Hey, you gotta give Carl Pavano some credit – as much as it hurts to do it. For the first six innings of this game, he was awesome. And, on the whole, he pitched a very nice ballgame. That all said, it doesn’t take anything away from his time in New York. He was, flat out, a bust.
Alex Rodriguez was the Yankees MVP this ALDS. Then again, Derek Jeter batted .400 in the series and made some nice plays. That throw to Posada, which went back to A-Rod, in the 8th inning of this game, will be replayed forever now…along with “The Flip” and “The Dive” highlights from Jeter’s collection. And, Mark Teixeira, while not getting many hits, had some big ones in the second game of this series…that really enabled Rodriguez’ hits in that one to be worth remembering. Lastly, of course, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte were excellent in these games – each going at least six innings in their starts and none of them allowing more than one earned run. Heck, maybe CC, A.J., and Andy should be the co-MVPs of this ALDS?
Or, maybe Joe Girardi should be the MVP of this series – managing each game like it was do-or-die with the pen, going with quick hook after quick hook? And, yeah, Mo was Mo…so Mariano deserves some MVP consideration…
Nah, this series was A-Rod’s day in the sun. He batted .455 and all his hits came in huge spots. Plus, he did this all coming into the series with a huge monkey on his back. So, he gets extra points for coming through with all that baggage to carry as well. Alex Rodriguez was the Yankees most valuable player in the 2009 ALDS.
On the flip-side, Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon looked terrible at the plate in these three games. They need to do better in the next round – a lot better. And, Phil Hughes allowed 6 base runners in 2 innings worth of work. That’s a tad troublesome.
Speaking of troublesome, it is a bit concerning – at least to me – that the Yankees didn’t exactly beat the stuffing out of the Twins in this series. Yes, New York swept Minnesota. But, they did it by smacking around a rookie in Game One (Brian Duensing) and by getting key breaks in Games Two and Three when the Twins made some terrible mistakes on the bases in critical spots – Carlos Gomez on Friday and Nick Punto today. Plus, Joe Nathan did squat for the Twins when he pitched.
I think many would be willing to admit that these last two games were, actually, pretty close and could have gone either way.
And, let’s face it – the Los Angeles Angels are not the Minnesota Twins, especially in the context of how those two teams play against the New York Yankees. But, there will be plenty of time over the next 100 hours or so for analysis on the ALCS before that series starts. For now, it’s all about this game, and this series, and the fact that the New York Yankees have advanced past the ALDS for the first time in five years. That’s pretty big, and great, news in Yankeeland. Enjoy it. It’s all good – and should be that way at least for the next four days plus a few hours, give or take.