• Our Thoughts Towards Yankees 2010 ALDS Chances

    Posted by on October 1st, 2010 · Comments (19)

    As we head into the Yankees last series of the regular season, with the ALDS to follow soon after, here’s what some of the authors of this blog are thinking about the Yankees chances this post-season:

    Via Jeff F. -

    One of the reasons the Yankees were so successful in last year’s postseason was that they won Game 2 in the ALDS, the ALCS, and the World Series. In my eyes, Game 2 is more important than Game 1 because it is such a game-changer in a short series. It’s all about momentum. And the Yankees’ Game 2 starter this year is…well, we don’t know yet. Other than Sabathia, the starting staff is in shambles. Pettitte has a nagging injury, Hughes has been unreliable over the past few months, and I’m not even going to mention Burnett/Vazquez. I hope that somehow the starters go on a hot streak over the next few weeks and lead the team back to the promised land. Time will tell.

    Via Corey Italiano -

    Regardless of whether the Yankees draw the Twins or the Rangers, there are 3 (non-obvious) key ingredients to their playoff chances.

    1) Phil Hughes. They need their young starter to come up big, especially with concerns over the health status of Andy Pettitte. He’s shown them what he’s capable of early in the season, and as late as last Sunday against the Red Sox. If the Yankees plan on going anywhere in the playoffs, they are going to need Hughes to pitch to his potential.

    2) Joba Chamberlain. I know many have grown to detest “#62″ but he’s going to play an important role in this bullpen. Wood and Mo Rivera are entrenched in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively. Boone Logan is in there to get the tough lefites. David Robertson, in my opinion, should be saved for tough jams with men on base where a strike out is needed. This leaves Chamberlain as the important bridge from the starter to the set up men.

    3) Ian Kennedy. Just kidding, got caught up in the theme. Marcus Thames. With the all the tough left-handed starters the AL playoff teams will be throwing the Yankees way, Thames is going to play a major role doing what he does best, mashing lefties. Hopefully someone throws his glove in the garbage, though.

    Via Jim TreshFan -

    The Yankees take one of the final three games at Fenway to finish the season with 95 wins (just like whazzis name predicted).

    Qualifying for the Post Season as the AL Wild Card they take on the Twins in a grueling series that goes the full 5 games—with the Yankees coming out on top in the end (whew!)

    Unfortunately the Yankees are no match for the Rays whom they meet in the ALCS. They lose in six.

    The Rays then go on to lose to the Phillies – who join the 1906-1908 Cubs, the 1921-1923 Giants, and the 1942-1944 Cardinals as the only NL teams to win 3 pennants and 2 World Series in 3 years.

    So that’s it. The Yankees make the ALCS for the 9th time in 15 years. Not bad, not bad. But there’s really good news ahead…Brian Cashman’s contract runs out after the 2011 season.

    Via Dan LaTorraca -

    It has been a tumultuous and statistically ugly season for the Yankees and as they slowly limp into the ALDS, I can’t help but think that 2010 is not their year. The poetic justice of “winning one for The Boss” would have been sweet, but the Giants and Phillies are just too strong. Still, if the Yanks can get hot this weekend, maybe we’ll see a World Series run akin to the 2000 playoffs. Doubtful, bus possible.

    Prove me wrong Yankees, prove me wrong.

    Via “Jeteupthemiddle” Allie -

    I am noticing a lot of people worrying about the upcoming playoffs. The biggest complaint, it would seem, is that this year’s team is no where near the 2009 playoff team. Well no, it is not the same as last year’s team. I would put last year’s team up against any playoff team in history, and I would like its odds.

    This past month, which I will surely review after these final three games, it looked as if the Yankees had to beg for a win. They went 12-15 this month. Probably more disconcerting, however, is the 3-7 record the Yankees had against the Rangers and Rays – possible playoff foes. I, however, am looking at those games as positives. Before the Yankees played these teams, they lost 3 in a row to Toronto and Baltimore. After the games were over, they lost again to Toronto and to Boston as well.

