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Ranking the blame for the Yankees’ loss

Oct 7, 2011, 12:57 AM EDT

CC Sabathia Reuters

Here’s a fun fact: the only one of the Yankees’ five highest-paid players to actually have a successful ALDS against the Tigers was A.J. Burnett.

But who is the most to blame for the series loss?  Let’s go in reverse order.

5. Joe Girardi – I don’t think he’s the main culprit here, though he could have employed a quicker hook with a struggling CC Sabathia in Game 3. One can also argue that he should have been more aggressive in using his best relievers — Mariano Rivera and David Robertson combined to pitch 3 1/3 innings in five games — but as well as the other relievers did, it probably wouldn’t have mattered much. Pinch-hitting Eric Chavez for Brett Gardner in Game 2 was his one bizarre move, and that one definitely didn’t work.

4. Derek Jeter – The Captain hit .250 with just one extra-base hit and an 8/1 K/BB ratio in the series. In the seventh inning or later, he was 2-for-9 with no RBI and five strikeouts. He also made an error that helped lead to two runs in the 5-3 loss in Game 2.

3. Alex Rodriguez – A-Rod managed just two singles in 18 at-bats in the series, though he did drive in three runs and walk four times. Thursday’s performance was his worst: he fanned in three of his five plate appearances, including in the game-ending at-bat against Jose Valverde.

2. Mark Teixeira – Girardi should have moved A-Rod out of the cleanup spot earlier in the series, but the likely replacement, Teixeira, may not have been any better. Teixeira finished the series 3-for-18. He did double and drive in a run with a bases-loaded walk tonight, but he failed to collect an RBI in the first four games.

1. CC Sabathia – Six runs in 8 2/3 innings for the Yankees’ ace. Things may turned out a whole lot differently if not for the Game 1 suspension (he came back on two days’ rest to start Monday and then two days’ rest in his Game 5 relief appearance), but Sabathia’s struggles are the biggest reason the Yankees didn’t advance. If he could have allowed two or three runs over six innings Monday, the Bombers probably would have won that game (the Tigers prevailed 5-4), and making the first relief appearance of his career, he gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings in the 3-2 loss tonight.

  1. alan3008 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Steinbrenner just rolled over in his grave….. Again! HaHa!

  2. sosascork - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    As a fan of neither team, I just think it was a great game to watch, especially the last inning. I kept thinking Valverde would choke, with the pressure of the Bronx crows and the announcers jinxing him with the “perfect 49 save season” comments.

    Nice job Jose and Nice Job Tigers!

  3. berbes - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    but, but, but, how can we have baseball with no yankees or red sox????? what will the networks ever do???????????

  4. retief1954 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    One of the highlights of any mlb season – seeing the Yankees’ season, their incessant hype, and their fan base reduced to a pile of smoking wreckage, with recriminations flying and their press crawling all over the entire thing like red ants. Excellent.

  5. lgwelsh1 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Yankees just got cold, that’s it. It happens in professional sports. Give credit to the Tigers, they were the better team this series.

  6. goawaydog - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    on the CC note, that guy looks more and more like Shaquille O’Neil as the years go on. He was huffing and puffing through each at bat. He just looked tired out there to me. there have been threads on other players (Pablo Sandoval for example) of needing to keep the weight off. is it just me or is CC’s belly getting to home plate before his fastball? Maybe when/if he opts out he should have a weight clause put in his contract.

  7. loungefly74 - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    the media/fans can blame whoever…yankees lost. yes, they were the better team (at least on paper and regular season) but the tigers outplayed them in a 5 game series. everything gets magnified with the yankees because its new york, media, country-wide fanbase, history, salary (which shouldnt matter), etc…

  8. yournuts - Oct 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Anything can happen in a short series. Look at last year the Giant’s beating the Phillies! Yes the Giants had pitching but absolutely no hitting. This is what makes for good drama. This year the Tigers had better pitching in a 5 game series. Congratulations to the Tigers from a Yankee fan. Your pitching was awesome and Jim Leland is a good manager. You deserved the win.I am jealous because we outhit you and outscored you. Good Luck against the Rangers. Baseball season is officially over for me. Wake me up for spring training.

  9. yournuts - Oct 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Congrats Detroit! You losers out there that keep moaning about the dollars are just so silly. The money upsets you because you can’t earn that kind of money! Your jealous! Don’t be a fool, if someone offered you that kind of money you would jump at it too. Arod, CC or anyone else out there would. The money has nothing to do with performance in the field. I am a Yankee fan but anyone can get hot in October! Look at the Giants last year! Player for player at each position compared with the Phillies or the Rangers they sucked. The only thing that they had going for them was good pitching and a timely hit here and there. The money that the players earn is something that they worked for, don’t begrudge them them for having someone want to pay them this kind of money to play baseball.

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