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Game Two Had a Little of Everything

By Mike Silva ~ October 18th, 2009. Filed under: 2009 Playoffs.

Thoughts on the Game

- Coming into the series I predicted the Yankees would win it in six. Brian Fuentes, the long ball, and better starting pitching were the crux of my analysis. Last night we saw all three on display in full force.

- Anaheim needs to win close one run games to pull out this series. With the type of defense on display it makes the doubts about Brian Fuentes irrelevant. A team that needs to play close to the vest can’t afford to make five errors in two games. Regardless the Yankees starting pitching continued to set the tone.

- Save for the one bad inning in the fifth, Burnett was on his game again. His curveball had some nasty bite, so much so that it was the reason for the wild pitch that scored the tying run. Bobby Abreu actually saved AJ in that fifth inning by swinging out ball four before he flied out to left field. The Yankees main issue in prior postseasons was their inability to consistently throw quality starts. Through five games each starter has done exactly that. Burnett will always be one bad inning away from an implosion, but so far the $80 million handed out to him is paying off. Joe Saunders was as good, if not better, than Burnett so the Yanks need that performance.

- The bullpen always separated the Yankees during the dynasty years. Girardi has decided to mix and match everyone with the exception of Mariano Rivera. Not sure if I agree with that, but it has worked nonetheless. Remember, if the game went much further Chad Gaudin was the only remaining pitcher out of the pen. Rivera did what he always does in games like this - provide the team with two plus innings of dominant relief. Even with runners on base you never believe the Yanks are in trouble because teams don’t hit homers off him and you have a better chance of winning Mega Million than cobbling together successive hits. The Angels never had a chance.

- Joba did a Ricky Vaughn impression during warm ups throwing the ball over Molina’s head. Pumped up a bit Joba? For all his peccadilloes, Chamberlain is a great reliever. He is programmed for instant gratification, which is why he will always leave us wanting in any other role than reliever.

- With all that Anaheim still had a chance to win, but Brian Fuentes did what I predicted just days ago. A-Rod’s homer brought back memories of Jeffrey Maier, but Fuentes still threw a meatball up there with the count 0-2. Say what you want about Franciso Rodriguez, he had his issues year one in New York, but somehow I believe we are talking about a tie series if he is closing games in Orange County.

- Isn’t it amazing how it’s the unlikely heroes that make these postseason games special? Jerry Hairston Jr. wasn’t on the roster till July 31st, but it was his single that started the rally.

- Speaking of unlikely players, I have to apologize to Freddy Guzman. I said he wouldn’t receive an at-bat in the series and would resemble a contestant on dream job. He did get that at bat last night, striking out, but he still played nonetheless.

Guerrero Killing the Angels

During the winter of 2003-2004 Vladimir Guerrero was a free agent. The Mets blew a chance to sign him when he fell in their laps. Why did his price come down? First there were the concerns about his back, but when Gary Sheffield signed with the Yankees it took the big guys out of play. Guerrero would win the MVP in 04′ and has been a key cog in the Anaheim offense. I still think both New York teams blew it passing on Guerrero, but that’s the past. Last night Guerrero looked old and left eight runners on base. You have to think Mike Scioscia is contemplating moving him down in the lineup. Don’t you think the outcome might have been different if Kendry Morales came up in those spots? Perhaps the Yanks pitch around him to get to Guerrero, but it’s not like Juan Rivera is so much better protection. Guerrero is still a presence, I just think Morales is the guy I would want up in those spots. I suggested the Mets take a look at Guerrero as a 300 at bat OF a week ago. I don’t think his body is up to playing every day anymore, must less the field.

FOX Breaths a Sigh of Relief

If the game lasted only nine innings the weather would not have been an issue. Sure it was cold, but the freezing rain didn’t start till extras. What if they started the game at 4pm, wouldn’t that have made sense? I bet you would have seen a bigger crowd because inning thirteen would have been around 9pm instead of after midnight. FOX was lucky that this game was played. It’s early here in New York, but the weather seems downright nasty. The chances of playing nine innings today, or finishing last night’s game, would have been remote. Time to start using our noggins FOX. The product is so good that even if you betray the laws of network television you will still make money - trust me I have a hunch.

Kudos to the Fans that Stayed

I talked about how the inclement weather made staying home to watch the game more enjoyable. This statement was picked up by Paula Duffy at the Examiner writer from the west coast and brought up the question of whether New York fans “have gone soft”. It’s legitimate, but there still seemed to be a decent amount of people at 1 AM.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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2 Responses to Game Two Had a Little of Everything

  1. Joe

    Why did you mention Jeffrey Maier? That ball was a legitimate home run. No one leaned over into the field of play.

  2. Mike Silva


    That was pretty reminiscent. It was real close and, if you look, the Angels argued briefly. Totally believe it’s a home run.

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