Many times this season I acknowledged that this current Yankees squad, in some ways, had cast a huge shadow (over the rest of their league). But, I also questioned their ability to stand up to the light…wondering if this unit was great enough to survive the difficult gauntlet that a team must traverse to be called a champion.
The time has come to rest those doubts. The 2009 New York Yankees are the champions of the American League.
Additional commentary on this game will follow once I’ve had a chance to enjoy the coverage of the post-game celebration going down in the Bronx right now. In the interim, please feel free to leave your thoughts, etc., on this one and the Yankees victory in the comments section.
Update, 10/26/09, 12:55 am ET: As promised, my thoughts on this one…
In the end, this game boils down to four half-innings: The bottom of the 4th inning, the top of the 6th inning, and both halves of the 8th inning. Johnny Damon’s single in the 4th, Andy Pettitte retiring Kendry Morales in the 6th, Robbie Cano’s play on Torii Hunter’s batted ball in the 8th, and those errors by Howie Kendrick and Scott Kazmir in the 8th were all huge plays in this game.
On the whole, you cannot say enough about the job from Andy Pettitte in this one – as well as the defensive play from Robinson Cano. In fact, in terms of collective play and the impact on the game, this might have been Cano’s greatest defensive game ever. Back to Pettitte, it was awesome to see the hand he got from the Yankee Stadium crowd when he left the game.
Now, for some miscellaneous observations…
General Joe has the guts of a burglar bringing in Joba Chamberlain when he did…considering the score, etc. For sure, I thought Joba was going to allow the Angels to make some noise there. Glad I was wrong.
Chamberlain in the 7th inning – and Mo Rivera for the six out save. Hmmmm, has Phil Hughes fallen out of favor?
All things said, the Angels helped the Yankees out in this game. As Mike Scioscia said after the game, the Yankees out-played the Angels, but, L.A. shot themselves in the foot in two of these games. There was only one game in this ALCS where the Yankees pounded the ball. And, in the post-season, overall, in 6 out of 9 games, the Yankees have not scored like they did during the regular season. We’re going to want to see more offense from New York in the World Series.
On the positive side, as Joe Buck said in the post-game, the Yankees have now faced the Twins and Angels in this post-season, two teams known for being fundamentally sound, and the Yankees didn’t make any mistakes and took advantage of the opponent’s mistakes – and often. Credit Joe Girardi and his staff for that. I noticed Tony Pena, in the clubhouse celebration, getting a good soaking from the players. Perhaps the men on the field really appreciate the job from the coaching staff this year? Well, they should…
Bring on the Phillies! It’s wonderful that CC Sabathia gets to start the first game – and maybe throw three times in the series. With that in place, you have to like the Yankees chances in this one.
This will be the first season where the Yankees have reached the World Series since Drew Henson played for New York. How about that?