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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Humiliation: Yankees 4, Angels 3 (13 Innings)

I want to give the Angels the benefit of the doubt here, but when the game ends on errors like the Angels made in this one — perhaps mitigated somewhat by the awful playing conditions — it just looks awful for their chances to progress.

Bad umpiring almost all the way around, with an especially horrible call by second base umpire Jerry Layne that erased a double play when Erick Aybar failed to touch second base, or supposedly failed to do so; the video I saw was inconclusive (his left foot never did, but his right foot might have). In any event, we certainly never saw Cano's foot get inspected by the obviously rooting-for-a-Yankees-World-Series-Appearance Fox broadcast team. Simply appalling, all the way around.


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Here's hoping we see Howie Kendrick on Monday--although I frankly don't blame Izturis for this loss. And, hopefully, Scoscia after tonight finally wakes up and realizes that Vlad shouldn't be batting fourth. And closing a game? Let's hope Scos. goes back to the closing-by-committee thing he was calling for late in the regular season, even though Mathis deserves a huge share of the blame for calling that 0-2 Fuentes pitch, imo.
Fangraphs' comments on Fuentes last month are looking awfully prescient right now:

The number of runners left stranded by Vlad was especially appalling. :(
Vlad is done.
Errors & closer are problems but the real issue is our hitting:

Figgins .143
Abreu .000
Vlad .182
Morales .125
Rivera .125
Napoli .000
Aybar .125

You don't win shit with that.
Yeah, I know. I wonder how many more losses before Scioscia takes the hint and boots Vlad from the cleanup spot?
Unfortunately, Scioscia seems to care more about being right than in doing the correct thing at times. By leaving Vlad in at fourth, he makes himself look foolish and Vlad look terrible, and the Angels and their fans all suffer as a result. Everybody loses. I know he wants to help Vlad get some brownie points for himself in the off-season, but really Vlad's performance last night could end up costing him millions next year. And anyway, is now really the time to be worrying about Vlad's fragile ego? I think Scioscia somehow in recent years has lost the ability to really fully get how high stakes things are in the playoffs. I.e., at times he seems to think that he's managing a regular season game.
You obviously don't know the meaning of the word humiliation.

Get some perspective.
Humiliation? After five innings in NLCS Game 3 tonight the Dodgers are losing 8-0 to the Phillies. In losing 4-3 in 13 innings last night the Angels definitely made a game out of it. I did not go upstairs to get on the computer during last night's nailbiter at the Bronx Zoo reincarnation.

Yes, I would drop Vlad to sixth in the Angels batting order and move Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera up a notch. However, Vlad's ALDS Game 3 game-winning single off of Jonathan Papelbon probably reinforces Mike Scioscia's conviction to keep Guerrero in the clean-up position. Scioscia does not care what the naysayers say. I like that stubbornness trait.
I don't like that stubborn trait, but yeah, I do understand the logic. Guerrero had a fine series against the Sox--obviously in Game 3, but he also was decent in Game 2 as well. He almost hit one out of the park in Game 1 of this series. So Scioscia was hoping the magic of a Hall of Fame candidate veteran in the twilight of his career would continue. But really, it was only a matter of time before his insistence on keeping Vlad in the #4 spot was going to blow up in everyone's face.
It's 2-0, but does anyone think this series is over? The Angels have held the Yankees to eight runs in 21 innings, and at that have given up maybe half of those with their defense. They'll have the better starting pitcher in Game Three and Game Five, and might even get a second hit out of Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu at some point (the two are 1-for-16 with four walks and a hit-by-pitch). Joe Sheehan at BP today

That's about how I feel too (always the optimist). And I love all the talk today about how the Yankees at 5-0 in the post season, might sweep ALL 11 games.

Just need Weave to keep the ball in the yard and swing some momentum back West. We can do this. We lost a tough game last night, but we weren't humiliated. We clawed back, we took the lead, we had multiple chances and just missed a split. We're close and now is not the time to be jumping ship.
one of the calls also went the angels' way (a double play the angels turned) so I feel the umpiring wasn't biased

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