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ALDS Game 3: Yankees vs. Orioles in New York

The Yankees and Orioles vie for the series lead in Game 3, almost always the most important game of a best-of-five series according to former manager Joe Torre.

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15 Total Updates since October 10, 2012
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Yankees 3, Orioles 2: Some Magic of Our Own

The Yankees were trailing going to the bottom half of the ninth, but a recent hero was ready to rise to the occasion two more times.


Ibanez the Invincible/Bottom 12

Tanya: Love that defense from Tex.

Steve: He's doing a great job on one leg.

Tanya: All the more impressive.

Steve: Sort of the opposite of the famous Billy Martin play there. More like a famous Giants one, where Christy Mathewson didn't call the ball and both Chief Myers and Fred Merkle let it drop...

Tanya: I guess that's on D-Rob. He needs to get out of the way in that case.

Tanya: Did he really? He did.

Steve: I called that one, Tanya!

Tanya: You did!

Steve: They'll put his plaque in Monument Park tonight.

Tanya: I'll fund it.

Steve: And on that generous note, we conclude until Game 4.

Tanya: Wow.


The Yanks-O's stalemate continues.;

Tanya: TBS wants Tex to bunt here. That's a real suggestion right now.

Steve: They must think someone will fall down.

Tanya: An outfielder could jog in and still get him at first, I think.

Steve: Granderson wanted to win the game on that swing.

Tanya: So did Martin.

Steve: On to the 11th.

Tanya: Gut says can't let the O's score first. I don't know if they can come back again.

Steve: Depends on if Ibanez is going to hit again.

Tanya: He couldn't possibly do it again...could he?

Steve: The way he's got right field lined up...

Tanya: I should know better than to doubt him at this point.

Steve: Another ability that might not carry over to next year. But then, he only has a one-year deal.

Steve: Does the guy who got the ball away from Swisher get pummeled?

Tanya: I hope so.

Holding it up like he's some kind of champ. Get out of here.

Steve: In fairness, he was a row further in than Swisher could reach.

Tanya: I just can't stand people who don't immediately run out of the way when the home team is in the field on foul balls like that.

Tanya: That's the D-Rob that could be the future closer.

Steve: He's not as good as he seemed to be last year (he had some extra luck going for him), but he's a very good pitcher.

Tanya: When he's got the curve working, he's so good.

Steve: And it's mostly working. He just has location problems sometimes.

Tanya: He abandoned it for a stretch earlier in the season. Never figured out why.

Steve: "Seemed like a good idea at the time."

Steve: It's possible the Tigers-A;s game will end before this one.

Tanya: Nothing would surprise me.

Steve: I had a feeling about Nix's at-bat there, but he didn't quite fulfill my prophecy.

Tanya: It was a lot closer than I thought it would be.

Steve: And we go on to the 12th.


Ibanez and A-Rod/Bottom of the Ninth

Tanya: Think Soriano opts out when the season is over?

Steve: He might... He could go find a closer's job where he won't have to worry about Mariano coming back.

Tanya: The market is pretty thin for closers. He could get a good deal from someone that he might not get if he goes back to the eighth inning next season.

Steve: Pinch-hitting for A-Rod. With Ibanez. How the mighty have fallen.

Tanya: Oh my goodness.

Steve: Joe Girardi: Manager of the Decade. That's all I have to say. Raul Ibanez loves that porch!

Tanya: Has anyone come up bigger on offense lately? Anyone?

Steve: No. Not at home. A sinker that doesn't sink from Johnson and Ibanez's bat finds that jury box in right.

Tanya: On the verge of losing to the A's: Ibanez. On the verge of losing to the Red Sox: Ibanez. On the verge of losing to the Orioles: Ibanez. Not bad for one of the guys who has taken a good chunk of the hate all season. From myself, included.

Steve: Steve too. Counting that shot, that's 15 of 20 home runs for Ibanez at home this year.

Tanya: That's amazing.

