"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Running on Empty?

Over at PB, Steve Goldman reflects back on the 1958 Whirled Serious. The Yanks won, coming back from a 3-1 hole:

Casey did some things that Joe Girardi can’t do. He can’t/won’t ask CC Sabathia to pitch in every game, he can’t ask Mariano Rivera to throw four innings—hell, it seems like he can’t ask Rivera to throw at all—but Joe also has some things that Casey didn’t have, like a bullpen stocked with pitchers, some of whom aren’t Sergio Mitre or Dustin Moseley. He has far more freedom to make moves with pitchers than Stengel had, and at much less of a risk to anyone’s health. In short, if there is any lesson to be taken away from the 1958 World Series, it is this: HEY, JOE: QUICK HOOK.

Back to the (immediate) future, Cliff wasn’t moved by yesterday’s Yankee win:

Perhaps its because, even if they do come back to tie this series, they’ll still have to beat Cliff Lee in Game Seven to win it. Perhaps its because, after being dominated by the Rangers for four games, a single win, even a lop-sided one such as the 7-2 Game Five, doesn’t carry enough weight to restore balance to the series. Whatever it is, Game Five felt like a repeat of Game Three of the 2007 Division Series against the Indians, a face-saving but empty victory that did little other than postpone the inevitable series loss suffered in the following game.


1 Ben   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:08 am

I get get Cliff's perspective..... but BOOOOOOOOOO!

2 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:22 am

I find Cliff's angle on CC a bit odd. I couldn't care less today how he'll be if we get past Texas! Worry about that if it happens. He's done for this series (unless Joey G tries an Oswalt with him in a Game 7, which I really doubt, unless for Hamilton once).

In other words, there's nothing negative for now in CC. He gutted out a win. Job done. In a piece about whether we can come back in 7, commenting on him feels pointless.

I also found myself shaking my head last night at those grumbling about the offense. Was it devastating? No. Did they get 7 runs? That'll do. A few people made this point in the post-game thread, and I simply agree. Job done, move on. Cross fingers.

We are not about to annihilate the Rangers. This is a good team. We have been outplayed by them, but (as Dylan sings) it ain't dark yet (getting there, yes). Texas showed cracks and nerves last night on the mound and on base.

Obviously a lot rides now on Young Phil of the Phuture. My biggest worry, and why I am still glum, is that Texas is hitting very very well and it took our big guy a very gutty clutch situation game to hold them down.

Lee we think about if we get there (and we don't even THINK about San Fran or Philly and CC in the Serious). Right now it is Score Truck hits Colby Lewis.

3 The Mick536   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:32 am

I A-Rod finished, as Rhoden suggests in today's NYT? I be with the writer. No more do A-Rod, or Tex (now finished for the season with a toe and hammy), strike fear into opposing pitchers. I get this feeling when the Yankees bat that they won't hit, and if they do, they leave too many runners on base.

Boring game. I was happy when it ended. Didn't mean much to me either, so thanks Cliff.

On another note, I have to listen to TBS. Two pitchers and Ernie Johnson, a Yankee disliker, don't do it for me. Smoltz doesn't have enough experience and thinks he knows it all. Darling doesn't know what it means to do a National feed. I turned off the sound. I could listen to Sterling, but the feed comes in a little late. And besides, that would not be much of an improvement.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:33 am

If this team gets shut down by Colby Lewis twice in a week, they just weren't good enough to win anyway.

5 ms october   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:34 am

it's mute at this point but that god damn ibb to murphy the other night is still gnawing away at me.

anyway, i found yesterday to be a solid win. sure there were facets of the game that could have been improved but it was a nice win. just need the score truck to show up again on friday and hughes to be adequate (certainly will take better than adequate).
i agree with goldman - the chessmaster needs a quick hook.

6 ms october   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:41 am

[3] yeah i have been disappointed with the tbs crew - i mean they are not at the abysmal level that mccarver/buck occupy but they have lessened the viewing experience for me.
i quite enjoy ernie johnson on the tnt basketball half-time show, but i find he talks way too damn much as a play-byplay man - he doesn't do that as studio hots - maybe because barkley and kenny would eff him up.
i find darling to be a blowhard - everything is about him, he knows everything, he has done everything - enough already.
smoltz is mostly just too raw and inexperienced as you say.
i also prefer there to be someone who can speak from the hitter's perspective.

i really wish they would let the regional networks have the option to pay for the rights to broadcast as well - or something along those lines - i'd much rather watch this game on yes than tbs (and my god when will conan commercials go away!)

