ALCS Game 2: Ice Cold

October 14th, 2012 by Jane Heller

The above just about sums up the situation, folks. Once again the starting pitching was spectacular, but the bats were dead. Huge applause for Kuroda, especially since everybody was worried about him going on three days rest. He came through in a big, big way.

Yes, he ran into trouble in the 8th and what trouble it turned out to be.

 

As we all saw from replays, Swisher’s throw was a good one and so was Cano’s tag, but the ump blew it. I would have gone crazy if I were Girardi and, though he got tossed (on his birthday, no less – what a tough week for him), there really wasn’t much point. As he said in his post-game remarks, the call was awful and could have been rectified with instant replay, but he also agreed that it was the offense, not the umpiring, that cost the Yankees the game.

I was interested in his perspective on the fact that all the hitters – we’re talking about a collective swoon with an exception here and there – have looked baffled by the Tigers’ pitching and the Orioles’ pitching. He mentioned that they had to “make adjustments.” What could those adjustments be at this point? Will they suddenly learn how to hit off-speed stuff? Stop taking big swings when a poke through the infield would do? Change their batting stances? I wouldn’t want to be Kevin Long right now.

I was hoping that they’d all rise to the occasion and win one for the Captain, but they just seem impossibly out of sync. Very disheartening as well as puzzling.

But we’ve seen this before, this “going cold.” It’s like one of those flu bugs that sweeps through the clubhouse and infects everybody. Maybe they should take antibiotics.

All that said, it pains me to hear the fans booing, as justified as they may be. Bald Vinny, who leads the Bleacher Creatures in the roll call, was tweeting about how Swisher wouldn’t face the stands and joke around with them as he usually does but rather warmed up behind home plate before the game and never acknowledged them during the game. (Nice touch, by the way, when the Creatures included Jeter in the roll call.) Clearly, there’s a lot of fan rage out there. It pains me, as I said. They’re still our Yankees, for better or worse.

 

 

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23 Responses to “ALCS Game 2: Ice Cold”

  1. Lourdes T says:

    It was very painful to watch this game. Besides the lack of batting, I believe Girardi’s decisions are sinking this team and this series. Months ago I heard about how bad the pitching was but I believe the pitching has saved the Yankees in these two series and the apathy of the batters has destroyed the chances of winning the first two games. If I were Kuroda, I would’ve smacked all of their faces on my way to the dugout. And with Jeter and Mariano out for the season, I really don’t know if I want the Yankees to be champions, as much as I love them. However, if they won, it would be fair for them.
    I wonder if that hit from Alex Rodriguez in the last inning means something good.
    Let’s see how they do versus Verlander. I’m saving my tissues for that day.

  2. Sean K says:

    Kuroda should sue the hitters for non-support. That’s been a problem all year when he pitches [he should be used to it, same thing happened the year before when he was with the Dodgers] but this is ridiculous. *sigh*

    If you throw out the two big ninth innings in the two game 1’s I don’t hink we’ve COMBINED for a Janer if you add up all the other runs we’ve scored this posteseason. Four HITS? Ugly…

    I’m reminded of the scene from the original “Major League” where the game summary is being presented after yet another dispiriting loss:

    “…and the Indians had one run on… ONE HIT? That’s ALL we got? ONE goddamn hit?”

    [The color man covers the microphone and whispers] “You can’t say `goddamn’ on the air!”

    “Ah, what the hell. Nobody’s listening anyway.”

    Honestly, I’d have been more than happy with one run today. It beats what we got!

    I don’t know whther to be frustrated at our “hitters” or resigned to the fact that we just won’t score runs in the remaining 2 games of our season. I’m trying to keep a cheerful attitude and remain hopeful, but we’re down 2-0 and %^%$$#$# Verlander is up next. We MUST find a way to win this next game or we’re finished.

  3. YankeeCase says:

    If only our offense was half as good as we know they’re capable of being… We’re only this far in spite of our great pitching. Imagine if our guys were actually firing on all cylinders? It wouldn’t even be close, it’d be a joke how easy this would all be. They say pitching and defense wins championships. I think we’re delivering on those two. Now if only we could score so our pitchers have something to work for. This is unbelievably epic bad. I wish Girardi would wise up and stop stacking these slumping hitters already. You can’t force them to start hitting!

