Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ALCS Game 4: Yankees @ Tigers

The Yankees backs are against the walls tonight in this elimination win or go home game. The Yankees really can come out and play like they have nothing to lose even though they potentially have everything to lose. We could see the last of players like Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, and even as much of a stretch as it is Robinson Cano. The Yankees strung together a few impressive at bats last night in the 9th inning against Justin Verlander and Phil Coke but it was just too little too late. Win or go home so it is time to man up or shut up. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound who is a whole lot of man to face off against Max Scherzer who I hope we make shut up by the end of the night. The game will be televised at 8:07 pm ET on TBS


Ichiro Suzuki LF
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
C.C. Sabathia LHP
Austin Jackson CF
Omar Infante 2B
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Andy Dirks LF
Avisail Garcia RF
Gerald Laird C
Max Scherzer RHP

Go Yankees!!

Alex Rodriguez To Miami? Brian Cashman Says "No"

With all the recent benchings, pinch hitters, and fans phone number drama circling around Alex Rodriguez lately the speculators have been hard at work trying to find scenarios that could get Alex Rodriguez out of New York as soon as next season. With 5 years and approx. $114 million left on his mega deal he signed back 5 seasons ago including a full no trade clause AND 10/5 rights giving him the power to veto ANY and ALL trades the trade winds are still swirling. The latest rumor has the Yankees trading Alex Rodriguez to the suddenly deep pocketed Miami Marlins to return Alex to his home town. Speculation has the Yankees taking Heath Bell back in return and eating virtually all of Alex's contract. This makes little sense to me because all of the money we eat will still count against the luxury tax, we would have to pay Heath Bell a very overpaid contract, AND we would have to find a suitable replacement for A Rod.

Not surprisingly Brian Cashman was asked about these recent speculations and naturally said that the Yankees were not looking to move Alex. I can remember rumors that the Yankees were talking to Miami earlier in this season on a deal that would have included Alex but the talks were very preliminary and nothing obviously ever came of them. It would have been nice to swing Hanley back in the deal but I guess that did not make much sense at that time but hindsight is always 20/20. I do expect Alex to be back with the Yankees in 2013 though among all these rumors unfortunately though. I say unfortunately not because of his baseball performance and durability, like it should be, but because after a  long winter of trade rumors and sitting for most of the playoffs and all the struggling his mind will not be able to be in a good spot next season. Terrible managing and player development by Joe Girardi and co. here.

Derek Jeter To Have Ankle Surgery Saturday

The Yankees announced that Derek Jeter has opted to have ankle surgery to repair his fractured left ankle this Saturday in Charlotte, NC. This will make the recovery time jump up from the originally though three months to now four or five months. No word on whether Jeter will miss any of Spring Training or the regular season but this was probably the right thing to do regardless. Especially if he wants to make a serious run at Pete Rose's all time hit's record. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Derek Jeter for a full and speedy recovery for 2013.

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

And everyone wonders why Robinson Cano gets called a lazy ball player...

My Game 4 ALCS Lineup

Not that the Yankees brass paid any attention to my Game 3 lineup or my pre game rants on twitter that I was vilified for but hey, whatever. Here is the lineup that I am throwing out there tonight if I am Joe Girardi.

1. Ichiro Suzuki (CF)
2. Eduardo Nunez (SS)
3. Robinson Cano (2B)
4. Alex Rodriguez (3B)
5. Mark Teixeira (1B)
6. Raul Ibanez (DH)
7. Nick Swisher (RF)
8. Russell Martin (C)
9. Brett Gardner (LF)

You make this a match up managers nightmare with the alternating left handed and right handed batters, you have a nice mix of speed at the top and the bottom of the order, and in a perfect world you have the thunder in the middle. I do not want to hear about benching this guy or that guy because if you can bench Alex and you can bench Swisher then you can bench Cano or Jeter, but you wouldn't.

Let's see how far off, and how inventive, Girardi gets tonight before this win or go home game.

Phil Hughes Cleared To Throw

According to Joel Sherman, Phil Hughes has been cleared to continue throwing. Which means that not only would Phil be okay to throw his regular between-starts bullpen, but would be available in relief. Of course, seeing Hughes pitch again would mean the team would have to make the ALCS at least a bit interesting, which isn't a small task.

My Thoughts On Game 3 Of The ALCS

For the first 8 innings of this game it was more of the same... pitching was excellent, and the hitting was pathetic. Up until the 9th inning, the Yankees only had two hits, both of which were singles by Ichiro. On top of that is the fact that the Yankees failed to draw even one walk. Now, I can forgive the "no walks" thing a bit, seeing as how Justin Verlander was on the mound. But Doug Fister's BB% was lower than Verlander's this season (2.06 to 2.27), and yet the Yankees were able to walk four times against Fister. 

What makes this hitting performance a bit more frustrating is that the Yankees only three times against Verlander, and Justin led MLB in total strikeouts in 2012. So the Yankee hitters put a number of balls in play, but just could not make even decent contact with any of them. Again, it was against a guy that could very well win the Cy Young Award this season, as he did last season, so I shouldn't be that irked about what happened against him last night. But it still makes me think "what the...?"

Like I said in the first paragraph, the pitching was great. It really saddened me to see Phil Hughes have to leave the game in the 4th inning, due to a stiff back, but the bullpen picked him up in a big way. David Phelps, Clay Rapada, Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain combined for 5 innings, giving up only a unearned run off of four hits. I can't say enough about the pitching performances of the entire staff in the postseason.

The top of the 9th inning gave Yankee fans a bit of hope, although it seems to have come too late. Eduardo Nunez started off the last inning with an excellent at bat. On the 9th pitch of that at bat, in which Eduardo fouled off 6 pitches against Verlander, Nunez sent a ball over the left field wall for the first Yankees run it what seems like a month. A couple batters later, after Phil Coke relieved Justin, Mark Teixeira singled to center field on a seeing-eye ground ball. Then, in what many believed to be an act of God, Robinson Cano hit a ball hard into left field for his first hit since... I don't know... September? And that brought up the Dark Lord himself, Raul Ibanez. Unfortunately Superman must have misplaced his cape last night, as Raul struck out swinging after working the count full.

I'm not holding my breathe for an unprecedented comeback from being down 3-0 in the ALCS (no, I don't remember the year 2004... shut up!), but winning at least one game would be good with me.

Former Yankees Update : Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi played 8 years for the Yankees from 2002-2008 while manning first base and the DH spot. He had his fair share of ups, including the walk off grand slam that made him a "true yankee", and downs, which were not limited to but included a intestinal disease and steroid admission. Now the former Yankees slugger's career may be over on the field but the Colorado Rockies announced that they will  interview him for their managerial vacancy. There is not a date announced as of yet for this interview but he is considered to be the last in house candidate for the job after spending the last 3 1/2 of seasons backing up Todd Helton.  If Giambi is not chosen to be the manager then the 41 year old has not entirely ruled out another crack at a Major League job.