-How on Earth does Fuentes pitch to A-Rod in that spot? The pitches were all just off the plate, but with Freddy Guzman and Brett Gardner behind Alex, you simply can’t let him beat you in that spot. My first thought was to intentionally walk him, but with nobody out then the Yanks would have bunted him over and the game could be tied on a single. You have to pitch around him, and give him nothing but garbage out of the zone in the hope he gets himself out. Pounding fastballs at him was asking for trouble.
-That’s now 2 HR in 3 career ABs for Alex Rodriguez facing Brian Fuentes.
-For those of us paying attention, there’s a reason why Girardi hasn’t been willing to stick with Joba longer than going batter to batter with him. While everyone has been looking at his fastball velocity, his slider has been consistently bad for the first few batters he’s faced. It was like that in the ALDS, and again last night. Tim McCarver referred to his first few offerings with the slider as ‘cement mixers’ which are pitches that are cued up for the batters to hit, as if on a tee. He needs to get his slider down and he hasn’t been doing it consistently. He’s gotten away with them, because hitters have been sitting fastball and the change of speed throws them off. Now that this has happened a few times in a row, expect the advance scouts to notice this and tell their hitters to sit on the slider with him. Once they do that, Joba’s going to get absolutely hammered and it could very well cost us a game. Girardi is 100% right to be extremely cautious with him, I would be.
-I’ve heard some kick around the idea that the Angels are intimidated, that’s why they’re making so many fundamental errors, just like the Twins did. While I think the Twins knew they had to take chances to beat the Yanks, I’m not buying into that with the Angels just yet. The weather was horrendous both games and the Yanks made just as many errors last night. Lets wait and see what happens in Anaheim.
-Nobody’s a bigger critic of Tim McCarver than I am, but he was on top of his game last night. He made some good points, didn’t beat any dead horses and even corrected himself on the Tex stretch play from the night before. Joe Buck has been much better as well, he seems to have dropped his ‘I’m bored with this game’ act and is calling a solid game this year. Buck even had a very funny line on the play where Mariano snatched a short J. Mathis pop fly out of A-Rod’s glove in the 10th, saying “For the kids who are watching, be sure to always use 4 hands when catching fly balls”
-Kevin Jepsun is the Angels not-so secret weapon out of the bullpen. He looked very good last night, and don’t let his shaky regular season numbers fool you. He had a horrendous April, where he logged 10 of his 19 walks and pitched to an ERA of 19.29. After that, he’s steadily improved and has posted an ERA of 2.52 since June 1st, striking out 47 in 50 IP walking less than 2 per 9 IP. He’s the real deal.
-Kudos to the fans who ignored the weather reports and braved the cold and rain last night. You were rewarded with a memorable game, but frankly you deserved even more. Looks like the Yanks have delivered just that. The Yanks are opening up Yankee Stadium to the public to watch Game 3 on the big screen in centerfield. Here’s the info with a message from Hal Steinbrenner:
“We wanted to provide a place for our fans to come together to cheer for our team, even if the game itself is taking place across the country,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a news release. “This is a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for their continued support.”
Turnstiles between Gates 4 and 6 will open at 3:30 p.m. ET for the 4:13 p.m. game — broadcast on FOX — and fans can watch it in the Great Hall or in the open sections of the Field Level. Food and concession stands, as well as NYY Steak and Hard Rock Café, will be open and available to fans.
Good job by the Yanks, and for all who couldn’t get playoff tickets here’s a chance to get in on the action. Our buddies over at River Ave are getting a meet up together, click here for more info.
photo courtesy of the NY Daily News
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