It was there for the taking and time and time again I watched the New York Yankees let it slip away. This Divisional Series with the Baltimore Orioles could have been over, but the Yankee bats never showed up in Game 4. Now we head to a win or go home Game 5 and we have to use our ace C.C. Sabathia, instead of having ready for the first game of the American League Championship Series.
First let's concentrate on the things that went wrong on Thursday night, trust me there is plenty of blame to be spread around. Although fans at Yankee Stadium seem to like to boo Alex Rodriguez the most Curtis Granderson has the same amount of strikeouts in the same amount of at bats, with one less hit. Nick Swisher isn't doing any better with one single in 15 at bats. The worst offender may just be Robinson Cano. He came into the series on fire, but has just two hits. He gets a bit of a pass because he has driven in four of the Yankees 13 runs in this series.
Now let's focus on the things we can change for Game 5. The Orioles are sending right-hander Jason Hammel to the hill. I say Yankee manager Joe Girardi should load up on the lefties when penciling in his lineup. This goes against the statistics a little as Hammel did better against lefties during 2012, but some kind of change is needed.
So we will start a third base and bench Rodriguez and put in Eric Chavez. I kept hoping that Rodriguez would come up with a clutch hit and shut up those that were booing him but it never happened. I will assume Jayson Nix will need to stay at shortstop and Derek Jeter will need to be the designated hitter. Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira stay where they are.
The outfield is where the big changes take place. Ichiro Suzuki will move over to right field. Speedster Brett Gardner will take over for the woefully lost Curtis Granderson in center field. While Game 3 star Raul Ibanez will patrol left field.
My batting order would be Jeter, Suzuki, Teixeira, Cano, Ibanez, Chavez, Russell Martin, Gardner and Nix.
I don't expect Girardi will make these changes, instead I would bet he will trot out basically the same lineup he has all series. I just think a new look in necessary or we may be thinking about the 2013 season much sooner than we all want too.
Darren Pare is a third generation Yankees fan. The unique thing is that he lives in the middle of Red Sox nation, Maine, and has for all his life and that gives him a different perspective. You can follow him on Twitter @dpare71 or on Facebook.
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- Alex Rodriguez
- Robinson Cano
- Baltimore Orioles
- the New York Yankees