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Postgame notes: “Right here where we want to be”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Oct 02, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

One big inning, let the Big Man take it from there, then get a little help from the Rays. That’s the formula that put the Yankees back in control of the American League East tonight. A one-game lead with two to play means the Yankees could clinch the division as early as tomorrow night.

“There’s a lot of teams that would love to be in our position right now,” Mark Teixeira said. “And you can count all the things that have gone wrong, but we’re right here where we want to be.”

After letting a winable game slip away on Saturday, then needing a wild comeback on Sunday, the Yankees put this one out of reach early with their highest-scoring inning of the year. That nine-run second was also the third time this season that the Yankees scored at least seven runs in an inning against the Red Sox, another kick to their rivals at the bottom of the division. It was the third time in franchise history — also June 30, 1977 and June 21, 2005 — that the Yankees hit four home runs in an inning. From there, it was Sabathia’s night, his third straight start of at least eight innings.

Teixeira admitted to checking the scoreboard a few times, and Robinson Cano said he couldn’t help but notice the Baltimore score, but Sabathia said he legitimately had no idea that they were losing until he came out of the game. If the Yankees win again and the Orioles lose again, the Yankees will have the division and avoid that roll-the-dice play-in game.

“That’s what you want,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s what you hope that you have all the time when you’re playing this game, that you can control your own destiny. We have to go out and win a ballgame tomorrow.”

• Cano had his seventh straight multi-hit game, the second-longest such streak of his career, and he could match a career-high tomorrow. His solo homer that started that second inning was the 175th of his career, tying Bobby Murcer for 20th place on the Yankees all-time list. He also tied his career high with three extra-base hits tonight. “I’ve seen him locked in plenty over his career,” Girardi said. “But he looks really good right now. He’s hitting pitches all over the place, he’s driving the ball and it’s just great to see at this time of year.”

• By the way, Cano’s home run was a monster to center field. Was he surprised he hit it that far? “I’m never surprised,” he said. “When you have a bat in your hands and make a good swing, you never know what can happen.

• Girardi said there was never any thought of pulling Sabathia early to save him for a possible wild card start on Friday. Sabathia finished with 103 pitches. “I’m not worried about Friday,” Girardi said. “I’m worried about today, and now that today is over, I’m worried about tomorrow. I think if you start thinking too far ahead, you can get yourself in a bad position. We have Phelpsy going tomorrow. I want a full bullpen. I think that’s important.”

• Even with a full start tonight, Sabathia said he could start Friday if necessary. “Of course,” he said. “That wouldn’t matter anyway. It’s time to go, and it’s time to put up or shut up, so I want the ball.”

• Both Sabathia and Girardi said this was the best Sabathia’s changeup has been all season. “It’s been better the last couple times,” Sabathia said. “I think it’s just throwing it. The middle of the year, I got away from it. I’m getting back to it, throwing it on the side, and working it back into the game has really helped me these last three starts.”

• Sabathia is the only Major League pitcher to win at least 15 games each of the past six seasons. Tonight he reached 200 innings, which neither he nor Girardi said was particularly meaningful. He wasn’t staying in the game just to get to 200, although this did give him six straight seasons of at least 200 innings.

• How could you not be thrilled for Melky Mesa? His first big league at-bat was an RBI single in the eighth and he was still all smiles after the game. He said he’s giving the ball to his father. “Exciting moment,” Mesa said. “I never forget that, and I just feel happy right now.”

• Teixeira’s second at-bat back from the calf injury was a two-run homer during that wild second inning. “I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. “But I felt like I saw the ball really well today, and on the home run put a really good swing on the ball.”

• Girardi pulled Teixeira strictly to get him out of the game, not because of a setback with the calf. Teixeira said there’s no doubt he’ll be able to play tomorrow. “Yeah,” he said. “Feel really good.”

• Teixeira never really had to race around the bases or beat out a play at first, but he did have to chase a foul ball to the edge of the dugout. That might have been the night’s biggest test for calf. “I considered diving into the dugout, but I’m thinking that’s probably not the best thing to do,” he said. “I’m not sure I would have caught it anyway, but I had to run over there and test it out.”

