UPDATE: 4:50 PM: Sorry for the late update, I was working when I heard the news. If Mark Feinsand’s report is true, and the Yankees get the first pick overall in the Rule 5 Draft, that is one heck of a deal. Getting rid of an arbitration pitcher that would have rotted in the back of the bullpen for a potential MLB ready prospect…nice deal in my opinion even if it is just a player to be named later and NOT the rule 5 pick.
UPDATE: 5:25 PM: Mark Feinsand confirms it. Great pickup considering the Yankees could have just let Bruney become a free agent.
The Cliff Lee & Chase Utley show derails the Yanks in Game 1
FINAL SCORE: YANKEES 1 PHILLIES 6 (F9th)
- Top of the 3rd: Chase Utley homers to right field (NYY 0, PHI 1)
- Top of the 6th: Chase Utley homers to right field (NYY 0, PHI 2)
- Top of the 8th: Phil Hughes walks Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino to begin the inning. Damaso Marte in for Hughes. Affter striking out Chase Utley, Ryan Howard flies out to right field moving Jimmy Rollins to 3rd base. David Robertson replaces Damaso Marte. Jayson Werth walks to load the bases and a ground ball to right field by Raul Ibanez brings Rollins and Victorino to the plate (NYY 0, PHI 4)
- Top of the 9th: Brian Bruney starts the inning on the mound. Carlos Ruiz hits a 1-out double to center field. Jimmy Rollins gets an infield single moving Ruiz to 3rd. Shane Victorino singles to right field, Carlos Ruiz scores (NYY 0, PHI 5)
- Top of the 9th: Philo Coke in for Brian Bruney. Chase Utley flies out to center field, Rollins moves to 3rd base. Ryan Howard doubles to right field, Jimmy Rollins score, Victorino out at home. (NYY 0, PHI 6)
- Bottom of the 9th: Back to back singles by Jeter and Damon begins the bottom half of the inning. Mark Teixeira gounds into a force out, Derek Jeter scores (NYY 1, PHI 6)
STARTING PITCHING (from Yahoo Sports)
- CC Sabathia: 7 innings, 4 hits allowed, 2 earned run, 3 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 2.57 ERA
- Cliff Lee: 9 innings, 6 hits allowed, 0 earned runs, 0 BB, 10 SO, 0.00 ERA
KEY PERFORMERS: Cliff Lee became the first pitcher in major league baseball history to record double digit strikeouts without issuing a walk, and no earned runs. Chase Utley hit 2 HRs off CC Sabathia both on a 2 strike count.
COMMENTARY: If Cliff Lee’s historic performance last night is any indication of the toughness of this Philadelphia team, then the Yankees are in for a monumental fight. Cliff Lee was dealing last night, mowing through the Yankee lineup with apparent ease. He becomes the only pitcher in MLB postseason history to strikeout at least 10 batters, issue no walks, and have zero earned runs. Lee’s fast pace on the mound and his ability to locate any pitch he wanted had the Yankees off balance the entire night, add to that equation the fact that he did not hesitate to go after the big bats in this lineup and you have a nightmare situation for the Yankees. Teixeira and Rodriguez went 0-for-8 for the night, accounting for half of Lee’s strikeouts. It was a miserable night.
There are other side stories of note in this game. CC Sabathia and the nowhere bridge to Mariano Rivera. Sabathia had a tough night by his standards, he was behind the count on batters all night and did what he hadn’t done all year at home: give up a home-run to a left handed batter, and he did it twice, and to the same batter Chase Utley. But he got through 7 innings of work, and it was work, allowing only 2 runs which for this team is not a deficit that can’t be overcome. Sometimes when a pitcher is locked in like Lee was last night, there is little the opposing team can do. It happens, even in the World Series. Give him credit, move on, this series truly begins tonight. What should be most concerning to Yankee fans is the fact that the bullpen gave up 4 runs in just 2 innings of work and made a 6 run deficit a tall order.
Many had speculated that the Yankees had the advantage when it came to the bullpen, but outside of Rivera this bullpen may prove to be our Achilles’ Heel. Girardi has the unenviable task of figuering this bullpen out. Certainly pitching Brian Bruney who hadn’t pitched since October 2nd may not be the answer, someone in that pen must step up and fast because the Phillies have every intention of defending their Championship and they have the talent, the confidence, and the experience to do it.
