Wednesday, October 20, 2010

LIVE BLOG: ALCS Game 5 - New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers

The Yankees have their backs up against it today at the Stadium, where they try to avoid elimination in the ALCS. Follow along at River & Sunset.

4:00 p.m. - Hey everybody. Let's do this thing.

4:01 p.m. - Is there any way to know what to expect from Yanks today? We know they have been dominated in four games so far, but an elimination game has a way of snapping teams out of funks (see: The Series That Shall Not Be Named). The Yanks don't have Dave Roberts, and they don't have Mark Teixeira either, but they do have CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Hopefully that will be enough to get this thing back to Texas.

4:03 p.m. - As I wrote about this morning, Joe Girardi managed badly enough to be fired last night. I don't think that will happen, but his leverage will be hurt if Yanks go out like lambs tonight. Also working against him: He doesn't have Cubs to use as leverage any more.

4:04 p.m. - From TBS: Yanks down three games to one for only third time in franchise history.

4:07 p.m. - In case you haven't heard, Kid Rock was born free. He decided to celebrate this by releasing a stunningly generic rock song.

4:09 p.m. - First pitch a strike by CC. Third pitch a sharp single to center by Andrus. Uh oh.

4:12 p.m. - CC makes a great pitch to Young, inducing a 6-4-3 DP. Bases empty, two outs for Hamilton. That's how you want it.

4:15 p.m. - After Hamilton singled to right, CC freezes Guerrero with a knee-high fastball for strike three. Two hits, no damage through half an inning. Time for a drink.

4:22 p.m. - Swisher now 4-for-45 against Rangers in 2010. Yikes.

4:25 p.m. - Yanks go 1-2-3. Why do I feel like I've been typing that a lot the last few days?

4:28 p.m. - CC getting too much of the plate with his pitches. Three hits in first six batters.

4:34 p.m. - It's far too easy to steal bases on the Yankees. Eight steals by Rangers is new playoff record of infamy for New York. Meanwhile, CC gets the strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.

4:39 p.m. - Good job by A-Rod there, working the walk to lead off the second. Wilson was a walk machine in '10. Need to make him work here.

4:45 p.m. - Po lives! After a Thames flyout and Berkman walk, Posada singles through the left side and A-Rod scores on a bang-bang play at the plate. 1-0 Yanks.

4:48 p.m. - Has anyone else notice Smoltz continually trying to talk Texas pitchers out of jams during this series? Annoying.

4:50 p.m. - Wow! Rangers just turned into the Bad News Bears. Granderson singles to left, scoring Berkman. Young can't field Francoeur's throw from right, then C.J. Wilson airmails the throw to the plate. Posada would have been a dead duck. 3-0 Yanks.

4:54 p.m. - Yanks can't get Granderson in from second with one out, but New York ends second with biggest lead of series. A true ace shouldn't need much more than this. Do it, Carsten Charles.

4:57 p.m. - Posada scored there, but he remains the worst baserunner I've ever seen. Comically bad. SI.com's Jon Heyman just called it his "Mr. Magoo baserunning style" on Twitter. I think that about sums it up.

4:58 p.m. - Maybe it's just me, but does anybody else get the chills when TBS cuts to shots of Lance Berkman standing at first base with a glove on his hand?

5:00 p.m. - Andrus nubber that came to a rest on the third-base foul line about sums up this series to date.

5:03 p.m. - Josh Hamilton is one swing away from locking up ALCS MVP status.

5:04 p.m. - Just learned that C.J. Wilson is "straight edge" (no drugs/alcohol). Does this mean he likes really shitty music, too? Seems to go hand-and-and for whatever reason.

5:05 p.m. - Meanwhile, the Rangers steal their 4,000th base of the series. CC doesn't seem particularly interested in holding anyone on.

5:06 p.m. - Hamilton lines one up the middle, but right at Jeter. Sabathia unscathed through three.

5:07 p.m. - For what it's worth, I'm extremely Dull Edge. I also like Tom Petty.

5:09 p.m. - Should have mentioned this earlier, but we've had a Jeffrey Maier redux, a Steve Bartman redux, and we nearly had a Jeremy Giambi redux on Jorge Posada's single in the second. Slide A-Rod!

5:10 p.m. - John Sterling is probably losing his shit right now. Nick Swisher and Robbie Cano go back-to-back and it's 5-0. C.J. Wilson's got none-stuff today.

5:15 p.m. - You know that homer meant a lot to Swisher. He dedicated his entire offseason to making himself a better player after his awful '09 playoffs. He was rewarded for his hard work with a fine '10 regular season, but it just hadn't clicked in October until that at-bat. Hopefully it's the start of a tear. Without Teixeira, Yanks need more production up and down lineup. "But Tex didn't produce anyway, Dan." Oh right.

5:20 p.m. - File under close-but-no-cigar: Bob Sheppard would have turned 100 today.

5:23 p.m. - What I've learned in ALCS: Nelson Cruz is the best Texas hitter whose not a recovering drug addict. And that's saying something.

