Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post game 3

Girardi’s lineup was fine, but I would have played ARod over Chavez.  Mostly because Chavez was 0-11 and ARod had hit 2 dingers off of Verlander this year.  I was very much in favor of playing Gardner because he gives you better defense if he didn’t hit.  I would not have led him off, I would have batted him 9th.  As it turned out Chavez made a nice pick for a DP with Cabrera up and he also misplayed a ball into an error that scored a run, so he didn’t do the job.  Gardner, didn’t hit (but should have walked instead of swinging at 2-3 balls-it was obvious he didn’t have his eye down yet).  Gardner did save a hit though as none of the fielders would have made the catch on the ball he came in for.

Hughes did OK, but made a terrible pitch to Young and hung a slider after the ump blew a call right down the middle on a pitch he was trying to get inside.  If the ump called that a strike the homer might never have happened.  The ump also gave verlander far too many outside pitches (even though that stupid box is too far to the left – meaning you need to move the box to the right so all those outside pitches to the lefty would be juts a little outside).  Actually, that box just simply isn’t that accurate and someone needs to fix it because it is annoying.  Anyway, I felt we were getting the short side of almost all the calls behind home plate.

I have no idea why Joe didn’t walk Cabrera with first base open, but Cabrera made us pay knocking in the 2nd run.

The rest of the game we were sleep walking at the plate again, until the 9th.  Verlander made a lot of bad pitches to Nunez and finally he got on fair and hit a HR.  Not sure why they didn’t throw him more fastballs?  Then after Gardner got out (he had one very hittable pitch but hit it foul), they brought in Phil Coke.  Coke has an OPS of .685 against lefties and 1.050 against righties and Ichiro is up.  I would have pinch hit ARod for Ichiro for a few reasons, although Ichiro has been our best average hitter and it is a risk, but here was my reasoning.  1) Ichiro is a little better against righties, 2) Coke is very tough on lefties and righties crush him, 3) if they make a move to their closer then if Tex gets on, Cano and Ibanez face a righty, 4) better chance for a HR, and 5) ARod has been hitting lefties even in the postseason.    Therefore, it is a move to help the lefties as well even if ARod gets out.  Joe stuck with Ichiro, which I do understand, and then you do have Tex facing Coke (which is another reason to leave in Ichiro), but I would have made the move.  Ichiro got out, but Tex and Cano both singled.  Now the other tough decision, do you leave the lefty Ibanez who really can’t hit lefties, but did get the one hit and has had some huge AB’s?  I answered I would pinch hit, and the people around me were split.  ARod does hit lefties well and I would have liked them to make a move; if they did, I would have brought in Swisher to face their closer if they made a move.  Ibanez really does not hit lefties and Coke is tough on them and that was my thinking.  I will admit though that Joe doesn’t have no doubt decisions here and he decided to go with the hot hand and eschew the statistical splits…one can’t scream about that; but I would have made a move with Ibanez being so awful against lefties for the year.  Fortunately Ibanez got some very hittable pitches and in good counts, but unfortunately he couldn’t square them up.  I called the slider and said if he can put it anywhere close to the outside corner this game will be over…unfortunately Coke delivered on the pitch and Ibanez swung to end the threat and make the season hang by a thread.
Lost in this offensive drought was a very nice job by Logan who looked very sharp.  Time for us to do what the Red Sox did to us…at least Cano got a hit!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Game 3 tonight against Detroit

First, I was away on business and couldn’t post and in fact missed the entire 2nd game (I know crazy – did watch on video after the fact)

I know I predicted a win against Baltimore and that we would lose to Detroit; so why am I so down?  Why are all of us feeling like this series is over?  The obvious hits us in the face; Hughes is going against Verlander in the next game; this is a mismatch on paper.  The other obvious part is this offense has gone into a terrible slump at a bad time and to make it worse; it is not because we have faced some great pitching.  The Yankees have had a lot of VERY hittable pitches that they have either taken for strikes or missed; it has been bad hitting not good pitching. 

