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Friday, September 30, 2011

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY

Obviously, you know by now tonight's game was rained out. The game was tied 1-1 and the Yankees were to come up to bat in the bottom of the second inning. This game, according to Joe Torre, will be resumed tomorrow evening where the game left off.

First pitch of the new Game 1, will be tomorrow evening at 8:37pm ET. Both managers will go with their Game 2 starters. Ivan Nova vs. Doug Fister.

Then, Game 2 of the series is now scheduled to be played at 3:07 p.m. on Sunday, Freddy Garcia vs. Max Scherzer.

Game 3 would then be Monday... CC Sabathia vs. Justin Verlander.

One final thing, the rain is supposed to fall all day tomorrow. Tom Verducci just said that there was possible discussion that if it rains all day tomorrow, there could even be a double header on Sunday to get the games in. But we have to just take it one day at a time.

WTF.

By the way, my personal observation... TBS doesn't do baseball too well. during this whole mess tonight, I found myself longing for Craig Sager, at least I could chuckle at his outfits. My guess is he refused to have any rain get on his blazers so he bailed. That's a joke Mr. Sager... don't get upset.


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WHY IF THE ALDS ROSTER WAS A TEST...

I'd get 2 wrong. So I’m not a total screw up, am I? The Yankees ALDS roster was revealed earlier today and if you read WHY I KNOW THE YANKEES 2011 ALDS ROSTER, you know that I chose a few players that others disagreed with. That’s why this is a blog, so I can give my opinion and you can give yours.Chris Dickerson was a name I mentioned for bench help. He has an OK bat but more importantly, he has wheels and can play the outfield. To me, he was a perfect choice for the ALDS bench. I was right. He’s joining the Yankees on this trip.

You’re Welcome.

Look, let’s be honest, I had a tough time thinking about having Dickerson or Andruw Jones on my roster. In the end, Jones didn’t make the cut. The reason was because I wanted an extra lefty pitcher and I picked Raul Valdes. Because of that, I lost a bench spot. Now, it turns out the Yankees are sticking with 1 lefty, Boone Logan in the pen for this Series. In turn, they picked Andruw Jones to join the rest of the bench. Good choice.

I also made a bold statement and went against the grain on 1 more pick. Because I believed Hector Noesi earned a spot on the ALDS roster, I picked him over an often injured and non-battle tested Phil Hughes. To me, it was obvious. Noesi was pitching all season and really handled himself. Hughes, on the other hand was hammered with injury and didn’t really do anything this season. I was clearly overruled. The Yankees picked Hughes over Noesi. I’m fine with that, I just thought my reasoning made sense.

Every other roster spot was correct. It just made me smile, that’s all. Am I still just a blogger who gets it wrong more than I get it right? Yes, I don’t take myself too seriously, I just thought it was cool. That’s it.

Whatever the roster, one things for sure, it’s ALDS time… Sabathia vs. Verlander. LET’S GO YANKEES!

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2011 ALDS: BYB YANKEES NOTES

Yankees against Verlander: Justin Verlander is 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA against the Yankees. The Bombers hottest hitters are Derek Jeter (.357 AVG/10 H). Jeter has also struck out 7 times against Verlander in 28 at bats. Jorge Posada (.333 AVG/7 H/5 RBI), Brett Gardner (.375 AVG) and Russell Martin (.400 AVG/2 H in 5 AB). Nick Swisher has 3 home runs against Verlander but is only batting .167 against him and has 19 strikeouts. Wow.

Nick Swisher: No one’s better than George King III and he had a piece in the New York Post about Swisher and his struggles in the postseason. Read it HERE. He writes that part of the problem, according to Kevin Long is Nick Swisher gets too amped up. Swisher says “I get jacked up and my emotions are high. That’s my fight, to control my emotions.” Since 2009, Swisher is batting 12-81 with 2 homers and 4 RBIs in 5 postseason series. In 2 ALDS, Swisher is batting .208.

