Game Thread: ALDS GAME ONE

UPDATE, 10:27 PM: The game has been officially postponed. They’re going to pick it up in the bottom of the second tomorrow; Game Two will now be on Sunday at 3:07. This sucks. A lot.

Just like at Opening Day, we’ve got CC Sabathia and the Yankees hosting Justin Verlander and the Tigers. I can’t believe it’s playoff time. The March to 28 starts in earnest tonight. Here are the lineups:

Detroit Tigers:

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Magglio Ordonez, RF
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Jhonny Peralta, SS
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Jorge Posada, DH
8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF

LET’S GO YANKEES!

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

138 thoughts on “Game Thread: ALDS GAME ONE

  1. T.O. Chris

    Nice to see Cano and Teixeira flipped, it should’ve happened quite a while back when Mark showed he was delivering mostly just power numbers.

    Looks like I might not be able to watch this game, since my power decided this would be the perfect time to go out for no reason… so hopefully this thread and gameday on my phone can keep me up to date.

    Go Yankees!

    • Professor Longnose

      Buster Olney tweeted that Rodriguez was key for the Yankees because the Yankees will be walking Cano. Maybe if Rodriguez gets a couple hits early, they won’t be so quick to walk Cano.

      • T.O. Chris

        He’s had such an injured season, I just hope he got enough at bats to get his timing down as much as possible. He really carried the whole team through the first two series in 09, he just needs part of that production this time.

        • Professor Longnose

          It’d be asking a lot for him to repeat that 2009 postseason, even if he was healthy. But I’ll settle for getting on base, even without power.

          Maybe Teixeira is heating up. That’d be great, too.

          • T.O. Chris

            He’s still capable of runs like that when healthy, but I don’t expect it this time. However if we reach the ALCS it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for him to get hot like that. Depending of course how the DS goes.

      • smurfy

        If Jete or Curtis get on, that’ll make it harder, but you’re right, Buster has a good point, because the way Verlander pitches to Robbie is also at issue. So Alex is key, but jete, Curtis or Robbie could short circuit that, too.

    • T.O. Chris, long time no see! Or maybe I’ve just been absent from the game threads of late. I may not be by a computer for much of the game, but I’ll try to check in periodically. How’s everyone feeling tonight? I’m psyched.

      • Professor Longnose

        I’m ready. I’m feeling positive about the Yankees. Let’s go.

        • T.O. Chris

          I’ll feel better once we win this game. I believe this game is pretty much the series. They won’t pitch Verlander again until game 5, so I think we can take this in 4 if we win tonight.

      • T.O. Chris

        Yeah it actually has been a while. I haven’t been on hardly at all for a good while, and it’s been even longer since I was in a game thread.

        Alright, power just came back on! I have to wait through this long load section for the TV to start up, but fingers crossed the power will stay on!

        • Great to have you back, and hopefully the power will hold up.

          • T.O. Chris

            Good to be back, couldn’t miss commenting with the crew in the playoffs!

        • Professor Longnose

          If the power goes out, get to a sports bar, quick. Or won’t they play the Yankees-Tigers in a sports bar in Texas?

          • T.O. Chris

            That’s an interesting question, I’m sure they would with no other games on. Though I wouldn’t be the most popular guy in the bar haha.

      • smurfy

        yeah, hi Chris. That’s a kick in the head that blackout.

        • T.O. Chris

          I called someone to see if their power was out, and apparently the power was out in the Kroger down the way too. Thank god is got back on in time for pitch 1!

        • Professor Longnose

          Hey, smurfy. Psyched?

          • smurfy

            kida psyched out by all the negative media waves, as well as the cold hard stats dished up hereabouts. Staying hopeful, tho.

          • Professor Longnose

            I got a good feeling. Big at bat for Cano.

  2. T.O. Chris

    This may be a 1-0, 2-1 game if Sabathia pitches like this.

    EDIT: Or maybe not…

  3. Professor Longnose

    Oh, crap!

    • T.O. Chris

      Remember when Delmon Young was suppose to be a “right handed Barry Bonds”? His career has really been all over the map, but he still has tons of talent.

      • Professor Longnose

        Came up with the Rays, didn’t he?

        • T.O. Chris

          Yup. I use to trade for both him and BJ Upton when they were still prospects in MLB 2K waaaay back in the day. Back when Upton was coming up as a short stop.

          Delmon was actually suppose to be the better prospect between the two.

