Well, let's start off these player rankings with this non-sequitur: 46 degrees fahrenheit is not cold. That's 8 degrees celcius, which is warm in Inverness, Scotland, where I lived for two years. So all you wimpy millionaire players wearing your balaclavas ... Man up! It was only 3 hours, 18 minutes of baseball in a teeny-weeny bit of cold ... Now go hit the jacuzzis and the ho's.
Overall game rating 5: Not very good. Had it rained, it would have washed out CC's brilliant start. But no HRs fell in the launching pad that is Yankee Stadium (v 2.0). Spahn and Sain and pray for rain? I pray for no rain and Hokie Joe v. Burnett on Saturday.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM:
Chone Figgins, 3B: Partially at fault for the defensive miscue with Aybar that led to a 2-0 deficit. Offensively, our sparkplug needs to get his gap adjusted. Player rating: 1.
Bobby Abreu, RF: Chupacabreau is meant to be a bad-ass nickname, but chupa in Spanish means "suck" and that's what Bobby did in the Bronx in Game 1. Made one nice play on D stopping Tex but absolutely was dominated by CC (Chupacheeseburger Sabathia). Player rating: 1.
Torii Hunter, CF: Went out there like he wanted to play. Made Sabathia feel human in the 1st but was also his last victim. Robbed on the bad call on his bunt-single attempt in the 6th by ump. The Gold Glover, however, was not called upon to climb walls in this one. Player rating: 5.
Vladimir Guerrero, DH: Could have done better. Great double against an otherwise unhittable Sabathia but blown away by Mariano Rivera in the 9th when we could have had him on the ropes. Hustled well for a gammy-legged old man. Player rating: 5.
Juan Rivera, LF: Three things stick out: a really bad throw in the 1st, a weak tap-out in the 4th, and losing the battle of the Riveras in the final frame. Played hard, but too slow to be a factor unless he hits the ball with authority, which he didn't. Player rating: 3.
Kendry Morales, 1B: Played damn fine defense at first (better than some guy named Tex), and delivered a clutch two-out RBI, not to mention drawing CC's walk in the 7th. Acuda needs to get out his blow-up doll, Christopher Walken needs to say "I need more Kowbell" and we'll be fine.. Player rating: 6.
Howie Kendrick, 2B: Didn't have much to do but had good at-bats and hit the ball hard. If HK swings the lumber like that in the rest of this series, we'll be fine. Player rating: 5.
Jeff Mathis, C: The most pathetic of all offensive players stood up to one of the best home-plate crashes of recent post-season history by holding his ground and the ball in a bone-jarring collision at the plate with the 230-pound Alex Rodriguez barrelling into him and knocking his helmet into the stratosphere. Called a good game for Lackey. Player rating: 5.
Erick Aybar, SS: Ummmm. Not only did he wear a lame-ass hood thing (I come from a hot climate too, but come up, be macho mang!). Should have come up with Matsui's line drive. Strong relay throw (although short-hopped) allowed Mathis to come up with a highlight film collision clip. Some decent ABs and would have scored a 3 except for that stupid hood. Player rating: 1.
Mike Napoli, (C for Mathis). Should have started probably and if he was blocking the plate might have put A-Rod out for the rest of the post-season. 4.
John Lackey, RHP: The cold conditions did not suit the Texan but he deserved better for a typical balls-out effort. Made Jeter look silly on a curve-curve-fastball whiff in the 4th. Threw too many pitches though and the walk to No. 9 hitter Cabrera with 2 out in the 6th is really not acceptable.Nor was the throwing error. Was (and IS) hard on himself though he wasn't in Sabathia's class tonight. I like his chances when there is a rematch. Player rating: 7
Jason Bulger: Cleaned up Lackey's shit and was nerveless in his first playoff outing against the heart of the Yanks' order. Made A-Rod look like an A-hole but this is nothing anyone of is not aware of. Right? Player rating: 7
Matt Palmer: Not dominating and put in a tough spot, but got Jeter and shut down the traitor Tex. Player rating: 6.
Mike Scioscia: Some curious choices by the Soth. Why start Mathis when you can set the tone with a better offensive player in Napoli? Why order/let Hunter bunt? Why let John Lackey throw too many pitches? On the plus side, gave 1B ump Laz Diaz a serious blast of shit on his bad call on Hunter's bunt. And he has gotten us this far. Knowing the Soth, he'll also say "turn the page, tomorrow's another game" and motivate his team to win Game 2. Manager rating: 5.
