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ALDS Game 1 (cont): Tigers at Yankees

Oct 2, 2011, 12:30 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
The Yankee Stadium grounds crew has been kept busy the last two nights.

When Game 1 of this series was suspended in the middle of the second inning last night, all the pundits immediately tried to figure out which team would benefit the most from the 24-hour rain delay. Prevailing wisdom suggested the Yankees would benefit more than the Tigers, because they now only have to face Justin Verlander once in the series.

I'm not so sure about that, though. What the suspension means to me is that both teams are going to have to rely on their pitching depth more than they would have had last night's game been played in its entirety. And as I argued yesterday, the Tigers' rotation depth is their biggest advantage over the Yankees.

I suppose we'll find out soon enough, as Doug Fister and Ivan Nova take over for Verlander and CC Sabathia. The forecast is once again iffy, so it could be another long night in the Bronx…

Where: Yankee Stadium
Gametime: 8:37 p.m.
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), XM 178
Weather: Chance of rain, 60 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF

CF Austin Jackson
RF Magglio Ordonez
LF Delmon Young
1B Miguel Cabrera

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  1. Dawn - Oct 2, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    What stinks for the Tigers is that Leyland had his lineup set up to face a LHP, now that same line-up has to be on the field to face a RHP. Rayburn, Inge wouldn't have been on the field. Seeing that Verlander & Fister are both RHP, doesn't matter to Girardi. Course there is a reason the Yankees have the best record in the league, Dang it.

  2. Anonymous - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    Cute son, Mark!

  3. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Awwww, that's adorable! Thanks, Mark. (I felt the same way, kid, and I only stayed up through the end of the Rays/Rangers game.)

  4. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    (Also: daggone Yankees.)

  5. Dawn - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Brian's picture is precious.

  6. MicheleS - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    That is one cute baby!

  7. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Nice pic Mark!

  8. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Joe S. said… I'll agree with Anonymous@4:28. Flores, Lannan and Marrero for a legit leadoff guy or a strong #3 pitcher would be a good move, if any other team will bite.For once, we have quality quantity to trade for quality quality. October 1, 2011 4:35 PM _______________________________To name names as a trade like that is just bush league. Nyjer is a legit leadoff hitter, you want to trade Flores, Lannan and Marrero for him?Please don't play armchair GM with ridiculous stuff like that.Do you realize how valuable a mid-3.80's ERA lefty pitcher with 2 years of team control is worth? Yah, John Lannan by himself is very valuable if Rizzo was going to dangle him out there. Josh Willingham was a legit 100 RBI guy based on 162 games, a player most teams would covet and his negatives were his health and his minus defense. The Nats got 2 players in return. An oft injured and slumping Minor League OF and a relief pitcher with no options.The A's made it known they need a middle of the order bat. Should the Nats have received Dallas Braden, Landon Powell and Brandon Allen instead? Those 3 names were the A's 2010 equivalent to Flores, Lannan and Marrero.Since I brought up Willingham, here is where Rizzo screwed up again. Willingham is a Type A Free Agent. The A's got 1 year of Willingham and now can let him walk and receive 2 Comp picks for Willingham.I will play some armchair GM. I don't see a good trade Rizzo made since the last off-season. His best move was walking away from trading Drew Storen. I still believe Rizzo would have traded Storen straight up for Denard Span.

  9. Anonymous8 - Oct 2, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Who saw the play in the Texas game where BJ Upton was caught stealing 3rd base? It brought back visions of Nyjer, bad jump in a critical situation. Of course the batter ends up hitting a single after that.

  10. Wally - Oct 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Cool picture, Mark. How is he sleeping? That is a key variable right now, IMO.Did NatsJack ever follow up on his Instructional League post? I saw one against the baby Braves a few posts ago, with a 'more-to-come' sign off, but can't find the later ones. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Speaking of the bubeleh, I just happened to notice that a few nice items are still available on his Amazon baby registry (which, as y'all may recall, is in his mom Rachel's name). I'm just saying… :-)

  12. Mark'd - Oct 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Gonat, in hindsight that Willinghan trade was not good for the Nats. At the time was there doubt of Willinghans health. That's the only reason to make that trade as a dump and run.It has been mentioned before that since StanK left, Rizzo has embarked on a path of trade desperation. His proposed trade for Greinke would have decimated the Nats if that trade went through.If Rizzo would propose a ridiculous trade like the Greinke, he may be capable of another outlandish trade like Nyjer for Lannan, Flores and Marrero.