  4. T.O. Chris

    We need to jump on Verlander early while he’s throwing that 93-94 feel out fastball, and before he gets into that 96-100 stuff he throws once he gets comfortable.

  5. Professor Longnose

    Gamecast has Tigers with a 51% chance of winning.

    • T.O. Chris

      They should be the slight betting favorite everywhere I believe. It has a lot to do with how good Fister has been, and how dominant Scherzer can be.

      • Professor Longnose

        The MLB network guys all picked Detroit. The Yankee Analysts all picked the Yankees.

        • T.O. Chris

          Gotta have a little Yankee homerism to balance out all the Yankee hate haha.

  6. Professor Longnose

    And with that baserunner, it moves to Yankees 52%. Weird.

  7. smurfy

    I like Jete’s plan to run there. If he hadn’t walked ‘im, we’d still have a man at second, surely. Great jump.

    • smurfy

      and the run feels fine, too.

      • Professor Longnose

        Yeah, nice.

  8. T.O. Chris

    I still can’t believe Cabrera use to play third. He’s bad at first…

    • Professor Longnose

      Yeah, that was just a bad play. No way around it.

  9. Professor Longnose

    Get that run in!!!!

    Rodriguez’s first test.

  10. Professor Longnose

    Thought Inge had a play.

    • T.O. Chris

      Yeah, he did for sure. Inge is usually a solid third baseman too.

  11. T.O. Chris

    Not pretty, but I’ll take it!

  12. Professor Longnose

    Oh, man, a 2-hour rain delay would be insane.

    • T.O. Chris

      What is up with New York and rain this year? Seems like every game either has rain, a rain delay, or a threat of rain.

      • Professor Longnose

        It seems like it’s been raining for a year straight.

      • smurfy

        the last two weeks have been nutty: lotsa gully wumpers.

        • T.O. Chris

          It’s been the exact opposite in Texas. We’ve been going through such a monster drought all year long that Bastrop broke out in wild fires that took like half of peoples homes down.

          • Professor Longnose

            You should run some gutters from the houses here to Texas.

          • T.O. Chris

            If you can figure it out, I’ll do it. It’s still notching 100 degrees here, and it’s almost October!

  13. T.O. Chris

    You know I use to feel great no matter who Teixeira faced, now I feel like matchups against real power guys aren’t in his favor at all. No one feasts off of power guys sure, but he’s become much less effective against them than he use to be.

    • Professor Longnose

      He swings at pitches way outside.

      • T.O. Chris

        Pitches down, like that Verlander change have really become his kryptonite. It seems like it has also made him hesitant at times as well. I can’t count how many times he took frustrating strikes on 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1 this year. He didn’t use to be like that to the degree he has been lately.

  14. Professor Longnose

    23 pitches for Verlander.

    He finished the first with 25.

    • T.O. Chris

      I don’t think it much matters with Velrander and Leyland. He’ll throw 130 in this one if he has too.

      • Professor Longnose

        Agreed. But if he gets there after 6…

        • T.O. Chris

          That certainly would be preferable.

  15. smurfy

    Well, some failure, but adequate success: made him work, evened the score.

    • Professor Longnose

      Yeah. 1-1 feels a LOT better than 1-0.

      • T.O. Chris

        Especially if we have to go into a rain delay. You don’t want to sit down and wait for an hour or two down a run, and come out pressing when the delay ends.

        • Professor Longnose

          If both Verlander and CC come out because of a rain delay with the score tied in the third, is that good for the Yankees?

          • T.O. Chris

            Well losing CC is never good, but not having to face Verlander isn’t bad. I think we have the better bullpen, but who do you go to coming out of the delay?

          • Professor Longnose

            What if they go to Burnett? Shudder.

          • T.O. Chris

            I never saw the final roster going into the playoffs, did he make it?

          • smurfy

            I’d say Phil. Yeah, AJ’s there. I liked Mike Francesa’s guess that he’s backstopping Nova, in case he gets rookie jitters, would take the second start.

  16. smurfy

    Alex and Tex show us the GE Capital Partnership Play.

  17. smurfy

    CC is killing them. Too bad they’ll have to stop this.

    • T.O. Chris

      How long can he sit before he can’t go back out? I know he’ll want to come back no matter what, but anything past 45 minutes to an hour would put that in danger.

      • smurfy

        I think that’s the rule. And Michael Kay has been strong on the story that CC’s hard patch started in August when there was a double rain delay in his no-hitter.

