The NY Yankees, MLB, the Bronx Zoo, and my point of view.
This should be a great series. I think the Yankees will take it in 6. With the edge going to the Yankees rotation. Which raises an interesting question. If there are no rain outs, the Yankees will need a #4 starter. I'm guessing that would be Gaudin or Aceves. Girardi had Marte up again last night, I'm hoping Robertson and Coke are healthy and available. I can't see any other reason why Girardi wouldn't be using them. Think I will save a position by position analysis for tomorrow.
I hope not Aceves - Gaudin or Joba I guess.
Mid, Joba will not be put in the position to start - he has not been in a rotation for more than a month. In addition, there are some who are saying he has lost confidence in his pitches.I don't understand the issue with not getting Coke up or for that matter Robertson. I am assuming the Yankees are required to go into the World Series with the same roster that had in the ALCS?? If so we can only hope that Swisher starts hitting.Crash, I believe the Yankees have the edge with rotation and with the bullpen. (Provided Joba and Hughes return to form). The edge at closer is not even a question. Position by position (on paper) the Yankees have the edge.
There are rumors about the health of David Robertson. Apparently, in his last outting the velocity was down and there is concern about his elbow or shoulder again.If he is injured, Bruney will be removed from the scrap heep. There is also the possibility that Guzman will be replaced by Hinske.Crash, apparently you were able to forecast weather somewhat accurately. Had the Rockies made it to the series, the some of the games of the series would probably have been snowed out. The forecast for Denver today, tommorrow and Thursday is for heavy snow and cold.Maybe it is time for baseball to reconsider its schedule. Having the playoffs going into late October and the World Series being played in November is absolutely absurd and needs to be changed. They also need to consider who and how the Master Schedule is made. Next season, I cannot wait to see early April games in the new Twins outdoor stadium. If baseball continues to require a 162 game schedule and have a modified playoff schedule, they are going to have to start the season earlier in the Spring and thus utilize warm weather stadiums and domes. It does not make sense to schedule the Rays to play in NY early April or have teams like Texas, the Brewers (domed stadium), Toronto, Arizona, the Marlins and Angels on the road to places like Detroit, Chicago, NY and Boston.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out a schedule that would allow teams to start earlier in the Spring by playing in warm weather and domes thus allowing the playoffs and series to be finished by the middle of October.
Position by Position break down:1B Howard vs. Tex : I'm giving the edge to Tex. Howard is terrible against lefties and strikes out way too much. Plus Tex is Gold Glove caliber in the field, while Howard is Giambi-like.2B Utley vs. Cano : Edge Cano. Higher average, power is about the same, and despite my grumblings about his play he is a better fielder. SS Rollins vs. Jeter : Hands down Jeter. Rollins has better speed and that's about it. I even give Jeter the edge on defense. 3B Feliz vs. A-Rod...umm...I won't waste time here.OF I'll do this one collectively. Hitting wise Ibanez/Victorino/Werth are pretty even with Damon/Melky/Swisher. I give an advantage to the Phillies for their arms defensively. I look for Melky to be a "surprise" contributor. He was hitting well last series, he needs to continue that and even turn it up a notch. Starting Rotation Depth has to go to Phillies...quality has to go to the Yankees. The Yankees have 2 great lefties which should neutralize some of the Phillies bats and keep their switch hitters turned around to the long side of the Stadium. Gaudin if called upon needs to give them 5 innings of great pitching. His performance could be a big turning-moment of the series. Bullpen Right now I give the edge to the Phillies. This is strictly based on the last series for each team. IF Joba and Hughes find their swagger, this changes. Mo is obviously the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be (that one's for you Mid).I'm sticking with my prediction that the Yankees win in 6. I can see them taking the first two at home, and 1 in Phili, then coming back to win it all. What a way to break in the new House. A-Rod wins the World Series MVP.
Interesting to hear that Cervelli has been dropped from the World Series roster and they have added Bruney. This raises a couple questions. Without the 3rd catcher, does Jorge now catch AJ? The addition of Bruney, does this mean Robertson is hurt? It would also seem to indicate that Gaudin is most definitely starting a game in the series.