7 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:55 am

3) A Rod is done? Huh?

Boring game? What's a matter with you? It's a playoff win. Jeesh, talk about a tough crowd.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:02 am

[2] I only commented on CC because I was trying to find something to take away from the game beyond avoiding elimination for one more game. The offense clicked, I wrote about that, Wood and Rivera pitched well, I wrote about that, and CC was less than his best for the third straight time, so I wrote about that.

9 BobbyB   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:21 am

I think, if you're taking it one game at a time (which at this point you have to), I like the Yankees in game 6. Hughes has had a terrific year, especially for a freshman starter, and the Yankee bats are showing some life while the Rangers missed a lot of opportunities against CC. Who knows how that will weigh on the Rangers in a game 6. I hope their thinking is that they'll have Lee in the 7th. Let them look past tomorrow"s game, we can't.

As to the comments about A Rod; thats just silly talk. The guy continues to put up numbers. Think about all the stupid times opposing managers walked Tex to face A Rod. They should all lose their jobs.

10 The Hawk   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:28 am

Wow Cliff, what a sourpuss!

11 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:36 am

Cliff, sorry if I sounded irate. I'm with Alex on the 'tough room' mindset. I thought it was a perfectly good win, a bit of a breathe-deep with a lead. CC gutted it out, Texas showed cracks. Why do we need to struggle to note that it was a win we needed and got? I feel same way about grumbles over the batting in a 7 run game or 'A Rod is finished'. Jeez. Jeter was finished two weeks ago, and is having a nice post-season. What have you done for me lately has to have limits!

There remains a very good likelihood that all of us who rued the day Texas got Lee, and thought it might mean a WS spot were right (even though these things are easy in hindsight). And if it happens, that our pitching is a bit too wobbly this year with AJ south and Hughes well past his cap, it happens. 90% of this game is 50% pitching or something!

If Hughes is decent we can beat Colby Lewis tomorrow. Then the Seattle decision to take Smoak over Montero looms awfully large.

12 Just Fair   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:46 am

Are you freaking kidding me?
A win is a win is a win. Yanks in seven.

13 The Hawk   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:47 am

Yesterday was a great win. Great! The Yanks could have been eliminated. The season would be over. Right now as I sit and type this, the Yankees have a chance to repeat as World Champions. If they hadn't won, they would have absolutely zero chance to repeat. Yesterday's game was everything. It was the whole season on the line and the Yanks won and extended the season.

It's rare we get to see underdog Yankees. I for one savor it. They have to win two more - three in a row - to advance. They have a first year-ish starter going in game 6, in a stadium where he has fared well except his last time there, in this very series, where he got lit the **** up. An offense that only just started to show signs of life - who knows if it will last? Against a team that is swinging the bats as loosely as possible, and why? Because they know that even if the Yanks hit, and Hughes and the bullpen perform - three things that are not a sure thing, obviously - they have the assassin Cliff Lee waiting in game 7.

In short, The Rangers know they already have it in the bag. That has got to be how they feel right now. And honestly, it's kind of the truth. Which is why, perhaps perversely, this is fun for me. It's like the Yankees are playing with reverse house money. So let's see if they can win this Game 6. There is a lot of good that could come out of it, and at the very least I'm pulling for Hughes to show us something again. Even if the Yanks fall to Cliff Lee, if Hughes comes through that will make me pretty happy.

14 joejoejoe   ~  Oct 21, 2010 10:53 am

Cliff Lee was 12-9 this year with and ERA about 30% better than the league. He's a great pitcher but he's not THAT great. He was great in Seattle and good in Texas. It's the playoffs, you have to beat good pitchers to advance. I don't know if the Yanks will do it or not but nothing matters less than yesterday's game. There are no style points in the playoffs and the only statistic that matters is who won. Sure Cliff Lee is 7-0 in the playoffs but so was El Duque until...he wasn't.

Let's go small sample size!