        Why don’t they take the pitcher out, and bring him back to start the 3rd game? I don’t know about muscle recovery, but if he could, be a better use, maybe.

        • T.O. Chris

          I think CC was just so dominant for so long that he had to have a rough patch equal to it.

          It would only be what, 2 days rest right? Physically it could be done, but I don’t see it happening.

          • smurfy

            Two days rest for 40 pitches(?) and the extensive warmup. Seems like that might work. Never saw anyone do it, but that’s me: always had to ask “why?” Nearly drove Mama mad, but she was too nice.

          • T.O. Chris

            It could be done, but I’m not sure if the Yankees would want to do it. They are already bringing him back for game 4, so I think they would want to keep him on schedule.

          • smurfy

            His slider quit on him for several starts, tho everyone was denying that. It is the weird factor that lends some credence to Michael’s claim that something hurt him in that rain delay-restart process.

          • T.O. Chris

            I’m not denying that could’ve played a role. It very well could have, but he wasn’t going to continue that dominating stretch all year. That very rarely happens, so based on the law of averages he was due for a significant decline. Both in stuff, and performance.

  18. T.O. Chris

    Did anyone watch Matt Moore today? They got something really special with that kid! I thought he might pitch 5-6 innings with 2 ER, but he simply dominated start to finish. Him and Price are a nasty 1-2 for the future!

    • Professor Longnose

      I saw it. He looked fabulous. Scary good.

      • Yeah, another tough lefty in the division, just what we need.

        • Professor Longnose

          The Yanks pound lefties, but they certainly didn’t pound him.

          • T.O. Chris

            Well it was the first time we ever saw him, so that does play a role into it as well. He’s scary good though as you said. He has one of the strongest lefty arms I’ve seen since Randy Johnson. It’s not that strong, but it’s darn strong.

    • smurfy

      Exceptionally smooth delivery, too. Solid, no gimmicks.

      • T.O. Chris

        I watched him pitch in the Futures Game during the All-Star break this year. He pitched 1 inning, and went below 100 maybe twice. I had no idea the future would be so soon though!

  19. T.O. Chris

    I wonder if I should wait this out, or go play Madden haha.

    • Professor Longnose

      What’s the plan if they can’t play?

      • T.O. Chris

        My plan would be Madden haha. However I’m not sure what would happen with the game at that point. You can’t do a double header both for the TV schedule, and because neither team would want to do it. I guess they make it up on the travel day? Then maybe remove one of the days off in the series.

        • Professor Longnose

          Yeah, I guess that would be it. Game 1 tomorrow, no travel day. OK.

          • T.O. Chris

            That would suck for the players though, flying to Detroit and playing that day. Good thing the Yanks always play night games in the playoffs.

  20. T.O. Chris

    Just looked over the roster. It’s probably Phil or Burnett if Sabathia can’t go, though this is probably exactly what the Yankees wanted to avoid when they left off Noesi.

    If Burnett/Hughes could pitch 3 inning you could go Wade, Ayala, Soriano, Robertson, Mariano. Assuming of course you collect a lead at some point.

    • Professor Longnose

      Someone on TBS said they’d both come out no matter what the delay.

      • T.O. Chris

        I heard that. Still at some point, say around the 2 hour mark, you could get so stiff that it’s not worth going back out. Though at that point they may call the game.

  21. Professor Longnose

    Sabathia has 4 K’s through two, but Verlander has a no hitter.

  22. T.O. Chris

    I can’t believe the Sox are parting ways with Francona. Unless he just wanted out, that is a stupid reaction move.

    • Professor Longnose

      I’ve been following that story, listening to WEEI for a few hours today. It seems to be Francona’s decision.

      Based on his record, and the things we know, he should stay. But we don’t know what happened in the clubhouse, whether he still has the relationships with the players he needs going forward.

      • T.O. Chris

        It was really telling to me when he said that the team hadn’t become as close as he would have liked during the season. When you look at the additions to the team though, you really only had Crawford, Gonzo, Jenks, Albers, and a couple other pen guys.

        I wonder if Carl’s struggles, and the contract he signed might have alienated some people.

        • Professor Longnose

          You forgot Gonzalez, who turned out to be a holier-than-thou excuse maker.

          • T.O. Chris

            I put in “Gonzo” for Adrian Gonzalez…

            I never read anything about that, what did he make excuses for? His terrible performances against the Yankees and Rays in Sept.?

