The 1995 Yankees.
The 1999 Indians.
The 2001 A’s.
The 2003 A’s.
These were all teams who had a 2-0 lead in an ALDS and then blew it (losing the next three games in a row). Is there a common thread here?
In Game 3 of the 1995 ALDS, Yankees starter Jack McDowell went 5 innings allowing 5 runs. And, in Game 4 of the 1995 ALDS, Yankees starter Scott Kamieniecki went 5 innings allowing 5 runs.
In Game 3 of the 1999 ALDS, Indians starter Dave Burba was only able to go four innings – and he was followed by Jaret Wright who allowed 5 runs in the next two innings. And, in Game 4 of the 1999 ALDS, Indians starter Bartolo Colon only went one inning allowing 7 runs.
In Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, the A’s lost a heart-breaker by the score of 1-0. And, in Game 4 of the 2001 ALDS, A’s starter Cory Lidle went 3 1/3 innings allowing 6 runs.
In Game 3 of the 2003 ALDS, the A’s lost a heart-breaker in 11 innings by the score of 3-1. And, in Game 4 of the 2003 ALDS, A’s starter Tim Hudson had to leave the game after just one inning.
The Yankees, in their current ALDS, have a 2-0 lead in the series with Andy Pettitte scheduled to start Game 3. If needed, he will be followed by CC Sabathia to start Game 4.
Looking at those teams who lost an ALDS after being up, 2-0, I think the message to Pettitte and Sabathia is clear: Don’t screw this up like the 1995 Yankees and 1999 Indians – by getting banged around in your starts. And, don’t screw this up like the 2001 and 2003 A’s by losing a heart-breaker or getting banged around.
O.K., so, the not losing a heart-breaker in Game 3 also falls upon the Yankees bats too…I know. But, with Carl Pavano starting for the Twins in Game 3, the Yankees should have no problem scoring runs…at least on paper. So, it all falls back to Andy and CC.
Just give us a quality start…and everything should be fine.