Ibanez the hero again as the Yankees walk off in extras

The good:

  • Other than Ibanez, the hero of the night was definitely Hiroki Kuroda, who held the Orioles to two runs and five hits over 8.1 innings. he got caught trying to throw get me over breaking balls to Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado, Baltimore’s eighth and ninth hitters, both of which were turned around for home runs, but that was about the extent of the damage he allowed. He wasn’t at his sharpest, hitting two batters on the night, including Mark Reynolds to load the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, but he made big pitches when he had to and went deep into the game to keep the team in the game while the offense floundered. Huge, huge, effort by Kuroda tonight.
  • In addition to Ibanez, a couple of other guys deserve some kudos for that ninth inning home run. First, Joe Girardi, for having the guts to actually call on him to pinch hit for A-Rod. I thought he should have done the same thing on Monday night, but he didn’t, and even though I broached the topic again tonight I never actually thought he would really do it until I saw Ibanez in the on deck circle. That’s an out of character move for Girardi, but exactly what this time of year calls for. Secondly, A-Rod himself deserves at least some acknowledgement for being the first guy off of the bench to congratulate Ibanez, especially since the TBS broadcasters decided to rehash Joe Torre’s claims that Alex is only about numbers earlier in the night. Really looked like a guy who doesn’t care about his team there.
  • Russell Martin and Derek Jeter both got two hits on the night and were the only Yankees to do anything against Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez. The only run the Yankees got on anything other than an Ibanez home run came in the third inning when Martin doubled into left and Jeter followed with a triple to the warning track in center field. Adam Jones probably should have caught the ball, but he got a bad read off the bat, took a step or two in, and then couldn’t recover in time to catch up to it.
  • Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano, and David Robertson combined to pitch 3.2 innings and keep Baltimore off of the scoreboard. The only time any of them were in trouble was in the 10th inning when Soriano allowed Robert Andino to get to second after a sacrifice bunt by Machado, but he managed to work out of it and finish the inning. Robertson and Soriano both pitched more than one inning, while Logan stayed in just long enough to strike out Jim Thome. Kuroda made it pretty easy on him, but that was good bullpen management by Girardi nonetheless.

The bad:

  • The Yankees were hoping that the third time would be the charm against Miguel Gonzalez, but alas they didn’t fare any better against him than they did the first two times they saw him this year. And with the exception of Jeter and Martin, they barely looked like major league hitters against him either. Gonzalez ended his night having struck out eight Yankees with no walks, five hits, and just a sole run allowed. He threw only 99 pitches before being taken out after the seventh, much to the consternation of just about every Orioles fan I know. Martin and Jeter were due up in the eighth, however, and Darren O’Day did work a perfect inning in relief before Johnson blew the save.
  • A-Rod is bound to get the headlines after going 0-3 with two strikeouts, and obviously being pinch hit for with the game on the line, but the worst at bat of the night, by far belonged to Robinson Cano, who struck out on four pitches in the sixth inning without seeing a pitch anywhere near the strike zone. Seriously, the Orioles were trying to pitch around him with two outs and the bases empty, and he went up there hacking blindly in obvious frustration. There’s really no excuse for that.
  • Derek Jeter left the game after the eighth inning with an apparent foot injury. He fouled a ball off of the top of his left foot in the first inning, and was in obvious pain for the rest of the night. Several times TBS caught him limping so bad he could hardly walk, and he was unable to put his weight onto his front foot when he struck out to end the eighth inning. Jayson Nix replaced him and made a nice unassisted double play to end the tenth inning He was diagnosed with a bone bruise in the foot, and is officially listed as day to day.

The bottom line:

The Yankees snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and moved within a win of advancing to the ALCS. What’s more, for the first time all season they may have left the Orioles wondering if they really can beat the Bombers, or if they’re going to come up just short. The looks on pretty much everyone in a Baltimore uniform after Ibanez took Matusz deep in the 12th was one of abject dejection, but they’ll have no time to dwell on losing a) a one run game, b) an extra innings game for the first time in 17 such contests, c) when leading after the seventh inning for the first time all year. Also, you have to wonder if Buck Showalter will have any hesitation about using Johnson in a big situation tomorrow after the closer has failed to get the job in two of the last three games. Either way, the Yankees now have two chances to take the series, and have at least guaranteed that they’ll get the ball back into the hands of C.C. Sbathia before the series ends. They’d much prefer to take care of business tomorrow, however, when Phil Hughes takes the mound to face Joe Saunders, the hero of the Orioles’ last elimination game.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

32 thoughts on “Ibanez the hero again as the Yankees walk off in extras

  1. I constantly look back to the offseason and being frusterated and disappointed that Ibanez was our big signing this winter. Obviously cashman saw something a lot of us didn't (or refused to see) in an over the hill platoon hittng dh.

  2. I commented on an earlier post that I felt pretty good about today's game, but I have to admit it was painful to watch for the first 8 innings. Just when I was thinking I had been overly optimistic Raul did his thing, and Lazlo's place became a one man party. When he did it again in the twelfth I couldn't even be surprised. Dude has it going.

    I'm beginning to think I might have over estimated ARod's ability to impact this series. We'll see. Kuroda was great for the most part, and Jeter was good as well.

    Like you I was surprised to see Ibanez hit for Rodriguez. I thought if Joe didn't move him back in the order he was making a statement that he would live and die with ARod hitting 3rd. Good call by Joe, incredible performance by Ibanez, outstanding reaction by ARod.

