Thursday, October 21, 2010

Game 4: Electric. Slide.

  New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira (R) grimaces as he slides into first base behind Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland in the fifth inning during Game 4 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York, October 19, 2010.REUTERS/Bill Kostroun

Don’t get me wrong. I am pissed off that the Red Sox are not in the playoffs right now. However, with the team focusing on acquiring a soccer team instead of shelling out half a million dollars on Kerry Wood, I have been able to watch a very good MLB postseason without the emotional ups and downs, and without feeling completely bad falling asleep on the couch.  I mean, I want the Yankees to lose, but if they don’t lose, it’s really what is to be expected.

In this vain, Game 4 of this year’s ALCS may have been the most enjoyable non-Red Sox game I have ever watched.

Part of being a Red Sox fan is rooting hard against the Yankees, and that’s why Tuesday night may have been the best non-Red Sox playoff game I ever got to watch. Another systematic Yankee failure, headlined by the loss of a guy making $23 million due to a hamstring injury in cold weather (like San Francisco in June, right JD?) and the odds catching up to a guy making $16 million but pitching horribly all season, all night, and arguably all career. The fact that questionable managerial decisions (as discussed in each of the last two posts here) catalyzed all this stuff helps. A lot. But watching that Bengie Molina ball sail out of the ballpark predictably and inevitably was probably the highlight of this long week.

In honor of Michael Felger, here are some things from the fact-not-opinion zone:

-Teixeira was 0-14 during the ALCS.

-Burnett had trouble pitching out of the stretch all game.

-Burnett’s performance was almost exactly what Pat said was “not okay” Tuesday afternoon (5 IP, 5 ER).

-I have mercilessly crushed both Teixeira and Burnett nonstop since their arrivals in New York, calling Teixeira (0-14 in the ALCS) a stat-padder who amasses his numbers in meaningless situations and calling Burnett soft and just plain not that good.

-I have received a lot of criticism (much of it deserved) as my commentary turned out to be completely wrong.

-Teixeira will forever be hitless for this series.

-Josh Hamilton broke his ribs in September. It is October 20th and he’s crushing four home runs in the ALCS. I don’t need to say any more.

Back to opinions, I feel it necessary to observe the amount to which these TBS announcers are rooting against the Yankees. They were crushing Burnett throughout the game even harder than I have been on How Youz Doin Baseball. Granted, he was pitching badly and Daisuke’ing out of innings all game and the fact that the Molina lightning bolt was inevitable given a reasonable sample size of bad pitching, but these guys wouldn’t stop. By the time things turned into a laugher in the ninth, these guys sounded giddier than Nolan Ryan looked.

You gotta admit that Burnett didn’t just pout on the mound when things went bad in Game 4. He “bulldogged” through it, much in the way John Lackey did all season. He got himself into a crapload of trouble and sometimes made it through.

While, as we discussed Thursday, Game 4 is the defining game of this series unless the Yankees were to come back and this was marked by failures in pitching and managing, I hope the offensive blackout led by Arod and Teixeira isn’t completely forgotten.

So the disproving of Pat’s long-standing assertion of “there’s just something not right about this team” is up to Phil Hughes. He said that all the Yankees have to do is win one game to tie things ups. All the Rangers have to do is win one game and it’s over. Let’s see it happen. Prove Pat right. I don’t want Game 4 to be my non-Red Sox version of the Fisk home run game – a memorable game that ultimately didn’t mean anything.  Bring back AAA Aphiliate and save Cliff Lee for the World Series.


jason said...

i will say this had been a very enjoyable soxless playoffs for me as well, i have watched most of the games and really enjoyed the pitching halladay, lee and lincecum have done(atleast before last nights matchup) i would love to see a giants rangers world series, just because neither team haswon the series in their existence or in 60 years. Phillies fans must be really scratching their heads concerning the cliff lee trade earlier... i know i would be this should have been a win it now year instead of a lets get some prospects!

Patrick said...

i'm looking forward to hearing more about these statements you offered without anything to back them up:

"Burnett had trouble pitching out of the stretch all game."

through 5.2 innings, burnett had allowed 5 hits and 2 walks. 7 baserunners. 4 of those 7 baserunners came leading off innings 3-6. prior to the murhpy IBB (which obviously doesn't count against his work from the stretch) and the molina homer, he had only allowed 3 baserunners from the stretch in almost 6 innings, less than he did from the wind-up. you could argue that the molina homer ruins his outing "from the stretch" and in total, but the reality is he hadn't pitched in 2.5 weeks, was in the mid-90's in pitches, and should have been long gone by then. even all of that aside, i'm more inclined to say that the homer ruined his outing in total, not the work he did from the stretch.

"Granted, he was pitching badly and Daisuke’ing out of innings all game...He got himself into a crapload of trouble..."

prior to the molina homer, two baserunners reached 3rd base all night. a baserunner reached 2nd base in only 3 of his 6 innings. some trouble? sure. crapload/daisuke'ing? absolutely not.

"...the odds catching up to a guy making $16 million but pitching horribly...all night..."

he came out and retired the first 6 batters he faced in a row, striking out 3. he stabilized the game for the yankees early and allowed them to take the lead, something they hadn't had in a game since game 1. when his day should have been done, he held up his end of the bargain, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks over 5.2 innings, striking out 6. a dominant night? no. a good night, especially relative to expectations? absolutely. he was one out shy of providing the same results c.c. sabathia did the next day, and sabathia had been in a game more recently than 2.5 weeks before. pitching horribly all night? certainly not. his final line is horrible, and he is ultimately accountable for that. but first, he didn't arrive at that by pitching horribly all night, he more than gave the yankees a chance. second, i, and i think most yankees fans, are not going to blame him for being in a game far longer than he should have been. most everyone seems to be in agreement on that.

please respond to these things one by one, because i especially would like to hear what caused you to say he did not pitch well from the stretch. even if that was the case, then you should be commenting more so that he was bad from the wind-up, because he was mostly worse from the wind-up than he was from the stretch.

Patrick said...

he also allowed no extra-base hits prior to the molina homer.

the gm said...

Ouch! Had to go to the gamelogs for this one to prove how hideously wrong you were on this one, because we obviously are just looking at stats instead of watching the game. We can talk about the second-highest OPS of all AL outfielders later.

"Had trouble pitching out of the stretch all game." If not for Francisco Cervelli, it's doubtful that your boy would have gotten out of the fifth inning in Game Four. In the third, from the stretch after walking the leadoff runner on, threw the ball at the mascot, then drilled a guy, then went down 2-0 to Andrus. In the fifth, he skipped a pair of 40-footers.

The double play in between the single, single, walk in the fifth qualifies as Daisukeing out of an inning. Feel free to give him credit for inducing the double play. If he were to strike Moreland out, we're talking bases loaded, one out.

Retiring his first six (from the still want me to comment on how much he sucked from the windup?) is a fair point against my point saying he sucked all night. But he got in trouble in the third, came Mitch Moreland away from getting into a lot of trouble in the fifth, and served up the deciding blow in the sixth. Three bad innings out of six is inadequate. The $16m is FNO.

Get the ball over the plate. Maybe he'd be more effective if the plate were electromagnetic. Enjoy yo day.

the gm said...

Also, I'm curious to know the calorie count on the soft pretzel, Bud Light, and cheeseburger. I figured you'd know this because you obviously spent more time in the tops of innings waiting in the beer line than you spent watching the game.