  13. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    A great segue into Top GMs according to Buster Olney. Bright minds are next undervalued asset

  14. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Anon8, I saw it. Also saw him saying, um, "dang" or some such after it occurred.

  15. Oldguy - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Good article about FP in the Post today.

  16. Nats Outsider - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    natsfan1a–I didn't know about that registry. Thanks for the tip!

  17. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    You're welcome, Outsider.Oldguy, I saw that as well. Don't know if something may have hit the cutting room floor, but I found it interesting that FP talked about how much he'd learned this season but didn't mention his (experienced) partner. Hope to see both Bob and FP in the booth next year.

  18. Joe Seamhead - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Gonat, I'm a different "Joe S" then you took issue with, but I don't agree with you about the Willingham trade being a poor one, at least not yet. Yes Josh had a good stats year with Oakland, but keep in mind that he plays AL with the DH and he wasn't facing the pitching staffs of the Phillies and Braves for 36 games. Also while Cory Brown was injured in spring training, and again when he got called up, he did come on strong late in the minors. Coaches had dicked around with his stance and swing, he slumped, then threw all of it out and went back to his approach that he had used successfully in the past.Lo and behold, he he went back to being a very good hitter, and thus the call up. Coaches should leave hitters that hit alone, at least until they don't hit. He's also been a very good OF before his ST injury. Will he mature into a ML player? We'll see. As to HRod, again we'll see, but I won't throw a raw kid with a 101plus fastball under the bus after what little we've seen of him. This kid came in late in the spring due to visa problems, has had very little time with the team's coaching staff. He has control issues, but also seems to have self confidence issues. Steve and Davey apparently made noticeable progress on both fronts. My point is that Rizzo traded Josh Willingham, for two prospects. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss either prospect after one season. Also, though Michael Morse will probably never be a gold glove OF, Willingham gets very lousy jumps and then runs terrible routes to the ball. Rizzo's emphasis was on improving defense and getting rid of Josh was a big start.

  19. Seabiscuit Piccata - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    OTOH, Willingham did strongly imply in interviews after the trade that he couldn't get out oh here fast enough. And there is no guarantee he'd have done here what he did there. And then there's the whole Morse thing. Still, they could have used that bat, and Morse mughr have gotten in at first base anyway.

  20. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Also from a Post item, and reading between the lines, a tip o' the curmudgeonly cap to D'back's hitting coach Don Byalor, who is back with the team after a health scare (I'm having fun imagining in what manner he may have "requested" to be released from the hospital). Wishing him no further health scares, even if I'm not rooting for his team (excerpt of piece below).In other news, is it just me, or does that Brewers beast mode gesture seem a bit much? Of course, I wasn't a fan of the Rangers antler/claw thing either back in the day.Baylor fainted after eating breakfast in the clubhouse, and one of the team’s trainers caught him as he fell. Baylor hadn’t shown any signs that he was feeling ill, either at a team dinner on Thursday night or Friday morning.“I remember having breakfast. That’s it,” Baylor said.Baylor was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he spent Friday night for observation, and doctors released him when he requested to be let go at 8 a.m. He doesn’t anticipate any other problems with the medication because he’s not planning on taking it again.“I threw it in the garbage,” Baylor said.

  21. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    The excerpt, of course, starting after my Brewers-related comment.

  22. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    I prefer my Seabiscuit to be in schnitzel form (and, of course, well pounded), but that's just me. 😉