    That is all, I'm going to bed.

  3. yankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswinyankswin

  4. Ibanez just booked my ticket to maybe see the clincher live. Ironic last alds clincher I saw was 2010 with Hughes ..and now Hughes pitches tomorrow..de ja vu all over gain?

  5. Just a great, ballsy move by Joe to sit down a thoroughly overmatched hitter….

    lost in the shuffle, yankee pitchers have given up 7 total runs in 30 innings, no??? and, martin and jeter have been the only 2 guys besides ibanez having good consistent at bats

    • Gonzalez just couldn't fool them the way he was fooling lefties tonight. I guess because he wasn't going to use his split/change against them.

    • Just think, if the Os had managed a run in the 11th, Girardi would have been blasted for keeping Ibanez on the bench until the 9th inning. Funny time of year.

  6. Just a nit-pick: Andino singled in the eighth and was sacrificed to second; it wasn't a double.

    That was one of the most exciting and unbelievable endings I've ever seen. This is why I love baseball: I've been a fan for over 40 years, and still I see things I've never seen before.

  7. And now Oakland just won..making my other wish come true for the night…great night in yankeeland:)

  8. Arod should be ashamed. He was relieved when he got pulled. Professional pride should make him want to come out tomorrow and beat the cover off the ball. We shall see.

    • Ashamed? c'mon.

      This guy has IMMENSE pride in his craft and if you don't think he's DYING inside for not helping his team, you're flat out wrong. Love 'em or hate 'em, there's never been any doubt about ARod's effort or desire to succeed. None. Period.

  9. Girardi deserves credit for pinch-hitting for A-Rod. It was definitely the correct move but not an easy one.

    The question is – If the Yankees move on to the ALCS and Detroit beats Oakland, what value is there in even keeping A-Rod on the roster against Detroit's righty-stacked rotation? I think the Yankees need to come up with a medical excuse for A-Rod and keep him off the roster.

  10. The Daily News says that Mo told A-Rod "Don't worry, Raoul will hit a home-run". On the replay you can clearly see A-Rod turn to Mo and say "You were right!".

  11. Ever since they signed Raul, I've been shouting from the rafters that he would be the ideal candidate to neutralize Brian Matusz in the playoffs!

  12. My surround was working fine last nite – Alex's "Wooo Hooo" was the loudest thing I heard when Ibanez came back to the dugout. And yes, Mo and Alex looked very happy on the bench – I saw nothing bad on Alex's face/expressions.

    Thanks Brien – was going to mention Cano's flailing at those 4 consecutive balls myself. Leave it to Robby to strike out on what was planned to be a walk by the pitcher and catcher.

  13. Remember when everyone hated the Ibanez signing and wanted him cut in spring training?

    I picture Cashman in his suite last night doing that "I'm scratching my nose with my middle finger so I can subtly flip you the bird" thing.

    • I picture Cashman in his suite last night doing that "I'm scratching my nose with my middle finger so I can subtly flip you the bird" thing.

      OK, I laughed at that one. Well done.

  14. Really, I couldn't be any happier for Kuroda and Ibanez. Kuroda was lost in the dust of the Pineda/Montero trade and has been more than a tremendous surprise. Ibanez has long been lauded as a great teammate, a true professional, so it's nice to see him thrive when called upon. It takes a special kind of person/hitter to sit for nearly 9 innings and then come in cold with the game on the line, and deliver. And then do it again.

    The long knives are out after ARod again. He said ALL the right things and while most want to doubt his sincerity, I actually believe him. I might not have a few years ago, but now, I think he's being honest. Or so I WANT to think.

  15. I'm not sure there is any piece/article that can do justice to last nights game. There just aren’t the words to describe the Yankees win but especially Ibanez’s performance AND the guts it took for Girardi to PH for A-Rod in the 9th inning. This is what October baseball is all about, expect the unexpected.

  16. By my calculation Ibanez has to be the best signing bargain for the Yankees/Cashman is a very, very long time. Signed for a guarantee of $1.1MM plus plate appearance incentives that to date come to just over $2MM. I'm no math whiz but that comes to just over $3.1MM as of today for the 2012 season. Between that and the little over $2MM the Yankees are responsible for Ichiro's salary should make Cashman the Executive of the Year. But of course Dan Duquette with get it because of the usual anti Yankee bias. Just my biased opinion.

  17. Ibanez made postseason history by being the first person to ever tie the game in the 9th inning with a HR and then hit the game-winning HR in extra innings.

    Baltimore's rookies were the first pair of rookies to hit HRs in the same postseason game.

    Lastly, while Baltimore won 16 straight extra-inning games prior to last night, but they are now 0-3 against the Yankees in extra-inning games for this season.

  18. "Secondly, A-Rod himself deserves at least some acknowledgement for being the first guy off of the bench to congratulate Ibanez, especially since the TBS broadcasters decided to rehash Joe Torre’s claims that Alex is only about numbers earlier in the night. Really looked like a guy who doesn’t care about his team there."

    This is a typo right? He looked like a guy who does care about his team.

  19. I believe the use of "doesn't" was intended as a sarcastic jab at the TBS broadcasters.

    • The meme in general more than the broadcasters. They were actually pretty pro-Alex, especially Ripken, who more or less bashed Torre for hitting him eighth.