    Swish and Granderson look completely lost up there. A-Rod is at least looking aggressive at times, but I hate when he takes pitches for strike three, even before this crazy slump. If I had my way Grandy would sit, but his defense is valuable, so it’s gotta be Swish taking a seat. I’d like to see Gardner out there somewhere, regardless of how few at-bats he’s had since coming back. We need people going up there looking for a hit, not swinging for the fences and completely missing.

    This is incredibly frustrating. I can take an honest loss. Sometimes the other teams wants it more, or the other guys have the better team. But it’s really frustrating when you don’t give yourself a chance at all! Yesterday’s game should’ve been won by us in so many ways, from the three loaded bases, to the come back late in the game. Last night, why does Cano swing with one strike when Ichiro had that great steal? Let the man steal and then you can move him over to third with the first out of the inning. And then a similar situation happened today. It’s like everyone’s got ‘home run’ on the brain. It really makes me sick inside. And it’s really sad when I see the Giants and the Cardinals playing the right way, scoring off of singles and doubles. Does anyone remember what those are? Home runs should be something the other teams fear from a mistake, not the basis of the entire offense.

    Hopefully the bats wake up against Verlander like they have in the past and we can steal this game with CC on the mound for Game 4. It’ll really help if a proper lineup is put together and the guys can actually string some hits together. Oh, to dream the impossible dream!

  4. Jane Heller says:

    Girardi’s decisions are sinking the team, Lourdes T? Sorry, but I’m not with you on that one. Some of his bullpen moves have been worthy of discussion, but what’s been sinking the team hasn’t been the pitching.

    Right, Sean. The offense has been terrible. The question is why. Verlander’s the best pitcher out there, but the cool thing about baseball is you never know what’ll happen on any given day.

    The home runs have been the offense all year, YankeeCase. Can’t be a surprise that the Yanks aren’t playing small ball now. Not sure what you mean by a “proper lineup.” They’re all slumping. Bench Swisher. Bench Granderson. Bench A-Rod. Bench Cano. Seriously, you can’t bench the whole team.

  5. YankeeCase says:

    What I mean by a proper lineup is not getting your worst hitters at this point to hit in consecutive order. It’s almost arrogance at this point. You can’t expect much scoring if you have a preset rally kill in your lineup. And Cano hitting number two? You can’t just take Jeter out of the lineup and move everyone up a spot. Yes, Ichiro should lead off. I don’t know for sure who should hit second, but I don’t know if Cano is the answer there. I would definitely try something different and get Gardner in there after Ichiro, consecutive lefties be damned, we’re facing Verlander tomorrow!

    Our four worst offenders simply have to show up on Tuesday, or at least whoever Girardi puts into the lineup. Cano has always been streaky, and before his torrid hitting at the end of the season, he had that real bad slide to put his average under .300. Something motivated him to get back on a roll. I wish he’d find that motivation again. Granderson cannot make contact at all. He looks like an over matched little leaguer out there. Swisher is at least making contact, but where are all his walks? At least give us that! And who knows what’s up with A-Rod? I wish I had Kate Hudson’s phone number…

  6. Jane Heller says:

    I agree about Cano batting second, YankeeCase, but I’m not sure any of this is about motivation. Cano is plenty motivated, even if he doesn’t look like it. They all are. And if Kate Hudson were the answer, I’d drive down to her mother’s house in LA, bang on the door and get her to the Bronx myself!

  7. Audrey says:

    I would really like to see Brent Gardner in the lineup on Tuesday. He can really be a force. He does not hit homeruns (which might be a good thing at this point!) but he gets singles, can beat out bunts, steals bases and generally forces some small ball. I also think trying Martin in the 2-slot might be a good idea. Again, he can bunt if Ichiro leads off with a hit and he has been making contact from time to time. Definitely there needs to be some kind of shakeup.

    Our pitching has been outstanding and deserves better. The umpiring has hurt the Yankees quite a few times and that has been frustrating. As disgusted as I am with the strikeouts, sometimes these guys go up and take the first couple of pitches, which are clearly balls, and have strikes called on them anyway. They start with a two-strike deficit through no fault of their own. Yesterday we thought the home plate ump was trying to hurry the game along – must have been a Walking Dead fan. Apparently the 2nd base ump is also. That guy’s mistake was unforgiveable.

    Verlander is scary but I keep reminding myself of two things – back in June the Yankees scored five runs off him and handed him a loss. And then there was the all-star game, in which he was an unmitigated disaster. He is not untouchable. Go Hughsie and Go Yankees!

