Two starters and A Stopper

Start Molina!
Uh, just kidding.  But some players never strand as many baserunners in a career as Posada stranded Sunday night.  Truly remarkable.  Given the outcome, we’ll hope this is just a well timed in-game slump.  But he’s not done that much and, combined with the fact that Teixeira has left his offense at the bus stop, Arod’s ridiculous OBP is not bringing back as much return as it should.  Last night one of Arod’s hits was actually bookended by double plays from Teixeira and Posada.  That’s hard to do.  After nine post-season games, I still feel the Yankee offense needs some smelling salts if this team plans to host a parade this October… I mean, November.  Mid-November, even.  Maybe they can just glom on to the tail end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?

 

What was previously slight hyperbole is now no exaggeration; there are no hot hitters on this team right now that are not dating Kate Hudson.  Arod is the only guy whom you can say is truly firing on all cylinders.  The bases loaded walk in the clincher was an excellent example of his newfound patience.  If the Fox box is to be believed (not to mention the ump, though that’s dubious these days), the ball was indeed inside.  In fact, it was a perfect pitch save the fact that Arod seems to be exercising a perfect knowledge of the strike zone now.  If the count was full, he should probably have given it a hack.  But with only one strike on him, let it pass.  This ain’t live blogging, so you may call “malarkey!” on me for saying that my reaction to seeing Arod come to the plate with bases loaded and one out with Posada on deck was not that the Angels should walk Arod, but if they did walk him it might well yield the best possible result. Posada’s subsequent first of 36 DPs on the night would support that notion.  You can’t go wrong giving the ALCS MVP to CC, but Rodriguez had him edged out in my mind.


Jeter is rock, Rivera is paper
That was a typical Rivera run Sunday night to cut the lead to one.  A bloop and a bleeder, though the hardest hit ball was right at the curiously positioned Cano behind second base.  But Jeter may have passed on another fine post-season moment that would have saved the run and left his detractors nauseous.  The bloop by Figgins looked catchable with a dive, and I’m not talking about a spastic, injurious dive into the stands.  I think it was
close enough that Jeter should get dirty on that.  At least that’s how it looked from my really cozy chair, with my feet up, nervously sipping a stout.

I Guess This is Considered Progress
A couple slick defensive plays and the first good AB I’ve seen from Nick Swisher this post-season.  The good AB didn’t yield anything, but his next AB resulted in a grounder in the hole — a pitch that looked possibly off the plate outside that he pulled for a worm-killer that somehow made its way to the outfield.   Not pretty, but it’s a start I suppose.  And it proved to be an important cog in the three-run inning.  I still don’t recall seeing him hit a ball hard the last couple weeks.  The reason his prolonged slump looks so bad is it does not seem like the law of averages evening out.  (Evening out what? His April, I guess).  Rather, his knowledge of the strike zone has looked off, so his 3-0 count early in the game was more encouraging than anything, even though it would eventually lead to a weak fly out.

Oops, Book 1 & 2
Kendrick should have held on to the ball he dropped, BUT… Kendry Morales made a bad throw.  The ball almost went into the runner, which hangs the fielder out to dry.  Howie Kendrick is not the first person manning 1B to go all alligator arms on a throw that dances a little too close to the baseline.  And Scott Kazmir, whose presence on the mound ahead of Jered Weaver was surprising considering how shaky Kazmir looked a few nights ago, choked his throw plain and simple.  You think this game ain’t mental?
Maybe Met fans felt good watching that.

 

Wake Up the Babe

As of now, it looks like Charlie Manuel may start Pedro in the Bronx for game 2.  Sure, it’ll lead to entertaining “Who’s Your Daddy” chants, but it’s probably a wise move in that he’ll probably need a few innings out of the bullpen, which can rest the next day.  So we fans will be robbed of what we’ve wanted to see for years: to see Pedro back up his headhunting by stepping into the box.  I admit, I’ve not seen him in action that much since leaving the Red Sox, but I’ve not actually seen any video of him throwing at anyone anymore.  Is this an amusing coincidence or have I not been watching closely?

On the subject of pitchers hitting, too bad CC will only have one start on the road in this series.  He could have been the next slugger to call his shot in the World Series.


Formula for Winning the World Series
-Continue not hitting, especially in the clutch, while stranding more baserunners than there are people in the stands;
-Have CC or Pettitte + Rivera pitch every game;
-Politely ask the opposition kick the ball all over the field and run into outs on the bases.  This seems to be working so far, so why change it… sigh.

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2 comments

  1. The White Fence Keeper

    Man, I can’t agree with you more. What you said can’t be said better.

    I’m a die-hard Yankees fan, but even I know when things are going terribly wrong. There is no doubt that this team is much much better than the 04, 03, and 02 yanks. But there are so many caveats to that, that I would run out of room in this text box.

    Apparently these batters think that it’s ok to not get base hits as long as they can hit some long balls into the seats in Yankee Stadium–and forget being away. The number for Swisher hitting HRs away were a lot higher than at home. And instead of even swinging for the fence, he’s swinging at balls that are toe-high or over his damn head.

    There is one good thing that came out of all of this: The Yanks know how to capitalize on mistakes. The question is, can they hold onto a lead after they rally for six bloody runs in an inning.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling, but I just wanted to say that your blog is brilliant.

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