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Yankees missed many scoring opportunities in Game 5 loss

Oct 7, 2011, 12:18 AM EDT

New York Yankees' Nick Swisher strikes out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of play against the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of their MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs at Yankee Stadium in New York Reuters

The fine folks at STATS Inc. shared this nugget of information shortly after Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher chased an outside pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday’s 3-2 Game 5 loss to the Tigers:

Swisher is 1 for 31 with 10 Ks with runners in scoring position over 38 career postseason games.

“Clutch” is a myth, but that’s a startling stat.

Swisher finished 1-for-4 in the Game 5 defeat and went just 4-for-19 (.211) in the series. But he’s not the only Bronx Bomber that missed major chances in the first-round departure. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Thursday night’s loss, leaving three runners on base. He fanned at a pitch down the heart of the plate to end it and wound up 2-for-18 (.111) for the series.

Derek Jeter missed a go-ahead home run by about three feet in the bottom of the eighth. He went 1-for-5.

Russell Martin was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left four runners on base. He batted .176 in the series.

The Yankees had a number of promising scoring opportunities Thursday and a lineup paid to convert those chances into runs, but — for whatever reason — they came up short. A-Rod is sure to get most of the blame because of his hefty contract and past failures, but those seeking a scapegoat will find a range of options.

  1. carlosologist - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    This was a fantastic series. As a Yankee fan, it obviously was painful to watch my team miss on these opportunities. These were opportunities that we took advantage of in the regular season, but Detroit played better baseball. While I’m not comfortable wishing the Tigers well right now, I hope that the ALCS is a memorable seven game set.

  2. granted42 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Congrats to the Tigers!

    I’m thinking a possible Tiger-Brewer match up in the WS. Wouldn’t that just piss off Fox Sports? But the only way that’s going to happen is if they beat the Dbacks (obviously) and the Cards take down the Phillies because without the home field advantage in the NLCS, the most games they can hope to win for the rest of the year is three.

  3. lembeck4 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    payroll – 200 million dollars
    stadium – 1 billion dollars
    gagging (again) in the clutch, at home, in the playoffs – priceless

    Couldn’t happen to a bigger bunch of dbags

    Go Tigers!!!!!!

    • billyweber - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:18 AM

      playoff apperances in the last 17 years-16
      knowing your team is gonna compete year after year priceless
      don’t worry detroit might make it back in 5 years

      • snowbirdgothic - Oct 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        Repeated gloating about Yankee payroll and expenditures not paying off – Frequent
        Predictable comeback about number of Yankee championships – Inevitable

        Looking forward to watching more actual baseball – priceless

  4. itsmekirill - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Reminded me of the 1960 WS

  5. cur68 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    I want to see Gardner get some love here. That guy was money every step of the way. Cano and Grandy, too. They were big. IMO they could strip the team back to Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr, Grandy, Gardner & Cano. Keep Sabbathia, Hughes (but to the pen with him), & Nova from the starting rotation. That’s about it of the starters that actually did something in the series. And no one better suggest AJ here. AJ was a pretty much a mutt; he was bailed by Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr, as always.

    Jeets? Done.
    ARod? Done last year.
    Posada? Done 2 years ago.
    Swish? not getting it done.
    Tex? A human strike out machine, but I like him. Tex stays.
    Garcia? Done like dinner last month.
    The Dugong? Are you kidding me?

    Break out the check book, Mr. Steinbrenner, there’s some players to get…

    Oh, and keep Joe. I like Joe. Watching him go full LaRussa was awesome. He was pulling pitchers out of his a$$…

    • jpeterson4743 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:41 AM

      as a detroit fan gardner deserves some love from new york….he was the ONLY player, for both teams, in this series to hit with two strikes

    • tashkalucy - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:00 AM

      Yes, it’s time for the Yankees to panic and throw more cable money at it.

      When are you arrogant, lost Red Sox and Yankee fans going to learn that the rest of the league has caught up to you? You’e GM’s are average at best, and all they do is throw around the cable money every off-season so you think you have an All-Star team that can’t possibly lose on its way to the championship.

      Manny is gone for the Red Sox.

      Mariano is still great, but Jeter (and I love him) is not the impact player he once was.

      It takes GREAT players to win year-after-year. This is not fantasy baseeball where you shell out money for the guys with the biggest stats.

      It’s like the large American businesses that need to go get money from the government because they’re “too big to fail” (as their execs vote themselves ever more bonuses). meanwhile the rest of the world figured out how to do it better and cheaper.

