Tagged: Angels

Jeter collects #20 in the postseason

Jeter’s leadoff home run puts Yanks on top.

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Going into Mondays game in Anaheim, the Yankees owned a 2-0 lead in the ALCS. It would be needed, as the Yankees have never played well in southern California.

Derek Jeter was quick to prove that wrong. In the first at-bat of ALCS play in Anaheim, Jeter crushed his 20th postseason home run — a long shot over the left field wall — to give the Yankees a quick, 1-0 lead.
It was his 20th career home run in the postseason, just 1 game after he knocked his 19th home run which passed him by Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle for 3rd on the all-time postseason home run list.
Home run #20 now puts him 2 away from 2nd place and former teammate Bernie Williams (22) and 9 away from LA’s Manny Ramirez (29).
Jeter’s leadoff home run was his third of his career and his 2 home runs this series ties a career high for home runs in a series. The most home runs he has hit in a postseason came in 2000 when he hit 4, he is just one shy of that mark.
Derek also leads in all-time postseason games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, hits, total bases, singles, and — not as impressively — strikeouts. 
Poll of the Day:
Can A-Rod now be called a “clutch” player?(answers)

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A Game for the Ages

A-Rods clutch homer in the 11th keeps the game alive.

Hairston 10:17.jpgIt’s not to surprising that the Yankees have continued their walk off magic into the postseason. Leading the major leagues with both 51 comeback wins and 15 walk offs in the regular season, the Yankees lead in both those categories in the postseason. Last night (and this morning) marked the Yankees second walk off win and their fourth comeback win this postseason. Just a week away from the thriller game 2 of the ALDS, the Yankees put on another show in the Bronx.

Burnett for the Yankees and Saunders for the Angels both took the mound to start the game. Both pitched very well, each giving up just two runs and going more than 6 innings. Burnett was a bit sloppy though, giving up one of his runs on a wild pitch.
Burnett wasn’t the only sloppy one. The Yankees had 3 errors and the Angels had two. They combined for 4 double plays and 28 men left on base. With those kind of numbers, it is no surprise the game went 13 innings.
The bullpens were the silver lining in this one. The Yankees finished the game with just one reliever left, Chad Gaudin. They used 7 relievers who combined for 6.2 innings pitched. Together they allowed just 1 run and struck out 6 batters. Robertson, the final pitcher, recorded the win.
The Angels somehow managed to use just 4 relievers. They, to, pitched very well. They combined for 5.1 innings and gave up 2 runs and struck out just three batters. Ervin Santana got the loss.
The Yankee bullpen probably came out on top in this one. Especially because of probably the biggest point in the game. The Angels, after taking the lead in the 11th inning, brought in their closer Brian Fuentes. The due up batters were A-Rod, Guzman and Gardner. Guess what? Down 0-2, A-Rod lifted a shot right over the right field wall to tie the game. A-Rod now has 6 straight postseason games with an RBI, dating back to 2007 against the Indians. That is the longest streak in his career by a long shot.
From then on, it was sloppy. Each team had opportunities in each inning but couldn’t cash in. The player who could probably take the most blame is Guerrero who came up with bases loaded, 2 outs twice and struck out both times. It was clear, to me at least, that one of these teams was going to win on a gift, because neither team was acting like they really wanted it.
That was the way it turned out. Hairtson scored in the bottom of the 12th on a throwing error by Izturis at second to win the game.
“Izzy just tried to do to much,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Your not going to turn two there.”
The game took 13 innings and 5 hours and 10 minutes. It was the second longest by innings and the fourth longest by time in ALCS history. Hopefully, for the sake of our health, the Yankees never break that record.
Player of the Game: Alex Rodriguez: 1 for 6, HR, RBI
The Wrap-Up: This was going to be a big game either way it turned out. If the Angels could go back to Anaheim tied 1-1 in a place where the Yankees are horrible, this series would pretty much be in their hands. Instead, the Yankees have full control. But, don’t forge what happened in 2004. No lead is a sure lead. The Yankees know that more than anyone.
Coming Up Next: We go to southern cal. where weather will surely no longer be the problem. It will be Pettitte vs Weaver. I haven’t seen the forecast, but I’d bet $1,000 it will be 70-80 degrees, sunny and low humidity on Monday. Typical southern cali day.

