Steve: Joe Saunders is a pitcher who has won a lot of games without being very good, but he provided a needed upgrade for the Orioles at the end of the season. Another smart move by Dan Duquette.
Tanya: A walk! They still know how to do that!
Steve: They've actually had nine in this series vs. just three for the Orioles, which is great, but we both missed them amid all the strikeouts.
Tanya: None last night, though. Yankees need to be able to do that.
Steve: They can turn it off. That was what happened in the infamous 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox. After the first three games, they just stopped walking.
Tanya: Thome has looked pretty awful this series.
Steve: He's looked finished.
Tanya: Much better that time around for Phil.
Steve: Much. Jitters out of the way, perhaps.
Tanya: Slightly easier part of the lineup to navigate, as well.
Steve: The walk is a big thing for A-Rod, both because of the number of times he's struck out in this series and because that's something that Saunders can't afford to do and generally doesn't do.
Tanya: I'd have loved to see him crush a 3-0 pitch, but I'll happily take the walk.
Steve: He's crushed fewer every year since that last MVP.
Tanya: I really thought Swisher had gotten more of that one.
Steve: So did I. I don't want any bonus camera angels, thank you.
Tanya: You don't need a close up of Ibanez's face after everything A-Rod does?
Steve: I think it's more vivid in my imagination. Granderson, six Ks in 11 ABs to this point.
Tanya: He looks terrible at the plate right now.
Steve: Make that 7/12. That's abysmal.
Tanya: It's not even close. His swings look awful, like he's unable to read the ball at all.
Steve: Exactly. He just doesn't look like the same guy at all right now.
Tanya: Walk a guy who hasn't proven to be a consistent hitter in the majors yet to lead off an inning. Yuck.
Steve: Yeah, you have to try to walk him right now. And with that hit, there's a rally going for the Orioles.
Tanya: Going to be difficult for the fly ball king to work out of this cleanly.
Steve: Very. And with the way the Yankees have been going on offense, two runs would be a mountain to climb. Well, we didn't think of a play at the plate.
Tanya: Wow, smart play.
Steve: A young player's over-aggressiveness there.
Tanya: My kingdom for a ground ball at someone here.
Steve: Davis was crazy hot in September and has hit well in this series, but he strikes out a lot, so you have a better chance at that. As I said...
Tanya: Atta boy, Phil
Steve: Amazing. He did it.
Tanya: I thought the chances of that were beyond slim.
Steve: They were!
Tanya: Hughes isn't making it easy on my nerves tonight.
Steve: Teams with runners on second and third and no out scored an average of 1.9 runs this year. So it wasn't just Hughes, it's just you get into that position, there aren't too many escape routes.