Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The giant sucking sound near the Harlem River

In the top of the second inning in game 5, I emailed Wongdoer and said that the RedSux would win in 7. Pedro was ok, the Yanks' hitters looked off, and the Ratden was electric -- just the way it had not been from innings 6-8 in game 4. The Yanks were THREE OUTS AWAY in game 4 and they've honked their way into a do or die situation with a shell of a starter toeing the rubber tonight, regardless of whether that's Brown (90% likely) or Vazquez. Some comments, and some history:

(1) Last year game 4 was postponed for a day for rain. Thus, instead of being four days after game 1 as scheduled, game 4 was five days later. When that happened, Torre switched Mooooooooooooose (the Yanks' game 1 starter) and Wells to have Mooooooooooooose pitch game 4, now on four days' rest, in an attempt to put a stranglehold on the '03 ALCS with the Yanks up 2-1. It didn't work because Wakefield was great, Mooooooooooooooose merely good. But the kill 'em now thought process is what's missing this year. Three days later, Mooooooooooooooooose had two days' rest and enough gas to pitch three strong innings and bail Clemens a-s out of trouble in game 7. Mooooooooooooooose's performance, and Giambi's two dingers, were the two most important factors in putting the Yanks in a position to mount a comeback in the 8th.

This year, with an opportunity to kill the Sawx in four and to pitch Moooooooooooooooooooose on regular four days' rest after rain had pushed games 3-5 back a day, Torre opted to have Moooooooooooooose pitch game 5 on five days' rest. Three problems: (a) a shaky El Duque, who did little to win game 4; (b) Torre pulled Mooooooooooooose too early in game 5 despite the extra rest and the bullpen honked; (c) now we have another all-hands-on-deck game 7 and Mooooooooose had only one day to recuperate if he is needed . . .

(2) The Yankee hitters have no clue anymore. How else to explain Matsui's first-pitch pop with 1st and 2nd, none out in the 4th? How does Tony Clark take that FAT 88 mph right-down-the-pipe 2-0 pitch from Foulke in the bottom of the ninth? That pitch had three-run bomb (and Tony F---ing Clark to Bawstin fans) written all over it.

(3) That 3-0 series lead was the worst thing to happen to the Yanks in this series. They became complacent while Francona (who has done a GREAT job in games 4-6) instilled the pulloutallstops ethic in his team.

(4) I cannot understand how Foulke baffles Yankees hitters so much when he had only a decent season in general. Foulke is not a hard thrower -- 91-92 tops. The Yanks can't hit him but other, lesser, teams certainly can and did.

(5) Give Schilling tremendous credit. He did not have his "A" game and still kept the Yanks quiet for 7. Unlike the RedSawx who worked counts against Lieber, the Yanks' hitters failed to work Schilling hard at all just as they failed to do so against Josh Beckett last year in Game 6. Lieber pitched well again and only got bit on the butt with that cheap 325' homer by Bellhorn; then again, the Yanks have lived off those in the past (see: game 3, 1999 WS).

(6) APB for: Sheffield, Matsui. They've done squat in the last 2+ games. An Arod re-emergence would also be nice.

(7) Imagine how bad this series would be for the Yanks if Damon were hitting and Manny had RBI.

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