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Live blog: Yankees-Rangers ALCS Game 1

Oct 15, 2010, 11:59 PM EDT


UPDATE: It’s all over. Thanks to a stunning eighth inning comeback, the Yankees have taken Game 1 of the ALCS over the Rangers 6-5.

Mitch Moreland singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera and was then bunted over to second base by Elvis Andrus. Not the worst play if you are trying to stay alive, but it’s tough to give up even one out when you are facing the best closer in the history of the world. Michael Young hung in there against Rivera, but eventually struck out swinging for the second out. Josh Hamilton grounded out to Alex Rodriguez end it, stranding Moreland at second base.

Thanks for hanging out at HBT tonight. Stay tuned for our post-game wrap-up from our very own Aaron Gleeman.

11:47 PM: The Yankees missed a prime chance to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning. After Derek Jeter led off with a double, Yankees manager Joe Girardi oddly made the call for Nick Swisher to bunt…with nobody out. Swisher popped up the bunt and Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez followed with consecutive fly outs to end the inning. Mariano Rivera enters the bottom of the ninth with a 6-5 lead.

11:32 PM: Yikes. The nightmare isn’t over yet. Ian Kinsler led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a four-pitch walk against Kerry Wood, but proceeded to get picked off first base. That’s a killer. Wood then got David Murphy to ground out and Julio Borbon to strike out swinging. The Rangers are actually hitless since Michael Young’s two-run double in the fourth inning. It’s 6-5 as we head to the top of the ninth.

11:20 PM: Completing a nightmare eighth inning for the Rangers, the Yankees jumped ahead 6-5 on a broken bat single by Marcus Thames. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of debate about using Ron Washington using Holland against a lefty-killer like Thames. Of course, if Washington would have brought in a right-hander there, he probably would have had to face Lance Berkman. Pick your poison, I guess.

By the way (via Aaron), here’s Nolan Ryan’s reaction to the top of the eighth inning. I feel bad for you Rangers fans, but this is pretty classic stuff.

11:08 PM: We’re all tied up in Texas. The Yankees have plated four runs and Ron Washington is about to use his fifth pitcher of the inning. And there’s still nobody out!

After taking over for C.J. Wilson, Darren Oliver walked Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira to load the bases. Darren O’Day then entered, giving up a rocket to Alex Rodriguez past Michael Young and into left field. Derek Jeter and Swisher scored to narrow the gap to 5-4. Washington made another pitching change, bringing in Clay Rapada to face Robinson Cano. He singled to center field, bringing Teixeira home — Rodriguez was able to make it to third on an error by Josh Hamilton. Left-hander Derek Holland is in to face Marcus Thames with runners on first and third.

10:53 PM: C.J. Wilson was just pulled from the game after giving up an RBI double to Derek Jeter in the top of the eighth. He received a well deserved standing-ovation from the Arlington faithful as he walked off the field. All told, Wilson gave up six hits while walking a pair and striking out four. He threw 68 out of 104 pitches for strikes. Can’t ask for much better.

Darren Oliver is now in the game to face Nick Swisher with Jeter on second base and no outs.

10:30 PM: The Yankees are finally on the board. Robinson Cano just snuck one just inside the right field foul pole to lead off the top of the seventh inning, ending the shutout for C.J. Wilson. Interestingly, left-handed batters didn’t hit a single home run against Wilson in 171 plate appearances during the regular season. In fact, it was the first time he had served up a home run to a lefty batter since June 3, 2008 (Shin-Soo Choo).

10:17 PM: C.J. Wilson needed just nine pitches to get through a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning. The Yankees desperately need baserunners, so it was a little surprising to see Nick Swisher swinging on the first pitch to lead off the inning. Wilson now has six shutout innings under his belt.

Dustin Moseley is coming in for the Yankees in the bottom of the sixth. Like Joba Chamberlain before him, this is his first appearance since October 3.

9:56 PM: Derek Jeter grounded into an inning-ending double play in the top of the fifth, so the score remains 5-0.