5:25 p.m. - This isn't good. Berkman slips chasing a foul ball and apparently banged his head. Yanks already hurting at first-base depth with Tex injury.

5:27 p.m. - Looks like Berkman is okay. He didn' thit his head. And since he's okay, I can state without question that was the worst attempt to chase down a pop up I've ever seen. Seriously, the dude over-ran it by five feet. How has he played first base most of his career?

5:29 p.m. - Not to pile on here, you know you're a bad defensive first baseman when Jason Giambi is watching at home and saying to himself, "That guy sucks."

5:30 p.m. - Meanwhile, Sabathia gets a strikeout and sharp groundout to get out of jam. 5-0 through four. CC not especially sharp today, but is buckling down with runners on.

5:32 p.m. - By the way, if it was Nick Johnson who took that fall, he would have immediately burst into flames then risen to the heavens like a DL phoenix.

5:40 p.m. - Terrible job by Gardner there. Have to put the ball in play with runner on third and less than two outs. Meanwhile, Gene Monahan tending to Berkman like he just wrapped up Round 7 against Ivan Drago.

5:45 p.m. - Jeter grounds out to short for the third time today and we head to the fifth with Yankees up 5-0.

5:48 p.m. - Matt Treanor hits a solo homer to left and Ernie Johnson nearly pees himself with excitement. 5-1 Yanks.

5:50 p.m. - Dirty little secret: Sabathia still pitching like crap. Seven hits allowed through four-plus innings. He needs to be better.

5:55 p.m. - That's eight hits allowed by Sabathia. First and second one out with Hamilton coming up. I'm peeing myself.

5:56 p.m. - Just got first glimpse of Smokin' Hot Black Chick who works in Legends Suites behind Yanks dugout. Too nervous to enjoy it right now.

5:57 p.m. - Huge. Sabathia gets Hamilton to ground into 4-6-3 DP. Very bizarre statline for Carsten Charles. 5 IP, 8 H, 1 R. I'll take it.

6:00 p.m. - Potentially huge development as Cruz exits with hamstring injury. He had hammy trouble throughout regular season. Rangers just lost huge piece of puzzle for comeback try tonight.

6:02 p.m. - Know this about Posada: Every hit he has for the rest of this series — hell, for the rest of his career — is basically a dagger throw at Girardi. "How dare you bench me for a guy named Francisco."

6:05 p.m. - People have been getting on A-Rod for not repeating his postseason heroics of '09, but I haven't been one of them. He's hit a lot of balls hard without much to show for it. This time he rockets one up the gap and gets robbed of an RBI when ball skips over fence.

6:06 p.m. - Thames has chance to bury Texas here. Big at-bat.

6:07 p.m. - After two balls, Thames intentionally walked. Baton is passed to Berkman with bases loaded. I have a good feeling about this at-bat.

6:09 p.m. - Berkman gets the job done, skying a ball to the edge of the warning track in center for a sacrifice fly. The Berkman who has showed up in the postseason is the player Cashman thought he was getting on July 31. Better late than never I suppose.

6:10 p.m. - 6-1 after five.

6:11 p.m. - There's that infernal Master Card commercial again with the dude who claimed he dumped a girlfriend because she called him on the phone and said she thought she was a Red Sox fan. 1) The nature of the phone call itself is highly implausible 2) I dated a Sox fan: If girl is hot enough, you get over it.

6:18 p.m. - CC just gave up his ninth hit, which is pretty incredible when you realize it's 6-1 in favor of his team. Can he get Yanks through seven innings without his good stuff. And while we're on the topic, what the hell happened to CC's good stuff?

6:20 p.m. - Okay, if I'm Girardi right now, I have to start at least thinking of a contingency plan that doesn't involve CC handing ball directly to Mo. That's 10 hits allowed now for Sabathia. You can just assume Sabathia will keep escaping trouble.

6:21 p.m. - Good for Girardi, who has the sense to get Wood loose in 'pen. Meanwhile, CC just gave up his 11th hit. Seriously, what happened to this guy?

6:27 p.m. - Sabathia goes 3-2 on Treanor, then gets a soft grounder to third. Run scores, 6-2. Men on second and third with two outs here for Moreland. Huuuuuuge spot for CC.

6:31 p.m. - CC just doesn't seem to have the stuff to put away hitters tonight.

6:32 p.m. - But he drops the hook to freeze Moreland and officially end the worst good start in the history of the sport. 6-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

6:40 p.m. - Ernie Johnson trying to create nonsensical melodrama again: "The Yankees remember Bob Sheppard every time they put that uniform on." Um, probably not. Not a single Yankee went to the guy's funeral ... not even Jeter.

6:42 p.m. - I really hope I get the chance to complain about Joe Buck and Tim McCarver again. They're even more fun to rip apart than EJ/Smoltz/Darling.

6:45 p.m. - Great, great at-bat by Jeter, who draws a walk. Yanks would do themselves a favor by blowing it open here.

