To The Brink

Well, give credit to Justin Verlander who was wonderful tonight. Now the Yankees are going to need to win four-straight or the season is over. Yankee fans know that isn’t an impossible feat, but it is certainly not an easy one. The Red Sox did it in 2004. The Flyers did it to the Bruins a few years ago, but those are the only examples I can think of in the last 40 years. (Sidebar- Statistically, if you give a team a 50-50 shot of winning any given game, 3-0 comebacks should happen about 6% of the time. Even if you only give them a 40-60 chance, they should comeback 2.5% of the time. So, it’s not impossible, but it clearly doesn’t look good.)

If you want the one good note, it was obviously Eduardo Nunez. I said this earlier in the season and I was reminded of it again tonight- he is a lot like Soriano. Soriano was a terrible defensive player, but he could put the ball over the fence and he was never scared in a big spot. The Yankees would be smart to pick a position for Nunez to play in 2013 and send him to winter ball to get some experience at it. Thirdbase could work, so could left or right field. Whatever the answer is, Nunez should get 500 AB’s next year.

I’ve buried the lead here because the biggest question is what is going on with A-Rod? I had no problem benching him, but the 9th inning was very interesting. After Teixeira and Cano reached, the Yankees had Ibanez up with a lefty on the mound. Not only did the Yankees fail to consider using A-Rod in that spot, but they had Nick Swisher in the ondeck circle getting ready to hit for Martin. Maybe the Yankees are punishing A-Rod for his flirtations the other night? If not, they have a player they clearly don’t want anymore. The question will be, what can they do to get rid of him?

Hopefully, those questions can wait a little longer. From a Yankee standpoint, you have the right guy on the mound tomorrow. The Yankees just need to figure out how to score some runs for him. Along those line, I keep Gardner and Nunez in the lineup tomorrow. Nunez is a no-brainer after his homer and Gardner had some deep AB’s tonight. Keep them in there.