I know we lost last night, but I thought it was one of the best games all year. There were a ton of great and important AB’s with interesting pitch selection opportunities, and with good pitching and hitting going on…
I like Flaherty as an announcer (he and Cone are my favorites) and while I don’t usually listen because I am fast forwarding a lot, I disagreed with Flaherty after Tex made a really nice scoop on a throw by Didi. It was one of the tougher picks because it was an in between hop and Tex saved an error. Flaherty commented on that is why he is the best at scooping in the big leagues. That may be some homer talk, but while Tex is good at it, if he is the best in baseball (keep in mind he has missed at least 5 scoops already) then baseball might be having a shortage of excellent defenders.
Flaherty later in the game did make two spot on comments:
In one of the key spots in the game, Carpenter was pitching against Semien with 1st and 2nd and 1 out. This after a failed bunt attempt allowed Carpenter to throw to 3rd getting the lead runner. After throwing a ball, Carpenter threw two excellent sliders, the 2nd one was way out of the strike zone and Semien waived at it. Another slider was the correct call but then Carpenter threw a slider that had little bite and it hung over the plate and Semien singled in a run and also moved a runner over to 3rd who scored on a sac fly. I was pissed at how poor the pitch was and Flaherty jumped all over it as well and correctly pointed out the difference in quality of the pitches.
In the 9th, after Drew got out leading off, on a 3-1 pitch, Garrett Jones swung at a high pitch that would have been ball 4 and Flaherty pointed out how undisciplined that was down by 2 runs needing to get the tying run to the plate. Jones ended up walking anyway, but the point was correct. Gardner doubled on a great AB lining a 3-2 fastball away to LC, closing the lead to one, but Headley flew deep to LC to end the game (caught on the warning track)
· There was a key play in the top of the 4th where ARod was sent home with nobody out (this was the first bad call I have seen the 3rd base coach make as he should not have sent him) and he did a good job of avoiding the tag and then reaching down and most likely touching home plate with his fingers. The ruling was out in the field and I was not sure they would overturn it as nothing was crystal clear; although I am pretty sure his fingers touched the back/side of the plate. I watched it a few times and I do think he was safe, but was worried about them not overturning it. They did call him safe and this gave us a 2-0 lead that was extended to 3-0 before Oakland came back.
· Speaking of ARod, you can say what you want, but I am enjoying his AB’s as much as anyone’s. He is having professional AB’s and they are fun to watch.
· I thought CC mixed his pitches well (I really liked McCann’s pitch selection) and his stuff was good. His command at times was very good and he was successful. For example, a key moment in the game was the bottom of the 3rd. Oakland loaded the bases with one out on some soft hits. CC struck out Semien on a high fastball away and then struck out Zobrist looking on a low and in fastball (freezing him). The command of the zone was excellent in that sequence and most of the game. Unfortunately, a first pitch curve ball was right over the middle of the plate and Burns cleared the LF fence for Oakland’s first run and Oakland tied the score on a very bad changeup that was supposed to be away but left it over the middle of the plate and up where Lawrie hit a 2 run HR.
· After allowing the 2 runs in the 6th inning I was surprised CC started the 7th inning because the bottom of the lineup was coming up and they were both righties (CC has been very tough on lefties this year and getting crushed by righties). After a single and then a walk Girardi came out to get CC. I think this was a poor job by Girardi as a lot of damage was done. The above Carpenter sequence is what happened for both of those runs to score. I would have let Carpenter start the inning. See above when Carpenter hung the 3rd slider for the outcome. It was not a horrible move by Girardi but I was surprised. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. My take was also different in that I don’t have great faith in Carpenter coming into that situation and getting out unscathed. We caught a break on the failed bunt, but IF Betances was available (I do not know as he pitched 26 pitches the night before and I would imagine Joe might have wanted to rest him) I would have gone to Betances right there as I am big on having my best guys in the important spots…and this was a big one.
· After the ARod play at the plate, the Yanks had a great opportunity still with 1st and 2nd nobody out. First pitch Beltran grounded out moving the runners up and then first pitch with 2nd and 3rd 1 out, Drew misses a very hittable pitch and pops up to fail to get the runner(s) in. Drew ticks me off at the plate (his defense has been pretty good). This was another key spot in the game and why you can see this game was a good one.
· BTW, CC’s last batter (that he walked), was a 3-1 pitch that should have been called a strike; the ump blew it. That was a key call in the game as it turned out.
One note on the previous game, I was very glad to see Pineda get back to his game pitching. One walk and 8 k’s was good to see.