Why have any optimism?  Think about it, we hit about as poor as possible; it simply can’t be worse as almost everyone outside of Ichiro and Ibanez (and Tex) are underperforming at epic levels.  With that in mind, we went into extra inning in game 1 and were really only down 1-0 in game 2.  If a couple calls and or breaks go our way we could have won both games.  Some hard hit balls find a hole and we are in business.  If Swisher plays 2 or 3 balls better we may win too.

Detroit has not played that well.  Maybe that is worse for us, but I think it is more of a silver lining.  I have some odd feeling we will hit Verlander…there is no logic behind this though as our offense is horrible and Verlander has been lights out.  In his last 6 games, he has pitched 44 innings and allowed only 31 hits and 3 earned runs.

Hard to understand how Robinson Cano can break a post season record for hitless AB’s…crazy.  Granderson, Swisher and ARod have been bad and Chavez has been 0-11 in trying to replace ARod.  Grandy and Swish have not been replaced and I think Gardner has to be looked at as a spark.  Verlander is a fastball pitcher and normally both are good fastball hitters so waiting until game 4 may be the answer though? 

What about our starters?  Does it make sense to skip Hughes altogether so that we finish with CC, Pettitte, Kuroda, CC and Pettitte all on 3 days rest?  It clearly is an option, but it is hard to know what Kuroda and Pettitte could do…Kuroda already pitched well on short rest, but could he do it again?   Hughes scares me, even if he pitched well against Baltimore, I think Baltimore didn’t swing the bats well.  I would skip him and have a sense of urgency.

Switching gears to something Girardi said.  First, his arrogance in press conference still pisses me off, but I have to say that he can’t be blamed for what has happened to the offense.  He has pushed the buttons as best as possible.  Of course, he should be blamed for having Robby Thompson on 3rd and other situations, but not this Detroit series (he better be correct about Hughes).  Anyway, he was talking about using instant replay for close calls on the bases.  I am not a fan of IR in football and I think the balance of flow in the game has been jeopardized and football is a timed game very different than baseball.  Girardi said something that I have said in the past but had forgotten.  He said in the time it took him to argue a call they could have replayed the play.  I think in baseball where time is not an issue and flow really isn’t either IR makes more sense.  Further, it is more easily reviewed compared to football where you can’t review every single player who is holding or whatever.  The idea that coaches can go out and argue a call is kind of silly when you think about it.  They could make calls just like balls and strikes where you can’t argue them, but you can request a review (x times a game).  I think it would actually speed up the game as the arguing takes longer than a review and getting rid of the arguing would probably be good as kids must watch that and scratch their heads. 

Swisher being booed.  I don’t understand why people boo other than for lack of effort or not running all out.  The Yankees all have had situations where they were not running hard all the way and while it doesn’t matter usually, there were a few times where it might have mattered (Tex and Cano come to mind).  What does booing accomplish; don’t you want your player to do better? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Game 4 Baltimore

Just a quick update on last night’s (or was it this morning’s game?)

The Yankee offense should be embarrassed.  When our best hitter goes 0-6 we are in trouble, however, Baltimore was equally bad.  The pitching was not nearly as good as the hitting was poor and the hitting is what led to such a low scoring game.

The key point in the game was in the 8th inning.  Ichiro and tex lead off with a single so we have 1st and 2nd with nobody out.  Cano is up in this perfect bunting situation.  However, I would have eschewed the bunt and let Cano hit away.  As it turned out it didn’t matter as he grounded out and moved the runners over.  Now the real managing comes into play.  ARod has hit lefties in the postseason but has been atrocious against righties. When O’Day entered the game, Girardi should have pinch hit Chavez as he doesn’t waste a move.  I would bet that Buck would have walked Chavez and then we would have had bases loaded with Swisher up and the infield at least half way, if not in.  At this point you could be real aggressive and pinch hit Ibanez for Swisher, this made the most sense to me because you would force Buck to stay with O’Day or go to someone he doesn’t want to.  Regardless, Girardi decided to let ARod bat (not sure why) and I was hoping ARod would come through.  I looked at the people and I said, I would do something very surprising here and I would squeeze with ARod and Ichiro on 3rd.  ARod may be sucking against righties but he has good bat control and I bet he could get a bunt down…it wouldn’t even have to be good, just get it down and we win the series.  I know the chances were 1%, but I think it would have been an incredible call.   When ARod swung and missed the first pitch right done the middle, I knew we/he was in trouble.  In fact, I would have been OK pinch hitting AFTER the first pitch as well and I said that to the people I was watching with.  If he couldn’t get a piece of that one; he was in trouble.  Of course he got out and Swish weakly flew out…that was the game in my opinion.


