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And That Happened: Tuesday’s playoff highlights

Oct 17, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Raul Ibanez

Tigers 2, Yankees 1:  It’s kinda crazy that the following two things are both true: (a) Justin Verlander didn’t have his best stuff; and (b) Justin Verlander took a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning.  That’s every bit the testament to the Yankees’ offensive futility as it is to Verlander’s greatness, of course.

The big question: why didn’t Joe Girardi pinch hit someone — be it Nick Swisher or A-Rod — for Raul Iabanez against Phil Coke in the ninth inning with the Yankees threatening? I understand that if A-Rod comes in that Leyland brings in a righty. And I understand that both he and the switch-hitting Swisher are in funks so bad that Bootsy Collins looks at them and says “damn.”  But Raul Ibanez against a lefty killer is a pretty awful matchup no matter how you slice it.  Matthew broke this all down last night. Definitely a head scratcher.

It makes me feel like Girardi was proving a point just as much as he was managing to win last night.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    The problem with a point is that you can know where it is or you can know how fast it’s moving, but not both at once.

    I suspect that the Detroit Feesh go back to their upscale Ann Arbor townhouses and mansions and give thanks that Scrooge McLoria is such a clueless buffoon.

    • stex52 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      But the real question is, would Heisenberg have pulled Ibanez? That’s principly an uncertainty (har har). I don’t think I would have. The match up might have been poor, but he has been clubbins some balls. Who else has on the Yankees? Girardi was probably playing the guy who was actually seeing that point.

      • indaburg - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        The Borg has realized that for itself, resistance was futile.

        Perhaps a pre-game reading of Dylan Thomas’ most famous work is in order for these Yanks:
        “Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        Well, at the very least, Heisenberg would have kept Leyland guessing.


        Here’s another great last line for ya, Inda: after the first loss, there is no other….

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Or howsabout, time held me green and dying / though I sang in my pinstripes like the sea….

      • stex52 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        Personally, Inda, I resemble that remark. Those Yankees all look like kids to me.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM


      • cur68 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        Me and Willclarkgameface are suing the lot of you. You’re using our Rage™ without permission.

      • indaburg - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Stex, in baseball years, they are old men. Baseball years are kind of like dog years.

        Cur, please sue Dylan Thomas’ estate. I only wish I could write like him.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        Obviously Welsh rage. Completely Beaver-free.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        Rage is all the rage.

      • stex52 - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        “Principally” “clubbing” Need to stop typing until I’ve finished my coffee. Sigh.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        I actually enjoyed “clubbins.” I hope it’s a keeper.

    • southofheaven81 - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      Let’s be honest, if Girardi had pulled out Ibanez, the guy who’d found a way to get it done in the bottom of the 9th (or extra innings) half a dozen times in the last month for an ice-cold batter like Swisher or A-Rod, and THAT hadn’t worked, the entire city of New York would have called for his head.

  2. legacybroken - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    I think ESPN should do an article on all the ex Feesh on the Tigers bringing that postseason Feesh magic to the Motor City.

    • pdowdy83 - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Or they could do an article on how every player the Tigers sent the the Feesh for Miggy and Dontrelle completely busted and what a steal that trade was for them.

  3. kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    The Yanks displayed their usual Miginot Line like resistance. They finally strung a few good AB’s and a few hits together in the 9th, but not enough to make a difference.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      Maginot. Edit function!

      • natstowngreg - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Oh sure, blame the French!

  4. kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    The Yanks slight fluttering back to life was all but snuffed out by that 9th inning killer, Phil Coke. The guy is money in high leverage situations. ***

    ***Denotes sarcasm/mocking Pouliot’s previous post.

  5. historiophiliac - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    The thing about watching online is that you don’t get the incessant replays or the sad shots into the Yankees dugout. The tension builds as Coke in a windup buffers. The commercials are replaced with silence and Twitter quotes — and you find yourself saying at the end of the night: Was that a velvet jacket? WTF.

    • polegojim - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Hahahaha… i thought the same thing.

      Dude wears some seriously bad threads man… every night.

  6. heyblueyoustink - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    The Yankees: now less offensive than Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

  7. alexo0 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Girardi was managing to win?


  8. dink53 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    What bad AM station did TBS get Ernie Johnson from? And isn’t John Smoltz the guy you would try to avoid at a party?

    • polegojim - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      … but enjoy listening to Darling

      • gerryb323 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        I thought that was James Woods!

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Wow- who would have ever thought a lineup of guys trying to hit HRs every time they go up to bat would eventually hurt them in the playoffs against good pitching? If only someone had thought of that before…

  10. APBA Guy - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    The payroll/performance continuum has swung badly out of kilter for the Yankees this post-season, as indeed had been anticipated when some of these monster deals were signed and by their regular season performance:

    A-Rod: $ 30M/.783 OPS
    Jeter: $ 16M/.791
    Texiera: $23M/.807
    Ichiro: $18M/.794
    Swish: $ 10M/.837
    Granderson: $ 10M/.811
    Cano: $ 14M/.929

    That’s $ 100M+ (including Martin and pro-rating Ichiro) with only 1 player above .850 in OPS.

    Against very good pitching, like you see in the playoffs, it is well within the range of expectations that a team fielding an OPS of around .800 could very well struggle as the Yankees are doing. It isn’t pretty, but it is the understandable consequence of being at the tail end of long deals handed to players already in their 30’s who play without the aid of PEDs, including uppers.

    The Yankees need to get younger and more athletic. With their money for scouting and evaluation, there is no doubt they can make the transition should they choose.

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