Monday, October 15, 2012

Lineup Needs To Be Blown Up For Game 3

(Just sit down, Curtis.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

The offense is fucking up big time in the postseason. They are the primary reason why the Yankees had to go 5 games to beat Baltimore in the division series and why they currently find themselves down 0-2 going on the road against Detroit. There’s no point in trying to say it any other way; these guys, with a few exceptions, have flat out sucked a dick at the plate and wasted what has been a great team pitching performance. The Yankee starting pitchers have allowed just 14 runs in 7 postseason games, a number that even in my wildest dreams I wasn’t expecting them to do, and yet the Yankees are 3-4 in those games. That’s almost hard to fathom given the names and reputations and career numbers in the Yankee clubhouse, but it’s a sobering stone cold fact.

Joe and Kevin Long have stayed consistent with their messages of guys “needing to step up” and needing to “make adjustments up there” to try to turn this around, but it just isn’t happening. The hitters clearly aren’t making adjustments, the small tweaks to the batting order and baserunning strategy are returning little to no dividends, and the clock is starting to count down on the Yankees’ season. At this point, the time for waiting and adjusting is over. The Yankees need a spark, something to try to generate offense where this is none, and it needs to start with a major shakeup of the lineup for Game 3.

The ALCS, Where Bullpen Logic Goes To Die

(Best relief pitcher on the time right now.  Didn't pitch in the biggest spots.  Does not compute.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

It got glossed over by almost everybody after Game 1 because of the 9th-inning drama and Derek Jeter injury in extra innings, and it got glossed over again yesterday thanks to Hiroki Kuroda's outstanding performance, the lineup's non-existent performance, and Jeff Nelson's horrible 8th-inning call, but I can't bite my tongue about it today.  The failure on Joe Girardi and his staff's part to use David Robertson and Rafael Soriano in the 8th and 9th innings of both games in this ALCS is an absolute managerial disgrace of the highest order, and a much bigger contributing factor to the Yankees losses in those games than people realize.

2012 ALCS Game 2 Thoughts & Afterthoughts: DET 3 NYY 0

(Courtesy of the AP)

As big a loss as Derek Jeter's broken ankle was on Saturday night, it didn't have to automatically signal the end for the 2012 New York Yankees.  There is still a lot of talent left on this team, and there is still a starting pitching staff that's throwing the ball as well as they have all year.  Pitching always wins in the postseason, and as long as you can get good pitching you have a chance.  Jeter's injury could have been just the wake up call that the rest of the scuffling offense needed, something for them to build from and pull motivation from and to use as a jumping off point for a turnaround.

Instead, it looks like the moment Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1 was the beginning of the end for the Yankees this season.  They came out yesterday against a perfectly average pitcher in Anibal Sanchez and looked absolutely helpless against him.  There was no spark, no energy from an out-on-their-feet offense, and another brilliant starting pitching performance, this one by Hiroki Kuroda, was wasted by their inability to do anything even remotely productive.  They failed to plate a single run, to even mount a single real scoring chance, and every boo they got yesterday from the Yankee Stadium crowd was well-deserved.

Down to 2-0 and heading to Detroit to face the best pitcher in baseball on Tuesday night.  The lights are slowly being turned out on the Yankees, and it doesn't look like anybody is in a rush to flip the switch.