            He had a great year, possibly his best season ever if you go by WAR. But I do find it funny he had his second lowest amount of HRs ever, when everyone was predicting 40-50+ going into the season.

          • Professor Longnose

            Right, Gonzo. My eye glazed over it.

            He said after the last game that it wasn’t in God’s plan for the Red Sox to go to the playoffs. Also, he said that part of the problem was that the Red Sox had to play so many ESPN Sunday night games, which made it a very tough schedule, and that nobody talks about that.

          • T.O. Chris

            It’s cool, I thought about putting A-Gone, to make it stick out more.

            I don’t care much for the whole destiny talk that comes from some players/fighters. Because it only seems to come when they lose.

            Haha, yeah those Sunday night games are killers. Good thing the Yankees don’t play any of those haha.

            I guess when you only play for the Padres that’s not something that ever comes up haha.

          • Thom

            God’s busy running a big operation. He has no time for worrying about MLB in general or, in particular, whether the Red Sox get in the post-season.

  23. Professor Longnose

    YES should have rain delay talk. They’ve got CenterStage. Bleh.

  24. T.O. Chris

    Wells haha! He said in his book how horrible Jeter was at singing, he must love bringing that up. He said in that book that he was the only one who like metal music too, so when his pitch day came he blew everyones ears out with his music haha. Torre apparently really hated it haha.

    • Professor Longnose

      Is his book worth reading?

      • T.O. Chris

        One of the best player autobiographies I’ve ever read. You get a real feeling for Wells, and you can really tell he put a lot of time in making sure you get his side of the story. Some auto’s you read they feel a lot more like the co-writer than the athlete.

        It was also one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while haha.

        It’s “David Wells: Perfect I’m not”.

        • Professor Longnose

          I’ll keep an eye out for it.

          • T.O. Chris

            Bob Gibson’s book is good too, though it gets a little much with all the race talk. I understand that was the time he grew up in, but after a while I want more baseball talk, and less racist people he encountered talk.

            He does say in the book how Tim Mccarver was a huge racist when he joined the Cardinals, and it took a while for him to change his attitude in that respect.

            Once he apparently asked Tim for a sip of some drink he had as a joke, and McCarver stumbled over his words and finally said “I’ll save you some” haha. Apparently they are good friends now though.

          • Professor Longnose

            I’m still a big fan of Leo Durocher’s Nice Guys Finish Last. Hugely fun, and Durocher had a knack of being around the most famous teams in baseball history.

          • T.O. Chris

            I’ll have to check that out.

          • smurfy

            yeah, thanks. Is it very good at getting into his psyche of pitching? Any other really good books in which the pitching process is discussed?

          • T.O. Chris

            Gibby’s book certainly gets you in his unique mindset. Wells’ book doesn’t go into the real depths of his pitching beliefs, but more events of his life and games he was in. I also enjoyed Doc Gooden’s book. But a large part of that book talks about his drug use, and throwing his best part of his career away.

            In Gooden’s book I found it interesting that he directly linked his loss of movement, and later velocity to his drinking. He said he was already on a physical decline when he started the cocaine, but the drinking killed what was special about him.

          • Professor Longnose

            I read Ryne Duren’s book, too. He pitched in the 50s and 60s. He had a 100-mph fastball, very bad vision, and a drinking problem. They said hitters were afraid to stand in the box against him.

          • T.O. Chris

            “I read Ryne Duren’s book, too. He pitched in the 50s and 60s. He had a 100-mph fastball, very bad vision, and a drinking problem. They said hitters were afraid to stand in the box against him.”

            I wish we could have gotten some more definitive numbers on those old timers fastballs. Guys like Walter Johnson and Bob Feller for instance, their reported velocities rank as high as anyone pitching today.

          • Professor Longnose

            Yeah, they may be overestimated. We can’t know.

          • T.O. Chris

            “Yeah, they may be overestimated. We can’t know.”

            I once saw a show where they broke down Walter Johnson’s fastball down on a video, and tried to come up with feet per second and convert it to MPH and said he was probably throwing 91 MPH. However who knows how accurate that is.

          • smurfy

            his fastball was really a beautiful thing, would rise a foot near home plate.

          • T.O. Chris

            “his fastball was really a beautiful thing, would rise a foot near home plate.”