Crash, the most probable reason for Cervelli being dropped, is the lack of a dh when in the national league city. Matsui moves from being dh to pitch hitter or to the outfield. Girardi did announce he is planning on using (if necessary) Matsui in the outfield.If Robertson is hurt they would have dropped him from the roster and put Bruney on anyways. I was not surprised to see Guzman dropped and Hinske added for the roster. The Yankee bench is deep and has some pop. When in playing in Philly, the Yankees will have Matsui, Hairston, Hinske and Gardner on the bench and they will have twelve pitchers in the pen. Hopefully the weather clears for this evenings game.
Hope they get tonight's game in. They don't need a rain out tonight. They need one when the series moves to Phili.This whole 3 man rotation nonsense, has me already thinking about next season and the possible rotation. I can't see the Yankees not bringing Pettitte back. If they want to move Joba or Hughes or even Kennedy into the rotation that's fine but not all of them. And how does Wang fit in to all of that. You can't give up on Wang because he has proven he can win in NY. You have to hope this was a lost season and he can bounce back. Personally I think Joba is traded in the offseason. Looking at free agent pitching it's pretty slim. John Lackey, Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, & Tim Hudson. Brandon Webb and Cliff Lee could each be free agents but both have options at about $8MM. Why wouldn't you pick those options up? Hudson has already stated he wants to stay with Atlanta. If I'm Lackey I either stay with LA or go to the NL (or both???). And obviously Harden and Sheets are huge injury risks.
Yankee bullpen has suddenly become a problem. Hughes choked once again on the big stage, which should raise the question about his mental makeup an maturity. Bruney faces four batters and two three of the four reach base and two score. Scratch him from being used again in any situation other than mopping up the club house. Robertson did not pitch bad. The pitch that loaded the bases and the one before that could have gone either way and accordiing to K-Zone analysis both were strikes and were called balls - should have been out of the inning. One has to ask how good the bullpen is going to be. Burnett needs to put in the best game of his career tonight. Any thing less than seven innings would mean reliance on a shakey bullpen. I don't believe Mo can go three innings to close out a game.
Hughes is done. I will give Bruney another opportunity as he may have a little rust. He hasn't pitched in a game in over a month. I think Girardi will use Mo for the 8th and 9th if the game is close. Other than that he will have to rely on Coke, Aceves, and Joba. He would want Aceves to get in some work but still be fresh for a multi-inning outing for Gaudin's start. The Yankee hitters looked stupid last night. They were missing fastballs, swinging at curveballs in the dirt. Nasty stuff by Lee.My prediction Burnett throws a great game (something like 7innings 1 run, 9K's) and Pedro gets shelled.
Crash, don't write Pedro off just yet. He is working on a one year contract and can view the post-season as an audition for a new and longer commitment by some team including the evil empire.
AJ earned his stripes tonight. Mo for 6 outs is amazing. Girardi has ZERO confidence in the bullpen (other than Mo of course). 1-1 to Philadelphia!
Both pitchers pitched extremely well. It is unfornate that once again umpiring overshadows a great game. A bad call against the Yankees (Howard's alleged catching of a soft line-drive)ended an inning that should have actually been bases loaded with one out. In the bottom of the inning, the same umpire calls the runner out at first to complete a double play and again replay shows he was safe. Both plays stopped what could have been game changing innings.I am not a fan of instant replay, but I am getting tired of what appears to be incompetence by the umpires. In addition the guy behind the plate wouldn't know the strike zone if it was painted for him.
On the topic of instant replay. I'm tired of hearing how calling balls and strikes is not a consideration. Balls and strikes can be called in real time without error by the computer. The home plate umpire would be there to call fouls, swing & misses, and plays at the plate, plays down the line, etc. It would also end the arguing of balls and strikes and give a consistent zone. If they can use QwestTech to grade the umpires calls of balls and strikes, why wouldn't they use it during the game???
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