Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lou Gehrig Wants an Explanation

Four hits? The Yankees only got 4 hits? In 12 innings?

Your attention please, ladies and gentlemen... The ghost of Lou Gehrig has something he would like to say.

"Today (today)... I consider myself (myself)... in need (in need)... of an explanation (nation)... for this bullshit (bullshit)!"
The only Yankee run of last night was Nick Swisher's 23rd home run of the season in the 7th inning. Other than that, 5 Seattle Mariner pitchers, including winning pitcher Steve Delabar (1-0), shut the Yankees out over 12 innings.

Ivan Nova allowed only 1 run into the 8th, but did it to himself with a double, a walk and a wild pitch in the 4th. Andruw Jones was thrown out at the plate on a double by the usually-useless Eduardo Nunez in the 3rd. Other than that, the Yankees didn't have too many opportunities to waste: They stranded a runner on 1st with 2 outs in the 6th, one on 2nd with 1 out in the 8th, 1st and 2nd with 2 out in the 9th (Joe Girardi gambling by not pinch-hitting for Jesus Montero, who struck out swinging), and the leadoff man on 1st in the 12th.

Luis Rodriguez, who came into the game batting .176, with a .239 average, 9 homers and 79 RBIs... for his entire career... hit 2 doubles (including the one Nova allowed in the 4th), and led off the bottom of the 12th with a home run off Cory Wade (5-1). Mariners 2, Yankees 1.

I don't blame Wade at all. In fact, between them, Nova, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan (yes, Boone Logan) and Wade allowed just 1 run, 8 hits, and 5 walks on 10 strikeouts in the game's first 11 innings. Your team pitches like that, it should win.

But the Yankees got just 4 hits in 12 innings: Swisher's homer, Nunez's double followed by Jones' baserunning blunder (he was out by a mile), and singles by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano.

Fortunately, the Red Sox also lost, dropping the Yankees' Magic Number to clinch the AL East to 11. The Rays also lost, dropping the Yankees' Magic Number to clinch at least a Playoff berth of some kind to 7. The Red Sox are down to 11, their wins and/or Rays losses, to clinch at least the AL Wild Card.

Elsewhere in baseball, yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched at least a Playoff berth, thus eliminating the Mets from contention. The Phils' MN to clinch the NL East is 4.

The Detroit Tigers can clinch the AL Central with 2 wins. They can also clinch with a win and a loss for the Cleveland Indians, or without a win if the Indians lose 2 and the Chicago White Sox lose 1.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are down to 6, their wins and/or San Francisco Giants losses, to clinch the NL West.

The Milwaukee Brewers are down to 8, their wins and/or St. Louis Cardinals losses, to clinch the NL Central, which would be only their 2nd Division Title ever, their first 1st-place finish since they won the AL East in 1982.

The Braves are down to 9, their wins and/or Cardinal losses, to clinch at least the NL Wild Card.

The Texas Rangers are down to 11, their wins and/or Anaheim Angels losses, to clinch the AL West.

And, finally, the Yankees are down to 12, their wins and/or Tigers losses, to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AL Playoffs. Because the NL won the All-Star Game, their Pennant winner will have HFA in the World Series.

If the current standings hold to the end of the season, the Division Series will be as follows, with the team with HFA listed 2nd:

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Again, the former Milwaukee team vs. the current one. If that happens, hopefully, it will be the people of Wisconsin, rather than the team that abandoned them, who will party like it's 1957.

The Yankees are off today, as they fly into Toronto for a 3-game series at the SkyDump -- excuse me, the SkyDome, no, wait, the Rogers Centre -- to play those pesky Blue Jays.

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