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ALCS Game 2 Live Coverage

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It’s cloudy and 45 degrees right now in the Bronx. Both teams hope to get in this second game of the ALCS. If it were to get rained out, tomorrows game would take place on Sunday, before flying to Anaheim for game 3 on Monday. 
According to weather.com, there is a 35% chance of rain at 8:00 pm and then a 50% chance of rain for the rest of the night. Temperatures are expected to be a bit below 40 degrees. It will be another cold one at the stadium. Look forward to seeing Cano playing ninja style again. It will be interesting to see how the weather affects A.J.’s breaking ball. We saw it was difficult for last nights starters to throw a good one. 
“We’ll see what happens,” Yanks manager Joe Girardi said last night. “I’m not too concerned, because we played tonight. Hopefully we get tomorrow’s game in. But if we don’t, we don’t.”
Lineups and game notes are posted.
1:07 a.m. Hairston scores winning run on throwing error by Izturis. Yanks up 2-0 going to LA. I’m going to sleep. See you later today I guess.
1:01 a.m. Robertson gets Guerrero on a ground ball to second. We go to the bottom of the 13th.
12:57 a.m. Game began 5 hours ago.
12:47 a.m. At some point, someone is going to need to swing at the first pitch, which tonight and all season, has been a fastball right down the middle. Either way, we now go to the top of the 13th inning.
12:46 a.m. Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 12th, 3-3, A-Rod at the plate. Dream.
12:36 a.m. Bottom of the 12th. Ervin Santana comes in to pitch. It will be Melky, Posada and Jeter. Please let this be the inning.
12:25 a.m. Marte does the job, gets Morales on a ground out to third. Robertson coming in. Robertson pitched in the ALDS and escaped from that bases loaded, no out jam in game 2 which allowed the Yankees to win the game. 
12:21 a.m. The 7th pitcher of the night comes in for the Yankees with 1 out in the top of the 12th. It will be Marte. He made 1 appearance in the ALDS and gave up 2 hits without recording an out. He will try to get on track here with his ALCS debut.
12:20 a.m. #91 Aceves still in the game. Time to focus, still outs that need to be recorded and runs that need to be scored.
12:11 a.m. You gotta be kidding me! MR CLUTCH? MR OCTOBER? NO, MR RODRIGUEZ! A-Rods 3 HR’s this postseason are the reason they are 4-0 and have a chance at 5-0.
12:05 a.m. Hunter grounds into 5-4-3 DP. A-Rod leads it off for the Yankees in the bottom of the 11th. If the lead holds up, the series will be tied at 1 moving to Anaheim.

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12:01 a.m. Matthews scores on a Figgins RBI single to left. Angels take the lead. That’s what you get for the leadoff walk.
11:44 p.m. Big break for the Yankees. Cabrera called safe at second on double play ball. McCarver saying it should have been called before. Maybe he wasn’t off the bag before! I understand it is to protect the players, but he didn’t even come close to touching it. Come on McCarver.
11:38 p.m. Rivera finishes throwing 2.1 innings. Last time he threw at least 2.1 innings in a postseason game was the 2003 ALCS. We go to the bottom of the 10. Darren Oliver in the game.
11:31 p.m. Rivera remains in the game to begin the tenth, entering his third inning of work. Last time Rivera pitched at least 2 innings in the postseason was the 2007 ALDS against the Indians. Aceves in the Yankees pen, Oliver in the Angels pen.
11:29 p.m. Cano grounds out to the catcher and slams down his helmet as he’s thrown out at first to end the inning. Should have swung at the first pitch which was right down the middle. Come to think of it, every hitter should, the entire league hit over .350 this regular season on the first pitch. Problem is, almost no one does it.
11:28 p.m. All with 2 outs: Matsui single, Guzman pinch runner, Gardner single, Guzman to third with the winning run. Cano at the plate with a chance to win it.
11:19 p.m. Snow falling in NYC.
11:16 p.m. Rivera strikes out 2 of the 3 batters he faced as a part of a 1-2-3 ninth inning. He faced the 1,2 and 3 hitters. Great game. If the Yankees win this one, it’ll be the 17th walk off of this stadium and the 2nd of the playoffs. 
11:03 p.m. Posada comes in as a pinch hitter and grounds out to second on the first pitch he sees from Jepsen who enters the game. First pitch was clocked at 100 mph.

