The Good and the Bad: Game 3 Reactions

The Good

  • The Yankees offense scored more runs than you would expect off of Verlander. They came out of the gate swinging and quickly scored two runs, with Brett Gardner delivering a clutch hit to the gap to tie up the game in the 7th. Posada also had good at bats tonight, going 1-2 with a pair of walks.
  • David Robertson looked good, pitching a scoreless 8th while striking out one and allowing only one base runner on a HBP.

The Bad

Where to begin?

  • Teixeira and A-Rod are now a combined 1-21 with 1 run scored and 2 RBI. Every ball player struggles at times, but these guys are batting 4th and 5th in the Yankees order. Not quite the kind of production you need from your boppers if you want to win a short series. The bright-side is that A-Rod says his injuries are no longer a factor (and his defense testifies to that), so hopefully it’s just a matter of timing and he can come out strong tomorrow.
  • CC was not very ace-like. Say what you will about the tight strike zone, but it became apparent early that home plate ump Gerry Davis wasn’t in a generous mood and CC failed to adjust. You can’t walk 6 and give up 7 hits and expect to win. Sure Sabathia only gave up 4 runs, but with Verlander on the mound those 4 runs looked more like 6 or 7.
  • Speaking of pitching, Soriano wasn’t fooling anyone tonight. Right after the Yankees tied the game Soriano gave the lead right back when he served up a meatball to Delmon Young that was promptly sent into the right field seats. Ordonez followed this up with a drive to straightaway center that barely stayed in the ballpark.

Things to consider going into Game 4:

  • At what point, if any, does Girardi opt to play small ball to manufacture some runs? Sure Game 1 (and the regular season) showed that the Yankees offense can explode for 8-10 runs in a single game, but when do you assess the situation and admit that relying on the long ball probably isn’t going to be an effective strategy? The Tigers aren’t known for their running game – they don’t steal many bases, but they do the little things that advance runners into scoring position. And so far it has paid off for them. It seems counterintuitive to tell a guy like Granderson to drop down a sacrifice bunt, but keep in mind he did strike out 169 times this season. With Jeter at first and no outs with the Yankees down 3-2 in the top of the 6th Girardi let Granderson swing away instead of dropping down a sacrifice to move Jeter into scoring position. Granderson struck out. Obviously we’ll never know what would have happened if Granderson had bunted instead, but in close games when runs are at a premium these moments can be huge turning points.
  • Do you do some lineup shuffling? Three games is a small sample size, and baseball is an unpredictable game. Teix and A-Rod could come out like gangbusters tomorrow and tear the cover off the ball. On the other hand, a lineup shuffle could throw others off and the whole lineup could suffer. With Detroit sending another righty to the mound tomorrow, I think we’ll see the same lineup we’ve seen for the past three games.

So what do you guys think – is it the pitching that is coming up short? The offense? Girardi? Or are the Yanks simply being outplayed by a hungrier team? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Topics: A-Rod, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Detroit Tigers, Mark Teixeira

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