Steve: A friend asks, "So why do you DH A-Rod, then PH for him in the ninth with Ibanez?"

Tanya: I'm not sure there is even any logical explanation you could give. Girardi pushes that button at such random time...and it's worked.

Steve: They have A-Rod for 40 more years...

Tanya: I have to think his broken hand is still bothering him. I want to think that, at least.


Holding the Line in the Ninth

Tanya: I've accepted the fact that they are going to need a home run to win this game.

Steve: They can't get a walk tonight, so building a run will be problematic.

Tanya: Maybe we can lend the Orioles Nova for an inning to pitch in this game.

Steve: The old "Embedded Yankee" idea, ay?

Tanya: I was thinking more like "automatic extra bases".

Steve: Can I first-guess pushing Kuroda into the ninth?

Tanya: Not sure who else I want in there, honestly.

Steve: Robertson? Soriano?

Tanya: Both kind of scare me.

Steve: Kuroda did have three complete games this year, so this is not unknown territory, but... I was about to say "I told you so," but Mark Teixeira made a great save there

Tanya: Jeter being out of the game may be good for defense, but that's half of the offense. He'll play tomorrow even if he's hurting, but if it's at shortstop his already bad range will probably be worse.

Steve: Agreed. Another example of Girardi not letting the reliever start off the inning. If you were going to pull Kuroda if anything at all happened, why not just start fresh?

Tanya: I am more ok with this than leaving in the starter until they give up a base hit, but it's still kind of silly.

Steve: Well, we'll see if it's still a 2-1 game going to the bottom of the ninth.

Steve: Thome has looked kind of... done in this series.

Tanya: He'd fit right in on the Yankees, I guess.


After Nick Swisher, Who? And Other Updates/8th

Steve: I feel sorry for Kuroda more than anyone else if the Yankees lose this one. He takes this stuff so seriously -- which he should, I guess.

Tanya: The offense has been allergic to helping him out seemingly all season.

Steve: I really worry about this offense for next season, not just with Kuroda, but in general.

Tanya: It seems even more troubling that they might have to downgrade right field offense significantly.

Steve: Swisher is vastly underrated, but even so, all he has to do is age out of ten points of batting average and he starts to get shaky. That said, they're going to have to replace that offense if he goes.

Tanya: I don't see any way they give him six years and 15-20 million per. But the options out there aren't great alternatives.

Steve: Exactly. In an ideal world, I don't give him that either, but I'm not sure there are better options.

Tanya: Half of our offense is clearly hurt right now. Always a good sign.

Steve: I think to some degree that's a function of the team's age.

Tanya: I was speaking of Jeter, specifically. He and Martin are the only ones hitting.

Steve: Jeter's ability to bounce balls through the infield is not something I'm certain transfers to 2013.

Tanya: Great, we've devolved into discussing A-Rod vs. Joe Torre.

Steve: This game is too tight to be talking about ancient history.

Tanya: Seriously. I don't need to be frustrated about Joe Torre on top of the offense in this game.

Steve: That was one of Torre's most ill-considered moments.

Tanya: I feel like it was more about Joe Torre than it ever was about A-Rod.

Steve: I felt as if he was actively undermining A-Rod there. But we said we shouldn't be discussing that.

Tanya: This game is flying. I guess that's what happens when the offense is flailing.

Steve: There was a time when every Yankees-Orioles game went 4.5 hours. I love baseball, but I don't need that much of it in one serving.

Tanya: 4.5 hours is a lot of baseball. I'd take it if it resulted in a win, though.

Steve: And they're back to Joe Torre.

Tanya: It's unbelievable. This entire crew has gotten on my nerves this series.

Steve: They are having serious problems with focus.
Tanya: Better than Chip Caray, but not by much. Red alert: they got Nate McLouth out.

Steve: They still have to hit something.

Tanya: Baby steps.

Steve: I really enjoy how expressive Swisher is at the plate.

Tanya: I think that's what makes everyone else hate him.

