Saturday, October 21, 2017


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With Justin Verlander on the mound for the Houston Astros, I was not thinking about the Yankees winning tonight. The reason was simple.  While I knew that there was always a chance that the Yankees could figure out Big V like they did Dallas Keuchel, the reality was the chances were slim... and I knew that.

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Luis Severino is the man.  There is no question about it.  But he gets easily frazzled be it if he walks a batter or gives up a hit.  And while I knew that... I was hoping that he would be able to grind through the game the best he could in the hopes that Yankee adrenaline would take over and he would power through like a veteran pitcher or something.  But here's the reality, and it was proven tonight by the young New York Yankees... they are still immature.  They still aren't "seasoned" as we would like. And that's all you need to know about this game. 

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Guys like Severino just didn't have what he needed when the Astros started to put pressure on him.  Sure, he had a no hitter going for a bit, but you knew, being in the Houston Astros house that that would eventually change.  Hell, as I said to friend and Bergen Record beat writer for the Yankees, Pete Caldera... that loudness and orange towel waving garbage drives me nutty as a fan... AND I'M HOME.
I couldn't handle the pressure in Houston, and it was clear that neither could the Yankees.

And so Game 7 is super important for the Yanks now.  Sure, the Yanks weren't even supposed to make the playoffs. We are a team in a building year, remember? But something happened this season.  We found life and we got to the playoffs... and for a while, we played hard and proved to the world that we have a team that loved playing with each other and loved to win together.

And I found it strange that after the Yankees swept the 'Stros at home in the ALCS before we went back to Houston, the mainstream media had a Yankee/Dodgers World Series preview in their publications. There were snappy headlines... there was too much fanfare for something that didn't happen yet.  As I saw that going to work yesterday, I thought, "That's a jinx, huh?"

But look, I don't really buy into the bull.  What I do know is watching the Yankees tonight, we looked good until we didn't.  That means that we were playing well, until the crowd and the Astros pitching got to us.  And one thing I can say right now is, fans in other parks change everything. 

You hear Dallas Keuchel talking about how the Yankee fans intimidated him in the Bronx. Well... don't get it twisted, the Yanks are feeling it in Houston... and so am I.

I know the Yankees are a good baseball team, but here's the reality; if the Yankees don't come in to Houston ready to grind this game out, it's over. Here's the thing though... we have CC Sabathia and company on the mound and that means that everyone is available to a point.  Look, There is a pitcher or 2 we are NOT using in the hopes that we can go to the World Series.  But we gotta go hard and we gotta be ready to play.

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A few observations from tonight; I hated watching Gary Sanchez swing on a 3-0 pitch with 2 men on. That was stupid. It was a check swing, it wasn't even significant, and for me, that was a game changer...literally.
I thought DRob got lit up but I refuse to hammer him.  The truth is the Astros were looking for a different pitcher and have seen him enough to know what he was throwing. He got beat tonight, but I ain't mad at him. I think he's done great things for us.

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Chad Green is the man. Great pitching tonight.  You have to tip your cap.  He really did well in relief for Sevy.  Give him credit and if you ever see him on the street, thank him. Seriously.

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I tip my cap to Todd Frazier. He had a bomb, but some days you just can't get a break.  Frazier and the Yankees didn't get one. That's baseball.

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And finally CC Sabathia.  Now I love the man.  My kid loves the man.  He has been on an incredible journey from a terrific power pitcher, to reinventing himself in his personal life, and  then becoming more of a finesse pitcher.  There is nothing I would like more for CC than to win tomorrow night in Houston.  He deserves that... the Yankees do.... his family does.  But can it happen? Well, there are 3 factors...

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1... The Yankees have to score runs.  They have to get to the Astros pitching and into their pen early. Charlie Morton is starting. If the Yankees can get into the Astros pen, they win.

2... CC and the Yankee pitching staff. Girardi said it tonight... everyone is available in the pitching staff except for a few people.  That's good.

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3.  Turning the page.  CC Sabathia said it best tonight.  The best thing he loves about this team is the way they can "turn the page" after a loss, reset and win.  The Yankees can do it... the Yankees HAVE to do it.  Coming this far along... it just makes sense.

As my friend Alexis told me this week... a LA Dodgers fan mind you.... "I wanna see a Dodgers... Yankees World Series."

So do I.

BYB 'Family Member' Merchandise (2017)

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