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Pregame notes: “… but I said that last night”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Oct 07, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Mariano Rivera threw 21 pitches last night. He got a four-out save that was essentially a five-out save. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Rivera is absolutely available tonight, but probably not for more than one inning.

“I would prefer not to do it tonight,” Girardi said. “But I said that last night.”

There can be no doubt that there’s a certain comfort that comes with Rivera. Like Girardi said this afternoon, there’s no fair comparison. No one has been this good for this long in this role. It’s such a track record that, even at 40 years old, bumps in the road don’t mean much.

Rivera struggled down the stretch, one of two periods of three or four outings when he wasn’t himself.

“It wasn’t his mechanics, it was his hand position on the ball,” pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “When you show the player – they can feel something – and when you show them, it kind of clicks.”

Based on the all the broken bats last night, it seemed Rivera had clearly made the adjustment. Everything clicked, just like it’s clicked time after time since the mid-90s.

“Command was better, everything was better, and the result was better,” Rivera said.

Girardi doesn’t want to use his closer for more than three outs tonight, but in a crucial situation — no matter how good Kerry Wood has been since the trade deadline — it’s hard to imagine anyone the Yankees would rather have on the mound.

“He’s tremendous to have because you know the situation isn’t going to affect who he is,” Girardi said. “Mo’s been doing it so long, I think he enjoys the situations and I think he thrives in them.”

ALDS Yankees Twins Baseball• A day after the blown call in right field, Girardi once again gave his position on instant replay in baseball: “As long as it doesn’t slow the game down,” Girardi said. “The thing about expanded replay for me is, could they have reviewed that play as quick as they talked about it? Probably. It’s the same amount of time. It might even be less time.”

• Was Nick Swisher bunting on his own last night? Girardi wouldn’t say, at least not with words. There could be no doubt, based on his physical reaction to the question, that Girardi certainly didn’t call for the bunt. Someone said that Rob Thomson seemed to talk to Swisher very quickly after the failed bunt attempt, and Girardi only nodded. Bottom line: I wouldn’t expect to see Swisher laying down a bunt in the early innings tonight.

• There seems to always be some frustration from the fan base whenever Brett Gardner gets to first base and doesn’t try to steal. He had a chance to run last night and didn’t do it. “You just can’t run reckless where you get picked off and you take yourself out of an inning,” Girardi said. “You’ve got to make sure you’re able to read a guy’s move that you’re able to get a good jump, and those are the things that he does.”

• Derek Jeter hit some balls hard last night, continuing a trend that started in the last month of the season. “I think his at-bats have been a lot better,” Girardi said. “I think he’s hitting the ball harder. When he was in his rut, he was getting jammed a lot and hitting some weak ground balls. You see him hitting the ball to right field and center field with authority, and that’s good.”

• Girardi said he wasn’t worried about taking his only lefty out of the game in the seventh inning last night. In his mind, there were two innings to play and — lefty or righty — he knew the two pitchers he was going to use. “We’ve talked about Woody being our eighth-inning guy, and that’s probably where we’re going to use him,” Girardi said.

• Girardi said he plans to stick with Curtis Granderson as his everyday center fielder throughout the playoffs, regardless of lefty or righty starting pitcher. Last night might have reinforced that, but had Granderson taken an 0-for it wouldn’t have changed Girardi’s opinion. “This is a guy who for two months has hit off of lefties,” Girardi said. “So I don’t make a determination by one game.”

• One of Girardi’s many bullpen rules in the regular season was a refusal to use relievers four out of five days. He said that ban could be lifted in the postseason. “There’s a possibility we can use some guys four out of five nights if we had to,” he said.

• The Twins used Brian Fuentes for five batters last night, but manager Ron Gardenhire said Fuentes is available tonight.

• Girardi on the fact he’s in the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thome is not: “They have made a mistake. Jim was, you know, a little bit younger than I was, and I never had a chance to play against him growing up. But I did in the big leagues. Somehow we grew up in the same area and I got like 1/20th of his power. I’m not sure what happened.”

