Saturday, October 10, 2009

More Questions Answered

CC Sabathia and A-Rod quieted a whole bunch of speculation about their ability to perform in October on Wednesday night. Last night, more queries were posed and more responses were offered:

Q: How would A.J. Burnett do in his first postseason start?
A: Awfully damn good. Six innings, one run, six strikeouts, three hits and - the only blemish on his line - 5 walks. Burnett gave up at least one baserunner in every inning he pitched, but did a good job of digging down when it was necessary and limiting the damage.

Q: Did Joe Girardi make the right decision in starting Jose Molina over Jorge Posada?
A: For this game, it would seem he did. Molina played pretty much flawless defense behind the plate and Burnett's stellar performance would seem to have validated that. Molina only got one at bat and Jorge picked up one hit in his three trips to the plate, giving the Yankees a semblance of the best of both worlds. Hopefully this doesn't bond the two at the hip for the rest of the postseason but it certainly worked out the first time around.

Q: Is Mariano Rivera superhuman?
A: No, he was merely good last night. He surrendered only his 4th hit with two outs and runners in scoring position in 51 postseason ABs in the 8th inning, allowing the Yanks to fall behind 3-1. But he wasn't the one who put those runners on (that was Phil Hughes) and he recovered to pitch a scoreless top of the 9th.

Q: Was A-Rod performance on Wednesday just an anomaly? Is he still a choke artist who got lucky in one game?
A: Not so much. He tied the game with a two out RBI single in the 6th and did it again, far more heroically, with a 2 run homer off Joe Nathan in the 9th inning. That's just about as clutch as it gets.

Q: Did C.B. Bucknor make the worst call of the postseason so far?
A: No, that distinction would belong to Phil Cuzzi, who called a ground rule double into the left field corner in the top of the 11th by Joe Mauer foul despite the fact that he was staring directly at it and it landed a foot inside of the foul line. Mauer reached base with a single anyway, but a lead off double changes the complexion of the game completely. Just like I said this morning, thank God there's no instant replay in baseball.

Q: Can David Robertson get it done under pressure?
A: D-Rob was largely relegated to low leverage situations last year and until late in this season but he stacked his strikeout totals so high that his performance became impossible to ignore. After Damaso Marte gave up singles to the two lefties he was called up to face in the top of the 11th, Robertson made his first career postseason appearance. He got off to an inauspicious start, giving up a single to the first batter he faced thereby loading the bases with no one out. It looked bleak for the Yanks, but amazingly, Robertson retired the next three batters and kept the score tied heading into the bottom of the 11th.

Q: Did the Yanks blow their best chance to win the game when they failed to get Brett Gardner in from third base with one out in the bottom of the tenth?
A: Apparently not.

A: Well, if the A-Rod we are talking about is the one who has gotten better as the pressure has built this postseason, then yes. Because if Teix looked lost at the plate in Game 1, he certainly didn't as Game 2 wore on. He got on base in front of A-Rod in the 9th then ended the game in the 11th with a laser that just cleared the wall next to the left field foul pole.

Q: Was that the fucking best game you've seen in a hell of a long time?
A: Given that any dramatic postseason win is better than any win in the regular season and the Yanks have only won 4 games in the last 4 postseasons... YES. We're gonna be talking about that one for a long while.


  1. Solid pitching, clutch hitting, and a bit of luck. The formula that began some pretty good years in the nineties. It would be nice to not have to rely on the long ball so much, but tonight was one of those nights where it was all or nothing.

    It would also be nice to see us, just for once, put a team down after getting two quick outs. Twins left a baserunner on in all eleven innings. That to me is terrifying! Hopefully the team is fully firing on Sunday.

  2. With all the Yankee dominance over my two+ decades of breathing air.. I can't remember a big walk off like tonight. And having Tesh and AHud be the Gatorade tonight is just flat out huge for the Evil empire. Fackers have to be as excited as they've been in over 6 years.

    And why isn't Swisher on the Red Sox? He's the slightly more talented Kevin Millar of the '09 Bombers. And its impossible not to get excited by the guy (fan of his employer or not).

    1 run in 17 innings... pathetic. Not losing faith until the final out.. Fenway can change a series, it's happened. And we've come down from a greater deficit that 2-0 at some point or other, can't really remember... But can we show some emotion? Any? Please! I seriously want to give JD Drew paper cuts between his toes, because I swear to you, the guy still will have the same god damned blank stare.

    How am I supposed to cheer for this team right now? Cheers are being grandfathered in, if that clause makes sense.

    At least this Hop Rod Rye is delicious.

  3. "How am I supposed to cheer for this team right now?"

    Heres a clue: unless you are a frigging front runner you chear for your team even when they are down.

  4. Always the anonymous pricks around here. I hear ya Bren, no one wants to sit through two playoff games and see their team score one run. But if the last couple postseasons have taught us anything it's that Fenway Park gives them the biggest home field advantage of venue in sports. Down but not out.

    The have been some pretty sick walkoffs (2001 WS, you know, 2003 ALCS... actually Game 2 of the 2004 ALDS in the 12th inning against Nathan as well), but the game-tyer AND walkoff last night along with squeezing out of the bases loaded no out jam puts this one right up there.