It did go on and Phelps was hitting spots really well, but made a terrible pitch and they took advantage of it; it is a shame as he was really good.  It was similar to the terrible pitch Jeter swung at (that had to be a one of the worst pitches I have ever see a batter swing at – the other one was the 3-2 pitch Granderson swung at) and then the pitcher followed up with a grooved pitch to Jeter.  Sometimes you have to scratch your head.

Lineup today…I doubt ARod plays against the righty, but isn’t Granderson worse?…even if he could hit a HR?  I think I would play Gardner to try and spark the team.  The offense is stagnant.

Swisher  2-15  with 2 walks

ARod 2-16 with 2 walks

Cano – 2-18 (2 doubles) with 1 walk

Granderson 1-16 with 1 walk

This is PUTRID.  I play Gardner and give Granderson a blow and he becomes the Ibanez that you use when you need a HR.  So if we do find a way to win, we come back and play Saturday with no rest and we have used CC and two extra inning games the 2 before that.  MLB should be as embarrassed as the Yankee hitters with how they screwed up the schedule.  They don’t make the WC play on no rest but they would make the Yanks or O’s do it here??? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Game 3 against Baltimore

So Much for being undefeated after 7 innings!    WOW!!!  A guy hits a pinch hit solo homer to tie the game and then gets up again and homers to win it!  Amazing.  Regardless of how mediocre he was during the season, Ibanez was amazingly clutch (again) and almost single handedly won the game (have to give credit to the pitchers too)

Finally, outside of batting ARod 3rd (he shouldn’t have), you have to give Girardi credit for making the move benching ARod and putting Ibanez in.  Also, a very big play was the positioning of Nix on the line drive off Soriano that would have given Baltimore the lead…and instead turned into a DP to end the inning. 

Robertson was very sharp and I agreed with all the pitching decisions.  Robertson should have gotten out of the way of the popup but Tex should not have looked at the others and should have just called them off from the beginning.

Ichiro was 0-5 and Granderson has been awful and is far more lost than anyone.  The issue is that Granderson could homer at any time.  However, Saunders is pitching for Baltimore and lefties are usually shut down by him and righties hit him well.  Gardner would be an interesting play, but I doubt Joe makes that move.  ARod should play tomorrow, he should not be benched.

I would try something odd with the lineup tomorrow.  I am not sure if Jeter can play, but assuming he could play, I would drop Ichiro to 9th and I might consider batting ARod 2nd (just a hunch).  If that is too much to ask I would bat Swisher 2nd and Tex 3rd, then Cano and ARod.  ARod hits more like a #2 guy anyway and normally has good bat control.   One other odd choice could be to play Nunez or Nix in the OF against the tough lefty and bench Grandy.  I doubt that would happen.  I gave you some scenarios but if I were making the lineup I would bat Swisher 2nd and ARod 5th.   I would DH Nunez and Nix plays if Jeter can’t.  WE haven’t been hitting so throwing righties at Saunders may be the ticket.  BTW, Gardner is 6-7 against lefties this year…yeah that was surprising.

 Great job by Ibanez!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Game 2 at Baltimore

Very sloppy game for a 3-2 game.  Each team made 2 errors but really had 3 or 4.   Tex let one through his legs, Jeter made one official error and another that should have been real costly but JJ Hardy assumed Jeter would make a play that almost any SS would make and stopped at 3rd assuming there would be a play at 3rd.  I know Jeter has little range, but that was a play that has to be made by a major league ball player and to make it worse he failed to keep the ball in the infield; but we caught a break.  Cano had the same issue, although it was a really hard play, but I would have liked to see him dive to keep the ball in the infield, just knock it down; it cost us a run (even though a much tougher play).  That being said, the play that got me very mad at a time I was supposed to be happy was watching our 3rd base coach make yet another terrible decision getting Ichiro thrown out by 15 feet.  Somehow the catcher didn’t move his feet and Ichiro got around the first tag and then did a little of the swim move and avoided the 2nd tag to get in for one of our 2 runs!  Robby Thompson should have been fired 2 years ago, but if he doesn’t get fired this year then we are not holding our coaches accountable for bad play; the guy is simply the worst 3rd base coach I have ever seen.  Jeter made another error on a bad throw that he stayed back on the ball and honestly looked very shaky on a few other plays.  I don’t know why he is sitting back and waiting for the ball to play him, but he has not looked good defensively.

