Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees looks on during Game 6 of the ALCS against the Texas Rangers during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
4 Total Updates since October 22, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
“I would think that would be the first order of business, but I haven’t talked to our owners yet,” Cashman said. “Once I get a chance to talk to them, we’ll set up a time frame and schedule and go from there.”
I would think there is no other logical conclusion than for the Yankees to bring Girardi back next season. There really is no one else in line, and no really attractive big-name available. Lou Piniella? Please.
Today, though, Girardi is facing a barrage of criticism for his ALCS decision-making — especially his handling of the pitching staff.
You have to say the manager had about the same type of series as his hitters. I mean, do you really want your season going down in flames with David Robertson on the mound? …
Hey, it’s not like Girardi deserves to lose his job here. He’s a solid manager who has proven he can take a team, ultra-talented as it may be, to the top. But he appeared awfully tight when the Yankees struggled in September, and that seems to be an ongoing issue.
Perhaps most importantly, though, he needs to trust his feel for his players more and not rely so heavily on numbers. It’s one thing to use matchup numbers as a guide, but it’s another to let them dictate every move you make.
That seemed to be the case here in October, starting with the reshuffling of his starting rotation for this series because the numbers said Phil Hughes was a better choice for Game 2 than Andy Pettitte – when the Yankees desperately needed Pettitte’s postseason toughness to give them a 2-0 lead before Lee could put his imprint on the series.
Then in Game 4, Girardi got greedy with A.J. Burnett, leaving him in just long enough to make the kind of mistake pitch – for Bengie Molina’s three-run home run – that was part of Burnett’s pitching DNA all season.
Again he cited numbers for intentionally walking David Murphy ahead of Molina when Girardi’s managerial antennae should have told him that multiple runners on base had brought out the worst in Burnett for two seasons as a Yankee.
And finally, Friday night he either panicked or didn’t understand the urgency of the moment. He was too quick to pull Hughes in the fifth, as the righty had only given up an infield single and an intentional walk in that inning before Vlad Guerrero’s tie-breaking double.
At that point, with two outs in the fifth, Hughes had thrown 83 pitches, and while he wasn’t breezing along, he didn’t look to be in danger of imploding. And if Girardi sensed the need to do something to turn the tide right there to save the season, he had to go to someone besides Robertson.
the real goat horns were reserved for the manager, and they were a perfect fit.
Girardi, who is without a contract, is a good and dedicated manager who deserves a chance to return. After all, a year ago, he won a World Series with essentially this same team.
But this year he helped lose an ALCS. In the end, the manager who lived by his binders all season died by them, too.
Girardi will be managing the Yankees next season, probably with a multi-year contract in his back pocket. Cashman, and Yankee fans, had better hope that Girardi loosens up a little and learns that the answers are not always in his binders.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Well, that's a wrap. The New York Yankees' 2010 season is over after the Texas Rangers clubbed them out of the ALCS in six games.
If I was to give 'Kudos & Wet Willies' based simply on Friday night's season-ending 6-1 defeat I could probably sum it up by handing out one large team-wide 'Wet Willie' and being done with it.
Instead, let's give 'Kudos & Wet Willies' based on the entire series. Predictably, the 'Kudos' will be short, but the 'Willies' are going to take a while.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Vladimir Guerrero hit the go-ahead two-run double during a four-run fifth inning for the Rangers, who captured Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in dominating fashion. Nelson Cruz added a two-run homer during the big frame.
Guerrero drove in three runs and Ian Kinsler added a sacrifice fly for Texas, which will open the Fall Classic on the road next Wednesday against either the San Francisco Giants or the Phillies. The Giants hold a 3-2 edge in the NLCS with Game 6 on tap Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Lewis (2-0) allowed just three hits and a run, while walking three batters. The right-hander fanned seven hitters before yielding to Neftali Feliz. In a fitting ending, Alex Rodriguez, who was signed to a 10-year, $252 million contract by the Rangers before being traded to the Yankees prior to the 2004 season, was called out on strikes to end the game. The Rangers rushed the field and piled on each other near the mound in celebration.
