• Stepping Up & Beyond

    Posted by on October 9th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    There were more than a few reasons, in my opinion, why Phil Hughes could have spit the bit this evening. However…man…did he step up…then some and beyond. In terms of proving something, #65 made a…may I say?…”Hughes Statement” in this game. All things considered, it’s probably the most impressive game I’ve ever seen him pitch. Yeah, I know, “house money” and all that. But, nonetheless the dude was throwing hand grenades in this one, and, pitching with a look on his mug that said “OK, go ahead, try and hit this!” Gotta love it.

    So, now, for the 14th time in the last 35 years, the New York Yankees will play in the League Championship Series. Do that math. That’s a .400 batting average. And, in 11 of those 13 previous times, they won the ALCS. Yup, lost only twice in thirteen tries. Hopefully, that’s still stuck on “two” after the 2010 ALCS.

    Enjoy the games.

    And Phil Hughes Makes It 157…

    Posted by on October 9th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Here’s the other 156.

    Enjoy the game tonight!

    Hughes Concern For Yanks In Game 3?

    Posted by on October 8th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    In his last 16 starts made at Yankee Stadium this season, Phil Hughes has allowed 19 homeruns and his ERA in these games is 5.06 (in 94.3 IP). Seeing this, how do you feel about Hughes chances against the Twins in Game 3 of the 2010 ALDS?

    What The Twins Want & What Yankees Want To Avoid

    Posted by on October 8th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    Here are the seven teams to comeback and win a post-season series after being down, 0-2, and then winning three straight postseason games:

    1. 1981 N.L.D.S.: Dodgers over Astros
    2. 1982 A.L.C.S.: Brewers over Angels
    3. 1984 N.L.C.S.: Padres over Cubs
    4. 1995 A.L.D.S.: Mariners over Yankees
    5. 1999 A.L.D.S.: Red Sox over Indians
    6. 2001 A.L.D.S.: Yankees over A’s
    7. 2003 A.L.D.S.: Red Sox over A’s

    I remember 1995 – very well.  That one hurt like a mother.  I’m not sure how I would feel if that happened again in 2010?  How about you – would it bother you as much as 1995 did?  How about compared to 2004?

    Next Stop, Texas

    Posted by on October 7th, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Lance Berkman & Carl Pavano Game 2 ALDS 2010 Carl Pavano…
    …meet Lance Berkman.

    O.K., now, you can start thinking about that ALDS Winner parade…

    Andy Pettitte

    The dude just rocks.  Man, am I going to miss him when he hangs them up.    Hopefully, someday, Cooperstown will call his name.  And, if they do, I’m soooooooo there, that day.

    Lastly…Yowza, you have to feel bad for the Twins and their fans.

    When was the last time the Twinkies won a post-season game? It must seem like 1933 for them.  And, what truly must sting…some of these games are sorta/kinda close…it’s not like they’re getting blown out.  Go figure.

    Tonight Is The 11th “ALDS Game 2″ Start In Pettitte’s Career

    Posted by on October 7th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Needless to say, Andy’s “been there” before and done fine, most of the time:

    Rk Date Series 6 Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR BF
    1 2007-10-05 ALDS 2 NYY CLE L 1-2 GS-7 6.1 7 0 0 2 5 0 25
    2 2003-10-02 ALDS 2 NYY MIN W 4-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 4 1 1 3 10 1 29
    3 2002-10-02 ALDS 2 NYY ANA L 6-8 GS-3 3.0 8 4 4 0 1 2 17
    4 2001-10-11 ALDS 2 NYY OAK L 0-2 GS-7 ,L 6.1 7 1 1 2 4 1 28
    5 2000-10-04 ALDS 2 NYY OAK W 4-0 GS-8 ,W 7.2 5 0 0 1 3 0 28
    6 1999-10-07 ALDS 2 NYY TEX W 3-1 GS-8 ,W 7.1 7 1 1 0 5 1 29
    7 1998-09-30 ALDS 2 NYY TEX W 3-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 3 1 1 0 8 0 24
    8 1997-10-02 ALDS 2 NYY CLE L 5-7 GS-5 ,L 5.0 9 7 7 1 3 1 23
    9 1996-10-02 ALDS 2 NYY TEX W 5-4 GS-7 6.1 4 4 4 6 3 2 28
    10 1995-10-04 ALDS 2 NYY SEA W 7-5 GS-7 7.0 9 4 4 3 0 1 30
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/7/2010.

