Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 ALDS Game 2 Preview: Put 'Em Down

Game 1 was about as textbook a win as the Yankees could have on paper. They scored a few early runs and wore down the opposing starting pitcher in the process, get him out by the 6th inning to get into the bullpen, struck late against the 'pen, and got a standout starting pitching performance from the ace of their staff. Last night’s game was incredibly important in terms of not letting the whole “lower-seeded team starting at home” thing become an advantage for Baltimore, and now they find themselves with their backs against the wall tonight, trying not to go down 2-0 with the series heading to New York. They send a struggling Wei-Yin Chen to the mound, not exactly an ideal starting pitcher to have out there in their situation, and he’ll be opposed by a guy who’s been in more big playoff games than he can probably count in Andy Pettitte. The cards are stacked in the Yankees’ favor again tonight, and they can push the upstart O’s to the brink if they play them right

Updated Starting Lineups (4:30PM)-

NYY: 1) Jeter- SS, 2) Ichiro- LF, 3) A-Rod- 3B, 4) Cano- 2B, 5) Swish- RF, 6) Teix- 1B, 7) Martin- C, 8) C-Grand- CF, 9) Nunez- DH

BAL: 1) McLouth- LF, 2) Hardy- SS, 3) Davis- RF, 4) Jones- CF, 5) Wieters- C, 6) Reynolds- 1B, 7) Thome- DH, 8) Machado- 3B, 9) Andino- 2B

Pitching Matchup-

Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.97 ERA/3.48 FIP, 8.24 K/9 ) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (12-11, 4.02 ERA/4.42 FIP, 7.19 K/9)

How's That For Location?

Pretty impressive, huh?  Lotta fastballs for strikes on the corners, ditto for changeups on the outside corner to righties, and a lot more changeups and sliders located down in the zone for either called strikes or swinging strikes.  CC threw 31 changeups last night, 21 for strikes, and 22 sliders, 17 for strikes.  That's command, people.  That's what an ace does.  Now somebody hit the music!

2012 ALDS Game 1 Thoughts & Afterthoughts: NYY 7 BAL 2

(Always a good sight to see.  Courtesy of the AP)

I don't get much fall out here in Wisconsin.  It's usually just a 3-4 week period between the middle of September and the middle of October where it stops being 70 degrees and still isn't cold enough to snow.  That transition came this past week, and combined with the beginning of playoff baseball there's no doubt that it's officially fall out here now.  The Yankees found themselves back in Baltimore to open their divisional series on the road against the Orioles, but had to battle the rain before they could even get on the field.  When the weather cleared and the game finally did start, it was a CC Sabathia-Jason Hammel pitching matchup that should have favored the Yankees.  That matchup stayed close for most of the night, with the Yankees finally pulling away to secure the win late.