Tigers against Sabathia: CC Sabathia is lifetime 15-12 pitcher against the Tigers. He carries a 4.54 ERA. The hottest Tigers hitters against Sabathia are Miguel Cabrera (.563 AVG/2 HR/11 RBI), Austin Jackson (.286 AVG/1 HR/2 RBI), and Magglio Ordonez (.268 AVG/3 HR/18 RBI).

Freddy Garcia: Freddy gets the nod for Game 3. Garcia is 6-2 in the postseason. When he was a member of the White Sox in 2005, he was 3-0. In my humble opinion, Freddy Garcia earned this spot in the ALDS.

Justin Verlander: The Yankees faced Verlander 2 times this season. Both times the Yankees were patient with him and made him throw a lot of pitches until he was knocked out of the game. Both times Verlander had a no decision against the Yankees. Patience will be key once again.

Alex Rodriguez: “The knee is ready to go,” is what Alex Rodriguez said. I’m not quite sure ARod will be has dominant as he was in 2009, and that could hurt a bit. In the 2009 postseason, Alex hit 6 homers and batted .365. If Alex can’t hack it and the knee is bothering him, I suspect Eric Chavez, a former Gold Glover would get the call at 3rd.

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2011 ALDS: WHY IT'S A WHOLE NEW YANKEES SEASON

Today it’s a whole new ball game. A best of 5 game Series that will quickly eliminate any team that’s not up to snuff. This quick series is no joke. The New York Yankees need to play their best right out of the box to move onto the ALCS. They need to be stealth, they need to be powerful, they need to be the Yankees… dominant and gutsy like they've been all season. After all, this is what we play for, the postseason. I believe Ladies and Gentlemen, after the interesting season we’ve had, there is no looking back. We won 97 games... incredible considering all the turmoil. We just kept winning.

I believe in adrenaline. For a ball club like the New York Yankees, many on the Yanks understand how it works, they’ve been their before. For someone like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, adrenaline kicks in automatically because they’ve been to the playoffs so often...they're familiar. Then you have guys like the monster, CC Sabathia who in my opinion, is the biggest top pitcher out there for a Game 1. I wouldn’t choose anyone else. CC knows what he needs to do. We couldn’t be in a better position.

Bleeding Yankee Blue put together a little video to get us Yankee fans in the mood:



Pass it around, give your fellow Yankee fan the link to this post. Let’s get psyched! Let’s give every Yankees fan something to celebrate, after all, we have entered the ALDS again this year and there is no doubt we need to win this Series. But, as our Captain always says, “One game at the time.” He’s right. You can be amazing in Game 1, but everything can change in Game 2. You’re only as good as your last at bat, last performance, last game. All true.

So, as I sit here with my mind daydreaming of Yankee championships and champagne parties, I take a moment and pray to the Yankee Gods…

Dear God,

I’ve done my best this year to spread the Yankee word. I’ve celebrated the Yankees and have been less critical of Joe Girardi this year than I have been in the past. I, as you know will be wearing my Jeter Jersey during the playoffs and will not wash it on a win, but in the event the Yankees lose a game, I promise to switch to my Posada Jersey, just like 2009. God, you can make fun of me and call me superstitious, but you’ve known me all your life, and you know that this is the way I roll. I’m dead serious about my Yankees when they’re in the playoffs.

I promise to keep the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers informed and entertained during the playoffs as well, after all, they are important to me. In return, I am asking for one important thing to happen. Yes God, World Peace is a great idea, but there is something else… I need my New York Yankees to win the ALDS, the ALCS and the World Series this year, 2011. It will make me and millions of Yankee fans like me very very happy.

Your son,

Casey

P.S. Oh yeah… and one more thing…LET’S GO YANKEEEEESSSSSSS!

