It would be an understatement to say I'm nervous about this game. Going in, I think the Yanks need to put up double-digits to win this one, and that's going to be a 180 degree turnaround from yesterday's game. Kei Igawa is not a major league pitcher. I would've rather seen one of the young September call ups get the start tonight, Karstens or maybe even Chase Wright.
Alas, Igawa it is. I suppose the Yanks are going to take any available opportunity to see if they didn't flush $40M down the toilet when they signed him. Tonight's game could officially end the Yankee run at the A.L. East title, which may not be such a bad thing (depending on who the Yanks get in the first round, how many off days they get, etc.)
Sit back, relax, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Player of The Game:
- Here we go. Matsui is DH'ing tonight, with Damon in left. One pre-game notes: Joe Torre has said he will give A-Rod, Jeter and a couple of other guys some days off after the Yanks clinch the Wild Card, according to the LoHud Yankees Blog.
- F%cking technical difficulties. No wonder no one wants to buy YES.
- Damon: broken bat single to center (end technical difficulties). Damon steals second, easily. Jeter: RBI double off the top of the wall in right center. 1-0, Yanks. Abreu: Walk. First and second, no one out for... A-Rod: Fly out to center. He crushed it, but straight up. Matsui: Walk. Bases juiced for Jorge. This is a huge at bat, the Yanks need a several-run lead early tonight. Posada: 3-6-1 double play. Just an ugly end to the inning.
- Now for the fun, graphical portion of tonight's game. Kei Igawa's main problem (not that there weren't others) was his inability to keep his mediocre pitches down in the zone. We're going to keep track of where his pitches are tonight. There will be a graphic for every action pitch (that is, any pitch put in play, or a strikeout/walk). We'll see if his time in AAA, and the Yankees organizational "rebuilding" of his mechanics were able to address Igawa's biggest flaw.
- Igawa - Inning 1:
- Cano: K. Doug: K. Melky: Line out to right. He smoked the 3-2 pitch, but it was right at Young.
- Igawa - 2nd Inning
- Damon: Another broken bat single to center. Damon breaks more bats than anyone else in the majors. Next season I'm keeping a count of Damon's broken bats and sending the stats to Green Peace. Jeter: Single up the middle. Jeter's 200th hit of the year. First and second, no one out for ... Abreu: Walk. Bases juiced, no one out for... A-Rod: GRAND SALAMI!!!!! 5-0, Yanks. A-Mazing! (Thank You, Michael Kay). Still no one out. Matsui: F-8. Posada: F-8. Cano: Single to left. Doug: K.
- Igawa - 3rd Inning
- A couple quick notes. Iwamura's single is a perfect example of Jeter's diminished range. Also, Delmon Young JUST missed that ball. It was a hair away from being a grand slam.
- Melky: F-8. Damon: Single to left. Jeter: (SB for Damon) F-9, Damon moves to third, but it doesn't really matter with 2 outs. Abreu: (that screamer in the stands is cracking me up.) F-7.
- Score updates: Boston 1, Oakland 1 (Bot 5), Nationals 6, Mets 2 (Bot 5), Phillies 4, ATL 4 (Bot 5), Detroit 2, Minny 0 (Bot 6).
- Igawa - 4th Inning
- By far, Igawa's best inning. Look at the location of the pitches.
- A-Rod: 5-3. [Sox took a 3-1 lead over Oakland, Phillies 5-4 over ATL] Matsui: K. Posada: 3-U. This has to be Igawa's last inning, right?
- Mrs. Depressed Fan just asked me, "What does your analysis show?" My answer, "My analysis shows that Igawa is getting f&cking lucky. His pitches are still up."
- Igawa - 5th Inning
- Ball-Four is in for the D-Rays. A few more runs here would be much appreciated.
- Cano: Single to left center. [ATL just took an 8-5 lead over Philly] Edwar is up for the Bombers, please put him in. Doug: (Cano gets picked off) Walk. Melky: 4-6-3 DP.
- Igawa's night is done. Thank God. Edwar is in and we're going to get a chance to see if the mechanical flaw Guidry spotted has been addressed.
- That's all she wrote for the graphics. It's pretty clear that Igawa still can't get the ball down. He was lucky tonight, very lucky. The Yankees really have a lot of work to do with him, if he's even salvageable.
