Monday, October 8, 2012

My Thoughts on Game 1

"Maybe I'm nuts, but if CC gets out of this I say the Yankees win."

I sent out that tweet (the quoted part, not the picture... I'm not that funny) when there were two outs in the bottom of the 8th. JJ Hardy had led off the inning with a double down the right field line, followed up by Adam Jones striking out and Matt Wieters popping out to Mark Teixeira in foul territory. The crowd at Camden Yards was going nuts, and I felt that not scoring at that time would not only deflate the fans, but would deflate the team. 

I hadn't thought about when the Yankees would win it, but looking back at what Jim Johnson had done this year, I would have said it would happen in extra innings. During the 2012 season Johnson had pitched against the Yankees in 7 games, totaling 7 innings, only giving up 1 run. Jimmy had a 2.49 ERA and 1.019 WHIP against everybody in 2012, so looking back I wouldn't have thought the Yankees could score off of him. 

Why? Well... the Yankees had a chance to take the lead in the 4th inning, but squandered it in part thanks to Teixeira getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double (I still haven't seen the replay, so I don't know if Tex was lollygagging it out of the box on his hit, but I would think he could have gotten to 2B standing up if he'd been running hard right away). Russell Martin, after an intentional walk to Curtis Granderson, flew out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Later, Granderson couldn't get a hit in the 6th inning, leaving Swisher and Tex at 2nd and 3rd. After back-to-back walks to open up 7th inning, Jeter was out on a sac bunt, Ichiro hit a ground ball to 2B in which Martin was thrown out at home trying to score on a "run on contact" play, and finally ARod struck out (which he did again in the 8th inning, for a total of 3 whiffs in the game). The Yankees could have had this game wrapped up long before they exploded in the 9th inning, but they had to test the strength of my heart once again.

As for the run prevention part of the game, Sabathia wasn't at his best. His slider wasn't as sharp as we've seen it in the past, and his fastball didn't have the same velocity we'd seen in his last couple of starts of the regular season. But CC is CC, and he was able to battle for 8.2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 8 hits, and walking only 1 against 7 strikeouts. That is the making of an "ace", folks... pitching really well even without your best stuff. Heck, anybody can pitch a good game when they're dealing, it's when they reach back and don't quite have it that shows their true colors.

Russell Martin also came up really big late in the game with some huge blocks. I can't find his tweet, but one beat writer for the Yankees said that if Jesus Montero was catching for the Yankees in that game then the Orioles would have scored at least 1 run in the 8th inning. Yeah, but then again maybe Montero would have been able to come up with a hit earlier in the game so the team already had the lead. But why get into that whole ordeal again?

Oh, and Russ had that home run that went from huge to not meaning much in the 9th inning.

In all, I'm psyched that the Yankees will go into Yankee Stadium on Wednesday with at least one win. But how about we win tonight anyway?

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)