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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nightengale: Yanks flail, continue to fail vs. Verlander

...and he’s really every bit as good as Jack Morris now! (glug~glug)

The Yankees have scored in only one of 30 innings this series, all in the ninth inning. They are hitting just .200 this entire postseason, and unless they go on a barrage tonight, they will finish with the worst batting average in a postseason in franchise history, eclipsing their .207 average in the 1921 World Series.

The only time they ever show signs of life these days is in the ninth inning. This time, they even were able to do it against someone not named Jose Valverde.

Eduardo Nunez, Derek Jeter’s replacement, led off the ninth with a homer on a marvelous eight-pitch at-bat. One batter and one out later, Verlander was gone, and the Tigers had to trust their bullpen.

“I guess you don’t take Secretariat out in the final furlong,’’ Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, “but that was it for him.”

Phil Coke, the Tigers’ new closer, retired Ichiro Suzuki, who had produced the Yankees only two hits until the ninth. But then came Mark Teixeira with a single. Robinson Cano actually got a hit, too, snapping his 29-at-bat hitless skein, the longest in postseason history.

All of a sudden, the Yankees had their first rally in three days, and Comerica Park suddenly went silent. Yet, just when the Yankees looked like this might be one of those magical nights, Coke struck out Raul Ibanez on a curveball—the best he has thrown all season, Leyland said.

Repoz Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:18 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers, yankees

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Accent Shallow Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4273697)
Say what you will about Alex Rodriguez, (and Lord knows BBTF and other baseball fans have) but you hafta PH him for Ibanez there, right?
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4273699)
That's what I was saying in the chatter. Ibanez, improbable-Lord-Voldemort-postseason-powers and all, sucks against lefties. If you're not going to use A-Rod there, then when? April?
   3. Morph Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4273703)
I'm pretty sure Benoit would have faced A-Rod. Considering Alex's recent yearlong ineptitude against right-handers, I can't fault Joe. The only question was whether to pinch-hit Swisher for Ibanez, but given their two post-seasons, it's hard to criticize Girardi. Of course, A-Rod could have pinch-hit for Ichiro against Coke, but I think Girardi is hoping Suzuki reaches and steals a bag. Bottom line: questionable managing by Joe, but nothing that will agonize me deep into winter.
   4. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4273706)
But to listen to Girardi, pinch-hitting A-Rod there was never even a consideration.

It really is comical how much focus has been thrown onto A-Rod during this swoon. You don't have a regular outside of Ibanez and Suzuki doing anything, but instead of Cano, Teixeira, Granderson, etc. being taken to task, we get BIG BREAKING NEWS THAT A-ROD TRIED TO GET A GIRL'S NUMBER DURING A GAME~ How awful!

Lost in all of this is how the Yankees would probably be wiping the floor with Detroit if they could generate any offense. Their complete absence at the plate has masked the fact that Detroit is probably very fortunate to be up 3-0.
   5. Repoz Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4273707)
hafta PH him for Ibanez there, right?

Rauuul Ibanez the last 2 years away from his goofy home ballparks - .209/.265/.340.

Yet they start him in Det.
   6. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4273723)
Say what you will about Alex Rodriguez, (and Lord knows BBTF and other baseball fans have) but you hafta PH him for Ibanez there, right?

Yes. A week ago there is no way he is allowed to bat there, but 3 ABs change everything.
   7. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4273727)
Lost in all of this is how the Yankees would probably be wiping the floor with Detroit if they could generate any offense. Their complete absence at the plate has masked the fact that Detroit is probably very fortunate to be up 3-0.

Well, "fortunate" in the sense that close games are essentially coin flips, and the Tigers could have lost any of those games if one or two at-bats went differently. They haven't dominated and haven't had any easy wins.

But at the same time, the Tigers (excluding Valverde) have been better than the Yankees in virtually every aspect of the game. They've pitched better, they've hit better, they've been more opportunistic, they've fielded better, they've bunted better, they've run the bases better, and I would say Leyland has out-managed Girardi. The only real blight on the Tigers' performance is Valverde (a huge, unsightly blight) and a failure to capitalize even more on run-scoring opportunities. (Though obviously they've capitalized on enough of them.) They haven't trailed in a single inning.

The Yankees' offense has been abysmal, yes, but you've got to credit the Tigers' pitching for at least some of that. The Detroit staff (again, except Valverde) dominated Oakland too. And they were very good in September. Saying the Yankees would be "wiping the floor" with the Tigers if they could generate any offense neglects the fact that there are actually two teams playing. It's not simply a matter of "the Yankees failing" or "the Yankees succeeding." The Tigers are not passive observers -- they play a pretty big role in each game's outcome too.
   8. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:18 AM (#4273731)
If you're pinching and benching A-Rod, why not Cano as well? Nobody's colder than cano.
   9. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:04 AM (#4273740)
Lost in all of this is how the Yankees would probably be wiping the floor with Detroit if they could generate any offense.

