Just two days ago, I wrote:
Of course, against good pitching, the Yankees need to find another way to win – because you’re not going to get the chance to try and wear down the other team. But, that’s a topic for another day.
Boy, I was hoping to have a few more days than two before that ‘nother day came around.
I really have no issues with the Yankees pitching today. If you watched the game, you may have noticed that there were a few plays where the Yankees could have helped out their pitchers tonight. Giambi on that foul pop. Bernie in RF on a ball that dropped in front of him. A-Rod on the bouncer down the line. And, there were a couple of key balls that were just out of Jeter’s reach too.
I bet, if you took the best fielders at 1B, RF, 3B, and SS in the league, and gave them those same chances, you’re looking at three (or maybe four) big outs being made as opposed to balls falling in.
Still, at the end of the day, even if the Yankees held the Twins to just one run tonight, at best they’re still playing, and, for sure, it’s not a win (as I write this). You’re not going to win many games when you only score one run.
There’s a problem when you live and die by walks and the three-run HR. When you face great pitching, you’re not going to get the walks and then you’ll have less chances for that three-run HR.
It’s the reason why the 1969-74 Orioles did not win more rings. Ditto the 2000-04 A’s. Once they faced great pitching teams in the post-season, they were unable to find ways to score (outside of the 3-run HR).
To be a champion, you need to be able to find a way to win against great pitchers. It’s either throw an ace against their ace, or find a way to get some runs on their ace. Since the Yankees don’t have many aces, and even when they do, the defense usually hurts them, New York needs to be able to find a way to score runs outside of waiting for the walk and the homer.
It’s either that, or, two things: Pray that you can play the Kansas City Royals everyday, or, get used to losing games against teams with very good pitching.