    But really, what I think is important to note, is that the games were close. Only the 10-3  loss to Tampa Bay on September 23rd seemed out of hand. With the way the pitching staff has looked, with the way the hitters have played, with the injuries the Yankees were enduring, I think during the final stretch the Yankees just had to close their eyes and hope for the best. Their best didn’t necessarily produce regular season wins, but it showed me what the team was capable of.

    I think that in the post season, when players such as Teixeira, Swisher, Rodriguez, and Posada are all playing at the same time, everyday, and when we can count on Andy Pettitte, and when we can expect Rivera to forget about these September hiccups, the Yankees may fair better.

    I am cautiously optimistic about the playoffs this year.

    And, finally, from yours truly, Steve Lombardi -

    This is the first time ever, since the ALDS has bcome part of the post-season process, that I don’t feel like the Yankees will win and advance forward into October. Even in 1995, 1997, 2002, 2005, and 2007, heading into those ALDS match-ups, I expected the Yankees to win and advance. This season, because of the issues with the Yankees starters outside of Sabathia, and the recent lackluster play of the team, I don’t see the Yankees getting through the ALDS. Yes, I know that the Twins and Rangers are far from perfect. But, again, I’m just not feeling it for the Yankees this year – for the first time in the last 15 times that they’ve been in the post-season. Maybe, just maybe, they will get past the ALDS? But, even if they do, the Rays will run all over them in the ALCS. And, even if I’m wrong there, the Phillies with Roy/Roy/Cole will take them in the World Series.

    Last year, everything went right for the Yankees. A-Rod had a gazillion huge hits. Damon and Matsui came through in big spots. And, the Yankees were able to only use three starters and Burnett did throw one good game. Is that all going to happen again this year? Maybe. But, probably not.

    My expectations for the Yankees this post-season are zero. I’ll be happy if they win. However, I’m not confident that they get past the ALDS – much less win it all.

    How about you? What are your thoughts towards the chances in the ALDS this year?

    Comments on Our Thoughts Towards Yankees 2010 ALDS Chances

    1. clintfsu813
      October 1st, 2010 | 6:10 pm

      At the beginning of this year I was not confident about the Yankees chances to repeat. That wasnt a knock on the team, its just that can you name me the last team to repeat? Yea it was us in 2000. So for the last 9 years no one has done it. Its just flat out hard to do. I mean, heck, from 1978 until 1998 only one team did it, the BJ’s. I told myself I was going to enjoy 2009 and hope for the playoffs in 2010 with anything else just icing. As on now, I’m not too confident. But can you tell me the other teams are? The Rays? Theres a DECENT chance they’ll give up a no hitter in the Post season. They’ve averaged like 1 each month right?

    2. Corey Italiano
      October 1st, 2010 | 6:39 pm

      The Yanks are going to repeat, book it.

    3. JeremyM
      October 1st, 2010 | 6:55 pm

      One thing I take issue with- everything did not go right for the Yanks last October. Teix and Swisher STUNK, and Cano didn’t do much. If two of those three guys can get hot and the rest of the bats do what they are supposed to or close to it, and the pitching is adequate (hey, it can happen!), the Yanks will be tough to handle.

    4. INAC
      October 1st, 2010 | 6:55 pm

      The thing I’ve always thought is that we, as Yankee fans, are prone to confirmation bias in regards to the Yankees, the habitual worrying about Yankee flaws whilst not putting other foe’s flaws on a similar pedestal even if they are worthy.

      Another thing I’ve thought since March is that this team was not as good as their ’09 brethren. That isn’t a knock to this team, it is a testament to how good the 2009 Yankees were. How many teams have won 103 games, best record in their league and all of MLB, easily won the toughest division in the league, and coasted through the playoffs, never once facing elimination? That said, one thing that this team certainly hasn’t done is play nearly as well since the break compared to that team. 52-22 post-ASB in ’09, only 38-33 this year.

      Lets quickly peruse the other AL playoff teams:

      Rangers – solid team, but young, unproven rotation after Lee, aided by weak division, who knows how effective Hamilton will be with the broken ribs, and as much as that series earlier this month was absolutely PAINFUL to watch, lets keep in mind that a) the Yankees really couldn’t do any worse with RISP than they did there, and b) the Rangers took advantage of having a bullpen with the population of China at their disposal. Works for September managing, not for October managing. In any other month, the Yankees have an excellent chance of winning those first two games, even assuming they still were largely terrible with RISP.