In other news, Joba Chamberlain is in the game to start the bottom of the fifth inning, as C.C. Sabathia is done for the night. He gave up six hits while walking four and striking out three. Aside from a playoff tuneup last October and an injury-shortened start last June, this was his shortest outing as a Yankee. It’s probably for the best. If the Yankees come back, great. If not, they may need him for Game 4.

9:41 PM: The Rangers finally cashed in against C.C. Sabathia in the bottom of the fourth. Michael Young doubled the other way to drive in Matt Treanor and Elvis Andrus, giving the Rangers a 5-0 cushion. Joba Chamberlain is up in the Yankees’ bullpen, as Sabathia is at 95 pitches through four innings.

9:32 PM: Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames had back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the fourth, but C.J. Wilson was able to get Jorge Posada to fly out and escape. He has thrown 58 pitches through four innings, walking one and striking out three (including two swinging strikeouts of Alex Rodriguez).

By the way, Craig just tweeted this link to Nolan Ryan’s first pitch. Pretty cool if you haven’t seen it. He can still bring the heat.

9:13 PM: Josh Hamilton led off the bottom of the third with a walk, then earned his antlers by stealing second base on a swinging strikeout by Vladimir Guerrero. CC Sabathia balked, moving him to third base, but the big southpaw was able to get Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler to ground out, keeping the score at 3-0. The Yanks are pretty darn fortunate to be this close.

9:02 PM: The Yankees just had their first threat of the game in the top of the third inning, but were unable to score. Despite giving up a single to Curtis Granderson and walking Brett Gardner, C.J. Wilson threw just 13 pitches in the inning.

8:51 PM: After throwing 36 pitches in the first, Sabathia retired the side in order on 14 pitches in the second. He continued to miss up on his first two batters in the frame, but had a nice sequence on Michael Young, striking him out looking for the third out.

8:35 PM: Didn’t see that one coming. Pitching on nine-days’ rest, CC Sabathia struggled to command his fastball in the bottom of the first, throwing just 16 out of 36 pitches for strikes and walking three. It could have been a lot worse, too, as the third out was recorded at home plate after a wild pitch. Fortunately, it looks like home plate umpire Gerry Davis got this call right.

As for Josh Hamilton, he probably won’t have to answer any more questions about his poor performance at the plate during the ALDS. He turned on a hanging curveball and eeked it over the right field fence to give the Rangers an early 3-0 lead. That’s where we stand after one.

8:11 PM: C.J. Wilson just negotiated his way through a 1-2-3 top of the first, throwing just 12 pitches. Wilson led the American League with 93 walks during the regular season, averaging 4.1 BB/9, so look for the Yankees to work the count as the game continues. Of course, they are the Yankees, so we should expect nothing less.

8:00 PM: At long last, baseball.

Game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Rangers is just a few short minutes away.

With that in mind, I’ll be dropping some of my random thoughts and observations right here throughout the night. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section.

Tonight’s starters:

C.J. Wilson – The southpaw went 15-8 with 3.35 ERA during the regular season, including a 5.65 ERA in three starts against the Bombers. He tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Rays in Game 2 of the ALDS.

CC Sabathia – The big left-hander was 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA during the regular season, including six innings of one-run ball in his lone start against the Rangers on April 16. He allowed four runs — three earned — over six innings in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins.

Looking for tonight’s lineups? Aaron has you covered right here.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 15, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I’ve seen the Texas slugger and the damage done. (With apologies to Neil Young.)

  2. Richard In Big D - Oct 15, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    DJ, as one fan to another, with my rooting interest being the Rangers, I BEG YOU, be cryptic in your descriptions of the ongoing performance of CJ Wilson. Through 2, he has yet to allow a baserunner. 6 up, 6 down. Extend that out as far as need be (hopefully through 9/27). You know what I mean, and it means a lot to me…

    • D.J. Short - Oct 15, 2010 at 8:54 PM

      Haha. Noted, although Curtis Granderson just singled.

      • Richard In Big D - Oct 15, 2010 at 9:30 PM

        Appreciate the sentiment, even though the point is moot now.