"He went out there tonight and certainly gave us everything he had," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lewis. "He showed the heart, he showed the grit and everything he had to do tonight, he got it done."
The Rangers' 4-2 series victory over the defending World Series champions assured them of playing in the Fall Classic for the first time in the 50th year of the club. The expansion Washington Senators debuted in 1961, and the franchise moved to Texas starting with the 1972 season, but endured some tough times with just three playoff appearances before this year.
"Our fans have waited a long time, this organization has waited a long time," said Rangers president and co-owner Nolan Ryan. "This team coming out of spring training was on a mission and it's unbelievable the resiliency they had."
Texas also shed a postseason jinx against the Yankees. After winning three times on the road to beat Tampa Bay in the first round, the Rangers came into the ALCS having lost nine straight games to New York in the playoffs.
Josh Hamilton, who had four homers and seven RBI while hitting .350 in the series, was named ALCS MVP.
"This group is here because they don't know how to fail," Hamilton said. "The chemistry of the team is something like I've never known anywhere."
Yankees starter Phil Hughes (1-2) left after surrendering four hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings. The righty was touched for 11 runs over 8 2/3 frames during the two losses in this series, both against Lewis.
"We had some opportunities in the series," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't hit with runners on. And you never know exactly how much you give credit to the pitchers and how much it's your hitting. But we never seemed to get on track offensively in this series."
It was the finale to an emotional season for the Yankees, who were on a quest for an unprecedented 28th World Series title. Earlier this summer, the team mourned the loss of owner George Steinbrenner as well as long-time public address announcer Bob Sheppard.
Mitch Moreland legged out an infield hit to start the fifth inning and advanced two bases on consecutive groundouts. Hamilton was then intentionally walked. Guerrero took a 1-0 pitch to the wall in left-center for a 3-1 lead. David Robertson was summoned from the bullpen, but Cruz connected for a homer over the wall in center field.
Lewis, who played the previous two seasons in Japan before returning to the team that drafted him in the supplemental round in 1999, retired six straight batters until Lance Berkman tripled with two outs in the seventh. Nick Swisher, though, flied out to left.
Lewis fanned three of the four batters he faced in the eighth before handing it over to Feliz.
After losing Wednesday in the Bronx, the Rangers struck early in Game 6. Elvis Andrus doubled to the gap in left-center field on the fifth pitch of the game from Hughes. Hamilton lined a single to left with one out and scored on Guerrero's slow bounce groundout to second base.
The Rangers had a chance to pad their lead in the third. Moreland walked to lead off. After two outs and Moreland on second, the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Hamilton, but Hughes' pitch went high and wide off the glove of Jorge Posada. Guerrero popped up with runners at the corners.
Lewis didn't allow a hit until a lead-off double by Rodriguez to left-center in the fifth. Rodriguez moved to third on Berkman's fly ball and scored after a blown call by home plate umpire Brian Gorman. A pitch from Lewis bounced before hitting the left shin of Swisher. The ball caromed away from Bengie Molina, but instead was ruled a wild pitch, much to the dismay of the veteran catcher. If Gorman had ruled the ball hit Swisher, it would have been first and third, but despite an argument from Molina the Yankees pushed across the tying run.
"It's hard to put into words. You work hard for one goal and that's to win. If you don't do it, then it's a disappointment," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is due to become a free agent after the World Series. "I can't compare it because it's always disappointing. It's tough to deal with. It's something that stays with you for a long time."
No franchise has taken longer to advance to its first World Series, though two active franchises - the Expos/Nationals (42 seasons) and the Mariners (34 seasons) - have never advanced to a World Series...The Rangers have homered in each of their 11 games this postseason...This was just the third series loss for the Yankees (11-3) in ALCS history.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated wrote today that Joe Girardi will return as manager of the New York Yankees in 2011.
Girardi’s contract expires whenever the Yankees are done playing this season, which could be as early as tonight. There had previously been speculation that Girardi would manage the Cubs next season, although that is no longer possible since the team has named Mike Quade its skipper.
