Awww yeah. The postseason is here and the Yanks got off to a great start. I blogged earlier that I thought it was very important that the Yankees win game 1. Whatever momentum the Twins had coming into this game is gone. I think if the Twins had won, they'd have taken the series. They had enough momentum to begin with. Winning game 1 after winning last night would have put their momentum off the charts. The Yankee win today was huge.
CC was great tonight. It was nice to see him bounce back from his awful final regular start. If anyone was worried about the big guy, put those worries behind you. He had a few rough spots but nothing too major. When he needed the out, he got the out. That's what great pitchers do. I think the best part about his outing is that he didn't walk anybody. It could have been a lot worse had he issued any free passes. 8 Ks, no walks. I can dig it. Overall, a very good outing for CC. Way to go big man.
Memo to Jorge Posada: if you're so intent on catching every game, why don't you play like it. What's up with the passed balls and the lollygagging after them? Mauer doesn't score that second run if Posada hussles after that ball. It's the freaking playoffs for crying out loud. Get off you ass and get after that ball. Better yet, don't the ball get by you. You're making it very easy for people to jump all over you.
How nice was it to see A-Rod deliver twice with RISP? If you're answer wasn't pretty nice then get out of here. Just leave right now. OK. You can stay. Hopefully those two hits are an indication of what's to come. I think Alex is going to have a monster postseason, mainly because I don't think he's feeling any pressure. Alex has flown under the radar for most of the year. I think his head is in the right place. I think big things are coming. It all started with that 2 HR/7 RBI inning in the final game. I think he's locked in.
Derek Jeter. Do I need to say anything more than that? Saying just his name pretty much gets the point across. He's the man. No doubt about it.
Big bomb from Matsui. His 2-run slam-a-lama-ding-dong put the lead at 4 and pretty much ended the Twins chances for a comeback. It was the deathblow.
Great night by the bullpen. You can feel pretty confident that the game is over when Phil Hughes enters the game. Going back to July, which is when I think Phil took over as the setup guy, the Yankees went 30-3 in his 33 appearances. I didn't count his last 3 because he pitched more to pitch then to hold a lead. 1 of those 3 losses was a blown save by Mariano (Ichiro walkoff). There was one stretch where the Yankees won 18 in a row. Had Mo not blown that save in Seattle it would have been 22 straight, which were the last 22 appearances he made, again not counting the final 3. My buddy Scott sent me a tweet during the game that said "Hughes:Mo = Mo:Wetteland." Personally, I think Hughes:Mo > Mo:Wetteland. For my money Hughes and Rivera are the best back-of-the-bullpen tandem in the game right now. If you disagree, I'd like to know.
Off day tomorrow and then they're back at it on Friday. There's a very slim chance that I'll be there. Very slim. I hope to know for sure tomorrow. I'm really hoping to get down there for one of these playoff games. I have a ticket to game 5 and I really hope that I don't have to use it. No elimination games. If that falls through I'm going to try (knock on wood) to get to game 2 of the ALCS. Odds of that are a little better but still a longshot.
A.J. Burnett gets the ball in game 2. I originally wanted Pettitte to get the ball but I've since changed my mind. A.J. has pitched better at home. Pettitte has pitched better on the road. If you check the stats you'll see what I mean. But since I know you guys are lazy and don't want to look it up, I'll hook you up:
- Burnett @ home: 16 starts, 3.51 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .229 BAA
- Burnett on road: 17 starts, 4.59 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .264 BAA
- Pettitte @ home: 16 starts, 4.59 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, .285 BAA
- Pettitte on road: 16 starts, 3.71 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .230 BAA
See what I mean? I think it's definitely the right call. Pitching Burnett in game 2 also means that the Yankees will split up the lefties. Sure, CC and Andy could pitch back-to-back in games 3 and 4, but the Yankees would have pitched them back-to-back in games 1 and 2 and games 4 and 5. Sliding A.J. in the middle ensures variety. It'll keep the Twins hitters a little off guard. The Twins also fare better against lefties (.285/.344/.441) than against righties (.269/.345/.423). A.J. in game 2 was the right call.
1 down, 10 to go.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,