15 51cq24   ~  Oct 21, 2010 11:15 am

[13] "It’s rare we get to see underdog Yankees. I for one savor it."

you are not alone. it's so rare we get an opportunity to win when it's unexpected, when the odds are against us. and there's definitely something liberating about having to win a few games in a row. it's the same way i felt when we went down 2-0 to oakland in 2001.

i don't want to get ahead of myself because i think friday is going to be a tough game, but IF we win it, i am so looking forward to game 7. i think it's entirely appropriate that we'll have to beat this guy rather than just avoid him, as we did last year and as we hoped to do this year. let's end this cliff lee nonsense. the guy is a great pitcher, but he's no pedro. we can beat him.

16 Ben   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:18 pm

Hey, anybody watch the Giants game last night? Romo struck out two righties in a row, 3 pitches a piece. Every pitch a slider. He went away - back door, then really away. Reminded me of El Duque. Technically it was all the same pitch, but not really, right? Great to watch.

I hope the Giants win. The SF fans seemed really, really enthusiastic.

17 seamus   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:31 pm

[7] i'm with you. and how exactly was that boring? The back to back rally killers? Well, if it was boring i don't care. my bigger issue is that i watched on the iphone. so does that mean i need to watch game 6 on the iphone? Actually scratch that. I can't watch it live anyhow. I love my dvr!

18 monkeypants   ~  Oct 21, 2010 12:42 pm

Aesthetically, yesterday's game was not work of art...and the pacing was excruciating. So on those terms it was not "exciting." That said, watching CC work in and out of trouble...I was on pins and needles the whole game, at least until about the eighth inning. And that is exciting, and emotionally taxing. And we have at least one more game to watch. It's hard to ask for much more.

19 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 21, 2010 1:51 pm

I don't get the focus on style points at this stage either. The only thing that matters right now is how well Hughes pitches and if the Yankees can figure out Lewis the second time around. No use in worrying about Cliff Lee just yet.

20 Yankster   ~  Oct 21, 2010 2:00 pm

It wasn't a "pretty" game, but it's was an elimination game against a wicked good offense Rangers runners aboard at every turn and CC nicking the corners when he really had to. I had a stressful, fantastic time watching AND I knew I was going to have at least another inning (maybe more) on Friday night to look forward to.

I completely agree with these unusually excellent comments: [2] [4] [12] [13][15] [17].

21 ironhorse   ~  Oct 21, 2010 2:52 pm

Lighten up, Francis. I win is indeed a win. The pace of these playoff games is always excruciating, but look at the alternative.I know the point of this blog and all the comments is to talk about the games, but come on, try to enjoy them -- just a little bit. As The Hwk said, the Yankees faced elimination! Just be happy they won and get ready for Friday.

Try, if possible, to stop overanalyzing every move and just be happy there are games to watch.

22 monkeypants   ~  Oct 21, 2010 3:19 pm

[21] I am happy that there are games to watch so that I can overanalyze every move in them.

23 hiscross   ~  Oct 21, 2010 3:32 pm

Everyone missed the nice pick-off by Kerry Wood at 2nd. He has done that twice, and they won both times.

24 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Look, if the goal is to Win, then there is only 1 type of Win... a good Win. However, if you look at our performance as an indicator of future games, then the Win can be disected.

We hit 3 HRs. I, for one, think that's very good.
We got 9 hits, they got 13. That's not as good.
Wood and Mo were just fine, thats good. CC... not so good.
Scored enough runs to Win most games, that's good.
Left a bunch of guys on, and still are weak in RISP.... not so good.

I think more then any other sport, it's hard to predict tomorrow's game based on yesterday's results. If over the next 2 games, the Yanks suck (like the September Yanks), I won't be the least bit surprised. If the Yanks aboslutely rake and make the Rangers look like a Little League team (like the 2009 Yanks), I won't be the least bit surprised.

I actual feel pretty good about the next 2 days, as a Win tomorrow puts a lot of pressure on Game 7.... and the Yanks are still good under pressure.

Losing Teix is a blow, but Lance and/or Thames can easily make up the difference.

My only desire is that when a batter gets 2 strikes on them, that they are less concerned with driving the ball, and just concerned with getting wood on the ball.

Let's just all hope that ARod steps up.

25 ironhorse   ~  Oct 21, 2010 9:23 pm

Way late to respond, but Monkeypants, you win. That was excellent. I love to pick apart these games too, but I do try to enjoy them regardless of the outcome --- aah who am I kidding. Man I hate to lose.

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