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    Enjoy the game.

    Long Night Of Sphincter Clenching Ends With A “W”

    Posted by on October 7th, 2010 · Comments (16)

    I’m currently reading Larry Moffi’s “This Side of Cooperstown: An Oral History of Major League Baseball in the 1950s.” (And, by the way, it’s a great book!)

    In the book, Gene Woodling tells how, back in the day, when he was with the Yankees, if the team won a few in a row and/or was feeling good about themselves, Frankie Crosetti – then a coach with the Yankees – used to walk about the clubhouse and warn the players “Don’t get gay when you’re full of shit.”

    So, you know I had to google this – and I found a reference where Wayne Terwilliger had a manager in the 1950′s, Bill Norman (who was a former player in the ’30′s like Crosetti), that used to warn his players with this exact same phrase.

    Therefore, I would bet that the expression “Don’t get gay when you’re full of shit” dates back to the 1930′s and was carried into the 1950′s by some who heard it in the ’30s. But, for sure, it’s not something that you hear very often these days – if at all.

    But, perhaps it’s time to pull this one out of mothballs? In fact, it’s what I would say to Yankeeland at this moment: “Don’t get gay when you’re full of shit.”

    Yes, the Yankees won Game One of the 2010 ALDS. But, they had to empty out all their bullets to get it done – and they barely won it, to be candid. And, to me, that’s a victory, sure – but, I wouldn’t plan on throwing a parade…yet…based on what we saw in this one.

    Yanks/Twins – We’ve Seen This Before

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Great stuff via Neil Paine:

    The 2010 Yankees-Twins ALDS represents just the 8th time in the WS era (1903-2010) that the same two teams faced each other in a postseason series 4 times in 8 seasons… The Dodgers & Yankees played each other in 4 world series from 1946-53, 48-55, and five times (!!!) from 1949-56. The Yankees and Royals faced off in 4 series from 1973-80, and the Braves & Astros had two different 8-year stretches with 4 playoff showdowns in the late nineties/early 2000s (1997-04 and 1998-05). The Red Sox and Angels capped off a 4-series-in-8-years stretch last season, and now the Yankees and Twins have joined that group with ALDS faceoffs in 2003, 2004, 2009, and 2010.

    To The Left, The Right One

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Let’s hope that CC Sabathia pitches more like Cliff Lee tonight and not like David Price.

    Tonight, It’s All About Sabathia

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Jorgie, do these pants make my butt look big?

    O.K., kidding aside, the “big question” in Yankeeland this evening should be “Just how good will CC be in Game One?”

    Me? I’m setting the bar at six innings and three runs. Anything less than six innings and anything more than three runs is not what we’re looking for tonight. Sabathia needs to be “The Man” for the Yankees in this game. And, I suspect that he will be…let’s just hope that’s the correct call. Losing Game One in this series could be the beginning of the end, this post-season, for the Yankees.

    Twins Magic Touch At Home Bad News For Yankees?

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    I was just looking at the four A.L. post-season teams this year in terms of how they did, playing at home this year, when facing teams who were .500 or better. Here’s the data:

    Tm Year G W L W-L% RS RA pythW-L%
    TEX 2010 24 15 9 .625 115 104 .546
    TBR 2010 41 24 17 .585 187 160 .571
    MIN 2010 35 20 15 .571 153 149 .512
    NYY 2010 39 21 18 .538 220 205 .532
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/6/2010.

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    Note how much better the Twins did at home compared to their projected W-L%. Perhaps they do have some home field advantage working for them here? And, maybe the Yankees will live to regret not winning the A.L. East and having to be the wildcard this season?

    Burnett, Vazquez, React To Yanks ALDS Roster Decisions

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Via Mark Feinsand

    “It’s not surprising when you look at the season I had,” Burnett said after Joe Girardi revealed a three-man rotation of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes. “Phil deserves a shot to pitch; he’s had an incredible season. If you look at how the season went, those are our top three starters this season. That’s who should be starting.”

    “I’ll take it a day at a time, and whenever they need me, I’ll do what they need me to do – whether it is to get one out, pinch-run, lay a bunt down, whatever,” Burnett said. “I’m game. It’s a team here. We all have the same goal, so there’s no hard feelings.”

    “It would be different if I had a great second half or started to put it together, but I took baby steps,” Burnett said. “I never took that huge leap.”