Here is Heyman on Girardi and the Yankees:
The Yankees plan to bring back manager Joe Girardi at a raise, no matter what some fans may say about his reliance on his ever-present binder. He is well-liked by Yankees honchos Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine and Brian Cashman. Girardi hasn’t been great in the ALCS, though, as he got greedy by staying too long in Game 4 with A.J. Burnett, who has been brutal and was pitching on 17 days’ rest. Burnett should have been removed after five very good innings, rather than be left in to try to pitch out of a sixth-inning jam.
Girardi, undeniably has his flaws. He relies on his binder and his stats more than on his eyes or feel for the game. Question is, though, who would the Yankees turn to if they did not bring Girardi back? Off the top of my head I cannot come up with a logical replacement.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers take another crack at securing their first World Series berth this evening when they play Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.
With the Rangers holding a 3-2 edge in the series, the set shifts back to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where Texas is just 1-3 this postseason. However, that lone win at home came against the Yankees in Game 2 with Colby Lewis on the hill and the righty will once again get the nod tonight trying to lock down a series win.
After throwing five scoreless innings to beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, Lewis baffled the potent Yankees' lineup last Saturday, holding them to two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"Of course you want to finish as quick as you can, but I don't think there's any extra added pressure on us or anything like that," Lewis said when asked about closing things out. "We are really comfortable. The clubhouse is really relaxed. We are back at home where we have been playing really well, and we just have to go out and take care of it. I mean, that's all there is to it."
Lewis had spent the previous two seasons in Japan, but returned to the majors this season and went 12-13 with a 3.72 ERA with wins in three of his last four decisions.
"To tell me that I'd be in this situation two years ago when I was thinking [about] finishing up my career in Japan, I would have told you you'd be nuts," Lewis said. "But it's a situation where I'm totally grateful for it, and grateful for the opportunity that the Rangers gave me to come back and continue to prove my talents here in the States. You know, I just want to go out and do what I've been doing all year -- try to give a quality start and leave it in the hands of the hitters."
Lewis will be opposed by the same pitcher he faced off with in Game 2 in right-hander Phil Hughes, who was awful in that contest. Hughes was pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in just four innings after pitching seven scoreless innings to beat the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS.
"I'm just looking forward to the opportunity to hopefully turn in a better start than last time and get a little payback in a sense," Hughes said. "My last one, I was horrible. I was just thankful that wasn't my last opportunity of the season. I'm looking to turn in a better one."
Hughes was 18-8 in the regular season and prior to that poor showing last Saturday, he hadn't allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings in Arlington.
"I have to make some adjustments, and that's the key," said Hughes. "I think whoever makes the adjustments is going to come out on top. You know, I'm just thrilled to have this opportunity again. It wasn't guaranteed I would have another start in the series, and I'm just happy to be able to pitch tomorrow and turn in a better start than my last one."
The Rangers' champagne was kept on ice Wednesday in the Bronx, as CC Sabathia grinded out six quality innings and Curtis Granderson went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to help the Yankees stay alive with a 7-2 win.
The Rangers put the Yankees on the brink of elimination with three consecutive victories after blowing a 5-0 lead in the series opener, but New York was able to pull within a three games to two deficit despite getting outhit, 13-9.
Sabathia (2-0) scattered 11 hits and two runs with no walks, striking out seven in a must-win start. The Rangers had runners on base in each of his six innings on the mound, but the Cy Young Award candidate was able to work out of jams, as Texas finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
"We could have gotten a couple of hits to put some crooked numbers on the board," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But you have to give them credit. They won today, we didn't give it to them."
New York, though, still has its work cut out for it, as just six teams have overcome a 3-1 deficit since the LCS went to a seven-game format in 1985 and the Yankees haven't done it in a seven-game series since rallying back to beat the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 World Series.
C.J. Wilson (1-1) was roughed up for six runs -- five earned -- on six hits and four walks in five innings for Texas, which will be trying to win just its second-ever postseason series.
The Rangers have homered in each of their 10 games this postseason.