• Brett Gardner was given an eighth-inning at bat and is now considered a full, no-restrictions player for the Yankees. That seems to make him a favorite to land a spot on the postseason roster. “It’s definitely something you have to think about now,” Girardi said. “When you talk about a playoff roster, sometimes you have one extra spot for that runner. Now that he’s a full player, it makes it a little bit different.”

• Despite being cleared as a full player, Girardi said he still doesn’t consider Gardner an everyday outfielder the rest of the way. “He just hasn’t had the at-bats,” Girardi said.

• Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-3 but a sacrifice fly gave him 1,950 career RBI tying Stan Musial for fifth place on baseball’s all-time list. It also snapped an 11-game RBI drought.

• The Yankees have three starters with at least 15 wins for the first time since 2006 (Johnson, Mussina and Wang).

• The Yankees have hit 38 home runs against the Red Sox this season, and they’ve outscored them 95-65. They’ve hit at least four homers in a game against Boston four times. Teixeira now has 20 season RBIs against the Red Sox, become the first Yankee with as many RBI against Boston in a single season since Mickey Mantle had 22 in 1958.

• Final word goes to Teixeira: “Any time you have CC on the mound you just want to give him a nice little lead because he’s going to take care of the rest. For us to get nine in an inning, that just doesn’t happen. You don’t see that very often, so it took the pressure off the rest of the game that we could put up a nine spot in the second inning.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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49 Responses to “Postgame notes: “Right here where we want to be””

  1. fantasygame101 October 2nd, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Hope they will not blow their chance this time around.

  2. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Napoli just won’t go away. :mad:

  3. austinmac October 2nd, 2012 at 12:32 am

    It was very fun to see Mesa get his first hit. Can you imagine?

    I loved a relaxing game. We all needed it.

    Every ball Cano hits is a shot. He can carry a team like this. Now, if Alex would hit, then the offense takes off.

  4. umbrelladoc October 2nd, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I think we should root for the Rangers tonight. Then the Rays would still be alive tomorrow. The Rangers would clinch the division and have less to play for than the A’s who might still need to win a game to get the wildcard and home-field in the WC.

  5. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I am unable to root for the Rangers, I want the Yanks to get the top seed and I want the A’s to host the Wild Card game.

  6. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I agree about the rangers winning tonight.

    A. This would give the rays another must win game.
    B. We just need the Rangers to lose one game, and we just need to sweep the sox and we would get the number 1 seed in the AL.

    However…. A rangers loss tonight would mean that even if we split the next two games we would get the number 1 seed in the AL ( if baltimore loses another game)

    Either way… Everything depends on us. IF we win the next two games… we will get the number 1 seed in my opinion. I don’t see the rangers sweeping the a’s.

  7. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Also… getting that number 1 seed is huge for us.

    Look.. i know the orioles and a’s are both scary and both could give us a run for our money in the ALDS. BUT…. We could possibly avoid the tigers and rangers in the first round. That would be huge.

  8. jacksquat October 2nd, 2012 at 12:48 am

    If the Rangers win tonight, the Yankees would have to play one game better than them the next 2 games.

    Anyway, it’s not like our routing helps either team. Just wait and see what happens.

  9. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Getting the Tigers or Rangers potentially in the ALCS means we can take advantage of our relatively deeper rotation and avoid having to face their top heavy rotations in a short series where losing twice to Verlander or Darvish could be a death sentence.

  10. umbrelladoc October 2nd, 2012 at 12:50 am

    I rather have to sweep the remaining 2 games to be the #1 seed, rather than have to sweep the remaining two to win the division. Tampa in a meaningful game with Shields is a good bet.

  11. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 12:50 am

    NICK- Trust me… i know. I live in Austin. I have had to deal with all of these ” Rangers fans” that just came out of the woodworks two years ago.

    Its funny actually. Because as a youngster i went to a ton of astros and rangers games. The astros were the big deal here. You had Bags, Biggio, and company. And i remember going to rangers games back when Juan ” gone” Gonzalez, pudge, rusty greer, and company were in arlington. The ballpark in arlington was always empty, and no one even cared about them. The rangers were the forgotten teams in dallas. NOW… the last two years everyone has become a rangers fan. The funny thins is… Rangers fans calling me a banwaggon fan for being a Yankee fan and being from texas. I know MORE about the rangers than most of their fan base. LOL

  12. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Trout against King Felix this year in 19 PA: .529/.588/.882 , went 4 for 4 off him tonight :x

  13. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 12:53 am

    We own the tiebreak with the Rangers, so we can get the top seed if we play them even from here on out if the A’s hold on tonight.