Steve: Does it make you hate him?

Tanya: Not at all.

Steve: I find his lack of stoicism refreshing.

Tanya: I think he's one of those players you love if he plays on your team, and hate if he doesn't.

Steve: I don't have that feeling about many players, especially the way they move around. They're all just guys earning a living to me. Wearing a different color pants doesn't make them a good guy or a bad guy.

Tanya: I agree, but Swisher seems to really rub opposing fans the wrong way.

Steve: I really don't see why. He's a little spirited, that's all. The only ones that rub me the wrong way are the wife-beaters and ex-rapists, etc.

Tanya: Oh, Granderson. You're hurting me.

Steve: Over 40 homers or not, he's regressed. ...T Yankees go quietly in the bottom of the seventh, the Orioles do the same in the eighth. Great start by Kuroda under any other circumstances.


Fearing Phil Hughes and Other Updates/Bottom 5

Tanya: This team doesn't believe in shutdown innings.

Steve: I wonder if Graig Nettles would have gotten that ball that got by Chavez.

Tanya: Why is the backup starting in the field anyway?

:Steve: Because he's a better glove than the starter at this point?

Tanya: Plenty more fragile, though, amazingly enough. Every time he dives I think he's going to break his whole body.

Steve: Hey, he actually stayed off the DL this year.

Tanya: Miracles never cease.

Steve: Last offseason I argued that the Yankees needed two third basemen because Rodriguez was either going to get hurt or need a lot of rest. I didn't think Chavez could do it, his skills having long ago separated from his body. I was right about the two third basemen idea, but pleased to be wrong about writing off Chavez.

Tanya: I was upset they gave him a guaranteed deal, but he's done a good job.

Steve: He will be a free agent after the season and I bet he gets some attention,. He's still a bad risk, but there are so few third basemen out there.

Tanya: He turned out to be a better investment than Jones this season, I guess.

Steve: I wonder if Jones' second half is a small-sample thing, 100 bad PAs in sporadic playing time. ...We should note that Kuroda pitched out of a bases loaded jam there.

Tanya: Quite an achievement with the dangerous Ryan Flaherty at the plate.

Steve: The sun don't shine on the same dog's ass in consecutive at-bats?

Tanya: Luckily not this time.

Steve: Let's see if A-Rod can be as dangerous as Flaherty.
Tanya: I'll take "Words I Never Expected to See Strung Together" for $400, Alex.

Steve: And the answer is, "No."

Tanya: You wouldn't know the crowd is there a good majority of the time, until Alex manages to displease them.

Steve: It does seem a bit subdued.

Tanya: Cano needs to go back to hitting everything. I liked that Cano.

Steve: He's facing some very good pitching here. The Orioles of now are not the Orioles of the first half.

Tanya: I guess his streak at the end of the regular season did come against some of the real bottom feeders. But it's just so fun to watch when he's crushing everything like that.

Steve: Bottom-feeders or not, that was an incredible run. My point was more to compliment Orioles pitching improvements than denigrate Cano's hot streak.

Tanya: It's a little amazing that people have so strongly refused to give the Orioles credit.

Steve: After that Machado home run, they might be forced to. Still early though and just a one-run game. Even if the Orioles do seem to win a lot of those.

Tanya: The scariest part is that Girardi is insisting on pitching Phil Hughes tomorrow, win or lose.

Steve: I don't know how to evaluate that. Hughes is... Variable.

Tanya: He's not who I want on the mound in an elimination game, I know that much.

Steve: You certainly would want a better choice.

Yankees Rally/Bottom 3

Tanya: We live in a world where Russell Martin is coming up big at the plate now. Hope you have non-perishable food ready.

Steve: To quote one of the most popular and durable hymns, he was lost, but now he's found.

Tanya: And a world where Mark Reynolds is suddenly Mark Teixeira on defense.

Steve : I think that's less surprising. He was an under-qualified third baseman who became an over-qualified first baseman. He can't hit like the latter, but he has some of the reactions of the former.

