ALCS Game 4, 'Kudos & Wet Willies'

A.J. Burnett of the New York Yankees reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Bengie Molina of the Texas Rangers in the top of the sixth inning in Game Four of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 19 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It is not a happy morning in Yankee-land. Our New York Yankees might be just a few hours away from beginning to think about 2011 after a disastrous 10-3 loss to the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

The Yankees now trail, 3-1, and there is plenty of blame to go around for Tuesday's meltdown. So, let's get started.

Wet Willies to ...

Have to do the 'Wet Willies' first. It is that kind of day.

  • Joe Girardi: Of course I am going to start here. What in the world was Girardi thinking in the sixth inning, leaving the most unpredictable, unreliable pitcher on the staff in the game to pitch to Bengie Molina and try to get the biggest out of the Yankee season? It's easy to criticize because it didn't work, costing the Yankees the game and maybe the season. But, either way it was the wrong move. A.J. Burnett was on borrowed time at that point, having pitched better than the Yankees could have hoped but also having narrowly survived the fifth inning, and to that point, the sixth. Especially after watching A.J. almost throw an intentional walk pitch to the backstop you had to get him out of there. Joba Chamberlain was ready, and not bringing in help for Burnett at that point was absolutely inexcusable. The result was quick, and predictable.

    Oh, and how about the 'surrender' by the Yankee manager in the ninth inning? That is the only thing I can call bringing Sergio 'Meatball' Mitre into that game only to see him, not unexpectedly, blow up. I will live with not using Kerry Wood or Mariano Rivera there since there is a game this afternoon. That inning has to go to Dustin Moseley, who was dominant in two innings in Game 1, earning the victory. 'Meatball' shouldn't even be on the roster.
  • A.J. Burnett: The shame of this is that, if Girardi had done the right thing and gotten Burnett out of there before pitching to Molina, I would be giving A.J. 'Kudos' today for a job well done. Up until that point, Burnett had given up just two runs in 5.2 innings, pitching much better than the Yankees could have hoped after a 1-7 finish to the season and 17 days to sit around and think about how awful he was. Girardi left him in, though, and he surrendered the death blow to the Yankees' hopes last night. Giving up five runs in six innings in a must-win game is not good enough.
  • Boone Logan: The lefty has one job in this series -- get Josh Hamilton out. Apparently, he can't do it. He gave up a double to Hamilton Monday, and a home run Tuesday. 
  • Sergio Mitre: Ugh! Terrible. Why was he in the game? Why the heck is he even on the roster? Where, oh where, is Chad Gaudin when you need him? Just a stupifying decision by Girardi to put him in the game, and a horrific result for the Yankees.
  • Alex Rodriguez: an 0-for-2 night and now a .133 batting average in the series. A-Rod has just three RBI and zero extra-base hits in the playoffs. 
  • Nick Swisher: An 0-for-4 night with five runners left on base. Somebody needs to get a big hit, please.
  • The weirdo who ran onto the field: Apparently the guy was trying to get to A-Rod in some sort of deranged effort to get at Rodriguez over his relationship with actress Cameron Diaz. Man, just lock the nut-job in a padded room.
  • The Bartman-esque guy: I can't really blame the guy for trying to catch a foul ball that was in the stands. When Brett Gardner reached into the front row down the left-field line to try and catch Josh Hamilton's pop fly, though, it clearly was a Steve Bartman moment. Luckily, the Yankees got around it.

Kudos to ...

  • Derek Jeter: Sure, Jeter is slowing down. Last night, though, in a game the Yankees had to have Jeter did what he always does in those situations. He played like Derek Jeter, hitting a double and triple which were two of the hardest-hit balls he has had in months. 
  • Robinson Cano: His home run just got into the first row, but it was clearly a home run. The dumbbell who slapped at Nelson Cruz's glove should have been ejected, but he did not prevent Cruz from catching the ball. Replay clearly showed the ball was gone and out of Cruz's reach before contact wit the fan occurred.
  • TBS: Yes, the network's coverage has at times been hard to watch. Tuesday night, though, TBS was all over the broadcast. Great stuff preceding the Molina home run, great work on both the Cano home run and the replay of the would-be Lance Berkman home run, terrific stuff having fun with the camera Gardner's flying bat shattered. A good night for the network.
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