  14. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Roy oswalt sighting!!!

  15. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Here is a somewhat scary scenario: A’s Sweep the rangers, Rangers win the wild game vs what would hopefully be the orioles. Then that would set up a Yankees Vs Rangers ALDS, first two games in arlington.

    Getting WAY ahead of myself here. But… its fun/ stressful, to think of all the possible scenario’s.

  16. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:00 am

    If the A’s sweep… they could also get the top seed unless we win out. So they can go to Arlington to play the Rangers.

  17. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Its too bad the Rangers are in the AL and do obnoxious antler & claw type stuff, because I really like Nelson Cruz, Uehara, and Darvish.

  18. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I actually love how the rangers are the ” new kid on the block” and they have lost in the world series the last two years to 2 of the most historic franchises in baseball. Well.. i just love how the lost both times. LOL.

  19. umbrelladoc October 2nd, 2012 at 1:02 am

    The Trout v Cabrera argument is interesting, although Lou Gehrig won the Triple Crown and finished 5th in the voting. But I can’t get exercised about the MVP or Cy Young Award – Jeter has never won the MVP and Mariano hasn’t won either. That tells you all you need to know about those awards.

  20. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Jerkface-

    I can’t stand their fans. They are horrible.

    When i was at the yankees series earlier this year, they were ridiculous. They all Yell ” AROID, or YOU TOOK STEROIDS” So… I always yell back ” WITH THE RANGERS” haha.

  21. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 1:04 am

    CJ Wilson moves from a hitters park to a pitchers park and his ERA jumps by an entire run. The hidden value of playing for the best offensive team in your division is that you don’t have to face them. He ends the season with a 7 ERA against the Rangers. His ERA+ is either going to be 99 or 100. His improved walk rate last season may be an aberration.

  22. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:07 am

    They should accept that they are unworthy of Yu Darvish and trade him to us for a package or Warren, Laird, and Venditte.

  23. Tabbert October 2nd, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I really hope the A’s aren’t just happy with clinching the wild card and party too hard tonight.

  24. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:09 am

    The A’s have a case of Diet Tab on ice for their celebration.

  25. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Laird is off to the land of wind and ghosts, or as you gaijin call it ‘The Astros’, so we’ll have to replace him with Gustavo Molina in that package.

  26. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 1:10 am

    This A’s / Rangers game is some playoff level stuff.

  27. Jerkface October 2nd, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Good, time to win out Yankees. Get that HFA.

  28. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:12 am

    I was talking about our new prospect Melky Laird.

  29. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:14 am

    The hats say “PLAYOFFS” — hmmmmmm. :oops:

  30. Locke October 2nd, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Yankees are tied for the best record in baseball.

    Tex, ARod, Andy and Gardner are back. Ichiro is a Yankee.

    AND it looks like the Jones experiment is ending.

    This will be a great post season.

  31. Locke October 2nd, 2012 at 1:15 am

    In the American League – excuse me.

  32. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I wonder if anyone in Texas is aware that the Rangers lost tonight.

    The 17 Romo interceptions might be running through their heads.

  33. umbrelladoc October 2nd, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Still worry about tomorrow’s game, Lester has been decent over his last few starts. Hopefully, Joe starts Nunez at DH and we will have a tough lineup against a lefty for once.

  34. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:23 am

    I might burst into tears of joy if we win tomorrow night… I really want to win my over 93.5 wins bet!

  35. Nick in SF October 2nd, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Then I can move on to rooting for Montero to hit 5 more homers and win the over 19.5 bet. :cry:

  36. jacksquat October 2nd, 2012 at 1:26 am

    lineups vs lhp

    Jeter
    Ichiro
    Arod
    Teixeira
    Cano
    Swisher
    Martin
    Granderson
    Nunez

    or

    Jeter
    Swisher
    Arod
    Teixeira
    Cano
    Martin
    Granderson
    Nunez
    Ichiro

  37. Bobby Murcer October 2nd, 2012 at 6:08 am

    That was such a relief last night! I hope tonight is more of the same.
    Very happy to see Shields going tonight for Tampa. I know they’re disappointed,
    but I don’t think they’ll mail it in.
    But I am upset that it’s Tuesday morning and MLB still hasn’t announced
    what the times for the playoff games are on Friday. I have tickets to see Atlanta-
    St.Louis/Dodgers but I still don’t know whether I need to take time off work or
    not. Fans should come before TV but we know that’s a pipe dream.

