Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tale of Two Games

The Cardinals were three innings away from making this World Series very brief. No, they weren't ahead. After Adam Wainwright's "deer in headlights" look in Game One, Michael Wacha picked up where he left off in the NLCS. As I watched him blow the Sox away, even with all the walks, I couldn't help but notice how fast that pitch count was climbing. So when David Ortiz came up in the sixth with a man on first, I actually thought he should walk him. No kidding, WITH a man on first, I felt Wacha should walk Papi and then maybe go to the pen. Instead he pitched to him and it went on Lansdowne Street.

The Cards have the Red Sox defense to thank in the seventh; with the bases loaded and one out, Matt Carpenter hit a sac fly...then the throw got away from Salty, reliever Craig Breslow backed him up, threw over third and into the stands, giving the Cards the lead they'd never vanquish. In my opinion, bad idea throwing to third. You just need one out to get out of the inning; leave it alone. Ironically Beltran would've given the Birds the lead anyway with his base hit.

The Cardinal bullpen was vintage; Carlos Martinez got into a little trouble in the eighth but that was all she wrote.They mentioned during the broadcast that he used to be a starter in the minors; you could see why. He has such a talent for just slinging the fastball right over the plate, making it look effortless.

My thing is advantage Cardinals right now. Not just because they're home, but obviously being in an NL ballpark, the Sox lose Mike Napoli's bat. But two things: the Red Sox will never, ever bench Papi, and he has had the better series, even with Napoli's hot start in Game One. The Cardinals have the better young pitching which gives them the edge on the mound with the bullpens eerily even. I think the Red Sox will have to win both games at home to win this World Series; I see the Birds ahead 3-2 going back to Fenway. Phew! I finished just in time for Game Three!

'Till Game 6!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

World Series Game 3: Open Thread

The 2013 World Series continues tonight as it shifts to St. Louis, a National League park, for Game 3 of the Fall Classic. Jake Peavy will take the mound for the Red Sox to face off with Joe Kelly for the home team Cardinals. The game will be televised at 8:07 pm ET on FOX so all you Joe Buck and Tim McCarver fans don't fret, you will get your fix soon.

We have been having a lot of fun on Twitter predicting the winners of the games and the score, I even predicted the Cardinals would win Game 2 by the score of 4-2 which they did by that score. In the first game I had the Red Sox winning 3-1, well they won 8-1 but close enough right? Tonight, and granted I originally had Clay Buchholz pitching for the Sox, I have the Cardinals winning 6-3.

Use this thread to comment during the game or follow us on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes where the conversation is always going on. Enjoy!

17 Years Ago...

Today marks 17 years since the Yankees took down the Atlanta Braves in game six to clinch their first World Series title since 1978.  Just like this year, the 26th landed on a Saturday.  Our beloved Yankees were coming home with what seemed all but impossible just a few days before – a 3-2 lead in the World Series and the opportunity to win it all.  A 12 year old at the time, I’m not sure how much I slept between games 5 and 6, but it wasn't much.  The anticipation since our young ace Andy Pettitte had outdueled all-world John Smoltz 1-0 in game 5 was building and I couldn't wait for the first pitch.

With their season on the line, the defending champs sent sure first ballot Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to the mound.  “Mad Dog” was coming off another fine campaign and had tossed 8 shutout innings against the Bombers just a few days earlier.  The Yankees countered with Jimmy Key and it was fitting that Key would get this start.  He played an underrated, yet pivotal role in the Yankees turn to relevance again.  In the winter of ’92, the Yankees had made a hard push to obtain Maddux.  When Maddux turned them down to sign with Atlanta, the Yankees moved onto various pitchers including David Cone, only to be turned down by each of them.  Eventually they’d land a solid, yet less sexy pitcher – Jimmy Key.  Key turned in two outstanding campaigns in ’93 and ’94 and helped the Yankees to their first winning seasons since 1988.  He missed nearly all of the 1995 season with a shoulder injury, but returned to the mound in ’96.  Tonight he’d toe the rubber in pinstripes for the final time.

All of the action from the Yankees bats would come in the bottom of the third.  Paul O’Neill started things with a leadoff double down the right field line.  Maddux had his good stuff and the Yanks just wanted a run.  Mariano Duncan moved O’Neill to third with a bunt.  Joe Girardi followed with a booming triple to the center field wall that sent the old ballpark into a frenzy.  An iconic moment and one that any Yankee fan would have a hard time forgetting.  Jeter drove in Girardi with a single to center and then stole second.  After Wade Boggs flew out to right, Bernie Williams lined a ball to center that would score Jeter and push the score to 3-0.  Oh my.  All of the sudden, the Yankees had a lead and were just six innings from a World Series title.