Ifs and buts, candy and nuts. It's been an incredible series for Detroit: thanks to their starting pitching and Delmon Young (!!), they've been able to get by with their patchy offense and unspeakable bullpen.

Saying the Yankees would be "wiping the floor" with the Tigers if they could generate any offense neglects the fact that there are actually two teams playing. It's not simply a matter of "the Yankees failing" or "the Yankees succeeding." The Tigers are not passive observers -- they play a pretty big role in each game's outcome too.

This.
   10. DKDC Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4273741)
More random than meaningful, but kind of interesting:

In 8 postseason games, the Yankees have scored a total of 9 runs before the ninth inning.

Please finish them tonight, Detroit.
   11. escabeche Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:35 AM (#4273744)
Detroit is probably very fortunate to be up 3-0.


And New York is very fortunate that Detroit isn't playing Baltimore. That's how baseball works.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4273765)
And New York is very fortunate that Detroit isn't playing Baltimore.

I think most Yankee fans wish they were at this point. The season would have ended with a much better taste if they lost a tight 5-gamer to a "team of destiny" rather than suffer this embarassment.
   13. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4273774)
The fact that the Tigers are now 9-3 lifetime in the postseason against the Yankees is prima facie, if not definitive, evidence of the existence of God.
   14. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4273777)
FWIW -

I didn't think Verlander had anywhere near the sort of stuff the box score would have had you believe (unless you really focus in on the K's, I guess) -- but I thought he pitched a wonderful "didn't have his best stuff" game... He used the park, a somewhat generous strikezone, and really battled rather than nibbled.

I always enjoy watching a great pitcher have great stuff and just dominate a lineup - but I've always found it a lot more entertaining and fun as a baseball fan to watch a great pitcher without his best stuff toss a gem.
   15. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4273784)
I have really nothing to say at this point. Actually, I disagree with snapper's #12, I'm glad the Yankees beat the O's. They were better than the O's all season, and losing to them in the playoffs would have annoyed me. Of course, it seems hard to believe this team could have annoyed me more than they did, but I imagine that's true.
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4273791)
And New York is very fortunate that Detroit isn't playing Baltimore. That's how baseball works.

Right. Change Ibanez's swing in game three by a 1/4 of an inch, and the Orioles win and maybe win the series in five games. Saying that the Tigers are fortunate is just another way of saying that anything can happen in a short series.
   17. rconn23 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4273918)
"And New York is very fortunate that Detroit isn't playing Baltimore."

And Baltimore was fortunate to win tons of 1-run games during the regular season and make the playoffs despite having a +7 run differential. That's how baseball works, too.

   18. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4273955)
The Yankees' offense has been abysmal, yes, but you've got to credit the Tigers' pitching for at least some of that.


I'm sorry to the Tiger fans who feel differently about this, and I plead "not guilty" to not giving credit where credit is due. But the Yankees have "hit" like this since mid-August. Sometimes one guy got hot for awhile, which masked it to some extent. In order to believe the assertion above, you need to believe that Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez were able to reel off all-time great performances when the games count the most. Also, that Baltimore aces Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez were also world-beaters.

I'm glad the Yankees beat the O's. They were better than the O's all season, and losing to them in the playoffs would have annoyed me.


My biggest single peeve about the Wild Card era is that if your team has beaten another over 162, you shouldn't have to face them again. The Yankees beat the Orioles in the best way we know how to measure in the regular season. Why do the Yankees have to do it again in a five-game series?
   19. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4273984)
In order to believe the assertion above, you need to believe that Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez were able to reel off all-time great performances when the games count the most.

Obviously the Yankees aren't at the top of their game, but, come on, this isn't fair.

Doug Fister has a 2.95 ERA and a 4.62 K/BB ratio since joining the Tigers (232 IP). He struck out 9 batters in a row in September. Anibal Sanchez has thrown a no-hitter in his career and has a solid career ERA+ of 110. He had a 2.86 ERA over his last 5 starts of the season, with 35 K to 3 unintentional walks. They're both 28 years old, in the prime of their careers. These guys aren't just average pitchers. They're actually quite good.
   20. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4273988)
But the Yankees have "hit" like this since mid-August.

Also, in September the Yankees went 17-11 (their second best month) and scored 146 runs (their best month). Then in October they scored 28 runs in 3 games, winning all three games. It's kind of hard to do that without hitting.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4274002)
My biggest single peeve about the Wild Card era is that if your team has beaten another over 162, you shouldn't have to face them again. The Yankees beat the Orioles in the best way we know how to measure in the regular season. Why do the Yankees have to do it again in a five-game series?