    “With what I’ve dealt with all year, they didn’t have to bring me here,” Burnett said. “I knew the start was an iffy thing. I understand everything. They still believe in me enough to keep me here in the bullpen, so I’m going to take it in stride and go with it.”

    “I’m not going to be a bad apple or a cancer and cause problems,” Burnett said. “I’m here for the same reason everybody else is here. I’m not going to pout or be that kind of guy. I’ll be here for my team whenever they need me.”

    “It’s disappointing but I can’t say I’m surprised,” Vazquez said. “I knew I was on the bubble. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s my fault.”

    Nice to see these guys saying all the right things. Now, let’s just hope they don’t, for some reason, get pressed into duty and have to pitch in some meaningful spots this post-season.

    A-Rod: 2010 Yanks Are David And Not Goliath

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Um, last time I checked, Lil’ David didn’t have a $200 million slingshot…

    Via ASAP Sports with a h/t to David Brown

    Q. Alex, do you find it odd that for the first time in a long time you’re not the favorite to win the World Series?

    ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, you know, I said it down the stretch in September, all the teams that are in the postseason are very capable of winning a world championship. We have tremendous parity in our game today, more so than I have seen in my 15 or 16 years being at the Major League level. So that’s great for our game overall. At some point every team in the American League has had their struggles and challenges and have had to deal with major injuries. But that’s a good thing. I mean, for us to be David in this situation I think is great.

    The Yankees are always going to be somewhat favorites because we’re the Yankees and that comes with the territory. It is something that we embrace and we like. But they want to call us underdogs, we’ll take that role.

    At times, I really wish A-Rod would pull the Sammy Sosa “No Habla” routine…well, actually, most times I wish he would do that…

    Yankees Game 1 Post-Season Starters Since 1976

    Posted by on October 6th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Moose is the leader here with six starts…

    Hey, how’d Denny Neagle sneak in there?

    Rk Player #Matching   W L ERA GS IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
    1 Mike Mussina 6 Ind. Games 2 4 4.11 6 35.0 37 16 6 7 33 1.26
    2 David Wells 4 Ind. Games 3 1 2.97 4 30.1 23 10 4 6 21 0.96
    3 Andy Pettitte 4 Ind. Games 1 1 5.62 4 24.0 24 15 3 7 16 1.29
    4 CC Sabathia 3 Ind. Games 2 1 1.66 3 21.2 16 4 2 4 21 0.92
    5 Orlando Hernandez 3 Ind. Games 2 0 1.17 3 23.0 10 3 1 10 18 0.87
    6 Ron Guidry 3 Ind. Games 1 1 5.02 3 14.1 16 8 1 8 13 1.67
    7 David Cone 3 Ind. Games 1 1 8.31 3 17.1 21 16 5 10 15 1.79
    8 Roger Clemens 3 Ind. Games 0 2 5.74 3 15.2 19 10 2 10 11 1.85
    9 Chien-Ming Wang 2 Ind. Games 1 1 8.74 2 11.1 17 11 3 5 6 1.94
    10 Don Gullett 2 Ind. Games 0 1 6.10 2 10.1 9 7 1 8 6 1.65
    11 Denny Neagle 1 Ind. Games 0 1 3.18 1 5.2 3 2 1 3 3 1.06
    12 Tommy John 1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.50 1 6.0 6 1 0 1 3 1.17
    13 Catfish Hunter 1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.00 1 9.0 5 1 0 0 5 0.56
    14 Ed Figueroa 1 Ind. Games 0 1 16.20 1 1.2 5 3 2 1 0 3.60
    15 Jim Beattie 1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.69 1 5.1 2 1 0 5 3 1.31
    16 Doyle Alexander 1 Ind. Games 0 1 7.50 1 6.0 9 5 1 2 1 1.83
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/5/2010.

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    (more…)

    Golson, Mitre & Moseley Make LDS Roster – Vazquez, Gaudin & Nova Do Not

    Posted by on October 5th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Via Bryan Hoch -

    The Yankees have made their roster decisions for the American League Division Series, with outfielder Greg Golson and pitchers Sergio Mitre and Dustin Moseley selected for spots that were up for grabs.

    The Yankees are using an 11-man pitching staff for the ALDS, having already announced that CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes will be in line to pitch the first three games against Minnesota.

