Jobu reviews the final series of the season, as the Yankees were swept by the Tigers in the ALCS.
I apologize for the fact that it took me a few days to write this post. It was a painful series to watch for all Yankees fans, and as impartial as I try to be (I try but it’s so hard!), I needed time to process the loss from both a fan standpoint and a blogging point of view as well. Basically, the Yankees stunk up the batters’ box and it cost them the series in an embarrassing sweep by the Detroit Tigers. So much for my Yankees in six prediction…
The Yankees could have easily won this series if anyone had felt like hitting the baseball. In game one, they got shut out for eight innings, before a thrilling ninth inning that tied the score. The Tigers turned to José Valverde to close out a four run lead. For the second straight playoff game, he completely blew it, allowing a two run home run to Ichiro before the incomparable Raúl Ibañez tied things up with a two-run home run of his own. His run the last few weeks of the season basically made him a Yankee for life, and I hope they bring him back next year.
Anyway, the Yankees ended up blowing that game on a play where Nick Swisher lost a line drive in the lights and losing Derek Jeter to a fractured ankle in the top of the twelfth inning. Losing the captain really ended up deflating this entire team, and I don’t think they ever recovered.
Game two ended in a shutout for the Tigers, as they rolled over Hiroki Kuroda (thanks in part to one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen by a second base umpire) 3-0. The Yankees couldn’t solve Aníbal Sanchez in that game, which is among the most frustrating sentences I have ever had to write.
Verlander nearly shut them out in the third game, but Eduardo Núñez hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth to put that to bed. The Yankees put a couple of runners on base against the bullpen after that, but Ibañez struck out against new playoff hero Phil Coke to end things. I guess Raúl can’t do it every time he hits in the ninth inning (fire the bum!).
Down 3-0 and facing Max Scherzer in game four, the Yankees could have rallied behind CC Sabathia. They could have rallied around their injured captain. They could have done a lot of things. Instead, they got two hits and lost 8-1. Sabathia just didn’t have it in this game, but after his performance in the ALDS, and the way the offense performed in the series, nobody faulted the big guy. For crying out loud, the Yankees were shut out in 33 of the 36 innings in this series. How are you supposed to win like that?
It’s a shame that this series ended in a sweep. The Yankees could have won the first three games of this series pretty easily if they didn’t have three gaping holes in their lineup (A-Rod, Granderson and Swisher). Things got so bad with the offense that it’s become a foregone conclusion that major changes will be made. Swisher is all but already playing in Boston (especially after his boo hoo act when the fans booed him) and A-Rod is on his way to every team with a DH/3B need if you read the tabloids.
I think this team needs a lot of changes. I have a feeling Cashman and the Steinbrenners will come together with a solid plan to restructure things. The Yankees don’t have much flexibility under all the big contracts they’ve handed out over the last few years, but you can bet they’ll wriggle around until there’s room for some changes before Spring Training.
I’ll be back with a full season review sometime before the World Series ends, and you can bet I’ll be sharing some opinions on moves the Yankees need to make before March as well. For now, I’m going to step away from the Yankees and let some wounds heel.
But hey… at least we didn’t finish last… like some people.
Featured image courtesy of: Leon Halip/Getty Images
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