  8. Diane Anziano says:

    That was the worst game…at least from the 6th inning on. We were out at a town function until then so we missed “the best part” of the game. Anyway, much more tragic than the bad call at second were Cano’s two bad contributions…there was one point where he was not running full out to first in a ground ball and everyone on the radio said he would have been safe. In situations like this where every run is vital, everyone has to run full speed. And his bobble at second that probably would have resulted in a double play that would have kept Detroit from scoring the only run they needed. Ugh. I’m lost…I don’t have any positive feelings about the rest of this series, and I am usually a very positive person, especially about my Yankees. I’m glad we all have a day off today. We’ll see what happens.

  9. Jane Heller says:

    My problem with using Gardner, Audrey, is his total lack of playing time. He’s batted once (or maybe twice) in a game in all these months. But why not at this point. And I kind of like the idea of Martin in the #2 spot. Good point about Verlander. I keep saying it over and over. Every pitcher is vulnerable. Anything is possible.

    This has been a tough, tough stretch for Cano, Diane. He’s made some very good plays at second, but he’s also had some lapses – maybe because his offense has been a distraction. (It drove me nuts when the TBS Guys had to update his stats after every single at bat.)

  10. Ruth says:

    I’m sure I’ll be scorned for being a bad Yankee fan, but I don’t even care about winning at this point. I would just like the team to preserve a little dignity by showing some fight and scoring a couple runs. They are an embarrassment to baseball right now and, yes, somehow they made it this far, but they don’t look like one of the two best teams in the American League. I just can’t believe the loss of Derek and the near perfect game pitched by Kuroda did not provide any spark for ANYONE. Win or lose, Yankee fan or not, this is just not playoff-worthy baseball and I feel bad for all baseball fans having to watch this horrible display. It was so refreshing to watch the Cardinals/Giants game….I had forgotten what good baseball looked like. It is what it is, yet I still hope for the miracle turnaround.

  11. Uncle Mike says:

    Sean K has the right idea, but the wrong “Major League” reference. As the Japanese player from the 2nd movie in the series told a slumping, now-pacifist Pedro Cerrano, “You have no… ” (looks through his Japanese-to-English dictionary and blows it) “…marbles!”

    This Yankee team isn’t showing any marbles.

  12. Ruth says:

    I meant to, but failed to second Jane’s applause of Kuroda’s performance. WHAT A GAME from him! Talk about a guy who raised his game in October, when it counts. I was amazed and I’m just so sorry he got zero support. What a shame. But, I salute you, Hiro!

  13. Jane Heller says:

    While I do understand your feelings, Ruth, and don’t judge about who’s a “bad fan” and who isn’t – and wish the boys would show some life, I could never not root for them or give up on them or stop watching. And this whole booing thing I’ve been hearing about and reading about is a complete anathema to me. Some people who went to the games said, “Well, I paid good money so I’m entitled to boo.” True enough about the money – the prices the Yankees have been charging are atrocious – but to boo your own players? What possible good can come from that? All it does is make them prefer to play in Detroit. *shudder*

    I’m not a “Major League” aficionado, Uncle Mike, so I’ll take your word for it. :)

  14. Ruth says:

    Just to be clear, I would never boo the players or give up on them. Although I have never liked ARod, I would never be one of those fans you have to call security on for ‘Yankee Fan on Yankee’ violence. (Although I do think that story perfectly illustrates how crazy their play is making the fans. It’s THAT bad). I will be there (well, you know, here, but ‘there’) tomorrow night, rooting them on, and I always think there is hope. It’s just helpful for me to vent, and I hope this forum can still be a place I can do that, without everyone thinking I’m one of those embarrassing fans, no matter how hysterical I sound here.

    I suspect they WILL play better tomorrow, because unfortunately I do think it might be easier for them to play on the road. The pressure at home appears to be too much at this time.