Pettitte had excellent movement and location on his pitches most of the night.  I felt he got squeezed a little more than Chen, but he pitched well and that is encouraging.  He made two big mistakes; one where he walked JJ Hardy on 4 pitches with 1st and 2nd and 2 outs (after a broken bat hit and another off the end hit) and the 2nd right after that when he hung his slider out over the plate to Chris Davis who lined a single scoring 2.  Chris Davis is perhaps the only guy who has hit the ball sharply for Baltimore.  We really should have taken 2 the way they hit, but our own offense didn’t do well and when we did we hit it at people.  ARod’s numbers look bad, but in the first inning he hit a line drive shot that Jeter took off on and got doubled up.  That is a tough play for Jeter to read, but you are taught to freeze on line drives and Jeter didn’t while Ichiro did otherwise we would have had a triple play.  That was a tough break for us.  ARod did line another ball through the left side which was good to see, but didn’t do anything the rest of the game.  I think against righties, ARod needs to drop to the 5 spot.  I also don’t love Ichiro batting 2nd against a lefty as he didn’t hit the ball out of the infield.

The 7th inning was a big chance for us after we got two cheap hits in a row (Nunez bloop and Jeter’s hit) using Nunez’ speed.  After a FC to Ichiro, O’Day was brought in to face ARod (a good move by Buck).  It was a good battle, but on a 3-2 pitch and Ichiro running, O’Day made a great sweeping curve that was right on the black and ARod missed it.  We needed ARod to foul that off, but you do have to tip your hat when the other team pitches well and that was a perfect pitch.  In fact, I thought Chen made a lot of quality pitches on the black.  After ARod got Buck had the lefty Matusz walk Cano to face the switch hitting Swisher.  Matusz gets hit by righties to the tune of a .932 OPS against righties, but Swisher has bad numbers off of him.  In Game 1, Swisher took two pitches down the middle (one a breaking ball) so I expected him to be a little more aggressive this time.  The first pitch was in the dirt so that was easy to lay off (in fact both runners moved up) and the next pitch was huge as Matusz once again caught the middle of the plate but Swisher watched it; a big chance lost.  After another ball Swisher watched another strike before making the count full.  He then missed fastball off the end of the bat and flew out fairly weakly.  This was our last chance big chance as it turned out.  Tex did lead of the 8th with a single and you could have pinch run for him with Gardner, but in a one run game I understand NOT doing that.  You have to tie it before you win it so perhaps it should have been done.  If it were the 9th I think you have to but I can see not doing it in the 8th so I am not being critical, but perhaps we needed to be more aggressive there?

In the 9th, while we needed to do whatever we could to come back, I said to my brother Jeter will ground out on the 1st pitch and that is what he did.  My feeling was that Johnson would have his better sinker and I was afraid Jeter would try to swing at it after not seeing such a good sinker all game.  I wish he would have taken it.  Johnson looked overpowering unfortunately.

The offense (and defense) needs to be better as there is little excuse for scoring only 2 runs in that small ball park…and it would have been only one if Ichiro didn’t pull a Houdini at home.

I still believe we will win this series and struggle next series, but nothing would surprise me.  They have Gonzalez going (righty) and he has a 2.74 ERA on the road this year.  He is a little tougher on righties but righties have him more HR’s off of him so his overall is pretty equal (he is slightly better against righties (.685-.701).

Cano ( I like splitting up my lefties, but Cano could bat 3rd)
Ibanez (Gardner)

I think he will start Ibanez, but I like Ibanez being the pinch hitter for Martin and I love Gardner’s defense, but I understand this as Gardner has not seen a lot of time. 

