Wow, what a great game…and it is always better when the good guys win.
What I don’t get is how it is possible for a guy who is a choker to have 3 big 2 out hits and an enormous 2 run homer in the 9th inning to tie the game? How is this possible? I know he did it all year (but that is regular season) and I know he did in the playoffs way back against Minnesota and the Red Sox series in game 1-4, but since then “we” all know he is a choker when the pressure is on…how is this possible? ;)
Maybe it is what I and many people have been saying, it is just a small sample of AB’s and guys do well and guys stink in stretches…and ARod was going through a bad stretch of stinking? I hope I don’t hear how he is at peace with himself so he is now able to play because what changed in the middle of the playoffs when the Red Sox won? Yes a guy can be in a better mental state, but confidence in doing well is probably more important and a little luck is probably more important than the “choke” word. I hope he keeps teaching this lesson all playoffs!
Back to the game.
I had said I wanted Posada catching, but because Girardi had started Molina with Burnett for 8 of his last 9 games and he was doing well, I agreed that Molina should catch him…but again I think that the planning was done wrong, just as it has been wrong with Joba and Hughes. Interestingly, I really disliked the way Molina and Burnett called their game tonight. They called the game like they wanted strikeouts instead of outs and it cost them. There were many examples of this, but mostly throwing 2-2 fastballs when curveballs were the better pitch and then throwing the 3-2 curve ball which many times went for ball 4. Too many walks, but his stuff was good enough to get out of it.
Some bad base running plays by both teams. Gomez made the huge blunder rounding 2nd and then not continuing…just dumb. Then after Damon failed to get the job done after being in front 3-0, Gardner failed to go back on the soft liner to SS and got doubled off, in what appeared to be the game loser when Minnesota loaded the bases with nobody out the next inning. While Robertson allowed the hit to load the bases (could have Mauer scored on that hit to CF?) he did come in and throw strikes and pitch out of it…VERY nicely done.
8th inning, I did not think Hughes was throwing well or in good command and when it was 1st and 3rd with 2 outs I wanted Rivera. After the hit to break the tie Girardi then went to Rivera? This was really the only issue I had with Girardi as I think every other move he made was times correctly…even bringing in Marte who couldn’t control that good curve ball.
A lot of twists and turns, but in that 10th inning when Damon was up I was in favor of sending Jeter and forcing them to walk Damon to pitch to Texiera. I felt if Jeter ran there was no way they would throw to 2nd with Gardner on 3rd and the infield in. I am not going to kill Girardi for that, but that is what I would have done.
Anyway, I want to concentrate on ARod heroics and give him the spot light because he deserves it. Also, good job Jeter on his double and the Texiera homer after just missing one earlier.
Just some other notes:
The umpire simply stunk; that was unprofessional and while we got the shaft form the home plate umpire we got an incredibly favorable call on the ball down the LF line. What the heck was the ump looking at? Those guys are usually excellent on those and he missed Melky touching it and the ball landing fair by a lot. Hard to explain that.
I would like to see Gardner in CF against righties. The ball that Damon made an effort (not sure it was a good one) Gardner would have caught. Also, Melky could have held him to a triple if he backed up the play instead of watching it. Also, while Melky has the better arm, on the play Mauer held up Gardner charged and got to the ball very quickly and I think that helped the decision to hold Mauer with nobody out.
Joba throwing at least 95 was a very good sign. He may actually be better suited for the bullpen. It is much more valuable to have starters, but he just may have the right mind set. I mean who really thought he could be someone we could count on in the pen the way he has been pitching? He may take the 8th inning form Hughes if Hughes doesn’t have better command.
I received so many text messages from many of you about the game; it was great to see the excitement. Some of you were at the game...I hope it gave you some great memories...this team never says die!
Great game…just enjoy it!