      Twins – look at their last four games. Three times, they’ve been absolutely torched by the opposing offense. 1-6 in their last seven. But as far as overall results go, that’s about as much as anyone can dog Minnesota, they’ve been excellent overall since the break. The questions there are whether Liriano can hold up going into the playoffs (pretty bad in September) and whether the Yankees can finally solve the puzzle(s) known as Carl Pavano and Nick Blackburn, if they end up facing Blackburn in a potential 4th game. I would also consider the lack of Nathan to be problematic, but the Yankees have always crushed that guy. Addition-by-subtraction in this specific matchup, hah.

      Rays – their offense is prone to very nasty slumps because they simply aren’t that good at the true hitting aspect of the game. Their strength is their baserunning and OBP-ability. They can score runs when they’re working themselves into good counts and running crazy, but they’re mannerisms also yield themselves to those perfect game/no hitter type performances. I’m sure beyond the PG/NH, they’ve been one-hit at least two-three times this year. Regarding their rotation, while it was a definite strength for most of the year and probably still is, who do you trust after David Price in Game 1? Garza has struggled of late, though has done better his last two starts. Wade Davis is just a rookie. Jeff Niemann has been pretty bad since returning from the DL, and James Shields friggen sucks. Won’t say a word for their pen, since Benoit-Soriano is probably the best 8-9 in the American League.

      Maybe I’m just a smug, arrogant, egotistical Yankee fan just to fit the description with the rest of us (/overstated), but regarding American League playoff foes, there’s no team that I think the Yankees can’t beat. All three of those teams could beat the Yankees, home or road, and I think the Yankees could just as easily beat all three of those teams. Make no mistake about it, the American League playoffs are weaker this year. I’d go as far as to say the 2009 Red Sox, merely the third best team in the AL in 2009, were probably a better team than either this years Yankees or Rays, who are the best AL teams this year.

      Come the World Series, if they were to face Philly? Oy vey. That wouldn’t be as easy a task as it was last year, and last year was no easy task in and of itself. Especially since Philly would have the HFA this time around. But that’s getting far ahead of ourselves. Lets worry about the ALDS first. One thing that’s for certain is that the Yankees won’t have an easy road through the AL playoffs this year, in contrast to last year.

    5. INAC
      October 1st, 2010 | 6:58 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      One thing I take issue with- everything did not go right for the Yanks last October. Teix and Swisher STUNK, and Cano didn’t do much. If two of those three guys can get hot and the rest of the bats do what they are supposed to or close to it, and the pitching is adequate (hey, it can happen!), the Yanks will be tough to handle.

      Tex, Swisher, and Cano were pretty awful, and only Tex had any hits that were worth remembering (his lone saving grace at the plate – virtually all of the hits he did get were big).

      That said, anyone think ARod is going to be as insane this year? It would also take a gargantuan effort of C.C. to match his sub-2 playoff ERA of last year.

    6. jay
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:02 pm

      It has been a tumultuous and statically ugly season for the Yankees

      Statistically ugly season? No, it hasn’t.

      but the Giants and Phillies are just too strong

      The Giants? Are you serious? Great pitching, but they can’t score runs.

      I can’t help but feel that the MO of this blog has infected the other authors. A gentle reminder: objectivity and pessimism are not the same thing.

    7. JeremyM
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:06 pm

      INAC wrote:

      JeremyM wrote:
      One thing I take issue with- everything did not go right for the Yanks last October. Teix and Swisher STUNK, and Cano didn’t do much. If two of those three guys can get hot and the rest of the bats do what they are supposed to or close to it, and the pitching is adequate (hey, it can happen!), the Yanks will be tough to handle.

      Tex, Swisher, and Cano were pretty awful, and only Tex had any hits that were worth remembering (his lone saving grace at the plate – virtually all of the hits he did get were big).
      That said, anyone think ARod is going to be as insane this year? It would also take a gargantuan effort of C.C. to match his sub-2 playoff ERA of last year.