  38. blake October 2nd, 2012 at 7:50 am

    1 game up in the division and in control of best record with 2 to play…..its right therr for the Yanks all they have to do is take it.

    Win today!

  39. MG October 2nd, 2012 at 7:58 am

    blake October 2nd, 2012 at 7:50 am
    1 game up in the division and in control of best record with 2 to play…..its right therr for the Yanks all they have to do is take it.

    Win today!
    —————
    Exactly, no excuses if they don’t win the AL East and wind up with the wild card.

    I think they win tonight, Lester has no incentive to pitch well and probably has tee times beginning on Thursday.

  40. blake October 2nd, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Tex should help the lineup tonight against the lefty……

    Id go:

    Jeter
    Ichiro
    Tex
    Arod
    Cano
    Swisher
    Martin
    Granderson
    Nunez DH

  41. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Good morning-

    Ken Davidoff of the NY Post questions why Sabathia pitched 8 innings, 103 pitches, in a blowout, given the possibility, that if the Yankees stumble, he might be needed for the WC game Friday, on 3 days rest, if Pettitte is needed for a divisional playoff game Thursday. Feels with expanded rosters Garcia could have come into the game in the 7th or 8th.

    I don’t agree. CC can pitch on 3 days rest if need to. However if that scenario occurs where the Yankees play Thursday and Friday and move on to the ALDS, first game, Sunday in NY, your options for game 1 are Kuroda on 3 days rest, or Hughes, or Phelps.

    Yankees need to win all the final games, or at least win tonight and have the O’s lose tonight, and then no worries.

  42. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Blake-

    Attached are the Yankee batters career regular season stats vs Lester. I know past performance might not count because every team has hit Lester this year, but you might want to switch your lineup after you look at these stats. Too bad Nix is out:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/.....jon-lester

  43. MG October 2nd, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I don’t make lineup predictions but Cano is hitting the ball so well he needs to be batting as many times as possible, I’d have him 3rd-Lester isn’t going to pitch more than 6+ (he hasn’t gone past that recently) and there is no way I want Arod up in a situation late in the game instead of Robby.

  44. disco stu October 2nd, 2012 at 8:40 am

    “That was such a relief last night! I hope tonight is more of the same.
    Very happy to see Shields going tonight for Tampa. I know they’re disappointed,
    but I don’t think they’ll mail it in.”

    I agree that they won’t mail in the next 2 games. I don’t think Maddon will rest players or pull Shields and Hellickson from their starts … in the spirit of competition and a chance to still influence the pennant race, they will play to win … but, let’s be honest, the edge will not be the same had they taken the field tonight knowing they still had an outside shot of making it to the playoffs.

    But the Yankees regained control of their own fate and now they don’t need more help … win the next 2 games and they are division champs, with HFA (they hold the tie breaker). They can rest up, see where they need to travel to for Game 1 on Sunday, and most importantly IMO, avoid playing the Tigers and opening up on the road against Verlander.

  45. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Given the way Swisher is playing you might want at least the top 5 in the order to be:

    Jeter
    Ichiro
    Swisher
    Cano
    Tex

  46. Benny Blanco October 2nd, 2012 at 8:42 am

    The angels spent all that money (350 million) in the offseason, traded for grienke and did not make the playoffs. Disaster!!!!

  47. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Benny-

    Plus I don’t think the Angels suffered any key injuries.

  48. Yankee Trader October 2nd, 2012 at 8:51 am

    James Shilds career regular season stats vs the Orioles:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/.....es-shields

  49. Benny Blanco October 2nd, 2012 at 8:59 am

    YT,

    They had their entire lineup for the whole year and mike trout was playing out of his mind. If that were the yankees heads would be rolling.


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