  15. Peggy says:

    Hi Jane & Fellow Baseball Fans…

    I was at the games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yankee fans and the mob mentality at the Stadium have become a complete embarrassment (not to mention the empty seats at each game…I never thought I’d see that day at Yankee Stadium). The only game that the fans really showed some excitement was the Friday game because it was a clinching game. The “Playoff” Baltimore fans put the Yankee fans to shame in the Series. I’m sure the Detroit fans will too. I also wonder what people think booing is going to accomplish except maybe make the players press harder to try and appease the fan base. I guess too much winning has made this fan base more blase and less passionate in trying to support them through the hard times as well as the good. Also …the younger generation has been fortunate to witness so many playoff years that there is a sense of entitlement and they don’t understand just how hard it is to make it year in and year out …no matter how much money is invested in the team. Believe me …I have not been happy with the losses and yesterday’s game was downright dismal but I am one to never boo my own players. The other thing is not just the booing but the vulgar language that some “fans” feel it’s ok to display without giving one thought to those around them.

    All that said …I would never give up on the team till the final out…as Yogi said “It ain’t over till it’s over”. Here’s to the Yankees getting back on track and giving all of us something to cheer about. I know it doesn’t look good right now but you never know…

    GOOOOOOOO YANKEES 2012 !!!!

  16. Peggy says:

    Another thing …the weather is downright weird. Saturday night I had earmuffs, gloves, scarf and a big Yankee blanket. I felt I was watching the game in Alaska.

    Sunday …total opposite …short sleeves…beautiful day….I felt like I was in Florida. What a difference a few hours made with the weather. Totally crazy …go figure…

    Go Yankees 2012 !!!

  17. Jane Heller says:

    Of course you can vent here, Ruth. Vent away!

    My sentiments exactly on the fan booing thing, Peggy. There’s definitely a sense of entitlement, not to mention poor sportsmanship. Btw, our weather has been crazy too. We were in the 60s two days ago (50s at night) and today we’re supposed to hit the 90s.

  18. Terry S says:

    Peggy,

    I think you are spot on with the fan behavior of some fans. I am about to the point where I think Yankee Stadium should be alcohol free during the playoffs. That would keep the mid-20s pack of testosterone and beer fueled howling idiots out of the stadium. These guys (and sorry to sound sexist but it is true) are lit up when they get to the ballpark and continue to get more and more belligerent as the game progresses. They only attend big games (playoffs, Red Sox, Mets) and carry on like a pack of wolves. Time to put a stop to it.

    I am as frustrated as anyone, but we’ve been here before. In fact, several times this season alone. Tuesday will be a new day. Verlander is as tough as it gets, but we have beaten him before. Come on Yanks! Hit him early and often. He only gets stronger as the game goes on.

    Let’s go Yankees!

  19. newyawklover says:

    Ruth pretty well summarized how I’m feeling about things. The Cards/Giants game last night had everything that our games have lacked. Hard pitching, batters cracking the ball, flashy glovework, and loads of intensity were displayed by both teams. I’m sure we’re all hoping that the 4 run ninth inning comeback against the twitchy goofball named Valverde isn’t the high point for our Yankees in this ALCS.

  20. Jane Heller says:

    I hear you on the alcohol, Terry S, but I think it has more to do with the entitlement thing. In ’07 I couldn’t believe when I sat there in an elimination game and fans around me were booing – in the first inning! And yes, let’s hit Verlander early and often.

    Twitchy goofball, NYL. Well said.

  21. Ruth says:

    Thanks, NYL. INTENSITY….that’s what missing, exactly. I know players express things differently, but there is just an eery lack of intensity besides the pitchers. Also, was anyone else wondering yesterday whether Jeet was watching the game? I wonder what he thinks now that he’s a fan, watching at home like us. How would he explain this lack of intensity? Just wondering how he’s doing….can’t wait to hear something from him, learn more about his injury. I miss him terribly.

  22. Babs O-H says:

    I’m with Peggy. I was at Sunday’s game, & it was downright embarrassing to see so many empty seats at a playoff game. There wasn’t even a line when the gates opened. The lack of fans before the game & the atmosphere (or I should say lack of atmosphere) was eerie. Never have seen anything like it at either stadium, old or new, & hope to never experience it again!! And , don’t even get me started on the booing!

  23. Jane Heller says:

    The intensity thing. I just don’t see that as the problem, Ruth. This is a veteran team. They’ve been through this before. They’re never going to look like the scrappy Nats. The 2004 collapse to the Red Sox wasn’t about intensity. It was about not being able to execute. I don’t doubt for a second that they all want to win. As for Jeter, sounds like he might need surgery but whatever it takes to get him back healthy works for me.

    So sad to hear, Babs O-H. It does remind me of that game I mentioned in ’07 and makes me want to get on the phone and call all the players and say, “We don’t all boo you. We support you!”