      No, I don’t expect that from A-Rod, but I think he can still have good numbers and set the table for some other guys to knock him in. I expect he will be pitched around and others will have to deliver. Teix is the guy I am looking at to step things up- I’m not convinced he will, so I hope I’m wrong.

    8. INAC
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:09 pm

      JeremyM wrote:

      INAC wrote:
      JeremyM wrote:
      One thing I take issue with- everything did not go right for the Yanks last October. Teix and Swisher STUNK, and Cano didn’t do much. If two of those three guys can get hot and the rest of the bats do what they are supposed to or close to it, and the pitching is adequate (hey, it can happen!), the Yanks will be tough to handle.
      Tex, Swisher, and Cano were pretty awful, and only Tex had any hits that were worth remembering (his lone saving grace at the plate – virtually all of the hits he did get were big).
      That said, anyone think ARod is going to be as insane this year? It would also take a gargantuan effort of C.C. to match his sub-2 playoff ERA of last year.

      No, I don’t expect that from A-Rod, but I think he can still have good numbers and set the table for some other guys to knock him in. I expect he will be pitched around and others will have to deliver. Teix is the guy I am looking at to step things up- I’m not convinced he will, so I hope I’m wrong.

      Yeah, Tex was pretty damn good last regular season, and it translated to mostly squat in the playoffs. This time around, he’s coming off the heels of a weaker season AND he’s dealing with thumb and toe problems. He’s clearly not 100%, so who knows how he’ll fare this October. He can’t really be worse than he was last year, but that’s not a ringing endorsement for a strong October this time around.

    9. INAC
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:11 pm

      The Giants pitching is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, that lineup is very weak and maneuverable. I would hope C.C., Pettitte, and Hughes (especially in that ballpark) would be able to hold them down well enough for the Yankees offense to take advantage, if such a series comes to pass.

    10. Corey Italiano
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:17 pm

      @ JeremyM:
      Hey hey, I’ve been sayin repeat all year

    11. Corey Italiano
      October 1st, 2010 | 7:17 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      err that was supposed to go to Jay

    12. October 1st, 2010 | 8:29 pm

      I’ve thought about this for the last few days and it pains me to say it but I have to agree with Steve. I see no reason to believe that this will end well. What really concerns me is the possibility of it ending in an utter disaster. We all remember 2004 but how many reading this remember the World Series of 76. Nothing could be worse than 2004, but a four game beating by Tampa Bay or an absolute rout by the Phils is a very real pssibility. To be honest, I’m not sure we can even handle the Twins. Maybe, and I hate to say this, it might be better to exit early than to be beaten badly by Tampa Bay. I hate losing to National League teams, so a shellacking by the Phils or a stifling by the Giants is my worst nightmare.

      The big question, where did it all go wrong. I think Cashman had a horrible winter making a series of bad moves that were bad from the start. Vazquez, wasn’t he paying attention the last time this guy was here. A .500 pitcher who has been a total bust in the postseason. Why go out and get a guy like this. Joba spends the season rotting in the pen while a starting spot is wasted on Javy. It gets worse, can anyone exlplain Nick Johnson. You’ve heard of Joltin Joe, this is Sick Nick. Who was surprised when he wound up on the DL for the season in May. This is the 4th in his professsional career this has happened. How could Cashman have been so foolish. Park another bust, and losing gamers like Damon and Matsui, what was Cashman thinking.

      All of this might have been fixable if Clff Lee had arrived that July day. Lee would have given the Yankees just enough to dangerous. Just enough to maybe steal another one. I don’t blame Cashman for this one but to me that was the day all hope was lost. AJ is a complete headcase, Andy is 38 and hurting and we are out of time, and out of answers.

      Oh well there’s always next year, and we’ll still have the memories of 2009 to get us through the cold winter.

    13. 77yankees
      October 1st, 2010 | 10:25 pm

      Anything can happen once you get in the postseason.

      I’ve been a Yankee fan for 35 years now, and this is the 20th postseason I’ll witness. And with 7 championships out of the previous 19 appearances – there have been more disappointing finishes than successes.