Key would walk a run in in the top of the 4th to make it a 3-1 ballgame.  That would be all as far as runs would go until the bottom of the 9th.  Key would leave the game in the 6th as Torre would turn the game over to his fantastic bullpen.  David Weathers, Graeme Lloyd, and the recently departed Mariano Rivera would toss a scoreless 6th, 7th, and 8th before Torre went to his closer for the 9th – John Wetteland.  In classic Wetteland fashion, John made things interesting.  He allowed a trio of hits and even a run before Mark Lemke came to the plate with the tying run standing on second base.  The count ran full before Lemke popped a ball up foul near the Braves dugout – just out of play.  I began to bicker about the batboy interfering with Charlie Hayes’ opportunity to catch the foul.  Before my mini-rant ended, Lemke had popped another one up to the same area.  Would this one go out of play too?  I can still remember that moment when Hayes stopped moving laterally toward the stands past third base.  This one wasn’t going out of play - we’re the World Champions I thought to myself.  Hayes reached up and squeezed it and Joe Buck’s next words were – “the Yankees are champions of baseball!”  What followed was a blur of all things great about being a baseball fan and particularly a Yankee fan that night – the pile on the mound with Wetteland giving the “we’re number one” finger, Pauly O rolling across that pile, Wade Boggs riding a horse around the park, and the World Series trophy itself – it was glorious. 

As we all know, the Yankees weren’t done winning World Series titles.  They’d go on to win three more of them over the next four years, but this one was different.  These weren’t the mighty juggernaut Yankees that we’d soon come to know.  What’s often forgotten is that these Yankees were the underdogs.  A good, but somewhat scrappy, team that took on the mighty Atlanta Braves – the defending World Champions with a pitching staff that boasted three aces (some might argue four) – and beat them.  As vividly as I remember postseason games throughout the Yankees reign and can even tell you where I was and who I was with, I couldn't tell you the exact date of Jeter’s flip, Tino’s grand slam, or the ’98 team’s 125th win, but I don’t need to look up the date of game six of the 1996 World Series – Saturday October 26th, 1996.

World Series With Out The New York Yankees Meme

A very good friend of mine and the site, @Draft2Dynasty, shared this yesterday on twitter and we felt compelled to share it today before Game 3 of the World Series. You don't know how true this is until it is actually happening, but maybe I am biased.

Current Arizona Fall League Standings - 10/26

The Scorpions are currently 3.5 games out of first place in the AFL East. 

Nuno solid as Scorpions fall to Saguaros, 3-1

Vidal Nuno pitched a dominant 4 scoreless innings tonight as the Scorpions fell to the Surprise Saguaros, 3-1, dropping their record to 7-8. While losing is never fun, this night was definitely a good night for the Yankees. Nuno has really struggled so far this fall, so for him to finally have a good game is huge for the Bombers. 

Besides Nuno, prospects Mason Williams and Peter O'Brien also had nice games. In his four at-bats tonight, Williams had two hits and a walk, raising his batting average to .261. O'Brien also has four ABs in this one, but he didn't do quite as well in his, getting just one hit. With that hit, his average is now just .167. So, it's obvious he needs to improve a little. But, a hit's still a hit. We might as well take it. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 10/26

On this day in 1950 Phil Rizzuto would win the American League MVP as a member of the New York Yankees. Scooter would take home 16 of the 23 first place votes beating out Boston's Billy Goodman for the award. Just as an FYI on what stat line got you the MVP award back in 1950 Rizzuto finished the season with a .324 batting average with seven home runs and 66 RBI's.

On this day in 1996 the Commissioner's Trophy finally came back to where it belongs in the Bronx for the first time since the 1978 season as the Yankees beat the Braves in Game 6 to capture the title. This will be the first of four titles in five years under Joe Torre and the Cour Four.

On this day in 1999 Chad Curtis hit a home run leading off the 10th inning in Game 3 of the World Series with the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees would take a commanding 3-0 lead and would finish off the sweep the next day. Curtis would become only the 11th player in World Series history to end a game with a home run.

On this day in 2000 Derek Jeter became the first player to ever win the All Star Game MVP and the World Series MVP in the same season. Jeter finished the World Series with a .409 average and had nine hits including two doubles, a triple, and two home runs. The Yankees beat the Mets in the Subway World Series in five games.

The Yankees would win their fourth World Series in five seasons on this day when they beat the Mets 4-2. This would be the Yankees 26th championship in their storied history. Luis Sojo had a ninth inning two out hit off Mets pitcher and former Yankee Al Leiter to win the series after Mariano Rivera closed the door.

Joe Torre would become the fifth manager in World Series history to win four World Series championships on this day in 2000 as well joining Casey Stengel (7), Joe McCarthy (7), Connie Mack (5), and Walter Alston(4).

On this day in 2003 Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer resigns from the position. The reason given was George Steinbrenner, which is enough said in that department no? Zimmer would join the Tampa Bay Rays as a Senior Baseball Adviser for the 2004 season.