Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Genius Maker ties the Major League Record for Saves at 601!

Congratulations for tying a Major League Record Mariano Rivera! The Genius Maker has now tied the Major League record for saves and is clearly the best closer in the history of the game and perhaps the greatest post season performer in the history of the game (I recognize the two may not be linked by a milestone) and it seems to be very ho hum. Why? When Jeter was going for 3000 hits people were talking about a month in advance. The days leading up to it were a countdown on every local and ESPN channels. Yet Rivera tied the record and it was really less exciting than a comeback victory save. Interestingly, the tying save was a win where the Yankees came back from a 6-1 deficit and it was kind of ho hum. Maybe it was the crickets of the Toronto fans, but for some reason 300 hits, which a lot of guys have done, seems to be much more popular. Maybe it is because the save rule only became aware around in early 1960 and became an official stat in 1969 so maybe because it hasn’t been around so long people don’t think of a plateau of 600 saves as historic? OK, I get it. Maybe it is because some saves are fairly bogus; I mean coming in and pitching one inning with a 3 run lead doesn’t take a great pitcher to get the job done. In fact, having an ERA of 18.00 in those situations will get you a save. But, one could argue that many hits are bloop hits and broken bat hits and may occur in blow outs; at least a save is always considered a fairly close game at the time of getting it.

I bring all of this up now, because I won’t have anything negative to say when Rivera is the All Time Leader and hold the record by himself. I say it only as a surprise that it has not received much fan fare.

(Editors note…I just read ESPN and they actually said Ho Hum save – just for the record I came up with this without reading their comment…not that it matters)

To the game…In reverse Clint Eastwood format…

The Ugly

Down 4-1, I was pretty annoyed because of the way it happened. Mostly that after it appeared Robbie Thompson was getting his act together, he got Andrew Jones thrown out the other day in a terrible spot that probably cost us the game, and Robbie Cano made his 2nd boneheaded base running play in a few games. I believe the coaches are at fault a little as well as you must constantly remind the players of the situation. In yesterday’s situation, it was 2nd and 3rd and 1 out when Swisher hit a ball deep to RC that was tracked down; at least we would get a sac fly and the score would be 4-2 with a runner on 2nd or 3rd and 2 outs. But then inexplicably Cano ran as if there were two outs (not full speed but knowing he would score on this hit no matter what and then he passed Tex at 3rd which ended the inning immediately at that point. Now two other items I saw that got me annoyed. I didn’t re play this to see exactly, but it appeared to me that Tex went off the bag and wasn’t just waiting for the ball to be caught or not caught and then waltzed home either way; he seemed to go back and tag after the ball was caught and then this is when Cano passed him. If so, all Tex would have had to do was tag as he should and he would have scored even if Robbie was doubled off of 2nd. But the other thing I clearly saw was Robbie Thompson not paying any attention to Robbie Cano (The Clueless Robbie’s – maybe the sequel to The Ballad of Rickie Bobby…ok I will stick to the game. His attention was 100% on Tex and didn’t even realize Cano was blundering and it was right in front of him. If he could be this clueless with a play right in front of him, it is very probable that he was not reminding Cano how many outs there were before the pitch. This is unacceptable! While Cano deserves a lot of blame 9especially two times in a week; the coach deserves a lot of blame. As you know I thought Robbie Thompson was horrible and this year he has been better, but I don’t think he understand how bad it is to get thrown out at the plate as he has said he isn’t doing his job if he isn’t getting guys thrown out at the plate…well I disagree with that philosophy! That type of remark should be reserved for 6-12’ softball pitching where if you don’t get called for an illegal pitch higher than 12’ a few times a game, you are not pitching as effectively as you could.

The Bad

After Colon allowed 2 more runs on a big 2 out hit the game looked in great trouble. Colon didn’t have good velocity; in fact he was at 91-92 all day and only threw a few pitches at 93. He did have very good sinking movement when he threw 90 though. The odd part was I didn’t see a breaking ball thrown all game; not a single one. I kept asking for it but it never came. I am hoping that Romine didn’t call for it and not that the Yankees didn’t want him to throw it for some reason. Either way, unless you are Rivera, you aren’t living off of a one speed pitch.

Jeter keeps making very bad throws to first; tex has scooped 4 over the past few days from Jeter on routine plays and also couldn’t get the high throw the other day…I hope Jeter straightens it out. Jeter has also cooled off a lot not collecting an extra base hit or a walk in his last 28 AB’s with only 6 singles (OPS of .428). Only 28 AB’s, but I would like him to at least keep pace on an OPS of 750 +

CB Buckner was called out by me last year as the ump I dislike the most behind home plate and he lived up to it yesterday; he is very inconsistent and I don’t like his the job he does.

The Good

A lot here and I will start with the bullpen that held Toronto 5 hitless and scoreless innings with only 1 walk. Soriano struck out the side and if memory serves struck out the side the other night also. Good job holding Toronto scoreless.

ARod, hitting a line drive 3 run HR on an inside 93 MPH fastball. It was good to see him not only get around on it but drive it. He also turned on another one later in the game that he pulled foul. BTW, I am glad Girardi dropped him in the lineup. I don’t like Cano and Granderson being so close, but I think Cano is a better hitter until ARod shows he is back (even if Cano had a hacking game).
Granderson had an absolutely terrific AB and a terrific day. The AB I am talking about was around (not exactly sure) a 13 pitch AB that culminated in a CF HR off a changeup. It was simply a great AB that gave us the 7-6 lead the bullpen and Rivera saved.

Last comment: I would like to see Tex lay a bunt down when they shift him; it is absurd that he can’t just get a ball down in fair territory past the pitcher down the 3rd base line. It would be an easy play and as long as his OPS is below 1.000 or even .900 I think he should be trying this often, even if only to keep them honest. He is not doing so well that it doesn’t matter. His OPS is .826 which is 11th in baseball for 1st baseman. Above avg is not where Tex needs to be, he needs to be in the top 5 in OPS for 1st baseman otherwise he needs to look at taking what the defense gives him. After watching Toronto easily pull off a squeeze, I can only hope Girardi has been practicing with the guys on those bunts and squeezes and he is just waiting for the right opportunity in the playoffs to unveil them…I am also pretty sure I am wrong about this and Girardi is not doing anything of the sort.

Boston Lost to TB…it is getting interesting.

Tell everyone to watch history and enjoy the Genius Maker!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a very comprehensive review. I am getting more and more worried about SPs in the post-season. Only CC and Nova have been consistent. Hughes' recent performances have been better than Colon or Garcia. It will be interesting to see Girardi's post-season rotation.