Once Grady Sizemore hit a leadoff home run, the Cleveland Indians jerseys were headed to the AL championship series while the New York Yankees jerseys were braced for a showdown with their boss.
Paul Byrd and the Indians jerseys bullpen closed out New York 6 4 in Game 4 Monday night, completing another first round debacle for the Yankees jerseys that might cost manager Joe Torre his job.
The Yankees jerseys came in streaking, overcoming a 21 29 start to win the AL wild card. But they were done in by poor pitching, an insect invasion and the latest October vanishing act by Alex Rodriguez, whose bat was quiet until a solo home run in the seventh inning.
The pesky Indians jerseys, who wasted a three run lead in Game 3, chased Chien Ming Wang in the second and burst ahead 4 0. Byrd kept wiggling out of trouble, and cheap Victor Martinez jersey’s two run single made it 6 1 in the fourth against reliever Mike Mussina.
A day after averting a sweep, New York put runners on in each of the first seven innings. But when it counted, its high octane offense fell flat once again, with late homers by Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu not enough.
Cleveland moves on to its first ALCS since 1998, opening Friday night at Boston. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona rested for Fenway Park.
The Indians jerseys are seeking their first World Series title since 1948. The NL championship series starts Thursday night with Colorado at Arizona.
Bewildered New York opens yet another off season of turmoil, another October over nearly as soon as it began. All eyes will be on owner George Steinbrenner, who said over the weekend that he didn’t think he’d keep Torre as manager if New York bowed with another early exit.
Torre managed the Yankees jerseys to four World Series titles in his first five years and reached the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons. Yet, that might not be enough for Steinbrenner, impatient his team of multimillionaires has gone seven years in a row with no title and hasn’t even gotten past the first round since 2004. If Torre does depart, Don Mattingly and Joe Girardi are the leading candidates to replace him.
Fans chanted Torre’s name when he made two trips to the mound in the eighth inning, handing the ball to Mariano Rivera for perhaps the final time in an era that brought the Yankees jerseys success they had not enjoyed since the 1950s.
A disappointed crowd of 56,315 also might have seen Rodriguez in pinstripes for the final time.
A likely MVP during the regular season, A Rod was largely AWOL in the postseason for the third straight year, striking out with two on in the first and again leading off the third.
Rodriguez, who can opt of his record $252 million, 10 year contract next month, did hit a solo homer off Rafael Perez in the seventh ending a streak of 57 consecutive postseason at bats without an RBI since 2004. He finished 4 for 15 in the series.
Rodriguez is not the only one who may depart. Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy authentic jerseys China Pettitte and Roger Clemens also aren’t assured of coming back, although the Yankees jerseys probably will try to keep some, if not all.
Derek Jeter will be back, of course. But the hero of postseasons past had just one RBI in the series and bounced into three double plays.
Cleveland completed a sorry season for New York’s teams the Mets jerseys swooned with 12 losses in 17 games and missed the playoffs entirely. And with the Los Angeles Angels jerseys, Chicago Cubs jerseys and Philadelphia Phillies jerseys also knocked out in the first round, television ratings could take a dive.
Wang, battered for eight runs in New York’s opening 12 3 loss, was chased after just three outs the shortest start of the 27 year old’s short career.