You can now breath Yankee fans. Go ahead and breath (what a wonderful feeling isn't it?). After taking Game 2 of the World Series all of us can breath normally. Thanks to Burnett and company the series is tied 1-1 (much better than going 0-2).
So how did the Yankees win Game 2? Here is a list why:
1.) Burnett-Molina battery:
Again this is a shout out to Molina haters out there. People often say that the Yankees will miss Posada's bat, that Molina hits like a girl, or where in a hole if Molina is batting. It is true that Posada is a much better hitter than Molina but Burnett's personal catcher batted .333 AVE in the ALCS and has a walk in Game 2 of the World Series.
But the bottom line is Jose Molina is there to guide the Yankees No. 2 starter AJ Burnett to having a good pitching game. Yankee Manager Joe Girardi didn't like the idea of benching Posada but he can't deny the fact that Burnett is effective when Molina is behind the plate.
The result, AJ Burnett gave the Yankees seven extremely strong innings, 9 strikeouts and just 1 earned run. Burnett kept his pitch count down and was able to work in and out with his fastball and throw his good curveball.
Without Molina, we might have a different ballgame and might be down 0-2.
And oh I forgot to tell you about the amazing play of Molina in the 4th inning where Molina snap-throw pickoff at 1st base to nab Jayson Werth. That play ignited the Yankees. In that same inning Mark Teixeira homered of pitcher Pedro Martinez to tie the game at 1-1 apiece.
2.) Benching struggling Nick Swisher:
There is no debate here, Nick Swisher is struggling.
In the ALDS, Swisher batted .083 AVE, no home runs, just 1 RBI, and 4 strikeouts. In the ALCS, he batted .150 AVE, no HR and RBI's, and has 7 strikeouts. And in the World Series Swisher has no hit in his 3 at bat and have 1 strikeout.
I understand that every player has their slump every now and then. Damon, Melky and Cano played miserably in the ALDS but somehow managed to turn it around in the ALCS. Swisher was consistently horrible. So in Game 2 of the World Series, Girardi inserted Jerry Hairston Jr. in replace for Swisher.
The result, Hairston has a good hitting average against Pedro Martinez. Hairston hit 1 out of his 3 at bats. But that one hit was an important one because that gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the 7th inning. Speedy Gardner pinch run for Hairston. Melky singled and Gardner was able to reach 3rd base. Posada pinch hit for Molina and gave an RBI sending Gardner home.
We might or might not see Swisher again for the remainder of the series. But the important thing here is to monitor who's hot and who's not. Replacing one player to a slumping one might change the outcome of the World Series.
3.) Starting Pitcher to Closer transition:
This may sound weird but it work wonders with the Yankees. They did that in Game 6 of the ALCS (Sabathia-Rivera). And now they did it again (Burnett-Rivera). With the evaporation of the rest of the bullpen, the Yankees coaching staff all of a sudden lost faith to their relievers and thought of thinking the unthinkable.
Stretching the innings of a starting pitcher to 7-8 innings and inserting Rivera for 1-2 innings. It is a risky move (especially to Rivera) but an effective one. With this kind of strategy, the opponents had a hard time putting a run on board. My only concern is that the Yankees should not be to comfortable with this idea or it might backfire. Mariano Rivera, as great as he is, is only just human and is prone to commit mistakes from time to time. We need some help in the bullpen. Marte's performance in Game 1 sounds promising but that isn't enough. Somebody must step in and help Rivera.
The Yankees must keep on finding ways to help their team to produce a win. Replacing a struggling slugger, having a personal catcher for a starter, manufacturing runs, playing small ball if they are not hitting, stealing bases, improving the rest of the bullpen. All of this is important and integral for the Yankees to win their 27th World Series championship.
Posted On Thursday, October 29, 2009 at at 10:11 PM by Francis Isberto