"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Bad Moon Rising

For the Yankees, Game One of the ALCS, went from regrettable, to unbelievable, to unforgettable in the worst way.

In the first inning the Yankees loaded the bases against Doug Fister and Alex Rodriguez hit a hard ground ball that was speared by Jhonny Peralta who threw to second just in time to get the force out to end the inning. For Rodriguez, it was more bad luck. Then in the second, Robinson Cano came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. He hit a line drive up the middle that knocked off Fister’s hand and went high in the air. Peralta fielded it with one hand, threw to first and Cano was called out though the replays showed that he was safe. Right, bad luck.

The Tigers scored a couple of runs against Andy Pettitte in the top of the sixth and in the bottom of the inning Mark Teixeira reached on a single and moved to third on a double by Raul Ibanez. Rodriguez took a curve for a strike, fouled off a fastball that was his pitch to hit and then hacked at a curve ball out of the strike zone for the first out. Nick Swisher laid off a tough curve on a 2-2 pitch and eventually walked. But Curtis Granderson whiffed on three pitches and so did Russell Martin.

No bad luck this time, just the brand of offensive offense we’ve gotten used to around these parts. All three outs were made on undisciplined at bats.

And so we Yankee fans spent the next few innings cursing and muttering and what difference did it make when Delmon Young hit a seed for a line drive home run or when the Tigers added another one to make it 4-0?

Emily and I watched this misery in the living room of our friends’ apartment in midtown. They’ve got kids and were fading fast in the eighth so we excused ourselves and got in the car by the time the Yanks came to bat in the bottom of the ninth. As we made our way from the east side to the west side–no, taking the FDR uptown when there is a game on–I just hoped the game could continue for as long as possible.

So it was John Sterling that guided us west and I gave a solemn fist pump when he told us that Ichiro hit a two run home run. Cano was next and he worked the count full–please, get on base, Robbie–but struck out. One last out and Teixeira came up as we crossed over Sixth Avenue. He quickly fell behind 0-2 but worked the count full and then drew a walk.

Ibanez. Sterling asked if we could possibly demand more from him? “Sure, we can,” I said. And on the 0-1 pitch, I turned off 9th Ave onto 43rd Street when Sterling went into his “It is high…” call. We held our breath and waited to see if Ibanez hit a pop up to the right fielder or if he in fact hit one out. Sterling’s call was just apprehensive enough to make those few seconds feel like hours. But when it was done, and the home run was verified, I couldn’t even scream. I held my breath and clutched the wheel.

But he’d done it again. And the score was tied.

Rafael Soriano got the Tigers out in the tenth and we watched the rest from home.  Saw the Yankees fail to bring home a runner on second with one out in the bottom of the inning, Russell Martin swinging for Jupiter on a 2-0 pitch and every ensuing pitch after that before he flew out. Derek Jeter unable to do the job after him. Ichiro led off with a single one inning later but Cano–0-6–couldn’t do dick and neither could Teixeira or Ibanez.

The trouble here was that Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder loomed in the twelfth. Sure enough, Dave Phelps walked Cabrera who advanced to second on a ground out by Fielder. And then Young lined a ball to right and Nick Swisher, who has specialized in rolling around the ground like a stuck pig for two games–except maybe in the sixth on Young’s blooper–missed the ball. He rolled and tumbled but he whiffed on the ball, a play that must be made. Cabrera grinned all the way home and the Tigers had a lead that they would not relinquish. Maybe Swisher lost the ball in the lights or maybe he made a horrible mistake.

Then things got worse. A ground ball up the middle by Peralta and Derek Jeter stumbled after it. He gloved it but fell over and flipped the ball to Cano. Then Jeter yelled and then he didn’t get up. That doesn’t happen to Jeter. It was hard to see what happened on the replays but his left leg got caught underneath him and he appeared to roll his left ankle. Next thing you know, he’s being helped off the field by Joe Girardi and the trainer, applying no pressure to his left leg.

The Stadium was silent.