With Kuroda on the mound this is the game we should win.  Hughes is up next and he scares me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Game 1 at Baltimore

Before I get to the game, I had written the first two paragraphs below and wanted to send along.

My prediction is the Yanks will win the series against Baltimore.  I do think we probably won't advance beyond this round as I expect Detroit to win and unless our hitters get really hot, I don't think we will beat Detroit...but in a short series anything can happen.People are making a big deal of this playoff format.  The 2-3 format is still an advantage for the team with 3 home games!  If you lost both games on the road then you have to win all 3 at home; it is simple.  Either way that will be the formula and if you win on the road then you can afford to lose one at home?  I think people are making a much bigger deal than it is, although my feeling is that the WC teams should be penalized more and I would go 2-2-1 and if the extra day is something baseball doesn’t want to waste then have the WC team fly immediately to the division winners home and play the day after the wild card game and then do a 2-2-1.  Further, nothing says you need more than one day of travel for the 2-2-1 format?  Just go ahead and give one day in between the 2nd and 3rd game and then if a 5th game is needed there is no travel day.

The Yankee 25 man roster was the same one I would have used.  To me, the only question was Nova or Lowe and I can see taking Lowe.  Nix had to be on the roster just so we had someone who could play defense at 2nd base and SS if we happen to get an injury and Nunez will be in the DH spot with Jones off the roster.

CC Sabathia
Andy Pettitte
Hiroki Kuroda
Phil Hughes

Rafael Soriano
Dave Robertson
Boone Logan
Joba Chamberlain
Clay Rapada
David Phelps
Derek Lowe

Russell Martin
Chris Stewart

Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Eric Chavez
Eduardo Nunez
Jayson Nix

Curtis Granderson
Nick Swisher
Ichiro Suzuki
Raul Ibanez
Brett Gardner

This game was ours from the first inning.  We were hitting the ball hard and CC was hitting spots while they were throwing far more hittable pitches.  The game was only close because of some HORRIBLE base running and some bad luck.

In the first inning after a single and a double the Yanks had an early one nothing lead and Ichiro on 2nd and nobody out.  Ichiro was guilty of stealing 3rd at some non meaningful times during the stretch run and actually was thrown out once but didn’t get called out.  However, you do not try and steal 3rd with nobody out with your best hitters coming up IN THE FIRST INNING.  The first inning is the one where pitchers are trying to find their rhythm, trying to find their feel of their pitches and their location.  You don’t do them extra favors, especially when you are already in scoring position with your speed.  Of course, if they give you the base, you can take it, but this was not the case and this terrible decision ran us out of an inning and it had little upside.  It seemed like it was a planned play because ARod faked a bunt?  I am not sure whether it was planned/called or not, but when Girardi was asked about this and when Tex got thrown out trying to stretch an almost homer into a double after not running hard out of the box, Girardi gave one of his idiotic, useless comments that drive me crazy.  I understand you don’t want to call out Tex for not hustling out of the box and then making it worse by trying to get to 2nd, but instead of discussing the bad timing of the Ichiro play, Girardi just chalked it up to “good aggressive play that we encourage.”  Really, Joe, well if you encouraged and perhaps called for the Ichiro play, then you really are a dunce.

Also, how is it possible Girardi didn't pinch run for Ibanez in the 9th inning?  I was going nuts.  Then, after he does a hit and run with Ibanez, and he is on 3rd base he brings in Nunez?  Are you kidding me?  Girardi was asleep.  What would have happened if Jeter missed the pitch?  Luckily Buck was asleep because he had the 2nd baseman cover instead of the SS with Jeter up (a bad move).

These two plays were the reason why the game was close.  The Tex play also had some bad luck involved as that ball was hit hard enough to go out in most parks and hit right at the top of the wall. 

The Orioles found the holes with their ground balls and we were hitting some line drives at the first baseman and we found ourselves 2-2 after Ichiro hit a grounder right at the 2nd baseman and they threw out Martin at the plate (who got on after a very good AB where he worked a walk.)