  23. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Joe, I didn't mind trading him for a deal that made sense. My problem was the bounty he got back. It was like Rizzo trading Nyjer as if he were in a hurry.Rizzo was in such a hurry to get rid of Willingham that I too thought he was "broken". Seeing that Willingham was healthy and would trend back to career numbers made the deal a good one for Oakland. Now they get 2 top Comp picks that the Nats could have used for the farm system.For Seabiscuit, of course Josh felt that way after treated like yesterday's trash. Josh is an absolute gentleman, he has feelings though.Bottomline, I just think Rizzo on his own hasn't been a good trader.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Wally…. had too much going on yesterday with all the playoff games and college football plus some company in town.However…. I've now seen the Nats FIL team twice and either the Nats organization is really, really good or the Braves are really really bad because in the two games, I've seen 12 innings of baseball and the Nats are winning 17 – 0 cumulatively. Monday I'll see the Nats against the Tigers at Disney and then I'll get to see two games against the Astros later in the week.But back to Friday….. Matt Purke seems to be still gaining arm strength because he only broke 90 once in the 1 2/3 innings and was mostly in the 88 mph range. His command was all over the place as he walked 2 and hit a guy while striking out 2 and giving up a double for the only hit against him.His secondary pitches appear to be major league ready as he showed a solid slider at about 84 and a curve at 77 – 79 mph with a real good change up at 82. He will probably finish out the FIL season next week and then go to Arizona and join the rest of the guys that left Friday. I'd say Sammy Solis is that full season ahead of Purke as of now but if Purke gets back to the 94 – 95 range, he may actually warrant that roster spot they gave him for signing.All in all he finished with 34 total pitches, 17 strikes and 17 balls.Blake Monar followed Purke and actually looked better. Another lefthander with shoulder injury history, drafted in the 12th round out of Indiana Monar went 3 an 1/3 innings giving up 1 hit and striking out 1 with no walks. He threw 36 pitches with 26 strikes and 10 balls. Like Purke, he hung around the 88 – 90 range with better sink,a quality breaking pitch around 80 to go with a pretty good straight change.He'll probably start next season at Hagerstown but could start at Potomac.Last year about this time I saw a righthander throw 2 innings of relief that impressed me named Ryan Mattheus and this year we have the equivalent in a guy named Christian Garcia.Drafted in the third round by the NY Yankees in 2004 he was originally touted as a top arm in their organization ranked right along Phil Hughes . This past spring after 6 years and TWO TJ surgeries, the Yankees got tired of watching him rehab and released him.Folks, if this guy is finally healthy the Nats have found another guy with terrific stuff wit a major League slider at 86 and a fastball at 95. I would expect, if he stays healthy, that they start him at Harrisburg as he just turned 26.The one guy that keeps squaring up everything thrown at him (at least in the 7 AB's I've seen) is Mike Taylor. This kid may be the "organization guy" Rizzo referenced earlier this year as a future center fielder and lead off guy.His minor league numbers to date do not indicate a typical lead off hitter but that's what Instructional League baseball is all about and the Nats are working him hard towards that end. The kid is 20 yo, 6'2" and about 190 with a ton of natural ability. I've seen him take pitches to RF for doubles and turn on a Tommy Hanson slider for a 400' shot to left field. He seems to get good break on balls hit his way but I haven't seen his arm tested yet. I'm looking forward to seeing him three times this week.

  25. Joe Seamhead - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    As to the Yankees and Tigers, I don't think that I've ever seen a team benefit from a rain delay/postponement as much as the Yankees did by not having to face Verlander and from switching from LH CC to RH Nova against the batting order that Leyland had, as Dawn said earlier.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Gonat and everybody else on the Willingham band wagon…. I think we all acknowledge that Willingham is a solid bat that ever team could use but the fact that he gets injured (he did spend time on the DL this season) and the fact that he benefits from rest (and I consider DH'ing as rest) he's a perfect fit for an American League team. You guys continue to bash Rizzo IN HINDSIGHT, but if you just based it on the facts as they were at the time, I think you have to say "fair enough".

  27. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    NatsJack, thanks for the update. That is great insight. Purke is the guy to watch and I think you are correct that he is ramping up. The reason the Nats paid so much was to get a hard throwing lefty. I think it is great that other players there like Christian Garcia are catching your eye.Taylor's numbers didn't impress me although I have heard he has "tools".

  28. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Gonat and everybody else on the Willingham band wagon…. I think we all acknowledge that Willingham is a solid bat that ever team could use but the fact that he gets injured (he did spend time on the DL this season) and the fact that he benefits from rest (and I consider DH'ing as rest) he's a perfect fit for an American League team. You guys continue to bash Rizzo IN HINDSIGHT, but if you just based it on the facts as they were at the time, I think you have to say "fair enough". October 2, 2011 12:14 PM ______________________________That's where you are wrong. I am not bashing Rizzo. When he made the trade I thought he knew Willingham couldn't return to form. I am not a hindsight guy. I think he needed to trade Willingham. He just didn't get a good enough package in return.This is a CAUTIONARY TALE to everyone here who proposes crazy ideas which sent me off on a tangent. Yah, lets trade LANNAN, FLORES and MARRERO for 1 player.I actually think Lannan will improve further in 2012.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Sorry Gonat…I don't mean to place you in that category but there are others that continually bash Rizzo for almost any reason. As for what we got "at the time", others have pointed out that both Brown and Hrod were considered prospects at the time and I'm pretty sure any compensatory picks we would have received this year (had he stayed and had similar #'s)would cost considerably more in bonus signing than what those two cost and would be developmentally further away. And as for ANYONE playing GM and proposing trades, I say STOP IT NOW….to propose an established lefthanded starting pitcher, a major league experienced signal caller AND a 22 year old bat for an UNKNOWN (I mean they're not even naming anybody) player indicates a total lack of any baseball knowledge.