  3. madhatsam - Oct 15, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Ok TBS if you are going to show the replays and compliment the Umps when they make a good call like Davis did on the tag at home you god damn better call out the Umps when they mess up. I hate both TBS and FOX when it comes to how they do their broadcasts but obvious favoritism towards MLB and the Umps is just sad.

  4. The Rabbit - Oct 15, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Ruh Roh…Are the Yankees conceding down 5-0?
    The Toad is warming up.

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 15, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Rangers in overtime tonight. By the end of the day, either teams called the Rangers or New York based teams will be double losers tonight.

  6. pisano - Oct 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    This is going to be a rough series for the Yankees . I felt the running game of Texas would tell the story , but I had no idea CC would be so shaky . I no it’s only the first game but I feel the Yanks are in trouble here . If you let a team think they can beat you , they usually do .

  7. keithosaunders - Oct 15, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    The wheels are off.

  8. adampschroeder - Oct 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    The 8th inning was everything I hate and respect about the Yankees. They always seem to get the breaks. The broken bats, pitchers imploding. But I guess, like they say, you make your own luck.

  9. Lapse In Judgment - Oct 15, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    That picture from Aaron is perfect. So much failure!

  10. Old Gator - Oct 16, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    Hard to tell which of the two meltdowns left the biggest puddle: Darren Oliver’s, on the mound, or Ron Washington, who panicked and threw more pitchers out of the bullpen than the pitchers threw strikes. Wilson got pulled too early over giving up a perfectly routine infield bouncer, or maybe he was being spanked for failing to cover first in time. Either way, b-a-a-a-ad move.

    I can already smell a rematch next week. Phillies in six, mark my words.

  11. rover27 - Oct 16, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    I hate the Yankees, but I hate George Bush way more. And to see that !@$&@ sitting there…next to Nolan Ryan…means I’ll never pull for Texas in any game they play. No matter who their opponent.

    • Old Gator - Oct 16, 2010 at 12:32 AM

      Fortunately, I missed that shot – I was probably in the kitchen mixing myself an acai banana strawberry smoothie and spreading caviar egg salad on a couple of multigrain crackers. Anyway, I’m gonna relax and not think about politics tonight, not even think about Bush and the ash heap of history, and revel instead in the way the Borg take advantage of every little opportunity you give them. I once had a small octopus in my saltwater aquarium who was like that. If you left the lid open a hair, or forgot to put screen caps on the filter siphons, the little bastard would find some way to squeeze out of the tank. Octopi are remarkably intelligent, unlike, say, George Bush, and I didn’t want to give up the fun of showing visitors how he could unscrew a sunken jar to get his shrimp dinner out of it, something that Bush never needed to learn how to do what with all the domestic help his mommy and daddy had, or show off his 1600 SAT verbal scores – the octopus’, I mean – so I made sure never to give him the opportunity to escape. When he got a little bigger, I boiled him, marinated him in olive oil and garlic, threw him on the grill, and had him for lunch, much the way the Borg just feasted on the Rangers bullpen. Did I feel guilty about eating something nearly sentient? No. Did A-Rod feel guilty about that two run single? No.

  12. apbaguy - Oct 16, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    I’ve been puzzled by Wash’s use of O’Day during the post-season, and indeed, his LaRussa-like over managing of the pen. Tonight it bit him-hard-and hopefully he’ll learn from it. You cannot take a 5-0 lead against the Yanks into the last third of the game and lose and expect to book passage to Philadelphia. Make no mistake: there is huge pressure on the Rangers and Colby Lewis tomorrow.

    As for Geo Bush being at the game, somehow he made $16M on his parents’ $ 800k investment in the team when he was President of the Rangers. There was no Whitewater type investigation of that. Maybe this loss is karma, but I think it was more the Yankees doing what they do. Gator’s octopus analogy is sound: you simply cannot make any mistakes or give them any opportunity. Otherwise the Yankees will beat you.

    Huge game tomorrow. Huge.

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