Oh no! A-Rod snubs Joe Torre

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According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, no more than 10 feet separated Alex Rodriguez from Dodgers manager Joe Torre before Friday’s game, however the third baseman kept his back turned as the former Yankees skipper was greeted by some of his former players around the batting cage, including Derek Jeter, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Joe Girardi and Jorge Posada. Burn.

“I didn’t see him,” said Rodriguez, who before the game, kept his back
turned away as Torre exchanged hugs and handshakes. “But I’m sure we’ll
get a chance to meet up.”

Many believe that Rodriguez still holds a grudge after Torre batted him eighth during the 2006 playoffs and painted him in a negative light in his book “The Yankee Years,” co-written with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci. Still, Torre isn’t bothered by the alleged “snub.”

“I don’t look at it as disrespect,” Torre said. “I don’t know what to
say but I don’t want to dump on Alex… If we had come close enough, we
certainly would have shaken hands.”

Pressed on the matter, Rodriguez said he intends to greet Torre before the end of the series.

“We’re going to be here for three days,” he said. “There’s no rush. I
don’t really have anything to say. If he wants to talk I’m more than
welcome to talk to him.”

You know that whole matter about tired storylines in nationally-televised games? Well, you might want to stay away from your television this weekend, as FOX will carry Saturday’s game and ESPN will be in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

For those of you interested in the actual game, the Yankees won Friday’s series opener 2-1 thanks to a go-ahead solo home run by Rodriguez in the sixth inning and Mariano Rivera striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.
 

In the playoffs, the Yankees’ weakness has become their strength

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Two weeks ago, when the playoffs began, the idea of “bullpenning” once again surfaced, this time with the Yankees as a focus. Because their starting pitching was believed to be a weakness — they had no obvious ace like a Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber — and their bullpen was a major strength, the idea of chaining relievers together starting from the first inning gained traction. The likes of Luis Severino, who struggled mightily in the AL Wild Card game, or Masahiro Tanaka (4.79 regular season ERA) couldn’t be relied upon in the postseason, the thought went.

That idea is no longer necessary for the Yankees because the starting rotation has become the club’s greatest strength. Tanaka fired seven shutout innings to help push the Yankees ahead of the Astros in the ALCS, three games to two. They are now one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009.

It hasn’t just been Tanaka. Since Game 3 of the ALDS, Yankees pitchers have made eight starts spanning 46 1/3 innings. They have allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 25 hits and 12 walks with 45 strikeouts. That’s a 1.75 ERA with an 8.74 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9. In five of those eight starts, the starter went at least six innings, which has helped preserve the freshness and longevity of the bullpen.

Here’s the full list of performances for Yankee starters this postseason:

Game Starter IP H R ER BB SO HR
AL WC Luis Severino 1/3 4 3 3 1 0 2
ALDS 1 Sonny Gray 3 1/3 3 3 3 4 2 1
ALDS 2 CC Sabathia 5 1/3 3 4 2 3 5 0
ALDS 3 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 7 0
ALDS 4 Luis Severino 7 4 3 3 1 9 2
ALDS 5 CC Sabathia 4 1/3 5 2 2 0 9 0
ALCS 1 Masahiro Tanaka 6 4 2 2 1 3 0
ALCS 2 Luis Severino 4 2 1 1 2 0 1
ALCS 3 CC Sabathia 6 3 0 0 4 5 0
ALCS 4 Sonny Gray 5 1 2 1 2 4 0
ALCS 5 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 8 0
TOTAL 55 1/3 35 20 17 20 52 6

In particular, if you hone in on the ALCS starts specifically, Yankee starters have pitched 28 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits and 10 walks with 20 strikeouts. That’s a 1.61 ERA.

While the Yankees’ biggest weakness has become a strength, the Astros’ biggest weakness — the bullpen — has become an even bigger weakness. This is why the Yankees, who won 10 fewer games than the Astros during the regular season, are one win away from reaching the World Series and the Astros are not.