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IVAN NOVA: REVIEWING OUR PROJECTIONS


  • Projected: 13 wins, 4.10 ERA, 181 innings, 113 K's
  • 2011: 16 wins, 3.70 ERA, 165.1 innings, 98 K's
My goodness, we expected a solid season out of the rookie Ivan Nova, but not this! He clearly exceeded expectations for sure, as he is on track to start Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. Since he came back from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July 30th he's gone 8-0 with a 3.47 ERA. In fact, GM Brian Cashman had so much faith in him he decided not to include him along with Jeus Montero, Manny Banuelos, or Dellin Betances in a potential deal with the Colorado Rockies to acquire starter Ubaldo Jimenez at the Trade Deadline. You can read that blurb from July 30th HERE.

Anyway, here are some other pieces we put together on Ivan Nova.

WHY IT'S BUSINESS ARE USUAL FOR IVAN NOVA

WHY NOVA'S STOCK HAS RISEN


WHY NOVA HAS A SHOT AT ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

WHY HE'S SUPER NOVA




--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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PHIL HUGHES: REVIEWING OUR PROJECTIONS


  • Projected: 17 wins, 3.85 ERA, 206 innings, 184 K's
  • 2011: 5 wins, 6.00 ERA, 72 innings, 45 K's
Obviously this prediction was way off. But, you can't predict injury.We all know he suffered from a dead arm and shoulder inflammation that kept him on the shelf from the middle of April to early July.When he came off the DL he went 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA. But coming into the season we all wanted to know if he would incorporate a third pitch, like a change up. As a matter of fact he did. Hughes used his change up 6.6% of the time. That may not sound like a lot, but it is compared to the 3.5% of the time he used it last year. Check out Hughes' Fangraphs numbers HERE. But it looks like Hughes will end up in the bullpen for the remainder of the regular season and at least the first round of the postseason, or he could end up not being on the postseason roster all together. You can check that story out HERE.

Check out more stories by us of Phil Hughes, click and enjoy:

WHY PHIL HUGHES IS ON A MISSION


WHY HUGHES NEEDS A TIME OUT

WHY HUGHES MAY BE DONE

WHY WE LOVE PHIL HUGHES




--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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WHY IT'S "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT THESE EYES HAVE EVER SEEN!"

The Yankees in the playoffs! I stole that line from Ned Beatty who played the role of Rudy Ruettiger’s father in the film Rudy, a film that still makes me cry like a little bitch. I like that line because while it’s simple, yet says so much.

Emotionally, I watched the mountain the Yankees had to climb this year and when you looked at that opening day Pitching rotation, there is no way in hell that you believed that the New York Yankees would win the American League Eastern division. But’s exactly what's happened.

Seeing Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez pouring champagne on Robinson Cano is truly extraordinary. Seeing Curtis Granderson and Rafael Soriano smiling ear to ear actually makes me really happy. And thinking about Brian Cashman’s patience rule come into play, it’s almost like he was Biff, using the Delorean to get the Sports Almanac and bringing it back with all the solutions to bring the Yankees yet another postseason berth.

Admit it, you believed in your Yankees, but did you REALLY BELIEVE when Phil Hughes went down and Bartolo Colon suddenly filled the void? Did you believe that Curtis Granderson was going to have a season for the ages? Did you truly believe that DRob would emerge as the greatest 8th inning guy you’ve ever seen? Yankee fans believe in their team, but you just never know how 25 individuals will come together. When AJ Burnett started falling apart, the bullpen and offense lifted him up. When Rafael Soriano lost his 8th inning job, he accepted anything to help his team win, and checked his attitude at the door. And when Jorge Posada was called upon to pinch hit, he never complained and he delivered.

These are my New York Yankees. And while they are terrific this season, you have to also give some created to Joe Girardi. Yes, sometimes the Girardi binder pokes in it’s head and tries to lead Joe, but Joe’s less dependant lately, and he’s developed into a pretty damn good manager I’d say. Maybe Manager of the Year and I’m impressed.

