The Yankees Are Going To The ALCS!!!!
When my brother informed me that there were $20 tickets available for today’s game I told him, “I’m not sure I can handle being at a do or die game.” He agreed and we didn’t get the tickets.
Now that it’s over and the Yankees have won, I’m still glad I made that decision. I wouldn’t have been able to handle being there in person. Kudos to the people who were there.
Today, the star of the game was CC Sabathia, who pitched a complete game to lead the Yankees to victory.
The game followed a familiar pattern: Both teams weren’t hitting and both pitchers were on fire. For the Orioles it was Jason Hammel setting the Yankees’s batter down one right after the other.
The first hit for the Orioles came in the fourth inning off the bat of Nate McClouth but the Orioles didn’t score off Sabathia and the game remained scoreless.
In the fifth inning, Mark Teixeira led the inning off with a single and in a move that shocked pretty much the entire world, stole second.
Yes, Mark Teixeira stole a base.
That set up Raul Ibanez to play hero again and he did, smacking a single to center which scored Teixeira and putting the Yankees up 1-0.
Things got interesting in the sixth inning when McClouth came up and hit a ball to right that just missed being a home run. It was so close that Buck Showalter asked the umps to review the play to make sure it wasn’t a home run.
Thankfully for the Yankees, the call stood, it remained a foul ball and Sabathia ended up getting McClouth swinging to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees struck again, thanks to a Derek Jeter single which was quickly followed by an Ichiro Suzuki double to put the Yankees up 2-0.
After CC set the Orioles down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, Nick Swisher continued his stellar performance at the plate by striking out on three pitches. Yes, that was sarcasm.
Curtis Granderson, whose bat awoke from its series long slumber to hit a single in the fifth, hit a solo home run to right to put the Yankees up 3-0.
Now, the eighth inning is when things got dicey.
Matt Wieters started things off with a single, then Sabathia walked Manny Machado. The next batter was Mark Reynolds who struck out – the Yankees did a good job quieting his bat this series. Lew Ford came up and hit a single past a diving Jeter to score Wieters and advance Machado to second.
Robert Andino hit an infield single, thanks to the fact that no one was covering third and CC had no one to throw the ball to. The bases were loaded with one out and Nate McClouth coming to bat.
To say that my heart was beating out of my chest would not be hyperbole. It really was. I thought I was having a cardiac episode.
In the battle of Sabathia vs. McClouth, CC won this time. He struck McClouth out.
With two outs and the bases still loaded, with the Orioles still threatening, Sabathia got J.J. Hardy to ground out to end the inning.
After the Yankees were set down quickly in the bottom of the eighth – thanks to a Robinson Cano double play – Sabathia walked out to the mound to finish what he started.
He got Adam Jones to fly out to left on an 1-0 pitch. One out.
He got Chris Davis to strike out. Two outs.
And for the final out, Sabathia was able to get Wieters to hit a grounder back to him to end the game.
Ballgame over, Yankees win, and they’re heading to the American League Championship Series to face the Detroit Tigers.
(If you noticed, I didn’t mention a certain player being noticeably absent from the lineup. That’s because it’s been discussed enough.)
Some things to take away from this series
A few guys need to start hitting the ball. I’m looking at you Swish and Cano. Tex and Granderson snapped out of it alittle bit today.
The pitching was superb – both the starters and relievers. Courtesy of Jeff Quagliata who does research for YES: the Yankees had a team ERA of 1.76 in this series which is the lowest ERA in a five-game LDS since division play began in 1995. Amazing.
If there were an ALDS MVP I think CC Sabathia would win it with Raul Ibanez getting an honorable mention for his performance in Game Three and overall in the series (he was 4-9).
And there is no rest for the weary, Game One is scheduled for tomorrow night.
Rest up kids, there’s more baseball to watch!