Associated Press photos of Rivera with Posada, and of Teixeira’s game-winning home run last night

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57 Responses to “Pregame notes: “… but I said that last night””

  1. Tabbert October 7th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    little over a hour till game time!!!!

  2. CR9 October 7th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Donna – The Rays just aren’t that good.

    Doreen – The umpires get the check swing right – for all teams – probably at an 85% clip. I wouldnt call that NEVER.

  3. Erica in NY October 7th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    0 Days, 1 Hour and 6 Minutes until Game 2 of the ALDS :grin:

  4. Erica in NY October 7th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Getting ready to bolt out of my office-

    Catch y’all at game time!!!!
    (I have my honorary Andy Pettitte twang)

  5. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    CR9 -

    Then, I never get them right! :lol:

  6. Erin October 7th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    ed_price How did this #Rays team get no-hit twice? As in, ONLY twice?

    Love this one:

    BloggingBombers You would think so. RT @Bramton1 Doesn’t Pavano owe the Yankees a complete disaster of a start?

  7. Kevin Not That Kevin Brown October 7th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    In advance I’ll ask everyone to forgive my baseball ignorance but… I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about the rules, etc., but I don’t understand, as regards last night’s game, how CC is credited with allowing an UNEARNED run (four runs, three earned) yet there were no errors committed by the Yankees. why were all four runs not earned?

    Thanks. If this is a really stupid question, then let’s pretend my Mom asked me…

  8. CountryClub October 7th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Kevin,

    The passed ball by Posada allowed a run to score.

  9. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    The passed ball

  10. MG October 7th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    repost about Shields getting the start today because of his ‘Judaism’ (courtesy of Deadspin):

    A nice lady called a Tampa sports talk radio show and argued that Shields is starting game 2 only because he’s Jewish, and the Rays’ Jewish ownership made it happen. Shields isn’t actually Jewish, but never mind that.

    “He’s not a very good pitcher,” said Linda, who thinks that he’s only starting over Matt Garza because “he’s a Jewish person.” That’s a strong accusation. We needed to get the official ZOG response. As one of the Jews who control the media, I spoke to the Jews who control sports (not Selig [Or Bettman or Stern, for that matter.]) Here’s what they had to say.

    “Oh please. We may have many tentacles throughout the sports world, but even we’re not making that 2-hour drive through rush hour traffic to the Trop to keep an eye on the Rays. We much prefer the weather in Miami anyway.

    As for the Rays’ ‘Jewish ownership’ forcing Joe Maddon’s hand on this, have you seen how much money Sternberg, Silverman and Friedman have been putting into the team the last few years? That’s not our way.

    Look, if we wanted our way, we could have it. We created the DH position just so Ron Blomberg would have a job. We fixed Rod Carew up with our wife’s niece — such a nice girl. We brought down Youkilis this year because he forgot to call his mother.

    We’re responsible for a lot of horrible things in sports. The BCS? Us. Keeping instant replay out of baseball? All us. The Bears’ o-line? You better believe it.

    But trust us when we say we’ve got nothing to do with the Rays’ personnel moves. If we did, Gabe Kapler would be hitting cleanup tomorrow.”

    So there you have it.

  11. Erin October 7th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    OK, I’m ready for my mad dash home. I should get there right at the start of game time.

    Everyone have a great night

    Go Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  12. MG October 7th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Erin October 7th, 2010 at 4:56 pm
    ed_price How did this #Rays team get no-hit twice? As in, ONLY twice?
    ————————–
    Girardi ordered CC to give up a hit in the 8th inning so he didn’t pull a pitcher during a no hitter; CC, being the quintessential team guy, gladly obliged…

  13. 108 stitches October 7th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    When the fans at Tropicana sense that Carl Crawford is having his last at bat, they’d be wise to give him a standing ovation.
    It could very well be his last game in a Rays uniform unless they suddenly get with it in Texas.

  14. GreenBeret7 October 7th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The unearned run was because of the pitch that got away from Posada was ruled a passed ball. It looked like Posada called for a fastball and got a breaking pitch….crossed up.

  15. Tabbert October 7th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    rays trying to come back!!

  16. BJK October 7th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I was surprised by how many people picked the Rays over the Rangers in this series.

    Offensively there’s little comparison. Pitching-wise, Price is countered by Lee (as we all witnessed), Garza and Davis have been inconsistent as anyone, and Shields has been a disaster this year.