      Sure, the Red Sox and Yankees will dominate this off-season throwing cable money at name players. They have for 30-some years in free agency, why should this year be different? But what they both need are competent front offices led by above average GM’s.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 7, 2011 at 8:21 AM

        When are you arrogant, lost Red Sox and Yankee fans going to learn that the rest of the league has caught up to you?

        What’s this, the fifth time you’ve said this without anything backing it up? How are the Yanks and/or Sox arrogant? And if so, how does that contribute at all to their winning and/or losing? Or do you just like making shit up because you’re trolling?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:16 AM

        Maybe it isn’t arrogance as to why the Yankees lost, rather the fact that anything can happen in a 5 game series. A series that is 3% that of the regular season. Sample size people.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 7, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        The Red Sox have been trying to buy championships for the LAST THIRTY YEARS?

        Hell, I’ll give you the last 8, but 30? Back that claim up.

  6. jpeterson4743 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    ” for whatever reason — they came up short”……….it had nothing to do with the clutch detroit pitching, the decision of big mark teixeria to back out and take the walk instead of trying to be agressive and make contact with the ball, or the yankees team as a whole being a bunch of overpaid chokes……you have got to be KIDDING. for whatever reason??

    • itsmekirill - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:44 AM

      you’re ragging on Teixeira for taking a bases loaded walk? GTFO

      • jpeterson4743 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:49 AM

        really??????? your getting paid like him, season ON THE LINE, you have nick fucking swisher me 1-31 with RISP in the post season behind you and its ok for him to take the one run? really???? jaded new york fan, i like my team to play aggressive, sorry pal have fun rooting for the jets

      • jpeterson4743 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:49 AM

        me = mr

      • firedude7160 - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:25 AM

        You don’t swing at something just to swing at something. If a guy is going to give you a free run, you take it. Every time. Doesn’t matter who is batting behind you

  7. diablito0402 - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    When teams like the yankees and miami heat try to buy a championship, it dont work, you may pay a ton of money for talent, but not chemistry, remember tino martinez, scott brosious, jim leyritz, bernie williams, no high price tags, but a ton of dirty uniforms and chemistry, 200 million roster huh?

    • jwbiii - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:38 AM

      Bernie Williams was one of the ten highest paid players in the AL every year from 1998 to 2003. During that period, there were seasons when Derek Jeter and Raul Mondesi were paid more. Sorry to to interrupt you narrative with facts. Please carry on.

  8. tashkalucy - Oct 7, 2011 at 12:48 AM


    I listened to the ESPN radio feed the last 3 innings. It was all “Yankees need to do this, Yankees need to do that.” I thought I’d tapped into the Yankees radio network.

    The national media (including this article right here) just caters to Red Sox and Yankee fans something fierce. No one every beats them. No one is ever better. No won ever gets credit. It’s always that they’re just so awesome, that something wrong had to happen for them not to lose.

    Everyone is pandering to the whiny but populous Boston-New York demographic, and are too stupid to realize they’re alienating the remainder of their potential customers around the country. Which is why I’ve been here explaining what an area like Wisconsin will get a higher rating on their NFL team playing a regular season game then they will on their MLB team playing a playoff game.

    You people just don’t get it.

    This is the tipping point fr the Red Sox and Yankees.

    Next stop — both teams throw some of their unequal cable money at Albert Puhols and Prince Fielder and America just laughs at MLB for trying to present itself as a national, professional sports league.

    ……And still the Red Sox and Yankees would win anything meaningful……

    • Drew Silva - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:04 AM

      I think you’ve got us wrong. This is one piece of postgame analysis. We’ll have plenty on the Tigers.

      Not one writer on this blog lives in the northeast. We’re baseball fans and baseball writers, just looking for good stories and good drama.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:12 AM

      1. Not to defend ESPN too much, but I would expect them to emphasize what the team that is behind needs to do to erase the deficit. That wasn’t pro-Yankee bias.
      2. Regular season football gets higher ratings than baseball every fall. That’s not east coast bias either, because it’s also true there. Football is the most popular TV spectator sport–end of story.

  9. mattlion - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Some of these posts are ridiculous….

    Criticizing Teixeira for taking a bases loaded walk? That’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do.

    The “National Media” catering to the Red Sox and Yankees? Um, hello, they are the 2 most popular teams in the sport (AND the 2 most hated). That drives ratings. No Yankees/No Sox/very little interest outside of the true baseball fans. The NFL has far more “casual” fans than MLB does because it’s an easier sport to follow and less of a time investment, and fans generally watch more “out of town” games.