Well the Cardinals better hope the Yankees beat the Tigers, cause the Tigers were 2-1 against St Louis, and since Detroit already beat them, I guess they would win the WS by default.
   22. Weekly Journalist Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4274013)


Well the Cardinals better hope the Yankees beat the Tigers, cause the Tigers were 2-1 against St Louis, and since Detroit already beat them, I guess they would win the WS by default.


Wow, you so didn't get his point.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4274034)
In order to believe the assertion above, you need to believe that Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez were able to reel off all-time great performances when the games count the most. Also, that Baltimore aces Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez were also world-beaters.

The Orioles had one of the best records in baseball over the last couple months and excellent pitching. They almost took the division despite the fact that the Yankees had a 10 game lead at the end of August.

Yeah, the Yankees aren't playing well, but decent amount of the credit goes to the Orioles and Tigers.
   24. Baldrick Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4274035)
I'm sorry to the Tiger fans who feel differently about this, and I plead "not guilty" to not giving credit where credit is due. But the Yankees have "hit" like this since mid-August. Sometimes one guy got hot for awhile, which masked it to some extent. In order to believe the assertion above, you need to believe that Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez were able to reel off all-time great performances when the games count the most. Also, that Baltimore aces Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez were also world-beaters.

Between August 21st (the most generous interpretation of 'mid-August' I could see) and the end of the year, the Yankees scored 5.025 runs per game. Their season average: 4.96 runs per game. That sure is a lot of masking.

The degree to which Yankees fans insist on complaining about their team is a pretty strong demonstration of why people get irritated with Yankees fans. You're not happy that they're losing right now, fine. That's reasonable. It doesn't make this a terrible team and it's obnoxious to pretend like it does. I would LOVE for my team to be down 3-0 in the ALCS because at least they'd still be playing.

Speaking of which, from August 12th to the end of the year, the Mariners scored more than five runs a grand total of SIX times. Over almost 50 games. That's a bad offense.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4274053)
Wow, you so didn't get his point.


If his point was that the Yankees won the division and the Orioles did not, well, I just think divisions are completely arbitrary things that shouldn't have the influence they do. Should we just do away with divisions as well and go with a Nats-Yanks WS?
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4274065)
No, my point was that the teams played each other 18 times over the course of the year, and more or less common opponents the rest of the time. That's over just about every day for six months. Given all of this, the Yankees won the division. Why, going into the playoffs, is "Which team had a better 2012" still in doubt?

There's no comparison between this race and the fact that teams in different leagues with different opponents had a single three-game series. None.
   27. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4274101)
No, my point was that the teams played each other 18 times over the course of the year, and more or less common opponents the rest of the time. That's over just about every day for six months. Given all of this, the Yankees won the division. Why, going into the playoffs, is "Which team had a better 2012" still in doubt?

You know that the Orioles and Yankees split their season series 9-9, right? (And the Orioles outscored them by 2.) And their schedules weren't EXACTLY the same. And the Orioles only finished 2 games back. I don't think it's 100% obvious that the Yankees had a better 2012.
   28. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4274105)
The Orioles and Yankees both went 82-62 against the AL.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4274114)
The Orioles and Yankees both went 82-62 against the AL.


The games against the Mets made all the difference. They swept the O's 3-0 and went 1-5 against the Yankees.
   30. Weekly Journalist Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4274124)
The games against the Mets made all the difference. They swept the O's 3-0 and went 1-5 against the Yankees.


Ah, the Mets. The cause of--and solution to--all of life's problems.
   31. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4274144)
The difference in the Orioles' and Yankees' schedules:

Yankees
+3 vs. ATL
+3 vs. CIN
+4 vs. DET
+3 vs. NYM
+1 vs. OAK

Orioles
+1 vs. CHW
+2 vs. CLE
+2 vs. KCR
+3 vs. PIT
+3 vs. PHI
+3 vs. WAS

On paper, the Yankees' schedule does seem tougher (8 more games vs. playoff teams), but I don't know how the match-ups worked out. For example, it looks like the Orioles caught the Mets at exactly the wrong time, with Dickey at his best and Santana before his breakdown.
   32. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4274145)
No, my point was that the teams played each other 18 times over the course of the year, and more or less common opponents the rest of the time. That's over just about every day for six months. Given all of this, the Yankees won the division. Why, going into the playoffs, is "Which team had a better 2012" still in doubt?

But why does that apply only to the divisions? Just because of the unbalanced scheduled? Would it be better if the schedules were balanced?

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