            Doc said that was the first thing to go. He said he was still throwing hard as ever to start, but the rise on his fastball left. The following year the velocity went with it, and he could never reclaim it. It’s actually kind of sad to think at one point he realized he drank away such a beautiful, natural, once in a lifetime talent.

          • smurfy

            On Walter Johnson’s fastball: he slung it in such an easy, sashaying sidearm delivery. Smooth as casually flinging a rock in the river.

  25. Professor Longnose

    The shovel pass! Warms the cockles of my heart.

  26. Professor Longnose

    Dammit, I’m primed for baseball, not rain delays!

  27. Professor Longnose

    I’m going to need some caffeine.

    • smurfy

      that sounds good, but I think I’m tuned for popcorn.

  28. T.O. Chris

    I honestly think the Rays are the favorites in the AL to make it to the Series. With that pitching staff they can do serious damage.

    • Professor Longnose

      Maybe, but I wouldn’t put a nickel on anyone in the AL. They’re too closely matched.

      • T.O. Chris

        As overall teams I agree. But when you can throw Price, Shields, Moore, and Hellickson out. No one can really compete with that, rotation wise.

    • Except the reason they started Moore was Niemann’s banged up and Price has been awful in his last 4 starts. He may be gassed. That leaves Shields and Hellickson (pitching innings he’s never pitched). Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

      • T.O. Chris

        These are valid points, but I still have them as the favorites. Doesn’t mean they can’t lose, just means I think their rotation is really dominant.

        I’ll take even a gassed Price over most of the league, and he may have enough adrenaline fuel to dial it up now that we are in the playoffs. Moore proved to be dominant enough against us and the Rangers, that I doubt they even want Niemann back in the rotation for the rest of the postseason. Shields is having by far his best year of his career, and with Hellickson’s change I think he can pitch well through the innings push. Plus usually pitchers with big time inning jumps don’t feel it until the following year.

        All I know is if we had that rotation, I would be feeling very confident. Pitching usually wins comes postseason time, and we are going to have to ride the big man throughout.

        • smurfy

          That is impressive, and James Shields is masterful. But, I believe we got to Hellickson, didn’t we? Even Shields, we waited him out and did him in.

          • T.O. Chris

            We beat Shields once I know, and I know he beat us once. But I feel like there was another Shields game I can’t remember…?

            Hellickson pitched us tough, but I don’t remember what the final scores were at the end of those games in particular. He gives our lefties trouble with that change though.

  29. T.O. Chris

    So what are the odds we actually start this thing back up again?

    • Professor Longnose

      I don’t know. Forecasts had light rain. Now this. Supposed to be a window, but who knows?

      • T.O. Chris

        Looks like it won’t be happening.

        • Professor Longnose

          Dang. I’m all pumped up.

  30. Professor Longnose

    I won’t be around the game thread either tomorrow or Sunday, probably tomorrow. So enjoy the game, everyone.

    • T.O. Chris

      Yeah, what a way to ruin the first game of the playoffs!

  31. T.O. Chris

    So tomorrow is the finish of game 1, and then Sunday afternoon is game 2, with no off day Monday?

    • Professor Longnose

      That’s it.

      • T.O. Chris

        So Nova and Fister tomorrow I assume. But then do they go with Smurfy’s idea and pitch Sabathia Sunday, or do they wait and have Sabathia pitch Monday?

        If Nova goes 7 innings tomorrow he will have thrown a complete game. It obviously won’t technically be a CG, but it would be the same thing in essence.

        • Professor Longnose

          I’m all amped up. I don’t want to wait 22 hours.

  32. Professor Longnose

    Now they’re saying that Sabathia and Verlander may come back Sunday for Game 2. But Game 5, if needed, would be Wednesday. So neither would be able to come back.

    If Sabathia came back tomorrow, he could start on short rest in Game 5.

    • T.O. Chris

      Eckersley is saying there is no way they pitch tomorrow, and he fully believes they will pitch Sunday.

      The real question is what happens if tomorrow gets rained out?

      • Professor Longnose

        Doubleheader Monday?

        • T.O. Chris

          Can they do that? With the way TV dictates schedules I can’t see them having the room to put both games on TV, and TBS isn’t losing the brodcast to fit it in. Plus I’m sure that’s the last thing the players want.

          • Professor Longnose

            Then just one a day, until it’s over. What other choice is there?

          • T.O. Chris

            I guess you’re right. I can’t think of anything else they can do.

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