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.