  30. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… And as for ANYONE playing GM and proposing trades, I say STOP IT NOW….to propose an established lefthanded starting pitcher, a major league experienced signal caller AND a 22 year old bat for an UNKNOWN (I mean they're not even naming anybody) player indicates a total lack of any baseball knowledge. October 2, 2011 1:07 PM ____________________________Its my pet peeve that ticks me off. They name Lannan like he is a throw-away like they did on July 31st with Ian Desmond.

  31. NatsLady - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    I watched the play where BJ attempted the steal and the next guy singled. That wasn't a good hit, BJ would very likely not have scored on it from 2nd or might been thrown out at the plate. Not saying he should have attempted the steal, but I don't think it affected the result. Had he been on third, he would have scored.

  32. NatsLady - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    1a will remember from another post I made why they are not trading Desi, namely: "Emilio Bonifacio." Guys mature at different rates. Desi's mind was not totally in the game until after the baby was born–and later I heard about Willie Harris' having a baby stillborn, so you can understand that. Desi cleaned up his D a lot, and in September his O got better. You got a dynamite DP combo with him and Espi, and watching Desi leap for balls is a pleasure. If LaRoche can come back at anything near full strength, the infield is set and you armchair GM's can worry about other stuf…

  33. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    I don't do arm-chair GM speculation but seeing as how I was mentioned specifically, duly noted re. Desi. 😉

  34. FS - in GM mode - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    oh, I don't know it is fun to play GM when we have no Nats games to watch.Anyways, one more guy I am interested in through trade is Sanchez from Giants. His only glitch is # of walks I believe.Thanks Mark for the pic.

  35. Gonat - Oct 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    NatsLady said… I watched the play where BJ attempted the steal and the next guy singled. That wasn't a good hit, BJ would very likely not have scored on it from 2nd or might been thrown out at the plate. Not saying he should have attempted the steal, but I don't think it affected the result. Had he been on third, he would have scored. October 2, 2011 1:19 PM ______________________________I don't think anyone thought he could score on that hit. It would have been 1st and 3rd with 1 out though.It was possibly the negative turning point in the game for the Rays.

  36. Anonymous8 - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Its laughable. "I am willing to trade Lannan with Flores and Marrero for a lead-off hitter". I won't tell you who I want back in return. I am just willing to give up 1 starting pitcher and a catcher who can be a starter on many teams and a Rookie 1st baseman.

  37. Dawn - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Doesn't everybody who comments on this blog play at being arm-chair GM's? There is no harm in speculating (we do not have any power anyway), we do it because it's fun, doesn't cost a thing, etc. Belittling someone's opinion is "bush league", and frankly un-American, free-speech and all that.

  38. Wally - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    NatsJack – thanks for the updates from Fla. It will be pretty interesting to watch Purke go through his progressions. From what Rizzo said when they signed him, I was hoping that Purke was showing a little more velocity, but time will tell. I had heard good things on Taylor, and nice to hear that he continues to show improvement. Have you seen Meyer or Rendon play?I appreciate the first hand accounts, and look forward to more.

  39. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Dawn, if you're referring to my comment, I wasn't belittling anyone's opinion. I don't do the armchair GM thing myself, but I would not try to tell anyone else whether or not they should do so (which is not to say that I always read such speculation, because I might just scroll through any given comment in that vein, particularly if it's quite lengthy). NatsLady mentioned me specifically as regards a trade discussion, and as I don't do the armchair GM thing, I wanted to clarify that I've not commented as which player should be traded or not. As I've said before, whatever it takes to get (the collective, not the specific) you through the season.

  40. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    (or rather, through the offseason)

  41. Anonymous8 - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Dawn, sure you can do it, just give both sides of the trade.

  42. Emily Litell1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Then again, maybe Dawn was responding to NatsJack's comment. In which case, never mind, 'cause he can handle his own bidness. :-)

  43. Anonymous - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    new post – but with no cute baby picture

  44. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Yay! :-) Wait, booo! 😦

  45. Dawn - Oct 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Natsfan1a, I was referring to GoNat's comment, it seemed a bit harsh to me. Tend to scroll through arm-chair GM stuff, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that we don't know.

  46. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Thanks, Dawn. I didn't read the whole thread the first time. Agree re. behind the scenes stuff.



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