Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's not all about the lineup

From the good (or effective) pitching beats good hitting department: the Tigers nipped the Yanks today, 4-3. So much for the "advantage" the Yanks would get with the rainout last night. I didn't like it because the whole situation seemed screwy and I heard this morning that Verlander had a sub-3.00 ERA in day games. The Yanks may have maneuvered themselves into a real series.

From the defense wins championships department: Jorge Posada and the inability to prevent wild pitches. He basically cost the Yanks a run in the 5th. Yanks lost by one. Do the math (and unlike football, the but-for math in baseball can work out).

Note that in the three previous ALDS where the Yanks won game 1 and lost game 2, the Yanks lost the series ('97 to Cleveland, '02 and '05 to Anaheim/LAAofA). Of course, they had their chances to win all three (games 4 and 5 in Cleveland; 6-1 lead in game 3 in Anaheim before collapsing in '02; led in game 3 and 5 against the Halos last year). Then again, when the Yanks lost game 1 and won game 2, they're 4-0. In addition, the Yanks have won games 3 and 4 of the ALDS on the road four times ('96, '01, '03, '04) in the Torre era. This season, home teams are an underwhelming 2-4 thus far in the playoffs.

Final notions: (1) Robinson Cano has earned his 9-hole position in the batting order -- he's done zip in this series; (2) Moooooooooose pitched ok, but the Tigers got him the third time through the order (innings 1-4 = 3 hits, 1 run; innings 5-7 = 5 hits, 3 runs); (3) Joel Zumaya does not stink; (4) I'd consider batting A-Rod 8th, seriously -- he showed signs of life on Tuesday (a hit and two hard outs) but not today; (5) yes, it is anyone's series now.

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