    This game is over and neither is the series, but it’s just weird to me that people are surprised by the results thus far.

    Hopefully the Rays can get hot and push the series to 5 games, which would be the best case scenario for the Yankees if we can advance to the ALCS.

  17. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Did anyone else lose the game?

  18. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Yes, Doreen. It’s lost on high def but hanging in there in stone age vision.

  19. Kevin Not That Kevin Brown October 7th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Country Club, Vince, GreenBeret7 – Thanks, all much appreciated.

    So I assume then that if it had been ruled a wild pitch, the run then have been earned?

  20. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    nvm, back on in high def now

  21. JobaTipsHisCap October 7th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Rays just die already

  22. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    That’s correct Kevin.

  23. JobaTipsHisCap October 7th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    they are just wasting everybody’s time

  24. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks, Vince. Mine’s back, too.

    I didn’t even think to try the “lo-def” version.

  25. Patrick October 7th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Girardi is funny, he’s almost exactly right when he says he got 1/20th of Thome’s power. Joe had 36 career home runs, Thome has 589 career home runs. 1/20th of 589 is ~30 HR. Not bad Joe, not bad.

  26. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Doreen,
    Years of fragile and brittle Comcast services where my high def dies in things like strong wings and mild rain taught me that trick a long time ago.

  27. JobaTipsHisCap October 7th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    ESPN and FOX are 200 times better than TBS

  28. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Yikes, any stadium playing “Jump on it” to pump up the crowd in the most crucial point of its season doesn’t deserve to come back or win.

  29. JobaTipsHisCap October 7th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    David Price?
    LOL, what a choker.

  30. Irreverent Discourse October 7th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hello pals, been lurking lately as I can’t take the angsty mess anymore…

    I wish Smoltz would speak up in the booth tonight, the 2 announcers last night were SO BAD. Did you know that Sabathia throws a fastball 3-0 100% of the time? /facepalm

    … and to think come people complain about kay/oneil/singleton. I would take them over any of the postseason announcers any day.

  31. tyanksfan36 October 7th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I’m going to be “watching” the game from class. My At Bat 2010 still works for the postseason, hopefully my professor isn’t as b*tchy tonight as she normally is cause ill definitely be glued to my phone the whole time.

  32. Captain Clutch October 7th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Here come the big boys for Tampa…Joyce and Dan Johnson. I can’t believe the Yanks got beat by those scrubs.

  33. Captain Clutch October 7th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Swinging at the 1st pitch with the bases loaded lol

  34. Tabbert October 7th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    rays had men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and could not score. Sound familiar? hahaha

  35. DocTodd October 7th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Rays had 2nd and 3 rd with no outs and got zip

  36. Tabbert October 7th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I think were going to see the yanks play one heck of a game tonight. Last night took a huge weight off their shoulders in my opinion and tonight they are going to play very loose.

  37. DocTodd October 7th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Dan Johnson owned us, happy to see the Rays hit the links…Have fun Maddon…!

  38. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Guess you can’t steal home….

  39. Mike_Boston October 7th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Does anyone use RSS feeds via Sage, or any other news feeder? if so this URL has not worked all day but other sites are fine, just Lohud, did this change?
    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/feed/
    Chad?

  40. CR9 October 7th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Haha. I just came back to find out that they had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and didnt even bother to scratch across one run! Guess you aint playing the Yankees No Mo, Maddon!

    No more 7 run innings and huge comebacks! :lol:

  41. Betsy October 7th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Just following the game periodically via Francesca, he made it sound like the Rays got down on themselves VERY easily. It also sounds like the umps have made more than 1 bad call against them.

    That said, the Rangers are impressive. Lee? Ok, we knew about him, but holy smokes, CJ Wilson has come out of nowhere to have this incredible year.

    Good to hear about Granderson; he deserves to start even if he has a bad game or two against lefties.

    The Yankees can not keep depending on Mo for 4/5 out saves, not if they want to have him in good form through the rest of the playoffs.

  42. DocTodd October 7th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Rays look dead

  43. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    The best way to avoid using Mo is to score lots of runs. :?

  44. Tom in N.J. October 7th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Can James Worthy please have his “Big Game James” nickname back?

