About 10 hours after the New York Yankees lost 10-3 to the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, YES play-by-play announcer Michael Kay was on ESPN 2 with Mike and Mike In The Morning. Here’s Kay’s reactions to Game 4 and other Yankee topics:
On leaving A.J. Burnettt in the game to pitch to Bengie Molina
“I really didn’t have a problem with it. I thought, he was pitching very well. I know his line, when you look back at it, will not indicate that. But watching him that is as sharp as he’s been in a long time. You know, occasionally he will let the ball leak back over the plate. Yesterday, what was happening was he was leaking the ball away instead of over the plate. This time, he was trying to get the ball in (to Molina) and it leaked-out over the plate and Molina turned on it. But, I actually would have walked (David) Murphy there and I would have kept in A.J. Burnett as well.”
Why have the Yankee bats been so silent?
“That’s a great question. In Game 3, you could say it was Cliff Lee and I would by that. No disrespect to Tommy Hunter or Derek Hollad but the Yankees can’t be shut down like that. The Yankees setup that opportunity where they get burned by Molina because they had so many opportunities that they didn’t cash-in offensively. Alex Rodriguez isn’t hitting before (Mark) Teixeira got hurt. (Rodriguez) hadn’t had a hit at all during the entire series*. The only one who’s hitting is Robinson Cano. You don’t win in the situation they’re in right now.”
*Rodriguez is 2-for-15 in the series.
What has to happen for the Yankees to come back in the series?
“It’s what (Mike) Golic said, they have to hit. Everyone keeps saying that CC (Sabathia) has to pitch well today. Well, everyone assumes that CC is going to pitch well. But if he gives up a run or two and the Yankees don’t score; then the Yankees will end up losing. They didn’t show any indication that they can hit C.J. Wilson in Game 1. So, they better scratch every run they can and they will have to do this without Mark Teixeira. So, that even makes it more difficult. Is it impossible? Absolutely not. But now, you put yourself in a situation to not only win three straight games but the final game you need to win has to be against Cliff Lee. That’s why yesterday was so important.”
Is the play of the Rangers making the Yankees look old and tired?
“That’s what Paul O’Neill said yesterday on the YES post-game show. ‘This makes the Yankees look like they’re playing at a different speed.’ You know what it is Mike? I say this in all sports. If you don’t hit, you look old. When you don’t hit, you look slow. When you don’t hit, you look lazy. I don’t think the Yankees are lazy. I don’t think they are a slow team. I think the Rangers, (this is) all new to them. They’re excited. I think, the Yankees are shellshocked right now. It’s almost like a roller coaster. The Yankees played like this much of September. And then all of a sudden we all thought it was over because of the series with the Minnesota Twins.”
Is Cliff Lee going to be a Yankees next season?
“I thought that was the case. But I talked to some people in the (Yankee) Stadium yesterday and supposedly, the Rangers are really dead set on keeping him. And Lee really likes it there. And I asked how the Rangers will outbid the Yankees and somebody told me they just signed an $80-million television contract. Which they did. So, that puts them at a little different level then they were previously. If it becomes a bidding war, then the Yankees will win. But if maybe this guy is comfortable and they do give him a representative offer. Then maybe he stays there.”