    New York is also carrying A.J. Burnett on the ALDS roster, though he may be bypassed for a Game 4 start in favor of Sabathia on short rest. The bullpen will fill behind closer Mariano Rivera with Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, Mitre and Moseley.

    Selecting Mitre and Moseley effectively deleted right-handers Chad Gaudin, Ivan Nova and Javier Vazquez from the roster, as well as left-hander Royce Ring, who had been under consideration to serve as a second lefty option along with Logan.

    Yankees manager Joe Girardi had been weighing the idea of carrying Eduardo Nunez as an additional infielder and pinch-running option, but decided instead to go with Golson, who made a strong throw from right field to cut down the Rays’ Carl Crawford at third base for the final out of a Sept. 14 game at Tropicana Field.

    Interesting choices. Let’s see how they work out, or don’t, once the games begin.

    Burnett Out Of ALDS Rotation, Pettitte Goes In Game 2

    Posted by on October 5th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Via Wallace Matthews -

    A.J. Burnett will not be part of the New York Yankees’ starting rotation in the American League Division Series, a baseball official with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking has confirmed.

    The Yankees announced Tuesday that CC Sabathia will start Game 1 against the Minnesota Twins. Andy Pettitte will start in Game 2, while Phil Hughes will start Game 3 when the series moves from Minnesota to the Bronx.

    The Yankees did not announce a Game 4 starter. But according to the source, manager Joe Girardi will bring Sabathia back for Game 4 on short rest if needed, while Pettitte, who would pitch on regular rest because of the off days in the schedule, would start Game 5 if necessary.

    So, here’s the question: Does all this make Game 1 of the ALDS “Must Win” for the Yankees?

    Think about it. If New York loses Game 1, then they have to win three out of four games to advance – and will only have Sabathia pitching in one of those games and that will be on short rest. Sure sounds like Game 1 is a must for the Yankees, no?

    CC Sabathia’s History Opening Post-Game Series

    Posted by on October 5th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Prior to 2010, CC Sabathia has pitched “Game 1″ of a post-game series five times. Here’s the results:

    Rk Date 5 Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit BF ERA
    1 2007-10-04 ALDS 1 CLE NYY W 12-3 GS-5 ,W 5.0 4 3 3 6 5 2 114 24 5.40
    2 2007-10-12 ALCS 1 CLE BOS L 3-10 GS-5 ,L 4.1 7 8 8 5 3 0 85 24 16.62
    3 2009-10-07 ALDS 1 NYY MIN W 7-2 GS-7 ,W 6.2 8 2 1 0 8 0 113 28 1.35
    4 2009-10-16 ALCS 1 NYY LAA W 4-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 4 1 1 1 7 0 113 29 1.12
    5 2009-10-28 WS 1 NYY PHI L 1-6 GS-7 ,L 7.0 4 2 2 3 6 2 113 27 2.57
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/4/2010.

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    Note: Only once has he failed to go at least five innings and only once has he allowed more than three earned runs. So, that sort of sets the expectation bar for six innings and three earned runs on Wednesday, if you ask me. And, you have to think he’s only good for 113 pitches – especially if they’re going to ask him to come back and pitch Game 4, if necessary.

    Why Yanks Will Win Or Lose ALDS

    Posted by on October 4th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Via Mel Antonen today -

    The Yankees will win …

    The Yankees, making their 49th postseason appearance, will beat Minnesota in their Division Series because the Yankee are the Yankees. They don’t worry about end-of-the season losing when they finished 9-17.

    And besides, they know how to beat the Twins and their offense will pound the Twins’ inexperienced pitching staff.

    Since 2002, the Yankees have a 63-20 record against the Twins, including 9-2 in the postseason and a sweep last season, even though the Twins had a lead during the sixth inning in each of the first three games. The Yankees always find a way to beat the Twins.

    The Yankees will lose …

    The Yankees will lose a Division Series to the Twins for the first time because they will be worn out, their rotation will falter and they won’t be able to hang the Yankee Stadium mystique on the Twins. Plus, they don’t wear the tag of wild-card team well.

    Lefty CC Sabathia is fine as a starter, but lefty Andy Pettitte will feel the effects of missing nine weeks with a groin injury. He’s given up 22 hits in 13 1/3 innings since returning. A.J. Burnett had ERAs of 7.80 and 6.14 during each of the final two months, and Phil Hughes will show fatigue from too many innings. The Yankees wanted to limit him to 175 in his first season. He’s thrown 176 1/3 innings.