- Edwar walks Upton to lead off. Young popped out to first. Navarro with a double to left center, scoring Upton. 5-1, Yanks. Get Ohlendorf up. Gomes walks, and that's all she wrote for Edwar. Bruney is coming in, I'm not sure how happy I am about that. First and second, one out. [Boston just extended their lead to 4-1. Maybe Gagne's warming up] Norton pinch-hitting: Walk. Bases juiced for Josh Wilson. Wilson K's looking. Posada just walked out to the mound to threaten Gomes at second for stealing location. I've never seen that before. Bruney walks Imamura, forcing in a run. 5-2, Yanks. And there it goes, grand slam Velandia. 6-5, Rays. Unreal.
- If you need a pick-me-up, the Sox did, in fact, bring Gagne in. He gave up a lead off single to Shannon Stewart.
- Pena ground out to second, off Villone, to end the inning. Pitiful job by the Yankee pen.
- Damon: Another single, his fourth. None of them would've broken a pane of glass. Jeter: Lines one off the pitcher, thrown out at first. Abreu: Pop out. A-Rod: IBB. Matsui: Huge at bat here. K, looking. Boston went to Papelbon in the 8th, Francona smells blood.
- Boston 5, Oakland 1, bottom of the eighth.
- Villone worked an effective inning. Britton on to try to finish off the bottom of the seventh. [7-1 Boston, Francona should've waited for the 9th to bring Gagne in. This is his type of game now.] Britton K's Gomes to end the inning.
- The Yankee bats basically decided A-Rod's grand slam was going to be enough runs right when he hit it. They need something to wake them up. This Rays' pen is horrible. Guisseppe Franco could hit them. How about a couple runs right now.
- Posada: Double to left over Gomes' head. Gomes is no gazelle in the outfield. Cano has to get the ball to the right side here, move the runner over. Cano: (Sardinha pinch-running for Jorge). Lined single up the middle. Atta boy Robbie! Anything scores the run here, even a double play. Anything but a pop out or a strikeout. Just tie the game. Giambo pinch-hitting for Doug: K. Son of a... If there was ever a time for a suicide squeeze, I say this is it. Melky can handle the bat, Sardinha has speed. Melky: Sac fly to left. The throw beat Sardinha to the plate, but he kicked the ball out of the catcher's glove. He was out if Navarro held on to the ball. 6-6, Tie. Wow, they called the play an error, Melky still gets the RBI and Sac Fly. Cano moved to second on the error. Damon: Another bleeding single for Damon, 5 for 5. Cano holds at third. Jeter: K, looking. It was a strike, can't take that pitch, in that situation. Wondering if Joba will come in.
- Son of a bitch. Farnsworth's in. I guess Joba isn't available tonight, though he should be.
- Strike out, Pop out, Strike out. I stand corrected, Farnsworth looked untouchable.
- Meat of the order for the Bombers. Let's see if Al Reyes has any of that Red Sox magic left in him.
- Abreu: F-9. At least they'll pitch to A-Rod (maybe). A-Rod: Line out for A-Rod, too much topspin, I thought it had a shot off the bat. [The Mets have scored 6 in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead to 10-9 against Washington] Matsui: Walk. Nice at bat for Matsui. Betemit: (Double switch, involving Posada, Giambi, Betemit and Molina) went from 0-2, to 3-2, then K's.
- Who will pitch the bottom of the ninth?
- Answer: Veras.
- Fly out. Please walk Pena. Don't let him beat you. Pena walks, I'm fine with that. Upton K's looking. Young pops out. Great job by Veras.
- I'm a little disappointed Michael Kay didn't say "Bonus Cantos."
- Cano: 6-3. This game is now 4 hours old. Jose Molina: 6-3. Melky: K.
- Who will pitch the 10th?
- Answer: Jeff Karstens. Ugh.
- How many pitches will it take Karstens to lose this game? My bet is 15.
- I win. It only took 3. Walk-off bomb for Navarro. F&cking pitiful.
Who cares. Give it to A-Rod.
Like I said earlier, the Wild Card, it is. It didn't happen exactly the way I thought it would, but it happened nonetheless. Apparently, Joe really didn't want to use Mo or Joba tonight. Clinching will have to wait until tomorrow night, Wang vs. Howell. Good night everybody, thanks for taking part in the live blog.