Tanya: If Jeter makes an out here, everyone boos, right?

Steve: Not the Teflon Shortstop! ...A triple, and we see that he's Teflon for a reason.

Tanya: If Robinson Cano had blown a bubble then missed a ball, people would revolt in the streets.

Steve: Adam Jones is a perplexing combination of the miserable and the sublime. Of course, you're assuming he can't run and chew gum at the same time.


Babe Ruth Hunting, A-Rod Hating, and Andy Pettitte

Tanya: I have a good feeling about Kuroda, but the offense against Gonzalez concerns me.

Steve: : The offense against everyone concerns me right now. This is not really relevant, but during the last commercial I was looking at the New York Times for December, 1930 for mysterious purposes of my own and came across this story in the New York Times, December 11, 1930: "BABE RUTH LEAVES CAMP; Newbern, NC. Babe Ruth returned to New York tonight with a big buck deer as the major trophy of ten days of hunting at Camp Bryan, near here. The Bambino had plenty of luck with qualy, geese, and ducks, but the buck killed yesterday was the only deer he bagged." You're from the south. Can you say anything about hunting in North Carolina?

Tanya: You can do a good deal of hunting in the mountains, but I don't think it would be the choice place to go for avid hunters. Babe Ruth hunting is such a hilarious visual.

Steve: He did a lot of that. It was just noted that Adam Jones is 1-for-9 in the series, but I doubt anyone is talking about dropping him in the order.

Tanya: It's almost like people can be rational when the person's name isn't Alex Rodriguez. Weird.

Steve: I guess we should be used to it by now.

Tanya: You'd think he was single-handedly responsible for war, death, and taxes at times. Flashbacks of Andy vs. the Reds on the ball off of Kuroda.

Steve: The Andy thing was such an unfortunate fluke.

Tanya: Might have made him consider 2013 a little harder.

Steve: : Right. Unfinished business after that. I hope he can get in one more good year.

Tanya: Me too. One of my all-time favorites.

Steve: : He will be an interesting Hall of Fame case. Rarely Cy Young dominant, but just consistently good for a long time. Add in the postseason stuff and he starts to look interesting.

Tanya: Right. I'm hoping his postseasons put him over the top. I was on Camden Chat's podcast Saturday night and one of their hosts asked if there was anyone I'd rather have on the mound of late during a playoff game. Answer is not really.

Steve: And with the home run to Ryan Flaherty, the Yankees trail 1-0 top of the third.

Of Devils and Dumpsters (A Dialogue)

Tanya: Nate McLouth has to have made some deal with the devil to be this effective again.

Steve: When the Orioles hired Dan Duquette, I said that his dumpster-diving ways were all wrong for the Red Sox, but could pay off in a big way for the Orioles, an organization that previously couldn't find talent if it jumped up and down in front of them wearing a big sign that said, "Sign Me: I'm an All-Star!" McLouth is just one example of that.


As We Go Up We Go Down With Alex Rodriguez

Two quick notes on Joe Girardi's decision not to relocate Alex Rodriguez in the batting order:

  • If you're going to play A-Rod at all, there is only so far you can bury him. Moreover, you can't move a player down without moving another up, and given the current state of the Yankees offense, that doesn't seem too promising.
  • A 1-for-9 is no big deal. Ted Williams went 1-for-9 in two games sometime. This is the ultimate in small samples and there's no reason to overreact to it.
  • Having said that, if you want to make the case that Rodriguez's post-injury form has been weak overall, I wouldn't disagree. But if he's really that diminished, why is he playing in the first place?
The game begins. Updates throughout from me and Tanya Bondurant.

ALDS Game 3: Orioles at Yankees

The Yankees and Orioles vie for the series lead in Game 3, almost always the most important game of a best-of-five series according to former manager Joe Torre.


Yankees/Orioles Game 3 Lineups Announced

There's a new name in Joe Girardi's lineup tonight.

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