One things for sure though, it’s not over. Not only do we need to keep winning, we’ve achieved 2 goals but we need to achieve 3 more:

WINNING THE ALDS: A short series win is more important now because it tests our pitching. We’ve seen the Yankees win plenty of Series’ this season and I’ve always preached that winning every series will get the Yanks to the playoffs, but now we’re going and it starts all over. We need to strike early and often and never lose the focus. We need to play hard until the end of the season and keep momentum going into the playoffs.

WINNING THE ALCS: A slightly longer series but important just the same. The prize is winning the World Series but you can’t do that until you win the ALCS. I believe that when we get through the ALDS, winning the ALCS will happen, again it's momentum. That’s the key.

WINNING THE WORLD SERIES: You can’t go to the World Series and lose. We’ve experienced that before and it sucks. The Marlins... the Diamondbacks... those losses still sting. We’ve learned our lesson. The World Series is a must win, and winning it all in our house is always better.

Yes, when the Yankees clinched and Soriano locked it down, followed by the Yankees having alittle celebration, it was in fact "The most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen." But let’s be honest, it's bigger than that now, seeing them in the playoffs is, and then going further will be as well. I want to have more of that. We’re almost there.

As Jeet says “One game at a time, one game at the time.”

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FREDDY GARCIA: REVIEWING OUR PROJECTIONS


  • Projected: 3 wins, 5.35 ERA, 12 starts
  • 2011: 12 wins, 3.62 ERA, 25 starts
Well, well, well, didn't we botch this projection? Freddy Garcia was brought in to Yankee camp this spring to try to make one of the final two spots in the rotation this season. Although Garcia didn't pitch well in Spring Training, he was named one of the final two starters. This season Garcia's fastball velocity sat at 87.2 MPH while being used 36% of the time. He used his slider, and his split-fingered fastball 23.8% and 22.4% of the time, respectively. You can read all of his pitch types as well as his other Fangraphs stats HERE.

He proved time and time again that you don't need electric stuff to survive in the AL East. You can live on the corners and not in the middle of the plate to be effective. Joe Girardi gave Freddy the nod for Game 3, and we look forward to it.

Read other stories about Freddy here:

WHY FREDDY'S ON A MISSION

WHY FREDDY DESERVES A ROTATION SPOT

WHY FREDDY GARCIA IS THE YANKEES ROCK


WHY GARCIA SHOWED HEART



--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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Thursday, September 29, 2011

WHY THE YANKEES ARE A STATE OF MIND

The past 20 hours have been quite insane. When I watched the Yankees lose to the Tampa Bay Rays and saw the Red Sox’s Carl Crawford miss a liner and Jonathan Papelbon walk off the field, it may have been the greatest feeling of my life since the worst feeling of my life, that 2004 collapse of the Yankees when the Red Sox won 4 in a row. I still don’t know how that happened there. I just remember this… the Red Sox fans made every single one of us Yankee fans feel like shit and when I think about it, I still get pissed. Now, the payback is sweeter. I don’t hate 1 Red Sox fan. I hate the franchise and love my Yankees beating them, and if that means they don't make the playoffs, that's terrific... plain and simple.(Photo: Getty)
Then I got to thinking about last night’s Yankee game, you know the one where Joe Girardi single-handedly lost the game being cute using every pitcher we had, I realized that you can’t even blame Scott Proctor for that loss last night. He was throwing around 60 pitches at that point where Evan Longoria homered. You have to expect a homer to happen eventually. Even though that game didn’t matter to the Yankees, I thought about something interesting. If the Yankees were playing the Red Sox last night but were in the same position, meaning that they had already clinched, and already had the best record in the AL, would we have played the same way? Would Girardi had used all his pitchers the way he did? No. Would Mariano Rivera had come in to try and shut down the Sox? Yes. If last night we played the Red Sox, it would have been a must win.

