The game ended the way that it was called all night... inside pitches.
Never have I ever witnessed a team get rewarded with inside pitches for strikes like the New York Yankees' pitchers were rewarded with. The last pitch was just icing on this dookie of a cake, not only was it inside, it was up-and-inside, give the guy (Austin Jackson) a chance to battle out the last at-bat... Yes, their backs were up against this wall at this point with little hope, but damn it, let the guy battle it out at least.
A few moments after the game ended, there was plenty of things that I came to realize... I realized we may all have been had. Take in last night's game, add that to the obvious-juiced ball that was present all season long, add that all to the wow factor (all rise) that Aaron Judge does for the sport. It all equals out to a pathway that MLB may have been wanting all along, the New York Yankees with the sports' most marketable player leading the way to ratings, ratings, ratings.
Think about it, it all makes sense.
I fear that Baseball may have surrendered to the same means that the NBA & NFL go about their business, some may argue that this is a good thing. Yes, the MLB needs to get creative in their marketing, which I believe they have done much better since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has come on board. I fear that they may have sold their souls, to get their biggest market (New York) into the championship picture, sooner than later.
|MLB's most marketable superstar - Aaron Judge.|
Yes, the Yankees struck out 16 of those 31 times, but they have a few guys who strike themselves out... while the Cleveland Indians are not known to strike out as much, nearly matched them, and there was plenty of low & insides that were down by the shoelaces that CC Sabathia was getting over & over! I'm sorry, I know he bounced back with his best season since 2012, but Sabathia recording 9 K's in only 4.1 innings?
Yeah.... I call horseshit
A true baseball fan is upset (like myself) that the best team in all of baseball, the Cleveland Indians got knocked out of the playoffs. The Indians were stacked from top to bottom, had one of the most beautiful endings to a regular season, witnessing their amazing 22-game winning streak along the way. A team that would do this, without some of their star players, while the world is finally getting to know some of their younger studs in Jose Ramirez & Francisco Lindor even more, although they both had horrible series.
|Jose Ramirez & Francisco Lindor were quiet in their ALDS.|
John Smoltz and many baseball analysts echoed the same thoughts last night, at the beginning of the season (or even beginning of series) did we even think that we would be witnessing the New York Yankees even being in this position, that they are now?
The answer was an overwhelming NO.
Entering 2017, I felt it was possible that they could be a wild card team, which they would end up accomplishing that. They had a rough stretch from June 13th - July 14th, going 7-19 in the process, where they did not look like a contending team whatsoever... and have come so far since then. They are definitely better than we thought back in April, and although they matched well in bullpens to Cleveland, they live-and-die with the long ball, they are very one-dimensional with a rag-tag rotation that makes you question... how did they get this far?
Their rotation is CC Sabathia (overweight vet), Masahiro Tanaka (hurt elbow), Luis Severino (overall best Yankee pitcher, who has not been consistent in playoffs) & Sonny Gray, who sported a 3.72 ERA since becoming a Yankee, a guy who usually pitches better than that. Then there is Jordan Montgomery who is inconsistent, but has shown promise... and then there is the joke that Michael Pineda is, who seemed to have his best days when there is mysterious substances on his neck and hands. The staff did have one thing going for it, they overall had pretty solid WHIP (Walks+Hits allowed per Innings pitched), this of course helps with having Joe Girardi at the helm with one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.
I can only imagine the horror that is taking place on the message boards right now, with over-obnoxious Yankees fans running their mouths as if they already won the title. Yes, they have a right to be excited, they knocked out the Cleveland Indians, the rightfully-so favored heavyweight, they were done for 0-2 after the Game 2 meltdown.... but let me tell you this though, they are not great fans though, they'll bury Girardi every chance they get when things go wrong, and they will do the same when they lose their upcoming series against the Houston Astros.
At the same time, I thought the best team would win this series, I am just hoping (and praying) that this is not another 1996 -- which was another Yankee team ahead of schedule, winning a World Series over a better deserved team.
By the way, back to the juiced ball... I fear that it is going to water-down Major League Baseball, much in the same way that the NFL's pass-happy game has done to that sport, or in the same way that the NBA has relied on the three-pointer...Ughhh... boring! I hate it, when a sport loses its strategic edge, I don't want to see pitchers' best ERAs up around 3.75... For crying out loud, quit punishing pitchers already!
I think the obsession over home runs is downright silly, it comes off in the same way as a redneck country bumpkin's love for monster trucks, explosives or a love of shooting things up. I'm fine and dandy, if the player is actually hitting them without help, but the juiced ball has been evident in players such as Logan Morrison (38 HR, previous career high 23 in 2011) who entered the season on the decline arch of his career, along with players Justin Smoak (38 HR, previous career high 20 in 2013) & Mike Moustakas (38 HR, previous career high 22 in 2015). There are cases all around baseball, such as the aging vet Jed Lowrie putting up 14 HR this season, after accumulating only 17 HR in his previous 1,070 at-bats -- to the rookies making quick splashes like the Phillies' Rhys Hoskins (18 HR in 170 at-bats), L.A.'s Cody Bellanger (24 HR in first 232 at-bats/through June) & Oakland's Matt Olson (24 HR in 189 at-bats).
|Matt Olson & others are making it look too easy.|
By the way, let it be known that I do think Aaron Judge is a great kid, and if anything good came out of him getting the rookie record (even with the juiced ball) of 52 HR, he took down a record held by a cheater in Mark McGwire... although he was not a cheater yet (for all we know), McGwire set that record in what was also a well-documented juiced ball season.
I don't want to see pitching disappear, it's bad enough starting pitchers don't get to leave their marks in the postseason anymore with such short leashes, but if this juiced ball continues, who's going to watch a game that doesn't have pitching anymore?
There is plenty of things that needs to improve in this game of baseball, so I will stop at this moment, and wrap this post up...
until next time.