Buck made some odd decisions that didn’t hurt him (the 2nd baseman covering did hurt them) and ironically the one decision that made sense to me (bringing in their closer Johnson) backfired in a huge way.  I was surprised Buck allowed Matusz, who is similar to Rapada to face Swisher and Tex in a tie game in the 8th inning.  Swisher took 2 pitches right down the middle (I don’t know what he was thinking) before watching strike 3 (questionable call) and Tex walked.  Grandy struck out taking two good pitches himself before swinging at ball 4 (very bad AB by Granderson).

Martin’s homer in the 9th was great and we got lucky Johnson fell behind and really gave martin another hittable pitch (we had a lot last night) and he came through!  Getting all those extra runs was big because in this park you get a guy or two on and one gapper can be a HR as the power alleys are as short as anywhere.  Martin also made the excellent play in the 5th inning on the dribbler down the first base line.  Martin got rid of the ball quickly and accurately but he bounced the throw and Tex not only made a good play to not let it by him, but he caught it and got a huge out.  This one play could have turned the game around as it could have been 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.

CC did a good job with his location, but his stuff was not very good.  CC was throwing about 91 -92 MPH with his fastball and his change didn’t have great movement along with an average slider that wasn’t too sharp.  He did have good movement on his fastball, sometimes sinking it and along with the good location of his fastball he got by as Baltimore did not swing the bats well.  The location of his change was not too good, but it was effective.

CC was a wily veteran out there and based on how many hard throwers are out there, CC is almost a craft lefty as he only hit 93 a few times.

Every Yankee got on at least once.

Jeter’s error almost cost us big time, but we got out of it.  We were a little too sloppy with 3 “errors” as they were all mental errors (Jeter should have charged his ball and compounded it with a physical error)

Overall, the announcers did a pretty good job…they called pitches and got into the strategy; it is rare that I can say that. 

Getting at least one in Baltimore puts us in the drivers seat in this format!  Great win and an exciting one where their closer gets beat and maybe their late inning confidence is a little shaken. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last game of the year!

Not only did we win the division but we ended up with the best record in the AL!!!  That is a nice accomplishment.  Of course, it means very little unless we leverage it into at the minimum a 1st round victory.

I want to go back to last night’s game (Tuesday).  It is very easy to get on Girardi for all the inconsistent and sometimes head scratching decisions, but I thought he made the right move in starting Phelps over Nova and I liked the lineup with Nunez in there.  I would have batted Tex after the hot Cano, but I agree with batting Ichiro down against the lefty.  Further, I thought Girardi timed his move to take out Phelps at the right time and I thought he used all his pitchers well with one exception and that is I would have let Robertson go another batter or 2 in the 9th knowing that the game was probably in extra innings.  This in turn made him stick with Soriano for more pitches than I was comfortable with.  But, I would let him throw a lot in the postseason and in many ways it was a postseason game.  I also said to my son in the 9th that this was the perfect spot for Ibanez to come in as we needed a HR.  Bailey obliged by grooving a pitch and Ibanez did the rest with a clutch line drive 2 run HR.  That was an enormous hit.  I wanted us to end the game in that 9th but it was not to be.  I also thought ARod ended when he crushed the ball to LC but the heavy air and rain kept the ball in the park and Ellsbury made a terrific catch covering a ton of ground.

Going back to 1st inning, Jeter was very heads up on a fly ball to RF where he tagged up and went to 2nd, but unfortunately got left there after Tex started his horrific game by hitting into his 1st of two double play grounders with 1st and 3rd and 1 out.  Later on with bases loaded and one out he popped up to shallow center on a broken bat where he actually got jammed on a pitch over the plate (Cone and Singleton called that wrong)

Say what you want, but Girardi had a good game Tuesday.

Wednesday had Granderson hit a towering fly ball that had underspin and carried for a 3 run HR to give us an early lead and Cano and the yanks never looked back.  Cano had a monster game adding to a great finish that saw him end the year with a .929 OPS! 

Kuroda also did a nice job against a fairly weak lineup.

