Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
The worst case scenerio reared its ugly head tonight for the Yankees as Kenny Rogers, the consumate October choke-artiste, came up aces for the Tigers, throwing the best money game of his career. It was nothing short of Ripley's I tell you and I can't recall being more livid watching a game all season. Rogers had a nasty curve ball that he used for a strike-out pitch, to go along with his normal assortment of slop. His control was excellent and he had the Yankees at his mercy. Did he make a deal with the Devil? This certainly wasn't the Kenny Rogers we knew in New York.
The Yankees had a runner on base in each of the first eight innings but could not score a run. The team went 0-18 with runners on base, and as result lost Game 3 in humiliating fashion, 6-0. Rogers kept the Yankees off-balance, had them chasing a diving change-up out-of-the-zone, and frozen, looking at fastballs perfectly placed on the black. In all, Rogers had eight strike outs in 7 2/3 innings of work. Moreover, Rogers was increasingly animated and charged-up on the mound as the game progessed.
The Yankees, it seems, can not buy a break in this series. In the fifth inning, with the score 3-0, Bernie Williams narrowly missed a two-run home run. He chased ball four in the dirt and struck out instead. When Robinson Cano went down next, Rogers screamed at his catcher, "C'mon, godammit, give me the ball." In the top of the sixth, Derek Jeter smoked a line up the middle. The ball caught Rogers--an excellent fielder--in the glove and he was able to pick it up and throw Jeter out. In the bottom of the inning, Carlos Guillen's two-out line drive hit off Jeter's glove for a hit, opening the door for the Tigers to score two more runs. And that's the way the cookie crumbled for the Bombers who now look to Jaret Wright to stop the bleeding and salvage the season. Think about that for a moment and see if you can sleep well tonight. (Emily, always the voice of reason said to me, "Well, if Kenny Rogers can pitch a great game what makes you think Jaret Wright can't do the same thing?")
Randy Johnson allowed five runs but he wasn't entirely awful. A three-run second inning featured an awful defensive throwing play by Jason Giambi. It was just not the Yankees night, pure and simple. Things happen fast in the first round. The Yankees and Twins were the hot teams going into October, but Minnie was swept by the Oakland A's and the Yankees are hanging on for dear life. Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano have done bubkus in the series (though Cano got his first hit, a single, tonight). Damon, Giambi and Abreu did dick tonight. The entire team mustered just five hits.
But this is no time for pointing fingers. The entire team has got to suck it up and show-up in full-force tomorrow. Otherwise, what has been a fine and awfully enjoyable season will end prematurely and regrettably. Time to see what kind of fight these guys have in them.
Hang tough, guys. The Yanks'll get 'em tomorrow. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
Thank you, Alex, we needed a new thread badly. That old one had very bad karma.
Tomorrow, Mr. Wright. Then we go back home, as favorites.
Let's Go Yan-Kees!
I have to work tomorrow, but my little TV is coming with me and I hope to enjoy a Yankees win. Tigers only had to win one game last weekend, and failed to do so; it's going to be de ja vu all over again.
There's as much pressure on them tomorrow as there is on us. Now or never fellas.
Here is Alex's interview w/Buck O'Neill from 2003.
Anyone wanna help me refine my business plan and pool investors for a real 24 hour sports news network?
I'm stunned. Kenny Rogers just pitched a pretty good game and the Yankees, uniformly, sucked. There's no way to say it. Jeter was horrid; he looked like he gave up in the sixth innning. Jason Giambi took a break from tossing his own teamates under a bus to suck like the steroid-injected pimple he is. We all know Damon throws like Mary, but tonight he hit like her too. I can't say much bad about Doughnuts, given how well he played since we traded for him, but he didn't hit tonight and he blew some plays in right field. Bernie played pretty much like we all expected him to- he was thisclose to a two-run jack but ended up striking out. Cano just looks lost. Randy pitched ok, but he didn't get anything out of the offense. Posada was the only person who played decently.
I'm bothered that everyone's going to put this one on Alex Rodruigez. He had a good regular season and he's under more pressure from the media and the fans than any person in sports. Period. He'd play better when the pressure was on if Jeter hadn't been such a selfish puta when A-Rod was first traded. Everyone forgets that A-Rod was the superior defensive player because he willingly moved over for the good of the team. Now, in 2006, people like Jason Giambi can pretend that they are ambassadors for the game and bad-mouth one of the best people around. New Yorkers complain that we haven't won since A-Rod got here. We haven't won since Giambi got here either and I think he's a much larger part of the problem.
There is a bright spot, however. I'd like to thank Jim Leyland for using his two best relief pitchers with a 6-0 lead. Zumaya and Jones both worked game two as well and asking them to pitch a third game in a row is going to put a strain on them. Jeremy Bonderman, while talented, has relatively pedestrian numbers this season and I think the Tigers will have to use the pen. He's pitched better this year, but his WHIP is still 1.3 and he has an ERA of 4.08, with an ERA+ of 111. That's good but not stellar. Don't get me wrong; he's a superior pitcher to Jaret Wright. Wright has a 4.3 ERA, with an ERA+ of 98, or just below league average. His WHIP is 1.5. The Yankees, however, managed to get through game three without using Kyle Far-N-Gone-sworth, Scott Proctor or Mariano Rivera, while Zumaya and Jones pitched in both games two and three. We may actually have the stronger bullpen in game four. Should we win that, we go back to the Stadium with a huge pitching advantage, with a rested Wang against Nate Robertson or a fatigued Verlander.
