"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Not Dead Yet

The games are on too late, then they are on too early. Today, the Yankees played a rare afternoon playoff game and I caught the first couple of innings at work. Then I was on the subway and the streets for the middle innings, listening to the radio call, looking down at my cell phone at Game Day, cursing and cajoling loudly, talking to guys on the subway about the score. Got home for the end of it and then re-watched what I’d missed, thanks to Tivo.

Technology is a funny thing, huh?

Now, Jorge Posada is legend around these parts as one of the worst base runners we’ve ever encountered. It’s not just that he doesn’t have good instincts, Posada runs as if he thinks he’s much faster than he is, so he makes aggressively poor mistakes.

Welp, it was a sign of good things when Posada singled home Alex Rodriguez in the second inning, and then came home when the Rangers threw the ball around the infield like little leaguers. Posada looked like a dead duck running to third on a base hit by Curtis Granderson, and then he looked cooked when he bolted home. But Posada was safe, the Yanks had an early lead, and the fates were with the home team today as the Yanks live to see another day.

Final Score: Yanks 7, Rangers 2.

Robbie Cano hit another dinger–yes, the man is on the fuegs–and Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson added solo shots. Alex Rodriguez and Lance Berkman also had some good at-bats and the offense finally looked like its old self. Berkman gave us a scare when his legs slipped out from under him tracking a foul ball, and he wiped out on the warning track near. He stayed in the game but will be feelin’ it in the a.m.

CC Sabathia gave up eleven hits, didn’t have his A-stuff, but he delivered the kind of “gritty, gutty” performance that is worthy of an Ace. Kerry Wood was dynamite in relief. He threw two scoreless innings–including a pick-off of Elvis Andrus at second base (what was the kid thinking?)–and then Mariano Rivera gave us that peaceful, easy feeling one more time as he closed the door in the 9th.

There will be another game. Friday Night Lights, deep in the heart of Texas.

[Photo Credit: Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Game Recap  Playoffs  Yankees

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1 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 20, 2010 8:44 pm

and the offense finally looked like its old self.

Yeah, putting a ton of people on base and not driving nearly enough of them in to put the game out of reach.

It was a win they needed; it was a win they got, but the Yankees still haven't played a good game in this series ...

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Man.... SF has some serious pitching, but has there even been such a poor hitting team going this far in the PS?

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 20, 2010 8:51 pm

It was nice to win, but 9 hits (when we gave up 13) is not exactly an explosive offense, and as mentioned above, they stink at small ball or add-on runs... unless of course, it's a HR.

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:03 pm

Very pleased.

But AB, please never again drop an Eagles reference when speaking about our Lord of Diamond, Mariano the Great...he at least deserves some CCR...

5 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:18 pm

[2] That 05 Stros team didn't hit a lick

6 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:25 pm

Baumkuchen is out! Quick hook from Bochy?

7 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:25 pm

The stars at night are big and bright...

8 RIYank   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:26 pm

You guys are hysterical. So, [3] they hardly got any hits, and [1] they were horrible with RISP. No wonder they only scored 7 runs!

9 The Hawk   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm

I think complaining about an offense when it scores seven runs is a bit much. Oh, maybe they could have scored ... thirty, I get it. But come on.

The lead was never less than four runs, once it got to four runs. I never felt particularly threatened except in the sixth. One inning of actual worry; not bad.

10 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:35 pm

Santiago Casilla no es bueno...Giants giving free runs to Phils now..

11 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:39 pm

Yeah, they got 3 solo homers and a couple of runs gift fucking wrapped for them by Texas.

Meanwhile, the issue in every game since the 1st that *didn't* feature multiple solo homeruns AND runs gift wrapped by Texas was ... the inability for the Yankees to plate easy RiSP.

Just like we watched in September.

It was a win. We needed a win, so that's good. But it should have been a laugher and it wasn't.

12 The Hawk   ~  Oct 20, 2010 9:58 pm

Well, if it was a laugher, I don't see why that would have been any less gift wrapped. As far as I could tell, there was one unearned run. Maybe two. I don't know how home runs come gift wrapped.

I mean geez, whaddaya want? The team to cash in every single chance it has? They got out to 5-0 and never led by less than four after that. Asking for a laugher is staring a gift horse in the mouth, imo.

13 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 20, 2010 10:02 pm

Well, as long as you are in agreement that it was a "gift horse" ...

