Sunday, October 25, 2009
Playoff Edition post game 5 Anaheim
Wow, that was a game that can’t be any closer. Here we are down by a run with bases loaded and a 3-2 count against a pitcher who is really struggling. Runners will be going so a single easily scores two and any long single could score 3. Unfortunately, we had our own guy who is looking horrible at the plate. I am on a conference call with 2 other people analyzing every pitch and I said, “I don’t usually say this, but I am not confident at all with Swish up in this spot, but I hope he can find a way to get the game tied…hit him!” On that 3-2 pitch Swish was still out in front of the fastball down the middle as he dropped his shoulder. A pitch that was very hittable and he still missed it. I have been saying I would rather have Gardner playing right now instead of Swish (and put Melky in RF), but I can only hope that a flight back home gets him back in the groove because with Saunders on the mound, Swish will be in right for game 6; gulp, unless Hairston plays…gulp.
I was beside myself in the first inning when Texiera got called out on a 3-2 breaking ball that was outside and probably high. With 1st and 2nd we would have had bases juiced with nobody out and ARod coming up. It also would have put a ton of pressure on Lackey and as we saw with Burnett, the first inning is a great time to get to a pitcher. That call by the ump made a huge difference in the game; this is without question in my mind.
The bottom of the 1st saw the Yanks make the mistake they have made too often and that is throwing too many fastballs to this team.
So we are down 4-0 and all I am thinking about is that bad 3-2 call…
Oh that and the fact that Molina is the laziest blocker of balls in the dirt I have ever seen. The ball that went to the steps of the Angels dugout went right through his legs.
Also, what was Molina thinking about on that rundown? He threw the ball back to ARod without running the guy back at all and then Burnett had to get involved because you always want to run the runner back to the earlier base (in this case 3rd).
The Yankees had some life after leaving a 2 out double on 2nd base when in the following inning Melky singled after a Swisher K. Then Molina was correctly pinch hit for with Posada. On a 1-1 count the guessing Posada couldn’t hold up on a very good but low curve by Lackey. I bring this up because not only did that good pitch have Posada looking for it again when he watched a fastball pain the outside corner, but it was the same curve that the Yankees could not lay off all game. They kept chasing it.
Meanwhile, amazingly, Burnett has two good innings with Posada catching him…how can that be, didn’t the media tell us differently?
BTW, Damon was easily safe at first, what the heck was with that call?
Then we move to the crazy 7th. Swisher got us going by flying out…After a Melky doubled. We finally got a break on what should have been strike 3 to Posada; at least this evened things out. Lackey then lost his composure and walked Jeter on 4 pitches. Now, if I am Scoscia I would consider going to Jepsen, but he stuck with Lackey and lackey regained his composure and got Damon to fly out to short LF. Then Scoscia very surprisingly went to Darren Oliver and Texiera finally came through with a big hit. After the ARod walk Matsui gets another big hit and the game is tied. Then with Cano up Scoscia takes the lefty out for Jepsen and Cano triples scoring 2 and the Yanks should be in business. Fittingly swisher flied out to end the inning, completing his bookend.
So we have a 2 run lead in the 7th inning with a chance to go to the WS and Girardi has a tough choice. Stick with Burnett who has thrown 5 straight goose eggs and has been cruising or turn it over to Joba, Hughes and some lefties to get us 4 or 5 outs. Burnett had only thrown about 80 pitches so this was not a no brainer decision. I made the comment that if he does start you have a very short leash. After the first hit I would gone to Joba, but Girardi stuck with Burnett for another walk before pulling the plug. In retrospect it was the wrong move, but I can only get on him for allowing Burnett to walk Aybar. At this point with 1st and 2nd nobody out I like the move to Marte (as you know I have faith in the guy) He does his job and gets 2 outs and the Yanks stayed back correctly and gave up one run. You don’t want to have the infield in and give up 2 runs there; you need to make them get a hit to tie the game. Then instead of going to Joba, Girardi goes to Hughes who has struggled. That is questionable, but not crazy. Unfortunately, Hughes has no control and walks Hunter after throwing a slider that just spun on 3-0 for a strike. This next AB was a scary one. Hughes didn’t look good against Hunter and missed his spots against Vlad but had him at 1-2. Hughes’ best pitch right now is clearly the curve and he had just thrown one in the dirt to get the 2nd strike on Vlad. Hughes then shook off Posada and Posada called for a high and in fastball. This is not a bad call, but Hughes misses badly and grooves a fastball to tie the score. That was a HUGE pitch. It is obvious Hughes has no command and he should have been out of the game right there for Coke against Morales. Instead Girardi stayed with Hughes who allowed the lead to get away on another fastball. Finally he struck out Izturis on a curve ball. BTW, anyone notice a trend on most of the hits the Angels get? We may want to throw more breaking balls???
I do need to acknowledge The Genius Maker coming in with 1st and 3rd and 1 out and giving us the chance in the 9th inning…man he is sick.
Obviously we want to get the WS, but winning in game 6 will really help us in the WS because we can pitch CC 3 times if we can win in game 6, otherwise he can only pitch twice.
1 game to go and 5 to reach the big prize.
The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...