6:46 p.m. - Wait, Phillies fans call their starting pitchers the "H2O factor"? That's without a doubt the gayest thing I've ever heard. Then again, this is the same fanbase that chose this as their playoff fight song in 2009. Miley Cyrus people.

6:49 p.m. - Damn. Swisher can't escape slump, rapping into 4-6-3 DP to end scoring threat. Kerry Wood on to get it to Mo.

6:56 p.m. - From my boy Jack Curry's Twitter feed: "How did CC allow 11 hits in 6 innings and give up a mere 2 runs? The Rangers were 3 for 15 with runners on base, including 2 DPs, off him."

6:58 p.m. - I'm hoping it's just paranoia, but why can't I shake this feeling that Rangers are going to make a game of this?

7:01 p.m. - Wow. Wood picks off Andrus, the second time he bailed himself out of trouble that way in this series (Kinsler in Game 1). With Hamilton at the dish, just an indefensible mental mistake by the Texas shortstop.

7:04 p.m. - Ha, TBS gets shot of mongo Yankee fan doing a mock antlers gesture following pick-off. Love it. Meanwhile, Wook fans Hamilton and Yanks are six outs away from getting this back to Arlington.

7:08 p.m. - Wow. Ron Darling just inferred that while CC Sabathia's start was gutsy, it's the Rangers that deserve more credit for ... well I'm not sure what exactly Mr. Met was going for there. Why don't you sit out a couple plays Ron?

7:15 p.m. - A-Rod steals second. ANTLERS! Dumb.

7:18 p.m. - Yanks still not exactly gangbusters with runners in scoring position tonight. Thames just misses a two-run homer, then pops out to second.

7:21 p.m. - I'm not one to complain about these things typically, but these games are loooooooonnnng. We're on pace for another four-plus hours of PT.

7:24 p.m. - Berkman strikes out and Yanks stranded another runner. We head to eighth with Wood still on mound. I'm guessing they're going to try to get through the inning without Mo, but will likely call on him for four or even five outs if Rangers threaten.

7:26 p.m. - I'm glad Jared the Subway Guy lost all that weight, but honestly, why the HELL should I care if that doofus is training for the New York Marathon? I don't even care when my own friends train for the New York Marathon. I'm out on this one. Bring back the $5 footlong song.

7:30 p.m. - A-Rod — whose an epically underrated third baseman — makes a great diving stop and throw to get Kinsler, ensuring a rare 1-2-3 inning for Yankee pitching. Great job by Wood, who built the bridge to Rivera.

7:35 p.m. - Assuming Mo closes the door in the ninth, I'm going to come out and say it: I like the Yankees' chances in Game 6. I think Hughes will bounce back with a better start, and I don't have a tremendous amount of fear for Colby Lewis. Yankees will certainly have their shot to get it to Pettitte-Lee on Saturday night.

7:37 p.m. - Granderson gives Yanks added cushion with a bullet into short porch in right. This might be only park where that's a four-bagger. 7-2 Yanks heading to the ninth.

7:47 p.m. - Some more optimism: Yanks seem due for a breakout game offensively. If that happens on Friday, it changes the dynamic of a potential Game 7 as well. Don't discount the mental games extending this series may have on an inexperienced Texas team.

7:50 p.m. - Two up, two down for Rivera in ninth. Yanks one out away from Texas.

7:52 p.m. - Yankee fan in the stands with "Not Over-Lee Concerned" sign held high. That's what you call whistling by the graveyard.

7:56 p.m. - Rivera gets Andrus to wrap it up. 7-2 Yankee win and we're headed to Game 6 back in Arlington. Yanks have no choice to take it one game at a time. It's a three-step process and the first step is now complete.

7:57 p.m. - Swisher as Yanks high five: "Let's go, let's go, two more!" I like it.

8:00 p.m. - That's it for me. Thanks for reading everybody. Had good traffic numbers, and will do this again in Game 7 if Yanks can get us there. Check back on the blog late tonight for a new column.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.

8 comments:

Noel said...

It's about time Yankee runners challenged 'perfect' Texans and yes, JS needs to be neutral.

paul said...

...and The Mick would have been 80!

Dan Hanzus said...

Wow. The way The Mick lived, he never had a shot. R.I.P.

paul said...

Just incredible Andrus could allow himself to get picked off!

Dan Hanzus said...

@paul Definitely the dumbest moment of postseason.

Noel said...

Dan, please don't use 'gayest' as an adjective ever again when describing anything! The young kids have enough difficulty with bullies as it is. Thanks. Noel

Dan Hanzus said...

C'mon Noel! Completely innocent figure of speech. Just joking around.

Ticketwood said...

Yes, if the Yankees had made it, their presence would have been felt here. Even if they couldn't get a hold of that many New York Yankees tickets you just know some Yankees fan would roll up to McCovey Cove in his yacht, knocking over the kayaks in its wake and shouting "Hip, hip... Jorge!" over a megaphone.