Breaking News from various Yankees beat writers:
The rotation for the ALDS will line up like this:
Game 1: CC Sabathia
Game 2 (which I’ll be at!!!!!!): A.J. Burnett (with JOSE MOLINA CATCHING)
Game 3: Andy Pettite
NOT ON PLAYOFF ROSTER:
Home runs, strong pitching, walk off wins, and whipped cream facials have been the mark of ball games played at the new Yankee Stadium this season. Last night’s game with the Chicago White Sox was right out of the 2009 playbook. Robinson Cano crushed a 3-run home run in the bottom of 10th inning to give the Yankees a 5-2 victory and made Cano the recipient of pie ala Burnett.
Left-hander Randy Williams struck out Mark Teixeira and then got some help from the wind as Alex Rodriguez‘ deep fly to center died short of the warning track. But Williams walked Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher, setting up a showdown with Cano, who had been hitless in four at-bats on the night. After working a 2-2 count, Cano launched a Williams fastball into the Yankees bullpen for the team’s 11th walk-off win of the season. The strong winds had no chance to play a factor since the ball more of a line drive than fly ball. Brian Bruney worked a scoreless top of the 10th to improve to 4-0.
CC Sabathia had given the Yankees a dominant outing, striking out 10 batters through six innings. But the big man, protecting a 2-0 lead built on home runs by Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, ran into trouble in the 7th. If not for some key defensive plays, Sabathia may very well have left the game with the Yankees trailing.
Jermaine Dye started the 7th with a double and Sabathia issued his first walk of the game, putting Carlos Quentin aboard. Alex Rios‘ double to right cut the Yankees lead in half and put the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position. One out later, Sabathia induced a ground ball by Ramon Castro. Quentin, running on contact, was easily gunned down at the plate by Rodriguez. The Yankees third baseman then made a huge play, diving into foul territory to snare Jayson Nix‘ fair ball that barely went over the third base bag. Though he had no play to make, A-Rod’s stop prevented not only a run from scoring, but a bigger inning from occurring.
Gordon Beckham lined a game tying single to right, but Nick Swisher came up with, arguably, his best throw of the season- a one-hopper to Jose Molina, who thrust his right leg out to block the plate and tagged out his White Sox counterpart Castro for the inning’s final out.
Derek Jeter hit his 22nd lead off home run, putting in him sole possession of second place on the career franchise list. He’s just two home runs behind Rickey Henderson for the #1 spot. The home run was also the 223rd of his career, pushing him past Don Mattingly for 10th place on the team’s career list. The home run was his lone hit, and number 2,705, 16 behind Lou Gehrig.
CC Sabathia finished August 5-0, 2.64 and is 7-1, 2.95 since the All-Star break.
*This post was written by Drew Sarver of My Pinstripes*
Many fans go crazy over the usage of “lefty-specialists” in baseball. This is how pitchers like Mike Stanton and Mike Myers stuck around baseball for so long. While they were great pitchers, they were often used to get certain left handed hitters out and then taken out of the game.
So lets look at certain pitchers in the game today and determine: Do matchups (righty vs. righty lefty vs. lefty etc) mean as much as people think they do?
.222 vs. left
.219 vs. right
Yes, the numbers are better vs. righty hitters. The Yankees do use Coke as a lefty specialist sometimes, but also use him as a set-up man.
.250 vs. left
.161 vs. right
J.P. Howell is not exactly a specialist for the Rays this year, as he has done long-relief and even some closing. Still, the numbers are startling.
.275 vs. left
.227 vs. right
Yes, Scott Downs is a closer on the DL currently, but he has been used before to get lefties out. The numbers once again show that he has an easier time when there is a so-called “mis-match.”
Now lets look at some Yankees pitchers from the right-side. Are they better against the righties or the lefties?
.242 vs. right
.207 vs. left
Aceves is a long-reliever and has been lights out against teams not named Chicago. The stats show he is doing better in mis-match situations.
.324 vs. right
.205 vs. left
Bruney has been, well, horrible this season. After a semi-strong start he has absolutely faltered out of the pen. The numbers say he has still been very good against lefties, though.
.230 vs. right
.170 vs. left
Robertson has been used mostly in the wipe-up or 7th inning roles.
Of course, however you can make the opposite argument, that lefty-specialists DO work out, if you use the right ones.
.159 vs. left
.288 vs. right
.176 vs. left
.255 vs. right
I ask you, though: Bases loaded two-outs 7th inning your team is up 1 run. Would you rather have a lefty-specialist in, or your power set-up man?