Movies We’ve Seen Before

October 16, 2010 – 12:48 pm

NYY 6, Texas 5. This team is becoming quite the enigma. For the first five months of the season, the Yankees were without a doubt the best team in baseball. Then come September, one could argue that they were one of the worst. But then the division series started, and they were right back to being the dominating team they were before September, easily eliminating the Twins, who were arguably the hottest team in baseball at the end of the regular season. So which version of the Yankees would show up for the ALCS?

Dustin MoseleyWell, for the first six innings this sure looked like the September Yankees. CC Sabathia had his worst start of the season, getting shelled for 5 runs in just 4 innings, walking 4, throwing two wild pitches, and even throwing in a balk for good measure. In the first inning alone, he threw just 16 of 36 pitches for strikes (44%). The curve ball he hung in the middle of the plate to Josh Hamilton, hell, I could have hit out of the ballpark. And in the mean time, the offense was pulling one of it’s patented no-shows, getting shut out by C.J. Wilson on just three hits. The top of the order at that point was 0-for-12, a movie we’ve certainly seen many times before.

But then things started to change in the fifth when the bullpen took over for CC — yet another movie we’ve seen before. Joba Chamberlain and Dustin Moseley breezed through the Rangers with three innings on no-hit relief, and then at long last the offense showed up in the top of the seventh. And who else to get things going than the combination of Brett Gardner, beating out an infield hit to lead off, and then The Captain doubling home Gardner and in the process chasing Wilson from the game. And yes, here was yet another “movie we’ve seen before”, as once the Yankee bats got past a solid starter and to a weak bullpen, the runs came fast and furious. By the time A-Rod, Cano, and Company had finished the job, it was a 6-5 lead for Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera to put on ice. Yep, one more movie we’ve seen before!

As big a win as this was, there’s the overshadowing issue of how unreliable CC Sabathia has become. Over his last four starts, two were very bad and only one would be considered a “good” start by CC standards. Had CC pitched well in this game, you would assume that using CC on short rest in Game 4 rather than risking an A.J. Burnett start would have been a very viable option. But now, that’s a hard argument to make. Not only do you pretty much have to go with A.J. Burnett in Game 4, but now the CC start in Game 5 becomes a huge question mark. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out. And let’s not overlook Dustin Moseley who looked outstanding in his two innings of work, allowing no hits, striking out four, and throwing 21 of 27 pitches for strikes. In fact, it was Moseley’s shut down performance that was the key to making this come-from-behind win possible. Moseley could end up being one of the keys to this whole series.

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