  45. Betsy October 7th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I want to know who that scout was that said Hamilton is better than Mantle; that scout is probably a Ranger’s executive’s 5 year old grandson.

    The 5 game ALDS is a joke and a disgrace. You bust your behind all year and for what? To be behind the 8 ball already when you lose 1 game?

  46. Betsy October 7th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    That’s not happening in the playoffs, Doreen.

  47. Betsy October 7th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Who cares if replay slows the game down? Has Joe been talking with Joe West? Is baseball interested or not in the integrity of the game? Judging by Selig’s inaction, I’d say they’re not. MLB is more interested in protecting the umpires.

  48. CR9 October 7th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Doreen – Everyone has troubles determining check swings live. :)

    The replay usually clears things up.

  49. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Betsy -

    Maybe, maybe not. :)

    One can hope, right?

  50. Doreen October 7th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    CR9 -

    Not all the time for me. Sometimes, yes, but a lot of times, I just have no clue!!

  51. MG October 7th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Betsy, baseball, more than any other sport except for golf, is firmly entrenched in tradition. The game has been played with essentially the same rules (except for the DH) for over 120 years, they aren’t going to make a major change like instant replay until 75% of the owners agree. The funny thing is that the easiest change to make, which would be going to electronic balls and strikes, is never going to happen in my lifetime and would eliminate 90% of the issues in games.

  52. Emily in NJ October 7th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    You guys are going to have to keep me updated tonight. Stupid Sociology class from 7pm-10pm. We can’t just take the test and leave like every other college prof. allows, noooo we have to start in with the next chapter. Stupid 6pm start time.. Why did the Braves get the late game? No one even cares about them. /end rant.

  53. Betsy October 7th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Doreen, that’s right!

    MG, and I love that about baseball, but why would anyone want a game or a series to turn on a bad call? Technology isn’t bad – baseball doesn’t have to be afraid of it. They aren’t completely tradition bound as they did go to the WC………….and that removed much of the uniqueness about baseball. Whereas you can be a mediocre team and get into the playoffs in other sports, baseball was the one sport where you were either the best or you were out…………..the WC has changed all that.

  54. Vince October 7th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    That’s not true, MG.

    DH, the Free Agent, the All Star Game rules, the Wildcard, the DS, the DS format, the replay of home runs…MLB is willing to change, just not until it’s so painfully obvious there has to be a rule made or they risk alienating their fanbase.

  55. Joe from Long Island October 7th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I was listening to ESPN Radio, to the Tampa-Texas game, on the drive home.

    1. Tampa not only can’t hit. Not only against Lee and Wilson, but they left the bases jammed in the 7th, when they could have made a game of it.

    2. Seems like they let themselves get frazzled, taking themselves out of the game. Frustration, it seems, but it doesn’t help them rally.

    3. Bobby Valentine made a good observation about BJ Upton – if he doesn’t change his hitting style, he’s going to stay what he’s been – a .240 hitter.

    4. Another observation – Tampa fans filing out of the Trop in the 6th inning.

    5. That whole HFA thing hasn’t worked out too well for the Rays. It seems you still have to play the game, and, as Texas and the Yankees have shown, win on the road.

  56. MG October 7th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Vince, all of those, except for the DH, are changes based on television ratings, it has little or nothing to do with the game as played on the field. Replay for home runs was a big step forward but it’s even a bigger step, apparently, to add replays for other stuff.

    If it was up to me I’d have a 5th umpire in the box instead of the extra 2 guys down the line looking at every play, it hardly takes any time and decisions could be overturned immediately if it was obvious like the Golson catch last night. There are so many calls that are very difficult to make it would help enormously and doesn’t have to be like the NFL setup where it literally takes 5 minutes away for each review.

  57. 108 stitches October 7th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Look for the Blue Jays to surpass the Rays as the team to contend with the Yankees for the best in the AL East in 2011.
    The Rays will lose Crawford and Pena for position players and gut their bullpen by losing Soriano, Benoit, Wheeler, Balfour, Choate, and Qualls to free agency. They may trade B.J. Upton in attempts to fill holes.
    If The Jays can manage to re-sign John Buck and Scott Downs they’ll be tough.

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