The thing that gets me the most is ESPN's coverage of this. In the '90s, ESPN was a wonderful network for sports news. Now it's owned by Disney and the quality of its reporting and play-by-play has become frankly atrocious. Both announcers were clueless and the network is already previewing an As-Tigers series.
Why does MLB assign seemingly its worst umpires to the post-season? The call on A-Rod's tag on I-Rod was awful and cost the Yankees a run. The fair/foul call on what would have been a run-scoring double was pathetic- the umpire assigned to cover that area of the field was too busy getting out of his way, since he wasn't paying attention, to actually make a call, leaving it up to an umpire a hundred feet away. Randy's strike zone was pretty small and he did't get any of the calls on the corners. Granted, he was wild, but Rogers got every call he could have gotten. The home plate ump gave him an extra three inches of space on each side of the plate and called strikes at the top of the shins rather than the top of the knee. That's an extra square foot of space. Give a good pitcher a huge strike zone and he'll dominate anyone.
I'm looking forward to seeing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch for the Yanks next year.
I didn't watch the game: how did jeter give up in the sixth
On the game...
The bad news is the Yanks lost the game. The good news is they were universally awful with runners on base and there will be no finger pointing - the entire team failed. I'd start Melky in LF and DH Matsui tomorrow with Giambi at 1B. Reunite Heckyl and Jeckyl in the starting lineup and stack the lefties. The future is now.
I fail to see why you're so upset about this.
Your 'evidence' that Jeter quit is thin to be kind. Jeter doubled, walked, smoked a liner at Rogers, almost turned one a fantastic double play with Cano, and grabbed a nice ball in the hole at short to end the inning with a force (off the top of my head). If every Yankee quit like that each night they'll win championship #27 in a few weeks.
It's not just Jeter- my note adressed him directly because the audience for it on my Facebook account believes Jeter can do no wrong and that A-Rod is Satan himself.
Regardless, this is a very unproductive debate. I stand by what I said. You stand by what you have said. Let's move on and look forwards to game four and hopefully hammering Bonderman.
38 I didn't notice it during the game, but now that you mention it, I agree with you.
"I was probably more emotional than I should have been," Rogers.-- From the AP article
As long as Giambi's not leading it.
52 Let's hope.
baseball-reference.com has him listed as also throwing a splitter and changeup.
There is no gyro. It's a myth. Will Carrol recently admitted that Matsuzaka doesn't throw it, after he initially though he was using it.
2 hit batters
Both pitchers are excellent, but the hitters are like gnats against them. I would say that a Major League matchup between these pitchers right now would be 2-1 or 3-2 Softbank.
The #7 hitter ate the bench on 4 pitches. All heaters in the 93 MPH range.
99 pitches with 2 outs in the 7th.
Alex, you guys are fortunate to have each other.
There's nother else to be said, except
Let's Go Yankees, Let's Go Get the Tigers!
Bases loaded, two outs, manager comes to the mound to talk.
105 pitches through 7.
That Emily is a smart girl. She's right. I have a lot more faith in Wright for today than I had for him in all the rest of the season. He'll come through.
By the way, isn't it a little much to hit three people in one game?
Oh shit....Saito goes into the clubhouse....
Complete game shutout.
3 hit batters
Seibu leads Softbank 1 game to nothing.
Thanks for allowing me to use this thread to bring you the game. Sorry if it's a glut that simply clogged up 100 posts, but I thought maybe you'd enjoy a preview of someone we might get in his playoff appearance.
Opening Day Batting Order
1 Johnny Damon - CF
2 Derek Jeter - SS
3 Bobby Abreu - RF
4 Albert Pujols - 1B
5 Hideki Matsui - LF
6 Robinson Cano - 2B
7 Jorge Posada - C
8 Melky Cabrera - DH/OF
9 A Can of Tuna - 3B
With a couple years experience and some mentoring from the veteran players, A Can of Tuna is sure to be a break-out star. His defense at AAA was stellar, but he needs to learn patience at the plate. Definite future All-Star and potential Hall of Famer.
i am actually looking forward to buck/mccarver.
Rogers was intense yesterday but it worked, that was probably one of his best performance ever. Hopefully the Yankees will come out with that type of intensity today.
My big dilemma for the day...being a Michigander....the Tigers/Yanks play at 4 and the Michigan/Mich St game at 4:30 there will be a lot channel flipping during the commericals.
GO YANKEES, GO BLUE!
I can't believe the NY rags spared us the cringetastic headlines I was imagining last night.
I went to sleep with a couple glasses of red wine, and Kenny Rogers poker puns swimming in my head.
The Gambler Deals, Yanks Fold
The Gambler Comes Up Aces, Unit Is Joker
The Gambler Turns Yanks Into One Card Schmucks
Torre Shuffles Deck, The Gambler Flushes Yanks
That was fuggin' shocking.
We'll get 'em today.
Yunnow, when Inside the Actor's Studio had Jennifer Lopez on last year, I donated my TV to the Salvation Army. After E$@%'s shameless and despicable performance, I'm snitching this TV to Rikers.
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