Didn’t matter that Phelps botched a ground ball that led to another run or that the Yanks went meekly in the bottom of the inning and lost the game. Here’s the news: Jeter’s ankle is fractured and he’s done for the series. The early word says he’ll recover in three months.

A frustrating night turned thrilling ended with a dispiriting conclusion.

Oy Veh.

Tigers 6, Yanks 4.

[Photo Credit: Touchn2btouched]

Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Playoffs  Yankees

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1 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:35 am


We've got them right where we want 'em, that's what *I* say!



2 randym77   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:36 am

They asked Girardi if he'd consider A-Rod at short. He said no, it's been too long.

3 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:37 am

[2] Dude, Nune5 is going all Brian Doyle and shit on this post-season!

4 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:38 am

I still can't believe it. But 14.5 hours from now is another game.

5 monkeypants   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:40 am

[3] Nah, I think it's gonna be Nix in the role of Doyle.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:41 am

[1] What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... The tough get goin'!

7 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:42 am

[6] Forget it, we're rolling!

8 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:43 am

Fuck Nick Swisher. Don't play him again.

9 randym77   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:44 am

[3] I think I have more confidence in him than in A-Rod at this point. A-Rod's just not right. Still not recovered from that injury, maybe.

10 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:48 am

[9] Wait, you think I was being all 21st Century and Ironic and shit??? I mean it, Nune5 will lead us to the promised land, it's the only way this can end.

The more I hate this team and this season, the more it slaps me and tells me to hate fuck it harder ...

11 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:49 am

It can only end with the Yankees dancing on the mound for #28 while I punch myself in the face repeatedly ...

12 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:51 am

[9] If he's hurt he'd get a pass but they keep saying he isn't..and the ABs look terrible. But this team can still win if Cano & Granderson just get a few more hits..I'm not giving up. But they MUST win tomorrow otherwise it's over.

13 monkeypants   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:52 am

I think I've pretty much lost interest in the playoffs. As it was, I have not enjoyed following the Yankees much this year---I didn't "agreed" with several of the moves made in the offseason, and I generally found the team unfun to watch. The only thing I was unwavering in was following Jeter, who's likely to be my last favorite player. He's the last athlete I've tracked in that way younger fans---kids, teenagers---follow them. He's a bridge to a different stage of my life. If he's gone, I've lost one of the most compelling reasons to tune in.

14 Bellota   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:52 am

What is Girardi doing? He replaces Robertson with the rookie Phelps. Phelps is a rookie who has already lost one playoff game (Baltimore). Too much pressure for Phelps. Bonehead move that inadvertently led to the loss of Jeter and further eroded Phelp's confidence.

15 Ara Just Fair   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:52 am

And that one SOB in the booth said right after Jeter went down, "He's okay." Fuck him. What an awful game.

16 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:52 am

[12] He's not hurt, per se, he's just not 100% recovered from the hand injury.

It's a fine line between clever and stupid, right?

17 Greg G   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:53 am

Put ARod at short and maybe he will hit like it is the 90's again.

Horrible loss! I thought Jeter was laughing at first, but he doesn't lie on the ground that long.

Ibanez was the only ray of sunshine, and Pettite deserved better, but so have all the Yankee starters this post season.

Now they have to do it for Jetey.

18 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:58 am

[16] Remarkably stupid for them to be playing him if he's remotely hurt..the mental beating A-Rod takes is so unfair. Really unheard of for a guy with his career to be treated like this, yet from all accounts Ted Williams got it even worse...hope A-Rod one day gets the respect he has earned.

Anyhoo, win tomorrow it's a good series. Verlander is terrifying but not unbeatable.

19 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:00 am

Mark my words:
Jeter will wrap his ankle in duct tape (that shit will hold anything together) and he'll be on the field tomorrow.

When he is asked about it, he will say "it's just a small break, nothing I can't play through".

20 Bobtaco   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:00 am

[14] And you have first base open why not walk Young? Why? There is no reason not to. Unfathomable.

21 Greg G   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:09 am

[20]Swisher whiffed on that ball, and it was a liner, but come on! Robertson has pitched a lot lately and was warmed up in the 8th last night too. I think Girardi was thinking a little about tomorrow's game and that is why he only had Soriano for an inning instead of 2.