NEW YORK YANKEES OF THE BRONX
Derek Jeter, SS: Love him or hate him, the Yankees captain and future HOF-er hardly but a foot wrong even though he stuck his butt out annoyingly on every at-bat. Tough AB to give Lackey trouble from the start. Clutch single to RF on a two-strike count. Played Angels-style baseball going hard first-to-third . Player rating: 7.
Johnny Damon, LF: Typical Damon game from the old-school days, when he was a pain-in-the-ass for the Royals.. Broken-bat doinker to left gets the Yankees going. Great AB against Lackey in the 5th when it seemed like John was in a groove. Gets a serious extra point for referring to the Angels as "Anaheim are going to give us a tough time" in his post-game interview. If he would have called us the California Angels, he'd have a 10.. Player rating: 7.
Mark Teixeira, 1B: The U-Haul took a U-Haul in this post-season matchup against his old "mates". Looked like he was pressing, popped out in the 1st with runners on second and third in the 1st inning. Looked stupid on a Lackey hook in the 5th and definitely pulled his foot off the bag in on Hunter's disputed bunt single call. Rookie reliever Bulger took him down. Whiffed against an under-par Palmer in the 8th with a chance to put the game away. Couldn't happen to a nicer Yanke$$$$$ player. Player rating: 2.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B: Hit a pro sac fly in the 1st but wouldn’t have hit it as hard without the needle up his ass. Terrible baserunning and rightfully got nailed. The mouth-breather actually was seen yawning on national TV during his 3rd inning at bat. Why show up? zzzzzzzzz? No ... $$$$$$ Player rating: 2.
Hideki Matsui, DH: Tough patient veteran made himself a rugged patient out. Not entirely instrumental but always seemed in control and dangerous. This guy scares me, but so does Godzilla. Player rating: 6.
Jorge Posada, C: You get what you're gonna get from this rugged veterano, and this was a typical performance. No real factor with the bat but called a great game and kept Sabathia focused. Player rating: 5.
Robinson Cano, 2B: Played damn fine D, especially on the diving stop on Kendrick's rocket shot as one second baseman robbed the other. Still, I like the Angels' 2B (2Bs?) better. Wore a wussy face-mask and body armour and thus for loses two points. Player rating: 3.
Nick Swisher, RF: Hard to not like this guy ... but the the scruffy Moneyball hero whiffed with the bases loaded against a labouring Jason Bulger. Should stick to pitching or stand-up comedian rather than baseball. Player rating: 4.
Melky Cabrera, CF: Name sounds like something they are going to serve up at Starbucks, but played a good game. Good patient walk against Lackey in the 4th inning. Had a nice base hit, but my (deceased) grandmother could have hit that meatball Palmer gave him for his single. Player rating: 4.
Brett Gardner, (CF). Caught the last out. No rating.
CC Sabathia, LHP: For a 290-pound fat bastard he pitched a great subtle game. He must have had some special "secret sauce" on his pre-game double-bacon cheeseburgers. Great job navigating through a couple dodgy innings but overall delivered a mature performance that showed great command and most of the night was on cruise-control. And defensively he was a gem, covering his ground beautifully for such a big man. Player rating: 9.5.
Mariano Rivera: Walked his first batter and struggled with his control early but then won the key battles of Rivera vs. Guerrero, and Rivera vs. Rivera. We've gotten to him before, but not tonight. Better to not let him have the ball. Player rating: 7.
Joe Girardi: Didn't have much to do except chew sunflower seeds and lean on the dugout rail and try to look tough, while Sabathia and Rivera and the Yanks lineup, which sets itself, got it done. No strategy to compare with Scioscia, but that is bound to happen down the line in this series. Still, Joe loses a point for the FOX announcers sucking him off and him sucking up to them in a "dugout interview" when he should have been watching the damn game. (BTW, is it a new rule that all Yankees' managers have to be named Joe? Manager rating: 5.
Typically terrible in any post-season series which involves the Angels. Laz Diaz's botched call on Hunter's bunt base hit may have changed the game -- OK, the throw beat Hunter but Tex pulled his foot. .... And as for Tim McClelland's strike zone, that moved around like crank-dealer's trailer in the San Bernardino Valley. Crew rating: 3.
Player of the game: CC Sabathia.
Final thoughts: That one's over and as the Soth says "turn the page." GO HALOS! Can't wait for Game 2.