Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pennant #40 is just one win away . . .

Even Girardi couldn't screw this up. As CC Sabathia made a mockery of the "three-days' rest" concerns and the Yankees FINALLY got some hits with runners in scoring position, the only decision Girardi had to make was whether to let CC pitch a complete game. He made the right choice, giving Chad Gaudin a taste of the playoffs and live game action, which may be beneficial in the near future. (And The Monk wonders if the Yanks will have Gaudin back next year as a fifth starter candidate -- he's earned the chance.)

For the rest of the night, the Yanks were a lineup that looked like the one that led baseball in scoring. The problems were minor: Matsui was a black hole (0-5, 3K, two bonks with RISP), Swisher hasn't had a hit since sometime in August. The biggest of the big hitters, A-Rod, was 3-4, 3 runs, 2 RBI, a stolen base and caused an Angels' error. Melky Cabrera expiated some of his previous failures with a two-run single that gave the Yanks a 3-0 early lead and two hits with RISP. Damon banged the two-run homer that iced the game.

A good night all around for the Yanks except for THREE baserunning idiocies: (1) Swisher getting picked off second in the 4th; (2) Posada getting suckered by a half-hearted decoy by Torii Hunter and failing to score on a double in the gap; (3) Cano failing to stand on third base after Posada got his own dumb a** caught in a rundown. None of this is rocket science or even advanced baseball strategy. Posada is a catcher, so he's slow. But he's been in the majors for 12+ years. There's no excuse for his horrible baserunning skills. Contrast him with Teixeira, who won't compete with Usain Bolt any time soon, but certainly runs the bases with intelligence, which means extra bases, more runs, fewer outs.

For now, the Yanks are one win away from the World Series and a date with the Phillies (who will likely win the NL pennant tonight). Hopefully Girardi won't overmanage this into a seven-game series . . .

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