    This will the first time in the postseason that the Yankees haven’t had home-field advantage vs. the Twins. The Yankees lost 8-4 to Boston on Sunday to become the wild-card team. In each of three previous seasons as the wild-card team – in 1995, 1997 and 2007 – the Yankees have always lost in the first round.

    So, which scenario is more likely to happen? While I feel like the latter has a greater probability, I understand what’s being expressed in the former. Either way, it’s going to be an interesting ALDS in Yankeeland, for sure. And, I have to wonder what the impact will be, with respect to the 2011 Yankees, after we know what the eventual outcome is…

    Twins Link-O-Rama

    Posted by on October 4th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    In case you’re wondering what’s being said “on the other side” during this ALDS for the Yankees, be sure to check out these Twins-related blogs:

    Big Question In Yankeeland As We Head Into The ALDS

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Lest we forget…the Yankees have lost 17 of their last 26 games this season. And, that should lead to some questions on how they’ll do this post-season.

    Of course, to the Yankees faithful, at least those who turn a blind eye towards the perils of exaggerated self pride or self-confidence, the questions are more along the lines of “Why so serious?” and/or “What me worry?”

    But, back on planet earth, the question remains – can the Yankees get it up for the ALDS?

    What do you think?

    Cashman: Yanks Gearing Up For ALDS & Using Deception

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Kevin Kernan -

    General manager Brian Cashman said setting up the roster is a bit like a Triple Crown race.

    “It’s kind of like the Derby, Preakness, Belmont, races are longer, shorter,” he said. “We won the long race in terms of qualification, whether it’s the wild card or Eastern Division title. Now we have a shorter race we have to run in a five-game set, so your roster strengths get analyzed differently or get weighted differently.”

    When he was asked what he makes of the way his horses have limped to the finish line, Cashman, showing his TV side, said, “I liken it to the Brady Bunch and when they had the phony football playbook. If you are advance scouting us here in September, I think we are holding back all our big plays.”

    Branch Rickey, Brian Cashman, is not. Any time he’s hinting that he’s trying to out-smart anyone, be afraid Yankeeland. Be very, very, afraid.

    Yanks To Play @ 1 PM In 2010 ALDS Game 1?

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Well, that’s what I saw when I googled the Twins just now (at 5:26 pm ET).  See below:

    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?

    Yankees 2010 ALDS Roster

    Posted by on September 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    It’s almost a lock that these guys are going to make it: Cervelli, Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Gardner, Granderson, Swisher, Thames, Berkman, Pena, Kearns, Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes, Burnett, Rivera, Chamberlain, Robertson, Logan and Wood.

    That leaves three spots open for these six guys: Nunez, Gaudin, Moseley, Mitre, Nova and Vazquez.

    I don’t see how Vazquez makes it. And, I suppose it makes sense to take Nunez so that you don’t get stuck if two non-1B infielders go down in a game. That means it’s two spots with Gaudin, Moseley, Mitre, and Nova fighting it out.

    Girardi seems to like Gaudin. So, he’s probably in. And, that leaves it to Moseley, Mitre, and Nova for the last spot. Me? I would go with Moseley here and tell Mitre and Nova that they’re going to be cheerleaders for the ALDS.

    How would you fill out the Yankees 2010 ALDS roster?

    Yankeeland Not Too Confident About Their Team’s Chances In ALDS?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (20)

    I just had a quick exchange with four other Yankees fans. These four are long-time Yankees fans. Go to a lot of games at the Stadium. Watch just about every game on TV. Wear Yankees gear a lot of the time when not dressed for work. And, two of them have actually traveled to see the team play out west at sundry times.

    Here’s how it went down:

    Steve: So, do you like the Yankees chances in the post-season this year?
    John: No, not at all.
    Tara: I’m not too confident. Minnesota and Texas are so strong, both hitting and pitching. Our pitching is inconsistent, and you know that pitching makes the world go ‘round.
    Carmen: I’m not as confident as last year, that’s for sure. Minnesota is better. I think they are going to regret playing so poorly lately and not winning the division, because having to maybe play a Game Five or Seven on road could come back to burn them.
    Bill: CC and lots of rain…that’s their best chance.

    Sound like a conversation that you’ve had lately with any of your Yankees fan friends?

