Thursday, November 5, 2009


The Yankees are the Champions!!!!!!

We did it!!!!!

I don’t want to get into too much analysis right now, as we should all feel great about our team and we should enjoy every minute of this. It is a very long year and it is very hard to win. Congratulations to the Yankee organization and congratulations to all of us!

I will make a few comments though:

Pettitte showed that 3 days rest didn’t make a difference. He allowed 1 run in 5 innings and was allowed to continue because of the lead. He was taken out at the right time. The homer by Howard just made it to the 1st row so overall while 3 runs in 5.1 innings is not good, he did his job.

Marte was huge in the postseason! I loved the trade when Cashman made it, but it surely looked bad after Nady and Marte were injured, but having that lefty specialist was enormous. I would have left him in to face Werth and Ibanez only because he was sharp, we had a 4 run lead, I only wanted 2 more batters for him to face and in the slight chance that Rivera didn’t have it, we could be extending him and it was possible he would not be available Thursday, in the slight chance he struggled. That being said, my comment was that I would leave Marte in, but I surely can’t argue with going to Rivera here.

Matsui was fantastic. 8-13 with a walk 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s! I know he didn’t play that much, but if he had 7 more AB’s and didn’t get a hit, he would have still hit .400.

ARod’s postseason OPS is now better than his regular season OPS. Roll your eyes next time people talk about being clutch…I am sure some people would be talking about Texiera if the Yankees lost.

And last but certainly not least…how about the Genius Maker? He is a difference maker as the Phillies have nobody like him (or anyone else). I can’t believe he is still so much better than any other closer; it really is amazing. He pitched 5.1 scoreless innings in the World Series and closed out (2 saves) all 4 of the wins. For the Postseason he pitched 16 innings and allowed only 1 run! He is the GENIUS MAKER!

The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Series Post Game 5

Well all that thinking and a flip of a coin decision went the wrong way. AJ didn’t have his release point at all. He simply couldn’t throw anything where he wanted it.

I think the ump blew the HBP call on Victorino. He never took the bat back and that should have been a strike. That play really hurt.

I know I said I wouldn’t retaliate other than winning, but after we fell behind I wanted AJ to throw inside on Utley and plunk him after the 3 run homer. We need to make him move his feet and fear the inside pitch a little. It would have been a great time and who knows how it would have impacted his next homer. Oh, and we may want to stop throwing pitches down the middle of the plate to Utley. All of the homers were fastballs except the hanging curveball by CC. If you think about it, Philly has hit mostly fastballs the entire series. The breaking ball hits have been bleeders.

I thought the ump was really squeezing us and calling strikes for Philly every time the game was close (early and late). The ump also messed up on Posada when he allowed Cliff Lee to quick pitch after Lee took forever to get the sign before they regrouped. The ump should never have allowed that…I was really ticked about that situation. After many bad calls early on, the ump really blew the first pitch to Texiera in the 9th, that pitch was 8 “ outside…and really changed the AB as 3 more changeups ended the game.

Jeter failed miserably in the 9th inning after being ahead on a 2-0 count. Really poor job to not get the barrel out on a hittable 2-1 pitch That DP was a killer. Not sure why Girardi didn’t pinch run for Matsui? It might not have mattered but perhaps Pena could have broken up the DP?

Coke failed miserably as well, even if he allowed only one homer we could have played Jeter’s AB differently or at least the complexion would have been very different.

Great job by this team to never give up. I love our fight and really believe we will find a way to win this series. Cano swung the bat well tonight and that is huge for us. Tex didn’t get the job done, but he did get one hit. We lost, but I feel good about the way we came back. Pedro will not be as sharp IMO and we will get to him. Then again, we may need to with Pettitte going.

Molina needs to make a good throw down to 2nd as Utley should have been out. We just saw the last of Molina in a Yankee uniform I believe.

Gardner made a terrific catch that there is zero chance Melky would have come close to. Melky has about 50 points of OPS on Gardner, but the defensive doubles/singles that Gardner will save will make up more than 100 points. He is more valuable to play in CF than Melky.

Coke and Jeter were the goats, but two guys that match up well against Philly did their job. Robertson and Aceves pitched 4 scoreless innings.

Time to kick Pedro’s butt!

One more to go for the big prize!

The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...