This loss is squarely on the shoulders of the Yanks offense and the blame should be shared equally by Swish, Cano, Grandy and ARod.

Kevin Long is going to be fired in the offseason. He can thank his hitters who always swing for the fence and never shorten their swings, or work the count.

22 yankintexas   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:10 am

[9] At least ARod only loses games with his bat. Swisher is a double threat. If he plays at all it has to be DH.

23 Bobtaco   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:13 am

[21] I sort of understand about taking out DRob after one inning for pitch count reasons, although I think you have to win that game once they made the come back and I go batter to batter through the first two best hitters instead of Phelps starting the inning.

But once Girardi went ahead and started Phelps clean, once Miggy is on second with one out, why not set up the double play with the slow Young who has killed the Yankees continuously, and get it to the weaker hitters like Peralta. I don't see Girardi's logic pitching to Young in an RBI situation.

24 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:25 am

I'm famously a never say die guy, but I think we're meat.

25 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 14, 2012 1:38 am

[8] I'm with you. I have had enough of this clown's act. Fuck him and get him out of town immediately at season's end. Let some other dumb team overpay him.

26 William Juliano   ~  Oct 14, 2012 2:26 am

Robinson Cano is 2-28. If a Scapegoat is necessary, no need to look any further. Swisher is a head case, Arod is fragile, emotionally and physically, and Granderson is reverting to past bad habits that are part of reason Tigers traded him in the first place. Cano, however, is a superstar in his prime who was supposed to have shoulders broad enough to carry this team. So far, he has let others do all the heavy lifting.

27 The Hawk   ~  Oct 14, 2012 7:28 am

The one thing that's become abundantly clear is that Raul Ibanez is not, in fact, a Yankee.

28 JeremyM   ~  Oct 14, 2012 7:45 am

To me, Martin's at bat, the one where he swung for Jupiter as Alex rightly put it, says it all about most of this team. Runner standing on second, 1 out, a single to the outfield likely wins the game. Martin gets a good pitch to hit on a 2-0 count and inexplicably he decides to swing nearly out of his shoes.

And Martin has been one of our better hitters!

29 randym77   ~  Oct 14, 2012 8:15 am

Well, Swish says he lost that ball in the lights. Guess that can happen to anyone.

30 Bruce Markusen   ~  Oct 14, 2012 8:26 am

I used to be one of Swisher's biggest fans, but his continued postseason failures have me thinking there is no way that I want the Yankees to bring him back. And then when I hear that he wants a Jayson Werth contract, well that is just insulting.

What is with his continued flopping in the outfield? Does he think it looks good to keep sliding and/or falling to the ground? That's just not good outfield play.

At this point, I'd rather see a right field platoon of Eduardo Nunez and Chris Dickerson next spring.

31 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 14, 2012 9:16 am

I thought that Russell Martin's at-bat when he swung for the rafters on the 2-0 pitch was a perfect example of poor offensive basics. You just have to plate the guy. Shorten up your effin swing and get the base runner home. Such poor execution. Totally unacceptable.

He is just one example. The collectIve suckilaciousness. I'm starting to be more surprised when they DO hit. I was so upset watching Jete that the loss was almost secondary. I know the opera ain't over until the fat lady sings, but hmmmm. Not good. Not good at all.

32 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 14, 2012 9:45 am

[26] Well said, William. Very disappointed in Cano, especially given what he did in September.

Now that I've calmed down and sobered up, I'm not quite as pessimistic. It doesn't look GOOD, but its a 7 game series and a lot can happen.

33 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2012 9:53 am

Swisher is a plus fielder, not a minus fielder. I don't know what to think about his playoff crappiness at bat, but he's a very good player.

It's irrelevant that he is asking for Jason Werth money. Players can ask for whatever they want to ask for. That really has nothing to do with what they're going to get. They get whatever is offered by the team that wants them the most.

I don't care whether he slides on the ground a lot, either, by the way.

