Raul Ibanez's 2011 NLDS Splits for the Phillies: .200/.200/.400
Raul Ibanez's 2012 ALDS Splits for the Yankess Through Three Games: .600/.666/1.500
Remember last year when Raul Ibanez hit a fly ball to deep right in
Game Five of the NLDS, and the TBS cameraman panned up and out like it
was gonna be a second-decker or something, and instead it dropped
innocuously into Lance Berkman's glove a couple feet short of the track?
That was frustrating—especially considering how, you know, the Phillies
didn't score at all that game and they ended up losing the game 1-0 and
the series 3-2.
Well, good news, everybody: Raul did hit a couple of those fly balls
in the playoffs last night, and this time they actually dropped on the
other side of the fence. Unfortunately, it was for the Yankees, the
second-to-last ranked team in our MLB Playoff Bandwagon Rankings, and
they came against our #1 team, the Baltimore Orioles, at the worst
possible time for them.
The first shot came off O's closer Jim Johnson in the bottom of the
ninth with New York down 2-1, when Yanks manager Joe Girardi made the
controversial-but-not-really decision to sub in Rauuuul for Alex
Rodriguez, who's been slugging at about a Wilson Valdez-caliber clip the
last few past seasons. The move paid off, to say the least, as Raul
deposited a 1-0 pitch about seven rows back in the right field
bleachers, tying the game at 2-2. Nine batters later, Raul decided not
to bother taking the first pitch, and instead blasted the first offering
from reliever Brian Matusz—in the second deck for real this
time—walking off the Yanks in the 12th with a 2-1 series lead.
Of course, we're happy for Raul, the classiest of acts during his
three years in the Red and White—we weren't even mad at him for failing
to go yard in the Chris Carpenter game (though we wanted to strangle
that fucking overzealous cameraman), and for him to become a post-season
legend at the age of 40 is a pretty cool thing. Did it have to be for
the goddamn Yankees, though? Couldn't this have been Jim Thome providing
fourth-act heroics for the plucky, upstart Orioles instead? The Bombers
already have enough natural competitive advantages without getting
pixie-dust sprinklings like this as well.
Anyway, the lesson here is obvious: Next time the Phils make the
playoffs, move the right field wall in about 15 feet. Just to be on the