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?