Monday, November 2, 2009

World Series Post Game 4

I wrote most of this last night but wanted to sleep on the decision of who to start tonight. Answer near the bottom.

In a previous blog I mentioned that I wanted at least 4 runs in 6 innings off of Blanton. We achieved that, but I was not happy as we continued our pattern of taking strikes and swinging at balls. When the score was 4-3 in the 8th inning I was concerned we didn’t take enough advantage of our pitching edge of CC against Blanton. Partly because the ump was very inconsistent and I felt gave Blanton a lot more calls than CC, especially with CC’s changeup. Usually a staple of what makes CC very tough as he throws it on any count; CC had a lot of trouble getting called strikes on the changeup. Regardless, the offense should have done more against Blanton.

Because this was the best match up in terms of advantage from a pitchers standpoint, I felt this was a game we should win. Both teams showing a never quit attitude, but once again the Genius Maker is the difference as their closer allows 3 runs and Rivera just keeps plowing along. It really is amazing when you see what other closers due in the postseason and how great Rivera has been. When closers fail games are usually lost and Rivera has been the difference maker.

You have to give credit to Philly as they took advantage of our bad pitches. The hanging curve to Utley was deposited and then in the 8th inning after Joba blew away Werth and Ibanez, he missed with 2 sliders and then came in with a fastball that was supposed to be outside and ended up catching most of the inside part of the plate and Feliz deposited it. They really took advantage of our mistakes and this last one could have been a huge blow especially when I felt that if either slider was close to being a strike the inning would have been over. This is a learning experience for Joba and it shows you simply can’t miss your spots and get away with it very often…even at 95. Of course, if he was throwing 97-98 you can get away with a little more. Joba did get a little lucky against Werth in that he was looking to go away with a fastball and it ended up in a perfect spot up and in and Werth missed it. That reminded me of Lee and how when he missed he was fortunate that many of his pitches ended up in great spots. Against Feliz he was not as fortunate.

After 2 outs and the announcers talking about how good Lidge has been since he straightened himself out, Damon had a fantastic AB. Damon had the count 1-2 and then worked the count full and then fouled off 2 more before hitting a solid single the other way on the 9th pitch he saw. After a ball, Damon showed some real heads up play in stealing 2nd (subtle point was that Texiera was heads up enough to take a strike and allow Damon to steal the base) and then knowing that 3rd base was his for the taking as long as he could be Feliz who caught the ball leaning toward the 1st base side of 2nd. Now, I have to admit when I saw him going my first thought was crap, he thought the ball went into 2nd base as they had not shown the shift was on. But, when Feliz never threw I was thrilled. Kind of makes you wonder who screwed up on their side. If Feliz is taking the throws, the pitcher should be covering 3rd base and Lidge fell asleep. Great sequence for Johnny. After they hit Texiera, and no you don’t intentionally hit a guy hitting under .100 to face ARod, hit was up to Captain Clutch in yet again another classic spot for Alex. I expected sliders as I don’t buy this crap about having Damon on 3rd limited him to only throwing his fastball. You have to get the batter out and your catcher better stop the ball form getting by him if it is in the dirt. The Phillies stuck with the fastball and ARod with a very compact swing turned on the inside pitch and lined a double to left. A group of us were out of our chairs as ARod came through again. While we were in good shape, getting another hit could ice the game. Posada came through with another big hit and this was the final nail in the coffin for this game. Not sure why Posada went for 2nd, but the damage was done and those 2 extra runs were enormous. Posada is a great hitting catcher, calls a good game and has always thrown out runners at a very high rate, but he has to have some of the worst base running instincts of anyone. Add that to his lack of speed and he is one of the worst base runner you can have. Great job though Jorge!

A couple of other notes:

I believe we have been hit 5 times (I may be off here), and 2 of the ones to ARod were intentional in my opinion. I hate the rule that after you get hit, both sides get warned. It pays to “strike first.” I do like that ARod said something and the Girardi went out to make sure that CC came inside and happened to hit someone that he was not going to be tossed. I think the Umps knew that they would only toss someone if it were in an obvious spot. Tex was not hit on purpose. I don’t like that we have been plunked so much and the ARod 2 were BS, but I don’t want to see us retaliate in any way. Let’s just win. Burnett is wild enough where he will probably hit someone anyway.
I feel that Damon should have caught the very high pop up by Victorino in the 1st inning. I think he got a terrible jump and that cost him. A ball that high needs to be caught. I also think that on the 2nd run not only should have he caught that ball, but he also should have kept charging the ball to help his VERY weak throw. He misjudged that the ball carried farther than he thought. If he charges that ball he makes a fairly routine shoe string catch, but even if he couldn’t, at worst it would have been a very short hop where he could then keep his momentum going on the throw home. As the ball reached home plate Posada should have come forward before that last (I think 3rd hop) so that he could just tag Howard out. It was a tough play to stand there and wait for the ball and Jorge should have gone to get it as slow as it was coming. As for Howard not touching home plate, it is what it is, but CC threw to 2nd anyway instead of tagging him so it doesn’t matter. Also, he barely missed it so I could see if the ump thought he touched it.
Cano is absolutely lost at the plate. He is following the taking strikes and swinging at balls routine to an art form. It is a shame because he is a difference maker for us. I get the feeling Girardi may start Hairston at 2nd base against Lee.
With Gardner in CF (I imagine Melky is out), Molina catching, and Burnett hitting, we will have trouble generating any offense so having a punchers chance in Cano hitting a homer may be worth keeping him out there? Tough call, but it may be time to rest Cano for one game just like Swisher.
McCarver has starting to show his age. He has made many wrong comments and just seems to swing and miss often. Just a few of many examples: McCarver made the comment about “not one pitch inside to a lefty” and that was wrong as Utley was pitched inside with 3 pitches. He made the comment about Joba coming out to pitch even though he was already pinch hit for and many items such as this.
While on the announcing, I am very tired of the stating the obvious announcing such as a guy likes good when he is performing well (looks relaxed) and looks indifferent, depressed or distant when performing poorly…even though it is the same look. Even ARod looks different to everyone…the only difference is he is playing much better now. “He looks to be in great control and is locked in” followed by “and the Yankees score their 2nd run of the inning.” J
Girardi managed well and getting CC out after 107 pitches should make him be strong for game 7 if needed
Many people did not want Marte on the post season roster, but he has now pitched in 7 games and been able to get 10 outs against good lefty hitters while allowing only 2 hits and no walks! I have been saying how important it is to have specialists and in the post season it is even more important.
I liked that Posada had his arm around Joba after the Yanks bailed him out. I am sure that was very valuable and should be a great learning experience for Joba. Most likely he will be our closer of the future.
Who should we start tonight?

I have been going back and forth on starting Burnett. I stated that I wanted Burnett on 3 days rest as well as Andy from the start. But, in looking at stats, Andy (from what I have been told) is not good on 3 days rest, but AJ has been. Not sure of the relevance of either stat, but what has some relevance is the situation and the way AJ has pitched at home compared to on the road. AJ has a 3.51 ERA at home and 4.59 ERA on the road. In his 4 postseason games so far he has pitched very well at home with a 1.86 ERA allowing 4 ER in 19.1 innings at home. On his one road start he allowed 6 runs in 6 innings. This gives me great pause in sending AJ on short rest rather than holding him back to be on 5 days rest on Wednesday at home. It also makes them beat us twice at home with our 2 best on the mound. Of course we could still win with Gaudin, Acevas or whoever, but let’s assume we are almost giving that game up. Stat wise, the answer is to probably hold AJ back, but the other factors say to stay with AJ. These other factors are led by the fact that he has prepared to start tonight and holding him back 2 days could throw off his preparation (this is important). You don’t want to take anything for granted and when you have your foot on their throat you want to keep up the pressure and act like you need this game as bad as they do. If we would have lost yesterday, there is no question AJ would be on the mound tonight. No reason to offer any momentum to Philly and “concede” game 5. Again, we might be able to win with Gaudin, but Gaudin does not match up well against this team and has not pitched in a very long time. As poor as he has pitched lately I would actually have more faith in Acevas than Gaudin. Of course, Andy does not match up well either and did not pitch well his last outing.

As you can see, this is a very hard decision and I don’t think it is fair to criticize either one as they both have merits and pitfalls. My final decision would be to pitch AJ as that is what I planned from the start and try to close it out tonight. Also, AJ should be available to pitch out of the pen if needed in game 7 and with the shaky pitching of anyone not named Marte or Rivera, that may be needed. Act like you need every game, because with Lee going and a what could be a shaky Andy, there is a possibility we will need CC in game 7.

