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News of the Day – 10/16/09

Today’s news is powered by a sterling scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”:

Win CS Win WS
NYY       73.3              40.6
LAA        26.7                 8.3
LAD        54.9               28.4
PHI          45.1              22.7

  • Still at Baseball Prospectus, Eric Seidman analyzes the Yanks/Angels match-up, and summarizes thusly:

I have picked the Yankees to win the World Series in each of my last three chats, and while I won’t be terribly surprised if the Angels pull out a series win and advance to the grandest of stages, I fear their starting pitching will not be able to quiet the powerful Yankee bats. This will lead to Scioscia having to alter his intended usage of the bullpen, off of whom the Yankees are more than likely to feast. The Angels aren’t going to go quietly, but I do not see this series lasting longer than five games, with the Yankees advancing to the World Series. Winning four of five games does not imply any sort of dominance as each could be within one run, but the areas in which the Yankees hold advantages outweigh those of the Angels.

CC Sabathia has never had a tremendous pickoff move, which is why he listened closely when former Indians teammate Terry Mulholland took him aside years ago and began explaining the virtues of the slide step.

“He just talked to me about the importance of shutting down the running game,” Sabathia said. “He kind of taught me the slide step. It’s been great for me in my career.”

And it may be crucial come Friday. Since the Yankees realized that they were destined for a date with the Angels in the American League Championship Series, they have been peppered with questions regarding the Halos’ running game. To summarize briefly, Mike Scioscia’s club proved lethal on the basepaths this season, ranking third in the Majors with 148 stolen bases. But it was a double-edged sword: the Angels were also caught stealing a league-high 63 times.

. . . “The slide step is something that’s helped me out a lot lately in my career,” Sabathia said. “But it’s tough when you have [Chone] Figgins over there and he’s jumping around, and [Erick] Aybar and those guys — it’s tough. It’s easy to make a bad pitch or hang a pitch to one of the guys in the middle of the lineup.”

Poll time!:

[poll id=”41″]

  • On this date in 1936, Lou Gehrig, who hit .354 with 49 home runs, 167 runs, and 152 RBI, is voted American League MVP.
  • On this date in 1962, with the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hit a hard line drive at second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out and the New York Yankees won Game Seven, 1 – 0, for their 20th World Series title.
  • On this date in 2003, the Yankees capture their 39th American League pennant beating the Red Sox, 6-5, thanks to Aaron Boone’s 11th inning home run off Tim Wakefield at Yankee Stadium. Boone becomes the fifth player to end a post-season series with a homer joining Bill Mazeroski (1960 WS), Chris Chambliss (1976 ALCS), Joe Carter (1993 WS) and Todd Pratt (1999 NLDS).

See you Monday!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 16, 2009 9:30 am

I think as long as Joe Girardi doesn't outsmart himself, the Yankees should win in six.

Marte scares the hell out of me.

2 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 16, 2009 9:38 am

[1] Marte doesn't worry me.

[0] Nice catch on the BP Postseason Series odds, Diane! I just saw those myself. Sure isn't the story in the tradmed - most things I've read suggest a tight series between two evenly matched teams.

Of course, too many folks look at the team's records, instead of their Pythag records, or even better, their 3rd order Pythag records - which shows the Yanks as 101-61, and the Angels as 87-75. Not quite an even matchup.

[0] Oh and for all Python fans out there - the 40th anniversary documentary starts on the IFC channel on Sunday night.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 16, 2009 9:41 am

[2] I hate match up lefties to begin with, and he's done very little to convince me otherwise since we acquired him. The debacle in game two of the ALDS has me even more on edge.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 16, 2009 9:42 am

How can anyone leave out the most important news of the day...


God help us

5 monkeypants   ~  Oct 16, 2009 9:57 am

[1] I am oddly confident about this series...especially odd given my typical cynicism. The starting lineup and starters and main relievers for the Yankees are awfully strong. Such that I believe it would take extraordinary circumstances for even the preposterous bench, the odd sucky reliever, and wasted ABs in Molina starts to do in the team.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 16, 2009 10:03 am

4 inches of wet snow up at my house, branches falling on the roof and all over the yard, intermittent power outages overnight, and probably a 2 hour commute home from the city today...
oh, and the Direct TV is frozen so if they get this one in, I'll have to borrow my neighbor's extension ladder to clean the dish.
This is no way to prepare for the first pitch of the ALCS -
but I aint complaining.

Play ball! Beat the Angels!

7 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 16, 2009 10:03 am

[5] I think if we can win games one and two (which, knock on wood, we should) we can wrap this up in as few as five games. If we piss away one of these game at home, I think it will be a dogfight and homefield in games six and seven will decide it for us.

8 Raf   ~  Oct 16, 2009 10:10 am

[1] That's the thing, I think Girardi will outsmart himself. When it comes down to it, there really isn’t any reason Joba, Robertson, Hughes, Aceves or even Gaudin should pitch less than an inning unless they’re ineffective. At minimum, they should be able to pitch through the order once.

[5] I'm confident about this series, but then again, I have been confident about every series since 1995.

9 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 16, 2009 10:33 am

[3] I understand the matchup lefty reluctance - too much Felix Heredia and Gabe White, among others, over the years - but don't judge Marte on the 31 innings he's pitched for the Yanks over the last year plus, its way too small a sample.

Instead look at his career numbers, which are quite good, especially vs LHB: .197/.294/.287 in almost 900 PA. That's pretty good.

Besides, if the Phillies do beat the Dodgers, and if the Yanks advance, we are going to see Marte vs some of the Phillies lefty hitter. Might want to start getting ready now. ;)

10 Raf   ~  Oct 16, 2009 10:52 am

On this date in 1962, with the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hit a hard line drive at second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out and the New York Yankees won Game Seven, 1 – 0, for their 20th World Series title.

"Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?" — Charlie Brown

11 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 16, 2009 11:40 am

From reading BP's roundtable about last night's NLCS game 1, I found it funny that many of the BP authors - including noted Yankee fans Steven Goldman and Jay Jaffe - criticized Torre for pulling Huo in favor of Sherrill yet wondered why Torre would do that. Have they already forgotten Torre's formulaic bullpen approach? Sherrill = 8th inning guy; when it comes to the 8th inning, he pitches!

12 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 16, 2009 11:49 am

[11] And then I read that Torre's under strict orders to not let Kuo pitch multi-inning stints . . . but still, neither Jay nor Steven knew this.

13 Rich   ~  Oct 16, 2009 1:29 pm

[4] I turned WFAN off as soon as I found out.

14 Jay Jaffe   ~  Oct 16, 2009 2:04 pm

[12] As a Dodger fan, I was certainly aware of the fact that Kuo had not pitched any multi-inning stints this year, nor had he bridged a single outing across two innings while the Dodgers batted. Still, in a postseason situation, given the pitch count (17), the looming presence of Howard and the lack of necessity for a pinch-hitter in the home half, I thought Torre could justify deviating from the script.

15 Jay Jaffe   ~  Oct 16, 2009 2:05 pm

[11] Torre's gone off formula, including a couple times (once in the Division Series) where he brought closer Jonathan Broxton in to pitch the eighth, then used Sherrill for the ninth.

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