      I’ve endured World Series that should have been won (1981, 2003), World Series where you wonder how they did it (2000), bitter sudden death endings (1995, 2001) and a finish no one could have seen coming (2004).

      How will the postseason play out? Nobody knows. But you can only find out if you get there, and while many on this board are experiencing pessimism – remember that on Wednesday there will be 22 teams already on their winter vacation – and our team will not be one of them.

      So try to enjoy the journey and subscribe to the motto, “To win like a champion, you have to be able to lose like one too.”

    14. jvk
      October 1st, 2010 | 10:37 pm

      Look, the reason the Yankees got to the playoffs last year is Phil Hughes. He was the set up guy last year and before him it was garbage. If Hughes didn’t take that role God know what would’ve happend. This year the Yankees picked up Kerry Wood so thats settled. The reason the Yankees were able to get through the postseason is because of A-Rod being able to hit cluch bombs. The Yankees need him, Teixeira, and Cano to do the same thing If they’re going to get to the World Series. And it wouldn’t hert if Jeter could end on a good note and get hot for the postseason. I mean lets be honest this is Jeters worst offensive season in his career. I’m not saying he’s terrible, but he hasn’t reached usual Derek Jeter expectations. And the reason the Yankees won the World Series is because of the 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui. This year who someones going to need to step up in the World Series and fill his shoes, whoever it is. Whether its Granderson, or Jeter, Swisher, or Cano. It doesn’t matter who but as long as somebody does it. And one more thing the Yankees need to get through the postseason is Marcus Thames. with all of the lefties like David Price, Cliff Lee and more that are going to pitch against the Yankees they need him to DH against them and hit big. But I agree with Corey, someone needs to throw his glove in the garbage so he can’t play in the field lol!

    15. Evan3457
      October 1st, 2010 | 10:43 pm

      Everyone acts as if the 2009 Yankees were thought to be locks to win it all before the postseason.

      They weren’t.

      Before the playoffs started, the Yankees rotation lined up thusly:

      1) CC Sabathia, who, while a great regular season ace, had one of the worst post-season records you’ll ever see.

      2) AJ Burnett, erratic, off a so-so season, with no post-season record whatsoever.

      3) Andy Pettitte, coming off a so-so season of his own, and also 37 years old.

      4) Joba Chamberlain, one time phenom whose season descended into oblivion when they threw the breaks on him.

      Very few thought this rotation strong enough to win it all.
      ===================================================
      AJ Burnett did NOT pitch just ONE good postseason game. He pitched 3; he pitched well in all 3 Game 2′s.
      ===================================================

      Cano and Tex were mostly horrible, Melky disappeared for games at a time, and Swisher had arguably the worst post-season ever for a regular hitter over consistent playing time in multiple rounds. But these were not the only things that went wrong. Hughes and Joba struggled so bad as setup men, that Robertson had to fill in for them. Damon had an awful ALDS. Molina had to catch AJ. Girardi appeared to overmanage in spots.

      Lots of things went wrong, and lots of things went right, too.

    16. October 1st, 2010 | 10:43 pm

      Re: Thames this post-season. Remember in 2001 when Randy Velarde was supposed to be the secret weapon against Randy Johnson?

    17. The Sandman
      October 1st, 2010 | 10:56 pm

      I have a good feeling about this team – even though they played poorly in September they still scored the most runs in MLB, have the best run diff, have a decent bullpen and if Pettitte and and Hughes pitch OK they have a decent starting 3. I think they win the division, have home field advantage and get to the World Series. I do think it will be tough to be the Phillies but who knows. I am optimistic. Go Yanks!

    18. JeremyM
      October 2nd, 2010 | 11:43 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I don’t remember that, but how about Enrique Wilson as the key to beating Pedro Martinez?

      Am I crazy or did Velarde take a start away from Tino Martinez against Johnson- now that you mention it.

    19. INAC
      October 3rd, 2010 | 8:21 am

      JeremyM wrote:

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I don’t remember that, but how about Enrique Wilson as the key to beating Pedro Martinez?
      Am I crazy or did Velarde take a start away from Tino Martinez against Johnson- now that you mention it.

      He did.

      http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2001/B10280ARI2001.htm

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.