14 YankInEugene   ~  Oct 20, 2010 10:03 pm

I hate week day afternoon playoff games. Had to work the whole time and listen online. Although it sounds like the Yanks didn't play great, they took and kept an early lead and the struggling Swisher and ARod had some good at bats. Something to build on. I'm just glad that there's still Yankee baseball.

15 The Hawk   ~  Oct 20, 2010 10:09 pm

[13] I'm not sure what you mean.

[14] They played well enough to win 7-2. Does that sound bad to you too? Agh, you guys are nuts. Goodnight!

16 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 10:18 pm

[15] Hey, I'm mr. Sunshine here, great win for the boys!!

No one watching SF-Philly?

17 JeremyM   ~  Oct 20, 2010 10:23 pm

A win is a win. They certainly played well enough to win and they did. Good enough for me.

18 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:28 pm

Oswalt in to pitch the 9th? Charlie Manuel-san really going for it!

19 seamus   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:31 pm

oh please people. we kicked ass and are on our way!!!

20 seamus   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:32 pm

[18] hey tokyo, sorry to greet you earlier with "get back to sleep". I kind of felt bad about that.

21 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:38 pm

[20] Seamus my friend, we won so all is well! A guinness to be raised in t-minus 5 hours and counting..

Giants win on sac fly in the bottom 9th!!

22 seamus   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:40 pm

[21] Sláinte my friend!

23 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:46 pm

[21] Amazing. That's been a nail-biting, surprising series. Fantastic baseball.

24 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:47 pm

Giants-Yankees anyone? Like the old, old, old days.

25 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 20, 2010 11:59 pm

[24] Yes! I'm all for the Giants as long as they don't play the Yankees..though we'd have to deal with endless "post-Bonds, teh scrappy no-star Giants learned how to win" articles..

26 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:04 am

I'd love for Giants - Yankees. Giants are my NL team.

27 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:22 am

[26] Been to Pac Bell AT&T ACME Corp Park? Looks amazing..

28 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:29 am

[26] Yeah, saw Game 2 of the 2003 NLDS.

Giants vs Marlins.

Snacks Pontoon started for the Giants (bleeech).

29 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:48 am

[27] Was at Candlestick when I was 3. Don't remember it, but both Willies and Juan were on the team at the time.

30 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:49 am

Bob Guccione R.I.P. Penthouse Forum was my sex education.

31 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:55 am

[29] Crikey, Boat...sound like my pop now...satrt calling you Roger Sterling soon!

[30] Also producer of "Caligula", contender for worst big-buget movie ever made.

32 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 21, 2010 7:52 am

Story #1: 2010 Post Season: RISP
TexasRangers: .289 .386 .526 .913
San Francisco: .222 .368 .296 .664
Philadelphia:::: .189 .348 .245 .593
NY Yankees:::: .227 .307 .253 .560

Story #2: 2010 Post Season: 2 Out RISP
San Francisco: .345 .457 .448 .905
TexasRangers: .229 .372 .400 .772
Philadelphia:::: .161 .381 .226 .607
NY Yankees:::: .156 .206 .219 .425

Now of course, these numbers include the Minn Series, where we hit very well with RISP.... so if you have the stomach for it, you can image our RISP numbers for just the ALCS.

Now we all knew SF got here with great pitching. And they have continued to have great pitching in the PS, although we all expected this. However, they have a 2 out RISP of .905 . And that is why they are where they are.

And we have a RISP of (lost for words.... looks in public toilet).
And that's why we are where we are.

End of story.

33 monkeypants   ~  Oct 21, 2010 8:43 am

[32] Except that is not the "End of story." Take a look at this little graphic:

Team, R/G (2010 PS)
Rangers, 5.3
Yankees, 4.4
Phillies, 3.9
Rays, 3.3
Giants, 3.1
Twins, 2.3
Braves, 2.3
Reds, 1.3

So, despite all the complains about failure to hit with runners on base, to score batters from third, etc, the Yankees have scored the second most runs per game of any team in the 2010 postseason. The real problem has NOT been that the team is not hitting (though they are underperforming relative to what they did during the regular season)---in fact, overall their offensive production has been relatively very good. Rather, but they have had the misfortune of running into a super-hot Texas team that has outscored their opponents in the 2010 PS by a wide margin.

34 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 21, 2010 8:58 am

I'm actually going to BE in San Fran on vacation from the 27th through the 4th (planned a long time ago).