34 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2012 9:53 am

I am very pessimistic about this series, by the way. I think it's pretty much over.

35 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 14, 2012 9:53 am

[30] The problem is that we have a bunch of guys who can't change their approach at the plate. Take a look at Ichiro. In the ninth he sees an inside pitch, and he's smart enough and good enough to take a shot. Do you think we would've seen that same swing had he been up in extra innings with the winning run on second? Obviously not. But too many of our guys can't do that.

As for Jeter, I can't begin to describe how I felt seeing him lying in the dirt. As Ron Darling was laughing about it and telling the viewers, "Oh, he's gonna get up..." I knew, just like most of us knew, that he wouldn't. And watching him being carried off the field? It was like watching a Roman soldier being carried home on his shield. And then when the crowd started chanting his name as he was being carried off? Forget about it. Whatever happens in these playoffs from here on out, it won't be the same for me.

36 Simone   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:02 am

Watching Derek injured was tough. It shattered my hopes that the Yankees would reawaken. What a nightmare. I was glad to read that Joe Torre was there when they gave Derek the bad news.

37 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:06 am

[36] I didn't know that about Torre. That's really good to know.

38 RIYank   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:09 am

[36] Yeah, me too. Shattered my hopes.

I'm going to watch football today. That's how bad it is. Maybe check in with youse guys tomorrow.

39 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:15 am

I am quite sad, still, but I'm not out yet. I've seen much, much worse. And I didn't come this far to turn back now.

The fucking bats better be alive today. Someone call Bat-Girl and have her do one of those assbat exorcisms she used to do for the Twins back in the mid-2000s. The Yanks could really use it right now.

40 jfd001   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:48 am

Should have done it last night but do it today: lefties in left and third!
Ichiban in right. Better defense in any case.

What today with Arid now and maybe for the rest of his days: platoon him. That's what Casey would do.

Jon's bother Chris's updated predicator: indicates hits and defense over the occasional homer would suggest Gardner over Swisher (the record to date bears that out over all) and tonight there is the added advantage against a righty starter.

41 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:51 am

Here is a sane and ray-of-light opinion:

I have entered my own opinion on it.

42 seamus   ~  Oct 14, 2012 10:57 am

we can win without jetes but we need cano to effin relax and play like he can. and grandy looks like he is doing a bit better overall so i actually have faith he'll turn the corner.

43 JeremyM   ~  Oct 14, 2012 11:49 am

[42] Agreed. Cano is the straw that stirs the drink as they say, and right now he is only stirring it bad.

As far as Swisher, I'm done with him. OK, sliding to make a catch is one thing, but the guy is out there rolling around like he's in the middle of a mud wrestling match! (Wait a minute, have I ever even seen a mud wrestling match?)

44 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 14, 2012 12:00 pm

This has absolutely been a frustrating and angering year (if there is such as word as angering).
And so far, this PS has followed suit.

but let's keep a few things in mind...
At the beginning of the year, on paper, we looked to have a strong team.
Then we heard that Pinada, the guy we lost Montero for, was done for the year.
Then we all SAW Mo go down. Devastating.
And Joba has, of all things, a serious trampoline accident!
Then our Gritty little sparkplug went down for the year.

Only about 1/3rd of a year of Andy.
We lost ARod for almost 1/3rd of the year.
CC underperformed, and lost 3 starts.
And without Mo, DRob misses some time.
Phil started off shitty, Garcia was beyond bad, and all of a sudden our SR has serious problems.
Teix misses a month at a critical time.
And we also had the typical dings and dents along the way.

But I read in my Newspaper, that the Yankees had the BEST record in the AL.
But then they played really shitty against the O's in the ALDS.
And Won.

The truth is somehow.... somehow... this team has really gotten further then ANY of us expected. Somehow.

And maybe Somehow, they will go further.

This has absolutely been a frustrating and angering year (if there is such as word as angering).
And so far, this PS has followed suit.
And now our Captain goes down. Just heartbreaking.

But maybe Somehow, they will go further.

In a way, we really have nothing to complain about.
In many ways, it's been a hell of a ride!

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