Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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.

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