I just checked stubhub .... I can get a standing room ticket for game 1 for $500


35 RIYank   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:04 am

[33] Of course, the batters don't determine these numbers by themselves. Another part of it has been the Yankee pitching staff coming up small against the Rangers, while at least a couple of the Ranger pitchers have had excellent starts.

36 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:06 am

[32] [33] And there's something else. Those numbers are across 8 games for the Yanks - and as you say, OYF, in the Minnesota series, they did very well. So if you look at just the 5 ALCS games, the numbers are very bad.

5 games is a small sample size, and RISP is NOT a repeatable skill. Its just as likely that in Games 6 and 7 that the Yanks will outperform those numbers, than repeat them.

So you're right, this is part of the story of why the Yanks are down 3-2, but it doesn't mean they are finished.

[33] The Yanks' poor pitching, especially the bullpen arsonist committee has, of course, helped a great deal in terms of Texas's RS vs RA differential.

37 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:52 am

Game #1: RISP: 3 for 12: LOB: 07 Result: 6-5W
Game #2: RISP: 1 for 11: LOB: 12 Result: 7-2L
Game #3: RISP: 0 for 03: LOB: 03 Result: 8-0L
Game #4: RISP: 2 for 13: LOB: 08 Result: 10-3L
Game #5: RISP: 2 for 11: LOB: 07 Result: 7-2W

Total RISP: 8 for 50: .160 BA

Now, in reality, we weren't winning Game 3.
Game 4 (AJ) was actually close until we were Molina'd... but even that game was winable, and we don't know how things would have gone had we converted a few of those RISP situations. Maybe if we are ahead by 3 (instead of 1), there is no IBB before Molina is up. Who knows?

No one has to tell me we have a very strong offensive team. And over 162 games, offense often wins. But we know in a short series, you have to take advantage of scoring situations when they avail themselves.

In Game #1, all of our 3 RISP hits came in 1 inning, and along with 2 walks, we were able to eek out a win. So ONE key hit ended up being the difference between wWinning or Losing.

Over 4 games, SF is ahead 3-1. My guess is, is over those 4 games, you subtract 2 or 3 critical (2 out RISP) hits, they are down 3-1.

We know that Philly is a much, much better hitting team. In terms of total runs scored, they are EVEN. So why is SF up 3-1???

In the WS against the Marlins, we out hit them and out pitched them and out scored them, 21 to 17. But they Won in 6 games. We lost 2 games by 1 run, and 2 games by 2 runs.

Scoring Runs is imporant.
Scoring runs at CRITICAL times is more important.

(And we won't even talk about all the man-on-3rd-less-then-2-out situations we have had, where we didn't even need a hit, and still didn't score. You just can't do that in the PS)

38 RIYank   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:11 am

[37] Maybe. If your point is to explain why the Yankees are losing (bigtime), then fine. If you're suggesting that the hitting-with-RISP problem is likely to carry over to Game Six and (we hope) Seven, then I think that's just silly. There's no evidence whatsoever that teams go through hot-with-RISP streaks. (I'm in the middle of reading Curve Ball so I'm particularly sensitive about this.)

39 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:26 am

[39] Nope... not my intention at all. In honesty, all of September was RISP impaired, and they have faired poorly so far in the ALCS. RISP was good however, against Minn.... so it's unpredictable.

My point is simply that the Yankees (so far in this series) have let a lot of scoring opportunities go by the boards, and that is behavior we hopefully won't be subject to over the next 2 games.

In Game 7, unless Cliff is off his game, we will really need to have timely hitting, and well as very good Andy.

40 monkeypants   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:35 pm

[38] I'm not sure I agree that scoring runs at critical times is more important than scoring runs...mainly because I am not even sure I know what that means. Scoring runs is always important, just as not allowing runs is always important. Teams that score lots of runs and give up few runs will win most of the time.

It is irrelevant HOW the team scores runs (or how they prevent them). I don't care if they hit poorly with runners in scoring position or get guys in from third base with less than two outs...provided they are scoring at other times. So maybe game 3 turns if the Yankees hit better with RISP, or maybe it turns if they jack an extra solo HR or two. In either case, it's all about the runs scored, not the path to scoring those runs.

41 Yankster   ~  Oct 21, 2010 2:06 pm

[40] agreed. "critical times" are indicators of not scoring runs at non-critical times. I'd prefer my team had 0 "critical times" in a game. And that they scored all their runs in non-critical times, like when they are already leading 3-0 in the second inning. On the other hand, getting hits with RISP is non-negotiable. Homers with a guy on first won't do it in the playoffs.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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