    Losing 3 (close) games out of 5 in the first round of the playoffs and calling them chokers? Didn’t they steamroll everyone 2 years ago? This is the first season since 2008 where the Yankees won’t be in the final 4. Give me a break. Many analysts picked them to finish third in their division.

    Yeah I know, $200 million, you’re supposed to win every year, etc, etc. If that’s the case, why do you all bother watching?

    • brianbowman16 - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:16 AM

      The NFL has far more “casual” fans than MLB does because it’s an easier sport to follow and less of a time investment

      last I watched (last sunday), an NFL football game lasts 4 hours
      Baseball, 2-3hrs
      just sayin

      • mattlion - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:27 AM

        Following a baseball team: 6-7 games a week.

        Following a football team: 1 game a week, usually on a weekend. HUGE difference. The NFL, because of the significance and timing of each game, is appointment viewing and more of an event than virtually any baseball game ever is.

    • jpeterson4743 - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:19 AM

      your SUPPOSED to win at home game five… didnt. his walk benefited your season in ZERO ways. your not SUPPOSED to pitch CC tonight but you all still love joe. im just saying in that situation, if i was a yankees fan, i would of been upset. you have your second best hitter 8 at bats away with 7 outs to go. you are SUPPOSED to go out there and play the game aggressively. how as a yankees fan can you be happy with his performance? he does shit all series and at the most important at bat he defers to nick swisher…… may think your right but looked how it ended. 3-1 is the same as 3-2. you are out again, with a shit ton of money owed to aging players and a ace who is gonna opt out AND a gm who is gone next year.

      • mattlion - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:30 AM

        CC only pitched because Nova was hurt. And 3-2 in the 9th with your 2 best hitters up is a lot different than 3-1 without them up.

  10. 5thbase - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    “Clutch” may be a myth but “choke” certainly isn’t. When guys are thinking about sucking, their chances of success are greatly diminished. And in this series it was obvious that Swisher was thinking about sucking in the clutch situations. Nobody can hit with any kind of rate of success when they’re questioning themselves.

    • Drew Silva - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:11 AM

      No doubt he was pressing.

      • jwbiii - Oct 7, 2011 at 1:50 AM

        As long as he’s pressing, I’ve got a couple of shirts that I left in the dryer too long.

  11. sparky1002 - Oct 7, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Sad to see the Yankees lose when all ARod and Swisher needed to do was glue the bat to their shoulders and let Benoit walk them to at least a 4-3 victory.

  12. texasstarz90 - Oct 7, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Yankees suck! Lets take it rangers.

  13. proudlycanadian - Oct 7, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    Congratulations to both teams. Congratulations to the Detroit pitching staff who came up big in this game.

  14. Detroit Michael - Oct 7, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    The results of a short series between two playoff caliber teams is inherently unpredictable. Given that the Yankees had the best regular season record in the AL this year, there shouldn’t be a ton of navel gazing needed.

  15. lukeslice - Oct 7, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    payroll payroll payroll. all you payroll haters are bringing an old and tired debate to the table, and it’s pathetic…there’s plenty of yankee bashing ammo, and the majority of you just want to talk about payroll still?

    did you know that Miggy is the 4th highest paid player in this series at $20 mil per year (behind a-rod, CC and tex). only difference between him and the guys being paid more is that he earned his $$$ in this series…so again, WHY do you care?

    did you know the tigers are no little sisters of the poor here either (10th in payroll in the majors)? and that among playoff teams, they’re 3rd behind only the larger market yankees and phillies? yankees (1), phillies (2), tigers (10), cardinals (12), rangers (13), brewers (16), d-backs (25), rays (29). you can’t raise the payroll debate without praising teams like the rays and d-backs.

    most of the yankee haters here have said it…payroll does NOT buy championships, the yanks are the best example of that whenever they DON’T win. if you look at the top 10 teams by payroll, it’s clear that payroll isn’t really a defining factor in “how good a team is” anyway (red sox 3, angels 4, white sox 5, cubs 6, mets 7, giants 8, twins 9). that being said, why the hell do you care so much that the yanks’ overpay their players? they face MUCH higher expectations and scrutiny…whether they win or not, they’re in a sense earning their money anyway.

    talking about payroll is pretty much just proving that your depth of knowledge on the subject is limited, and it’s proving your stupidity by bringing up the yankees as the only example. bottom line is that the tigers outplayed the yankees…that’s why they won, and they deserve to move on while the yankees don’t.

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