OK, we now wait until Texas and the O’s play and then we travel to one of their places for 2 games and then come home for 3.  A lot of people are making a big deal out of this but I would always want the extra home game and I am fine going on the road twice too come home for 3.  It isn’t as much an advantage as 2-2-1, but they have to play another game and I am fine with it.  I would rather play Baltimore as the travel is easier and I feel we can beat them.  I was worried about Detroit and they still scare me and I think they are the favorite to win the AL pennant so I will be rooting against them.  We finished up in a good spot!

I will post on our rosters next, but the key questions are who is our 4th starter, Phelps or Hughes and who do we keep on the PS roster out of Lowe, Garcia, Nova or Eppley?  It may depend on the team we play and I want to look at this.  I actually think the answer is Eppley or Lowe.    I would absolutely keep Gardner as our best lineup may be Gardner in LF and Ichiro in RF with Swish DHing and ARod playing 3rd (Maybe Chavez with a very tough righty?)  I love the OF of Gardner, Granderson and Ichiro defensively.  Again, who we play matters and I will look up what I would go with.

Enjoy the moment folks!  I am not that confident in our team, but I feel much better after Texas lost all those games and even Baltimore lost their last two…at least in the first round.  The playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot so we have a shot!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Please read the post I made Monday below (9-30) about the playoff tie breakers.

The good part Monday was that the Yankees won and Baltimore lost.  Further, with Texas losing, the Yanks are in position to win the best record.  However, Oakland winning eliminated Tampa from the playoffs and they no longer have anything to play for.  We now control our own destiny and that is always good!

Boston played a AAA lineup, CC threw strikes and the results were very good…as should be expected.  His breaking ball had good downward movement and he threw a lot of changes in big spots.  Fastball was still not good, but he threw strikes with it. 

It was good to see the offense erupt with 9 runs and obviously that is enough to win most games.  However, I would have liked to see some more scoring in other innings (only 1 additional run).  Cano is locked in right now and that is exciting as our best hitter (player) needs to be very good for us to win.  Seeing Tex in the lineup makes a big difference and I was thrilled to see Gardner in the lineup and swinging the bat.  I would imagine they will be careful with him, but he will have a lot of time in the off season to take care of anything he needs to.   I love the defense he brings us and if he can get into a little groove should start IMO over Ibanez or Ichiro.  Right now Ichiro plays and Swisher DH’s if Gardner plays.  Ibanez is a PH as needed.  I get the feeling Gardner won’t show enough the next 2 games though and Ibanez will be the DH and Gardner used as a PH and defensive replacement.  Granderson is probably safe because of his HR, but it would be nice if he could get going a little…he is a wild card that could be big.

The other interesting side of this is Swisher over ARod at DH against a righty who is tough on righties.  Chavez has been swinging a good bat and it is not absurd to start Chavez and even Swish while sitting ARod.  We have some flexibility and that is a good thing.  The matchups (splits) and who is swinging well are very important.

Depending on who we are playing I will give you what I would do.  On that note, a questions was posed as to whether I start Nova again and my answer is no, I go with Phelps.  I think Nova has great stuff, but he can’t pitch as a starter right now as he is getting hammered.  I would not have an issue with him being moved to the pen, but he might not make the PS roster

This is a fun time of year…enjoy these playoff like games

Monday, October 1, 2012


Great comeback Sunday!  I was starting to feel like we would be 1 game back after being down 5-1 and Hughes looking awful.  However, we fought back well and stayed tied.  Hughes had nothing and I thought Girardi should have pulled him one batter sooner.  When Hughes is throwing 90-91 and he doesn’t have a good breaking ball, he is in trouble.

Cano swung the bat well and that was good to see.  Jeter got a bunch of cheap hits, but they were important.  I am also psyched to have Gardner back.  I don’t understand why they wouldn’t let him bat and bunt, but I would rather leave him in the game for defense and let him stand there and take 3-4 pitches and strike out.

Tex is supposed to be back tonight!

Important note about tie breaking for the playoffs.  This link is crazy with all the permutations, but if we end up with the same record as Baltimore, we play them in a playoff game to find out who wins the division.  I think this is handled very poorly as H2H record should be used and if that is a tie, use divisional record.  Imagine playing this game and losing and then having to play in the WC playoffs which could be a few games if more than 2 teams are tied?