It goes back to my theory, winning every ballgame counts. Look, the Yankees and Red Sox don’t mix, they’ve never mixed and trust me, if Dan Johnson was David Ortiz last night, the Yankees would have brought in the top closer in the world to shut him down.
(Photo: Getty)
You know me. I hate to lose and in my opinion, walking into a playoff against a potential Cy Young winner like Justin Verlander scares the everliving shit out of me. Why? Because we’re riding a 4 game losing streak. Now, the ALDS is a whole new season, this is true. Do I have faith in CC Monster and my Yankees? Yes, but losing is easy to do and once you do it a few times, it becomes easier and easier and all I’m saying is our Yankees need to and will have to turn it around tomorrow. We need to set the tone.

Luckily for us, this Yankee team is loose. This Yankee team forgot about last night, because, let’s face it, it was more of a celebration of the Red Sox being out of it than the Rays winning the Wild Card. Today is a workout day, tonight, a light dinner, talk alittle strategy, early bed of an early rise and my Yankees will be ready to go. They’re over it so I’m over it... I’m ready to see my Yankees do damage.

I wrote a piece simply titled WHY THE YANKEES WILL LOSE ALDS WITHOUT MOMENTUM. I was sick of losing the last few games of the season and was shooting from the hip. Luckily, you die-hards talked me off the ledge. @jenjeter2211 said it best. “Casey, we have momentum… home field, CC, Nova, Freddy... Jeter, Grandy."
She’s right. We DO have CC and the others. The Yankees CAN make their own momentum. Yankee Stadium during the playoffs is the best place in the world. We have the best fans in the world and the Yankees know that. They feed off that, they feed off each other. Can we win this ALDS? Yes, damn straight! Will it be tough? Yes, but there is one phrase that I forgot about in my 48 hours nervous insanity... “One game at the time.” We can do this, we WILL do this and we will advance… Why? Because we’re the God damn New York Yankees, that's why.

A few quick notes: Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup tomorrow night for the start of the ALDS. Read about ARod HERE.

Jesus Montero’s X-Rays have come back negative and he’ll be ready to play. Read about it HERE.

Freddy Garcia will be the #3 starter in the ALDS behind CC Monster #1 and Ivan Nova #2.
The Yankees won 97 games this season. That’s no fluke, that’s not luck... that’s solid offense and solid pitching… and we were worried about our rotation all season...remember?

Get Ready Ladies & Gentlemen… here come our New York Yankees…Quest for 28 coming up!

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AJ BURNETT: REVIEWING OUR PROJECTIONS

This is our series on our Bleeding Yankee Blue projections that we had with each pitcher at the beginning of the season in a piece titled YANKEES PROJECTIONS 2011: THE STARTING ROTATION. Let's take a look on how we did with AJ Burnett.
AJ BURNETT
  • Projected: 16 wins, 4.12 ERA, 204 innings, 165 K's
  • 2011: 11 wins, 5.16 ERA, 190 innings, 173 K's
There's no way to sugarcoat it, AJ Burnett was once again terrible. We thought he was going to have a bounce season compared to his nightmare 2010. Although he did pitch very well against the Red Sox on Sunday, he's chances of starting, let alone being on the postseason roster, are still in doubt. Remember, last season he was left off the ALDS roster and he started Game 4 of last year's ALCS because the Yankees didn't have a better option to be their fourth starter. I expect him to be off the roster completely, but we will see.

Here are some other pieces we wrote about AJ Burnett this year. Click and read, enjoy yourself.

WHY IT'S TIME TO PULL AJ BURNETT

WILL THE REAL AJ BURNETT PLEASE STAND UP?

WHY CRUCIFYING BURNETT NEEDS TO STOP


WHY BURNETT'S ABOUT TO BRING IT




--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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HEY RUSSELL...WHAT'S COMEDY?

