Thursday, October 8, 2009

The best and worst of ALDS Game 1 - Yankees-Twins

Well, that was a relief. I'm, of course, very happy that the Yankees won. But I'm also relieved. Losing to the Twins would have been being at the short end of a losing match for the ages. Now the Yanks just have to beat the Twins two more times. (Incidentally, Red Sox fan Paul asked me which game I thought the Yanks would lose, to make my Yankees in 4 prediction come true. The Carl Pavano one, of course!)

As for last night, let's break down this Yankee victory's highlights and lowlights:

* Derek Jeter had a great night - the kind of night that justifies his clutch reputation. He started with a single to lead off the game, also had a two-run homer, and two walks. And I think it's appropriate for this team's history that Derek Jeter is the first player to hit a homer in the new Yankee Stadium.

 * CC Sabathia wasn't the best he's been this year, but he still had an impressive start, albeit one with a very shaky beginning. When was the last time the Yankees 1) had an ace to start an October game, and 2) had an ace that actually won the game?

* Part of CC's initial shakiness last night had to do with Jorge Posada, who is getting on my nerves. After doing that little passive-aggressive hissy fit over not getting to catch for A.J. Burnett, it probably wasn't the best time for Posada to have such a terrible night behind the plate, with two passed balls, and all sorts of sloppiness. (He looked as bad as Jason Varitek does out there these days!) After watching Posada chase after the ball, I said to myself, "I just hope we win that game. That’s all I’ve got to say."

* And our long national nightmare is over - Alex Rodriguez finally got a hit with runners in scoring position, and then got another hit with RISP. Did A-Rod say, "Kiss me, Kate" after the game? (Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes!) Anyhow, let's hope that this starts to get the postseason monkey off his back.

* Hideki Matsui had a quietly brilliant season for the Yankees, and he quietly got a critical homer for the Yanks last night, one that allowed Joe Girardi to get his bullpen some work. Some might think he did a little too much mixing and matching, but I think it was good, given the layoff, to have Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera get some work in.

* Speaking of Joba, I am strongly leaning towards having him as a bullpen guy. For whatever reason, he is a much more fearsome pitcher coming out of the bullpen.

* Nick Swisher was having fun, and got a key hit and RBI. Mark Teixeira, on the other hand, didn't look so great behind the plate. Squawker Jon and I were trying to think of some Twilight Zoneish plot behind it, where some gremlin haunting A-Rod in October moved into Tex's locker!

What do you think were the highlights and lowlights of last night's game? Leave us a comment!


Jonmouk71 said...

The most annoying thing today is to have to listen to ESPN radio and the complaints about how "unfair" it was for the Twins to have to begin the ALDS the day after the play-in game with Detroit. At least the Twins were at home and had all their September call-ups for that game - in 1978, the Yankees traveled to Fenway with a 25-man roster (minus Randolph), won the Bucky Dent game and then flew to Kansas City to begin the ALCS the next day. I don't remember anybody complaining about that.

Jonmouk71 said...

Oh, and the Mets won the 1999 Wild Card playoff game against the Reds in Cincinnati and flew to Arizona to begin the NLDS the next day - and won in four games.

NAM said...

I would po'd if my team showed mercy and started the series a day later and then lost. Suck up it people; it's the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Tell me something, after listening to the TBS crew... who were the Yankees playing last night? I thought it was a game between two teams, but maybe not.

Uncle Mike said...

CC was shaky in the 3rd, and Jorge had a little trouble, but otherwise, all was good. So far, the "new improved model" Yankee Stadium handles the postseason as well as the timeless classic did.

I did Redd Foxx's "This is the big one!" after A-Rod's first RBI hit last night. That's it, Alex, prove me wrong. In the words of the great English soccer player (but no-so-great manager) Kevin Keegan, "I would loove it, loove it."

Maybe A-Rod simply couldn't handle the pressure of playing in postseason games at Yankee Stadium. Maybe, now that he's in the George M. Steinbrenner Memorial Coliseum, he feels that little bit of pressure off.

If that's what he's thinking, fine, go with it! Find out what works, then keep doing it until it stops working! Maybe, this time, it'll keep working all the way until Mayor Moneybags hands them the keys to the city.

Paul from Boston said...

Jonmouk - I'd have gladly listened to ESPN Radio's complaints even if I don't agree with them. The Boston affiliate is off the air and I have a choice of right-wing garbage WEEI and our new "Sports Hub" with a morning crew that thinks they're still broadcasting to the 14-21 age group. Thank goodness for the iPod!

Anyway, its not unfair, but it does stink (for them) - but let's be serious, did anybody really think NY would lose that game even if MIN had the same off time as NY?

The whole thing did make me curious how they go about scheduling events at these venues. If the Twins had the forethought to say a game 163 is possible (gee, since it only happened last year), would they have had the right to deny the NFL use of it (assuming it was early enough in the NFL scheduling process) Didn't Denver have a conflict with wrestling and an NBA playoff game? Just seems like it shouldn't be that hard.

Well, doesn't really matter. As for the Yanks series - I told Lisa I could see where she may think the Yanks could lose the Pavano start - I'd sure take it but I'm not going to be at all surprised if the Yanks sweep.


Uncle Mike said...

Times change: In 1969, the Twins and Braves both reached the inaugural League Championship Series, and the NFL teams in the same stadiums had to move: The Vikings to the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium, and the Falcons to Georgia Tech's Grant Field. The Vikings beat Green Bay, and went on to field their only NFL Championship team to date (but lost the Super Bowl to AFL Champion Kansas City), while the Falcons lost to the Baltimore Colts and had a losing season -- ironically, the Falcons inflicted one of the Vikings' two losses. However, both the Twins and the Braves got swept, by the Orioles and the Mets, respectively.

In 1973, such a maneuver happened for the third and final time: The Oakland Athletics won the AL West (on the way to winning it all), and the Raiders moved a game to the University of California's Memorial Stadium. Lucky for them, because they ended the Miami Dolphins' 18-game regular season (21-game overall) winning streak, and went on to win the AFC West before the Dolphins got their revenge in the AFC Title Game.

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