Game 6 topics

By Jon Lane
Why didn’t Joe Girardi go to the bullpen to start the seventh inning?
Damned
if you do, damned if you don’t. Girardi’s been an easy target whenever
things have gone wrong, but I didn’t kill him for sending A.J. Burnett
back in despite sitting for about a half hour. After all, he kept the
Yankees in the game and had thrown just 80 pitches. That said, I would have gave him the hook after that leadoff walk.
You have a rested bullpen that you’ve maximized to the fullest this
whole postseason. That was the ideal time to use it. Furthermore,
certain guys are better served by starting innings (read: Phil Hughes).

What has happened to Nick Swisher? Will he be in Saturday’s starting lineup?
Three
hits in 29 at-bats with 10 strikeouts, making two outs in that sixth
inning and popping up a game-deciding 3-2 pitch. Logic says bench him,
but I doubt Girardi will do that with the Angels throwing left-hander
Joe Saunders and the alternative, Brett Gardner, a lefty hitter. But
memo to a manager who manages by the numbers: Swisher is 1-for-6 with
two RBIs against Saunders this year and 5-21, 6 RBIs lifetime. Right
now, when it matters, he’s lost. Saunders has never faced Gardner and
the element of surprise works in the latter’s favor. Furthermore,
batting Gardner ninth with Derek Jeter leading off gives you a nice
look and tightens the outfield defense. I’d do it.

Why doesn’t David Robertson have a bigger role out of the bullpen?

I
have no idea. Robertson’s pitched three scoreless innings in the
postseason, none bigger than Game 2 in the Division Series. This is
where Girardi has to put the binder away and go with his gut. If
Robertson has his best stuff, nobody is hitting him, not Jeff Mathis,
Vlad Guerrerro, Kendry Morales, nobody.

If Saturday brings a rainout and the Angels win Game 6, will John Lackey start Game 7 on three days’ rest?
Duh.

Will it actually rain Saturday night?
Here’s the forecast,
but don’t cancel your plans yet. Thursday’s YES Network Toyota Text
Poll presented a great question on who has had the worst performance
this postseason: Baserunners, closers, umpires or meteorologists. Maybe
Mother Nature will provide one more reprieve. If not, Game 6 and (if necessary) Game 7 will be played Sunday and Monday, respectively.

P.S. I hate rain.

Fire Girardi if the Yankees lose the series?
Jesse Spector of The New York Daily News got ahead of himself with this column,
but prefaced it so it’s not a reactionary thing. There’s no doubt
Girardi has made some really strange decisions this postseason, but
he’s not managing in the crazy 1970s and ’80s either. Unless the
Yankees completely spit the bit these next two games, he comes back
next season win or lose.

Do the Yankees need an answer to the Rally Monkey?
Steven Goldman thinks so: King Kong.
They do have that Rocky II montage, yet a team with 15 walk-off wins
finds a way to get it done without any gimmicks. Swisher has said it
many times: The Yankees feed off the energy of their fans and that
energy has done wonders.

Who will win Game 6?
Yankees.
I had Yankees in six from the get-go. Andy Pettitte, for the umpteenth
time, proves his mettle and the Yankees go ahead for good in the
seventh … on a clutch pinch-hit by Swishlicious.

2 Comments

The Hard Facts
I deal in facts and only facts and have sincere hope for my Yankees. I am not a “bangwagon” fan nor do I switch my allegiances based on a Win-Loss record. Wait; let me also say that my diehard status did not begin in 1996. Like I said, I am true blue, diehard Yankee-ness. With that said–I have decide to that A.J. Burnett?s nickname is “Choke Hard” because it fits him. Dealing with reality: ?Choke Hard? is clearly the Yankees third best starting pitcher and some “reality on-lookers” would argue that “Choke Hard” is the Yankees? 4th best starting pitcher. In case anyone forgot the importance of Thursday’s game, it was the clinching game of the ALCS. HINT: If the Yankees win Game 5, they go to the WORLD SERIES!!!; THE WORLD SERIES!!! However, A.J. choked hard, hence, his corrective name is now “Choke Hard”. With all the bending and compromises that has been made for him, he should not have trouble nailing down a really big win that was needed. Giradi (or what some are now referring to him as is “Retardi”–which I can not argue with either) has decided to bench a perennial borderline Hall of Fame catcher (to cater to ?Choke Hard?s? fragile psyche) which lowers the sting in the Yankee lineup. That?s huge catering when we are talking about the playoffs. Many good and great players play they whole career without ever playing in the playoffs or the great ones wait a long time. By your admission, you said runs are going to be scored as the Angels are a very good team so wouldn’t any manager have there best lineup out there all the time. Retardi (I mean Giradi) clearly does not have a mind to go out on a limb on his own. He is starting “Choke Hard” to cater to Cashman?s and the Steinbrenner’s ridiculous signing. That way if “Choke Hard” fails (and he has already failed in the regular season and during the Yankees biggest game of year) he can always say “well, I played the big names that were signed–it not my fault if he can not come through”. I think Retardi should have made Petitte their #2 starter as Petitte earned it during the regular season. Why not???!!! Hey, wouldn’t it be something (interesting) if Andy Petitte rise to the occasion and win the Yankees most important game of the year after the Yankees spurned him during the offseason (it will not only be Karma but a living example that a champion?s heart can not be bought–a champion?s heart is intangible and contains untouchable substances). I have more faith in Petitte; not only because he is a “real Yankee” and “have been there before” but simply because he a better pitcher than “Choke Hard”, a proven champion, and thrives under pressure. Think about this too; if Petitte fails in Game 6 he won’t be hated in NY anyways because he is a NY legend, borderline Hall of Famer, does not try to blame his teammate(s) when things don’t go his way, and does not have a big mouth. On the other hand, “Choke Hard” has proven to be immature, unpredictable, an has already crumbled under pressure.

Unless i’m missing something here, who could possibly be the Yanks third best starter if not Burnett. Burnett is an enigma, and every time he goes to the mound, he makes you feel nervous. Saying all that, I hope the poster above is not implying Chad Gaudin or even Justin Chamberlain is the Yanks 3rd best starter. Burnett is frustrating, and God forbid that C.C. would ever lose a game 1, and the Yanks having to start Burnett in game 2. The difference between Burnett and Chamberlain(or Gaudin) is that as bad and wild as he can be, he is capable of getting himself out of jams, solely on the fact that he has really good stuff. If i could play God, I would put Andy’s head on Burnett’s body, because Pettitte who is less talented than Burnett, is so much more gritty, courageous, composed,… than Burnett.

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