I really wanted to write something clever off the heals of Russell Martin cracking a joke to the umpire Paul Schrieber 2 night’s ago in Tampa Bay (read HERE), but I needed some time to get my head together. Geez, this stuff doesn’t just come to me after all. Who do you think I am, Russell Martin? Wrong… I didn’t stretch today.

So, what’s comedy? What’s funny to some is not funny to all? Comedians have always been around to make us laugh. The top reason I feel like comedy is funny is because delivery is key and of course… the joke needs to be funny. Sometimes you know people at work who just have a knack for being funny. I have a friend Vic who is hilarious. His delivery is down pat. He may cross the line once in a while, but you have to try your material out to see if it’s funny or not and who better than your friends because they’ll be the most honest. Right?

In my lifetime, there are a few comedians that I love. I owned comedy albums when I was a kid. I’m not talking about MP3’s, I’m talking about actual vinyl albums. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Bill Cosby, Lenny Bruce…. and Richard Pryor come to mind immediately. Pryor was a genius because he was filthy, raw and hilarious. If you live under a rock and never heard Richard Pryor comedy, he's dirty so this is a warning. His delivery was perfect:

And just to prove I'm not square, Will Ferrell kills it every time. I actually think he's one of the most talented and gifted comedians out there. He's very very funny and his delivery in every role is gold. I love him in "Old School", "Anchorman", "The Other Guys." Every role he does is Will Ferrell as Will Ferrell in a Will Ferrell movie, but it doesn’t matter, delivery is key and the guy is hilarious. I loved “Eastbound and Down” on HBO and I loved his role as Ashley Schaeffer. Warning, the language in Eastbound and Down is dirty and so is this clip. But I love his delivery and I love this role:


Enter, Russell Martin. Martin’s a pleasant surprise this season. Great behind the dish, he’s a gamer, hits big when you need him and has really helped transformed our Yankee rotation nicely. He has proven he belongs in pinstripes. But one thing he’s not apparently is funny.

Here’s Russell Martin’s best joke from the other night in Tampa Bay to umpire Paul Schreiber:

"Did you stretch before the game tonight? I feel like your kind of tight right now."

cricket - - cricket

There was one thing wrong with this joke… besides it not being funny… the delivery was flat. Maybe his inflection should have been different. Or, better yet, maybe when he delivered the joke, he could have looked at the umpire, maybe he could have smirked alittle. Or, maybe Russell needed to follow it up with… I’m just breaking your balls! and punched the ump on the arm.

Russell Martin is not a comedian. Thank God. When everything unfolded, I thought the chain of events that followed was more funny then when I heard what the joke was. Once the umpire realized it was a joke, I'm sure you he told Martin “Well, sorry, I threw you out, I can’t bring you back!”

Look, Martin was feeling good, all the Yankees are, and baseball's supposed to be fun. Right now they are going through the motions until the playoffs begin, but Russell, for the love of God, you’re not funny. Thank God you’re a ballplayer and we’d much rather have you doing that because if the playoffs were the “Baseball Comedian’s Gala”, you’d be out first round. Don’t quit your real job…(smirk) I’m just breaking your balls!

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CC SABATHIA: REVIEWING OUR PROJECTIONS

At the beginning of the season, we wrote a piece titled YANKEES PROJECTIONS 2011: THE STARTING ROTATION and in it, I projected what each pitcher would do this season, plain and simple. The regular season is over and over the next 24 hours, Casey will be putting out our review of each pitching projection. We hope you enjoy this series.
  • Projected: 21 wins, 3.22 ERA, 232 innings, 208 K's
  • 2011: 19 wins, 3.00 ERA, 237.1 innings, 230 K's
Well, we were pretty darn close with this projection. We knew coming into the season that CC Sabathia is the clear cut ace of this team and would have a good chance to win the American League Cy Young Award. He'll start Game 1 of the ALDS this Friday, and he'll be prepared to dominate. Congrats CC on yet another great season in Pinstripes.

