*** This blog entry was written after averaging a beer an inning from the 7th inning on*** Yuck….
How can you sum up a game like Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday Night? A game that seemingly was not going to happen 24-hours prior, suddenly was happening. And as it went along, every inning featured the sort of angst that for a sports fan can only be created by October baseball.
The most encouraging sign for Yankees’ fans is that in 3 of 5 games this postseason the Bombers have trailed late in the game only to come back and win all of them. It’s the same formula they’ve used all season long. Stay close, turn it to their bullpen to shut down the opponent, and score runs late in games to take the lead.
Here a few more informal notes on the game..
-) If AJ Burnett could ever figure it out and avoid the 40 pitch sequence where he losses his control every-single-start, he would be amongst the elite in baseball.
-) So much for the “Old Yankee Stadium Ghosts”, it’s apparent that this 2009 Yankees team, in this stadium creates enough anxiety for the opponent to make terrible defensive plays in the big spot.
-) interesting that Brian Fuentes wasn’t called on earlier, when the game was on the line and Mike Scioscia stuck with Jasper. I think that speaks volumes on the amount of confidence that the Angels have with their lefty-closer, who at one point was demoted as closer on the Rockies for a man named Manny Corpas.
-) Speaking of Fuentes, why a hitable 0-2 pitch to A-Rod? Factor in some guy named Freddy Guzman was on deck, it was pretty ugly of a decision to make. Even in high school we use to preach, NEVER throw a hittable pitch in an 0-2 count.
-) Mark Teixeria’s defensive skills at 1st Base continues to be one of the Yankees best aspects. He’s saved about 4 errors in the last 2 games. It’s mind boggling that Yankees fans had gotten use to defending the defensive skills of Jason Giambi the past 7-seasons.
-) Mariano Rivera was about as dominate as he’s ever been. And speaking of his dominate two plus innings, people can badger Joe Buck as a baseball announcer all they want, but the way he is comfortable backing away from the mic every once in awhile and allowing the Television audience to just listen to the crowd makes him one of the few in a dying breed that will not suffocate the microphone with stats every single chance they get (as he did in Mo’s last couple outs tonight).
-) Though I understand the “neighborhood rule” on second base, you at least need to kick dirt on the bag to create the image that you touched second base. Erick Aybar never even came close to touching second base. You need to at least cause the illusion that you’re doing so. I’m glad the game didn’t end due to a call like that, but you got to make an effort.
-) My personal favorite part of the night was seeing Jerry Harriston Jr’s post game interview with MLB Network. After playing in 1,029 MLB games with out reaching the postseason, Hairston Jr. dedicated his game winning run scored to his grandfather, a negro league player who certainly was good enough to play in a World Series, but never had a chance to do so because of the color of his skin. Hearing Hariston speak about that, a player who has waited his whole career to be in a playoff game, is one of those small moments where baseball becomes bigger than just a sport.
-) My Saturday night was ruined by a baseball game, but as any hitter would trade breaking a bat for an RBI, I’ll always trade a Saturday Night for a Yankees win- ANYTIME.
As I never mentioned on the blog, but have said to friends, I’m liking the Yankees in 5 and the Dodgers in 7.