Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yankees-Angels Game 1

Most people during and after the game made note that last night's game had the feel of a role reversal. The Angels were making mistakes while the Yankees continued to try and pressure opposing defenses with running first to third and trying to force them to make plays.

But the story is more about CC Sabathia who continued to show what he can do in playoffs. Really talk about his inability to pitch on the big stage was ridiculous and these first two starts have done much to rebuild his playoff legacy in the right direction. Sabathia's biggest reason for success is his command so far. The big lefty has only walked one batter in his 14.2 playoff innings.

Sabathia even made a big defensive play on a Torii Hunter bunt. A controversial play at the time, for once the umpires could go back to their locker room and be relieved that they actually got one right.

The game also lead to a break out from a couple of the Yankee bats. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui finally put together a few hits, though one of Matsui's was a blatant error but MLB refuses to acknowledge mental errors. Having a couple more hitters behind A-Rod and Jeter will do wonders for the Yankee offense. At some point they will need their bats to slug it out with an opponent and the sooner they can get some of these hitters out of their funk the better. The good sign last night was that the Yankees were able to hit with two outs as both Jeter and Matsui put runs on the board with two-outs and runners in scoring position.

Tonight will match up Joe Saunders with A.J. Burnett, that is, if they can actually get the game played. This could be one of those games that the Yankee offense needs to step up. It could also be a game fought out between the bullpens as any long delay could knock both starters out of the game early.


Dennis said...

To be fair, Boston and New York fans were the only people saying Sabathia couldn't perform in the playoffs.

All chiding aside, CC is a beast. If the Angels want to win this series they need to beat Burnett and Pettite, because they have no chance against the big guy.

One question though, do you think he didn't pitch the ninth because he will be going on 3 days rest? Or will he never pitch the ninth in the playoffs because of Rivera?

Peter said...

Interesting that you would question why he didnt pitch the 9th because all i read this morning were people bitching that he should have come out in the 7th since the bullpen was fully rested and that they might have him go on 3 days rest.

I figure you wont ever since a yankee complete game in the playoffs so long as Rivera is still the closer. It would have to be a blow out or a no-hitter for the manager to escape criticism for risking the game by leaving the starter in over Mo.

Dennis said...

On a Saturday where I don't have to hear all the subway talk and see the headlines on the way to work I can form my own opinion.

Since CC has a proven track record of pitching well on 3 days rest, maybe the only guy in modern baseball who does, he can do whatever he says he can do. And he said he could throw 140 pitches if need be.

Dan said...

Although, modern pitchers have historically bad records on 3 days rest in the playoffs, I would have no concerns about CC. My guess is that many of those previous moves were born out of desperation rather than strategy. No one in the game is a more reliable workhorse than CC. As Pete predicted last winter, he did not have to pitch 250 innings for NY, so he comes into the post season relatively fresh compared to years past.