You can read other pieces about CC Sabathia this season below, just click, read and have a good time:

UNLEASHING THE BEAST... SABATHIA

WHY HE'S C"CY YOUNG" SABATHIA

WHY CC WILL PREVAIL

WHY CC WILL OPT-OUT IF IGNORED BY JOE

SABATHIA: THE MAKING OF A MONSTER



--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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WHY THIS YANKEES LOSS TO RAYS MAKES HISTORY

OK, it was the final game of the season, Game 162. Everything has been wrapped up, the American League East, and the home field advantage throughout the American League Playoffs. Now, I know Casey doesn't like these losses, but I'm fine with it. You can read his take of Tuesday's loss in WHY THE YANKEES WILL LOSE ALDS WITHOUT MOMENTUM.

If the Rays won this game and the Red Sox lost their game against the Orioles the Red Sox would have blown a nine, yes NINE, game September lead and miss the playoffs. That has never happened in the history of this great game. And you know what? It happened, it really happened!
Anyway, onto the Yankee game. Although most have probably forgotten by now, Yankee pitching prospect Dellin Betances started this game. After shitting the bed last week against the Rays, Dellin got a second chance. Although he looked shaky at times, he was able to pitch out of his own mistakes. Betances pitched 2 shutout innings, allowing one hit on two walks and two strikeouts. He didn't throw a first pitch strike to any of the nine batters he faced, as he clearly didn't have his best control. But he got through it, and it was against a desperate Rays team. Awesome.
(Photo: AP)
The Yanks wound up taking a 7-0 lead by the fifth inning in this one. Mark Teixeira hit two homers, one a Grand Slam, his 38th and 39th of the year. He was batting third against the lefty David Price for the Rays--who went four innings allowing five earned for Tampa--so it looks like Tex will bat fifth against righties and third against lefties in the playoffs after hitting third on Tuesday against the righty Jeremy Hellickson. The Yanks also scored an un-earned run in the first, and Andruw Jones hit a solo shot in the fifth.By the time the Yanks got their 7-0 lead, Joe Girardi got cute with his bullpen. I tell you, it's that stupid binder he has. Casey wrote about it last night.... I know he was flipping out, Read WHY I'M NO FAN OF A LACKADAISCAL GIRARDI. Girardi used 11, ELEVEN, pitchers in this game. The list includes Betances of course, George Kontos, Phil Hughes--for one inning--AJ Burnett--for one batter--Andrew Brackman, and Scott Proctor--among others--who allowed the game winning homer to Evan Longoria in the 12th inning, his second homer of the game.(Photo: AP)
Boone Logan and Luis Ayala each allowed three runs in the Tampa six run 8th inning, before Cory Wade allowed a two out, solo home run to Dan Johnson to tie the game at seven in the bottom of the ninth. Folks, if these last two games of the regular season meant something, I'd be beyond devastated. The Tampa Bay Rays now win the AL Wild Card with the help of Robert Andino and the Baltimore Orioles beating the Red Sox. The almighty Red Sox miss the playoffs while blowing a nine, NINE, game September lead. Did I mention that's NEVER happened in the history of the game? Sweetness.

Final Score- Rays 8 - Yankees 7 in 12 innings

OK, enough about the Rays comeback and the Red Sox choke. I'm sorry, but I'm still pumped from this happening. I jumped out of my seat for joy when the Sox lost. Anyway, the Tigers won and so did the Rangers, so the Yankees will play the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. The Chase for 28 starts Friday.

It's a rematch of the Opening Day pitching match up, but with MUCH bigger ramifications. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00) goes against the almighty, no doubt Cy Young winner, possible MVP winner, and pitching Triple Crown winner, Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40 ERA, 250 K's) Friday night at the Stadium. Let's Go YANKEES!




--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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WHY THE YANKEES BENCH WILL BE KEY

There is no doubt that the Yankees have players that have contributed in every way this season and the bench is pretty decent. But not all of them can come to the ALDS. Let's check out some of the names this year that have contributed.