    Yankees Best Starting Rotation Plan For ALDS

    Posted by on September 29th, 2010 · Comments (28)

    There’s a lot of different ways that the Yankees can go with their ALDS starting rotation. Here’s a few:

    Plan A:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Pettitte
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Hughes
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Sabathia on 3-days rest
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Pettitte 
    
    Plan B:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Hughes
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Pettitte
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Sabathia on 3-days rest
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Hughes
    
    Plan C:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Hughes
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Pettitte
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Burnett
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Sabathia
    
    Plan D:
    Game 1  10/06/10 Sabathia
    Game 2  10/07/10 Pettitte
            10/08/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3  10/09/10 Hughes
    Game 4* 10/10/10 Burnett
            10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5* 10/12/10 Sabathia

    Me? I’d go with Plan A – because I don’t want to give Burnett a start in a five-game series and I want Andy Pettitte pitching Game 5, if necessary. How about you, what way would you go?

    October 6th, Target Field, Sabathia Vs. Liriano

    Posted by on September 24th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    The way things are going lately in Yankeeland, you can pretty much book this date, match-up, and location now, can’t ya?

    Cashman: Next 3 Weeks To Determine Post-Season Rotation

    Posted by on September 10th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Wally Matthews

    General manager Brian Cashman said every Yankees pitcher not named CC Sabathia or Mariano Rivera is “auditioning for a role” in the postseason.

    The size of a player’s paycheck, he said, will have no bearing on how or if he is used in October.

    That means rookie right-hander Ivan Nova, with all of 24 innings pitched in the major leagues, has as much of a chance of starting a playoff game as A.J. Burnett, who is in the second year of a five-year deal that pays him $16.5 million a season.

    “Everything will be decided in these last three weeks,” Cashman said Wednesday night. “The guys who we think give us the best chance to win are the guys who are going to pitch.”

    The GM refused to speak about individual pitchers and their status for the postseason. He did say if Nova pitches well over the final 22 games of the season, in which he is likely to make four starts, Cashman would be inclined to trust him with a postseason start.

    “Aside from CC, nothing is guaranteed for anyone,” Cashman said. “Some guys who are starters now may wind up pitching out of the bullpen. We’ll make that determination based on how well they perform down the stretch for us.”

    Wow. And, to think, all this time, I thought it would be the manager, Joe Girardi, who decided what pitchers would start for the team in the post-season.

    Looks Like Yanks Will Get Banged Up Rangers In LDS

    Posted by on September 6th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Paul White

    Josh Hamilton says he feels like “I’ve been in a car wreck.”

    Cliff Lee will miss his start Tuesday against Toronto.

    Getting their top players healthy would seem the priority for the Texas Rangers, still cruising with an eight-game lead in the AL West and hardly threatened by the division’s under-.500 cast. But excuse longtime Rangers fans if they’re getting a sense of “deja vu all over again.”

    Hamilton, a leading MVP candidate, probably will miss at least a week after bruising ribs crashing into a wall Sunday at Minnesota. Lee’s history of back issue has continued and he’ll likely not pitch until at least Sunday against the Yankees.

    Oh, and there’s the big deal, in case you’re not among the longest-suffering of Texas fans. The three weekend losses in Minnesota left the Rangers 4 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second-best record among AL division leaders. Given the likelihood of the Yankees and Rays finishing 1-2 in the East, that matches the Rangers and Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

    Just like 1996, the first time the Rangers made the playoffs. That was the good year, when Texas actually won once in the best-of-five series. The Rangers also faced the Yankees in their only other two playoff years — 1998 and ’99 — and were swept out of the Division Series.

    No matter who the Yankees play in the LDS this season, the schedule breaks down as follows:

    Game 1 10/6/10
    Game 2 10/7/10
    10/8/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 3 10/9/10
    Game 4 10/10/10
    10/11/10 NO GAME SCHEDULED
    Game 5 10/12/10

    And, this leads to some interesting question – Do you start Sabathia on 2-days rest in Game 3 and then have to start Burnett, Hughes or Vazquez in Game 4 (assuming Pettitte goes on Game 2)? Probably not. So, then you have to start Burnett or Hughes in Game 3, have Sabathia pitch in Game 4, on 3-days rest, and save Pettitte for Game 5 (if needed).

    Face it, either Burnett or Hughes is going to have to start a game in this series – it’s just a matter of when…Game 3 or Game 4. Of course, this all assumes that Pettitte is good to go. If Andy is out, then both Burnett and Hughes get at least one start in the LDS – which is scary in a best of five situation.