A-Rod + CC With A Melky Chaser

October 21, 2009 – 1:08 pm

NYY 10, Los Angeles 1. Finally for the first time this post-season the Yankees were hitting on all cylinders. Well, all except the ones in Jorge Posada’s brain, but that’s another story. CC Sabathia delivered his third playoff gem in a row — he’s now 3-0 in the post-season with a 1.19 ERA, earning every penny the Yankees shelled out for him, and then some. CC did make it exciting though in the fifth and sixth innings when he did his very best Andy Pettitte imitation,  allowing 5 of 7 consecutive Angel batters to reach base. And kudos to Joe Girardi for sticking with CC — it would have been easy to yank him somewhere there in the sixth inning on the theory that he was running out of gas what with starting on only three days rest. But Girardi never even got anyone up in the bullpen, and CC turned the heat back up and retired the next eight hitters in a row. Girardi does as good a job managing the starters as he does a poor job in managing the relievers. Weird.

A-Bomb from A-RodOffensively, the Yankee bats finally woke up as well — although they had shown signs of that in Monday’s game. Alex Rodriguez continued his October rampage, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fifth that pretty much busted the game open. And Melky Cabrera matched A-Rod’s 3-for-4 with four RBIs of his own. While all the Yankee relievers had the night off, the Angels were forced to burn through four of their relievers, and that could pay dividends in what will hopefully be the clinching game tomorrow. At this point the only real concern offensively for the Yankees is Mark Teixeira, and on a couple of at-bats he looked like he was starting to come around, as he did get one solid line drive single, and in a couple of other at-bats hit some long foul balls. Still though, he ended up with two Ks and only got the ball out of the infield once, so that’s still got to be a major concern. If Tex can get going, that should be the final piece to the puzzle.

The one bit of real ugliness in this game was the umpiring. Fortunately it really didn’t have much of an effect on the final outcome. But for the second time in the post-season we saw some really inexplicable calls. It started with the missed call on Swisher caught napping at second base and easily picked off — but somehow the umpire missed the call. It was clearly a bad call, but if that was the end of it, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But then shortly after that, Tim McClelland called Swisher out for leaving too early on a sac fly, when Swisher very clearly did not leave early. Now that’s a hard call to blow, and given the circumstances it smelled like a make-up call for Swisher not being called out a couple of plays earlier. But then in the very next inning, Posada and Cano both made huge base-running blunders in a rundown and both were very clearly tagged out by Mike Napoli — yet McClelland mysteriously did not rule both of them out. As someone who ardently opposes the use of any kind of instant replay in baseball, calls like these are rather disturbing. The umpires chosen for post-season are supposed to be the “best of the best”. They need to get their act together, and fast.

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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