AJ, go out tonight and earn yourself the MVP of the World Series; it is yours for the taking!

10 wins under our belt with one more for the big prize!

The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

World Series Post Game 3

Maybe someone sent Joe a copy of the blog as he got it right for the most part. Swisher started and I think Joe handled the bullpen according the matchups. HUGE win for us, I really feel good right now, but it will all go away if Blanton can upset CC tomorrow. Our offense better get us at least 4 runs in 6 innings and I want more.

If I am a Philly fan, I am upset at the way my team played. They had Andy on the ropes and Pettitte was not throwing strikes and was limited to 2 pitches as he didn't throw a single changeup for a strike the entire night. Also his fastball was 89 at best. The key AB to me was right after Andy walked in a run he threw 2 balls that were way out of the strike zone and Victorino swing and missed at both. Andy then grooved a 0-2 pitch and Victorino flied out for a sac fly and a 3-0 lead. Really bad AB for Victorino. Utley then didn't do any more damage and Andy pitched out of any other damage mostly because of poor offense as opposed to Andy pitching well. Then, immediately following Swisher turning on a fastball for a foul ball I turned to the people I was watching the game with and said, "that should be the last fastball Swisher sees," they throw him another one and Swish goes yard. Victorino should have caught the blooper by Jeter. His feet were farther ahead of the ball and if he either dived at it or stayed on his feet and reached forward he could have caught it; he misjudged it. Philly also could have turned a DP early in the game but it didn't hurt them. Either way, Philly did a bad job and allowed the Yankees to then play well.

ARod with the 2 run bomb was huge again as it gave us life.

Then in an AB where I would have pinch hit for Andy early (5th inning), Pettitte got a huge bloop hit. I was done with Andy as it was clear he had nothing, but as it turned out Pettitte was able to get through two more innings allowing one more run. Getting the hit was huge and even though he allowed another run, it probably was the right move and a different one than I would have made.

They are giving Posada a healthy dose of changeups. He must have seen 8 today.

I guess we can see why Werth crushes lefties.

In the 7th inning we were facing the top of the order and as I said last time this is a spot for Robertson or Joba. Joe went to Joba who was throwing very well and after mowing down the first 2 guys Girardi correctly stuck with Joba who got Utley out. Then with Howard (remember every time a lefty must face him), Werth and Ibanez up, Girardi correctly pinch hit for Joba with Matsui, who did a great job as those tack on runs were huge.

After the extra run scored I only saw Hughes throwing in the pen and I texted about 4 people and the folks I was watching with and said if Marte is not in the 8th I will really be disappointed in Girardi because he obviously doesn't get it. My faith in Joe is still there though as Marte came out and struck out Howard. In this spot if Marte didn't get Howard out I could see making a move away from him unless he looked great in failing (maybe a dropped 3rd strike or an error), but once he got Howard facing Werth was clear move with Ibanez on deck. Marte did a great job striking out Werth and getting Ibanez reach on a soft liner to 3rd. Marte is coming through in a big way (as did Joba tonight).

Now, we enter the 9th up 8-4 and we are at the spot for Hughes (two righties who hit lefties better and the pitcher). I really wanted Rivera to rest, I really did, but after getting one out and throwing 2 fastballs right down the middle with the 2nd taken deep, I was in 100% agreement with bringing in Rivera. He only needed 2 outs, the top of the lineup was up and there were 4 lefties coming up. I am not screwing around there when Utley would represent the tying run. It is time to call on the genius maker who thankfully got the job done in 4 pitches! This was a critical game and you simply can't screw around in that spot. If Robertson were ready I could see trying to get an out with him, but he had sat down and Rivera was ready and I would have done the same thing. I wouldn't have been critical if he went to Robertson though.

Swisher, ARod, Joba and Marte were the heroes today, but we had good contributions from many (Matsui and Damon had big hits).

Melky and Cano have really been struggling; against Blanton Gardner should see some time. I think Gardner should have been getting more work just for his defense. Cano you just have to hope he gets it going as he seems lost. Swinging at balls and taking strikes.

I am very happy and feeling very good right now. CC should put us up 3-1 and if the offense can do what it should we are in the drivers seat. This is a very good offensive team though so we need to score ourselves.

2 more wins for the big prize!

The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...