Andruw Jones did what we needed him to do hitting lefties and hitting home runs this year. It’s clear that Andruw Jones has slowed down, but I was happy he was there. Here are his numbers this year:

This season he's 46 for 186. He has 12 home runs and 32 RBIs. His average is .247.

In my ALDS scenario, Andrew Jones will not be joining us. Although looking at the way guys like Chris Dickerson and Greg Golson contributed to last night's loss to the Rays...Golson getting picked off third with a chance to win the game, Jones may now make my list. You know what I mean? The other factor that comes in consideration is whether or not Jesus Montero is OK. Last night he was lifted from the game and there were concerns about his availability in the ALDS. We will have to see. If Montero is healthy, clearly I would platoon with Jorge Posada in the DH role. Again, maybe Jones gets to be there too.

I like speed as you know and that’s where Eduardo Nunez and Chris Dickerson would have come into play in my scenario. Although, Dickerson didn't impress me last night.

No doubt Eduardo Nunez has a terrific bat and great speed to do damage on the base paths. I would never suggest putting Nunez in as a late inning defensive replacement, because, let’s face it, he’s not good defensively. Last night he made his 20th error of the year. How embarrassing. But in a tie game in the 9th inning at home, I’m pinch-running him no doubt.

Eric Chavez is a must have and apparently he's probably a starter now that word is out that Alex Rodriguez has a cranky knee. Read about that HERE. The reason I like Chavez... he gets on base. He seems to be clutch at the right time, plus, as I've stated, he plays third base and first base, if things get desperate. I’ve always liked Chavez, I just hope Mr. Fragile can hold it together.

Jorge Posada is our Designated Hitter, but in the event he doesn’t get the call for the DH against lefties, he is clearly a late inning pinch hitter, he can substitute at first if needed, as we saw last night and if the world came crumbling around Yankeeland, we could slot him in at catcher. We have options.

Options are good Ladies and Gentlemen and our bench looks good. If things click, we have incredible shot to win the ALDS, whomever it will be. After all, we’re the God damn New York Yankees, right? We can do this, I have faith.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WHY I'M NO FAN OF A LACKADAISICAL GIRARDI

When this game started, the Yankees were treating it like a game, but not a big game. The Yankees quickly took a big lead, going 7-0 and Michael Kay said it best; Joe Girardi was being all cute with his pitching never thinking he'd be in a 7-7 situation...I'm paraphrasing. Kay's right.

Joe brought in pitchers like he was changing wet socks... constantly, but all the while, treating it not like a must win, but instead, a bridge game to get to Friday...warm everyone up and get through the game. It seemed very lazy to me, it seemed like he was going through the motions.

I sit here now, watching a game in extra innings in Tampa, in our last game of the season with our last pitcher...Scott Proctor and while the Yankees can lose this game, I don't like to lose ever, no one does, not even the Yankees. The Yankees didn't get into this spot though, Girardi did and when you're stuck with 1 pitcher in an extra inning game, you didn't think like a manager, you thought like an amateur.Suddenly this game that was light, laid back and carelessly fun has become a tense game that the Yankees must win. Well, it's alittle late for that I think. If it was a must win, Joe may have taken a smarter approach with his revolving door of pitchers. Do you notice the tension is much different in the 10th inning?

Suddenly, Joe Girardi's back's against the wall and while the Yankees are going to the playoffs, bringing in 11 pitchers in a single game for the sake of pitching them may be one of the most idiotic managerial decisions I've ever witnessed, because if we lose this game tonight, it's not a big deal in the record books, we still go to the playoffs, but it's a big deal to any players mentality. No one wants to leave on a low note and this loss in my opinion is not a Yankee loss, it's a Girardi loss. Hey, just an observation though, what the hell do I know.

Let's hope Joe thinks more clearly on Friday.

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