Thursday, October 29, 2009

Game One

Comments on World Series Game One:

Cliff Lee and Chase Utley are now the Official Favorite Players of The Home Office, at least until after tonight’s game.

It’s nice to see some things never change. The sun rises in the east, water runs downhill, and Alex Rodriguez chokes like Jenna Jameson with tonsillitis when the games get big enough. (Three strikeouts and a weak ground ball to third.)

The Phillies won the game in the first inning, even though they didn’t score, by making C.C. Sabathia throw over 20 pitches. No way he’d get a complete game, and the Yankees bullpen is as reliable as Colin Powell speaking to the United Nations.

When will people figure out Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is the most overrated person in sports? Ten years of unlimited budgets and he’s never put together a bullpen to support Mariano Rivera, who he inherited. How many key players have the Yankees drafted since Cashman took over? Cano. (Maybe.) Phil Hughes? Sucks. Joba the Hutt? Sucks. Don’t talk about Teixiera or Sabathia or Burnett (who can suck mightily on occasion) or any of the other free agents he signed. It doesn’t take the second coming of Branch Rickey to know Tex was the best player available last winter and Sabathia was the best pitcher. Baseball gets a salary cap and Cashman’s Yankees are the Washington Nationals North.

Joe Girardi has even less confidence in his bullpen than Charlie Manuel has in his. Girardi went through five pitchers to get six outs in the eighth and ninth innings, trying to match up on every batter. Wait till he gets to Philadelphia, where they play real baseball, and he has to worry about the pitcher batting.

Play of the Game – Jimmy Rollins catching Robinson Cano’s pop-up right at ground level after almost letting it drop. Base runner Hideki Matsui didn’t know whether to have sushi or wind his watch while Rollins and Ryan Howard combined to get a double play out of five possible outs. (The five? 1. Rollins caught the ball in the fly to get Cano. Even if he hadn’t caught the ball, he stepped on second to force Matsui (2) then threw to first in time to get Cano (3). Throwing to first doubled off Matsui (4), since Rollins did catch the ball; Howard tagged Matsui while off the base, which counts whether Rollins catches the ball or not.) It still took the umpires five minutes to figure out how they did it and get the call right.

The Game One Tim McCarver Moment—His certainty, expressed before every batter in the ninth inning, that Lee was coming out of the game. Lee hadn’t lost an inch off his fastball, threw 122 easy pitches total, as the Yankees never put two men on base in an inning until they were down 6-0 in the ninth and Rollins made an error. “He’ll pitch to Damon, but not Teixiera.” “He’s pitching to Teixiera because he’s struck him out twice, but he won’t pitch to Rodriguez.” He finally shut up when even he realized he could no more grasp this game than an African swallow can grasp a bowling ball.

Game One Tim McCarver Moment, Joe Buck Division—When describing Chase Utley’s night, Buck noted Utley was the first left-handed batter to hit two home runs off a left-handed pitcher in a World Series game since Babe Ruth in 1928. Joe then added, “Of course, Ruth did it for the Yankees, and Utley for the Phillies.” Thanks for providing that deep insight, Joe.


Larry said...

Your comments are humorous but I know that you are a devout Yankee hater.

ARod didn't choke in Game 1 or 2. He was shut down by terrific pitching.

I must also point out that the Yankee teams that won the Series, (Jeter, Posada, Williams, Rivera) came up through the Yankee Farm System.....not as free agents.

The Yankee wealth is a sore spot for all Yankee haters and is a tired argument. The Yankees are the most interesting story in baseball. They pack the stadiums across the country. When the Yankees are good, it is good for baseball. They will NEVER be like the Nationals. They always provide good entertainment, best for guys like me when they win and great for guys like you when they lose. One thing they ain't is boring.

Dana King said...

Remember, the four guys you mentioned (Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Posada) all came up through the Yankee system before Cashman. I think Robinson Cano is the lone regular they've drafted since he's been in charge. Like I said, it doesn't take an astute judge of talent to know that Teixeira and Sabathia are the guys you want; I knew that. Relief pitchers--aside from closers--have more subtle differences, and the amounts of money differentiating pitchers isn't as great, and Cashman's record there is abysmal.