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10:57 p.m. I was surprised at first, but then again, who can resist. Hughes out after 0.2 innings of scoreless, 1 hit, 1 strikeout ball. He should have been out of the inning, but a Jeter booted double play ball kept the inning going. “The Sandman” enters, the crowd goes crazy. Exactly 3 hours after the game starts, Mariano Rivera enters the game. DESTINY.
10:34 p.m. Chamberlain strikes out Guerrero with bases loaded. Crowd, Joba and A.J. all go crazy. Game tied at 2 at 7th inning stretch.
10:26 p.m. Coke strikes out Abreu with runners on 1st and 2nd 1 out. Chamberlain comes in with 2 on and 2 out with Hunter at the plate in the top of the 7th.
10:14 p.m. Burnett out of the game. Tips his cap to the crowd. His line: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO. Coke is in the game.
10:08 p.m. Saunders has thrown 91 pitches after 6 innings. If he comes out for the next inning, it will surely be his last.
10:01 p.m. Burnett gets through the 6th inning 1-2-3. His night probable over after throwing 105 pitches. Heres his line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
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9:43 p.m. Molina in the on deck circle is a signal that Burnett is going to stay in the game. He has thrown 90 pitches, 33 of which were last inning. Robertson was warming  

in the top of the inning.

9:39 p.m. Wild pitch by Burnett scores Aybar. Tie game now. Guerrero grounds out on next pitch. In retrospect, could have been a lot worse. You have to believe the Yankees can and will score another run.

9:36 p.m. Walk to Hunter loads the bases. Ball flys into stands, big break for Yankees because Aybar probably would have scored. Vladimir Guerrero at the plate with 2 outs. Very big spot.

9:33 p.m. Burnett gets Abreu on a long foul out to Damon all the way in the left field corner with his back against the wall. Still runners on 1st and 2nd now with 2 outs and Hunter at the plate. Big spot in the game.

9:24 p.m. Hit batsman puts runners on first and second with one out. One run lead for the Yankees in jeopardy as Abreu steps to the plate. First jam for Burnett here in the 5th. Abreu is 0 for 6 so far in the ALCS.

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9:21 p.m. Aybar with an RBI single up the middle after a Izturis double put a runner on second. Yankees lead cut in half, 2-1.

8:52 p.m. Once again Jeter comes through.  A line drive home run to right makes it 2-0 Yankees. That is his second HR this postseason and his 19th of his postseason career. He passes Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle for sole possession of 3rd place on the all time list.

8:30 p.m. Robbie Cano (with the ninja gear) rocks an RBI triple into the right field gap. Swisher scored the run and got on by a walk. All of that happened with 2 outs.

In the regular season, the Yankees allowed the most runs with 2 outs in all of MLB, but also scored the 3rd most in MLB. The Angels were 2nd in scoring runs with 2 outs.

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8:19 p.m. 1-2-3 inning for A.J. He seems to have sharp break on just about everything that he is throwing. He recorded his second strike out of the night by striking out Morales looking.

8:13 p.m. 1-2-3 inning for Saunders. He threw 13 pitches, 7 strikes. Damon just missed a home run. It was caught be Abreu about 4 or 5 steps in front of the wall. Looks as though the ball is not carrying so far in this series.

8:05 p.m. Burnett escapes first inning giving up just one hit — a bloop double to Torii Hunter. He added one strike out. Figgins and Abreu are a combined 0 for 10 so far in this series.

7:57 p.m. First pitch is a strike to Figgins. Temperature is 47 degrees.

7:04 p.m. Skies have cleared up a bit, but the chance of showers has increased to 50% at 8 pm ET, then 60% by 10 pm ET. As of this point, players are taking batting practice, and it looks, at this point, that play will begin as scheduled.

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6:30 p.m. Just found out that it will be Tino Martinez throwing out the first pitch tonight. There will be quite a greeting for him from the fans.

5:56 p.m. Weather Update:

Girardi on the weather:

“When I looked this morning, it looked grim,” Yanks manager Joe Girardi said. “Now I look at it and I think we’ve got a pretty decent shot of playing. I know the percentages went down. It seems like it might be like it was yesterday.”

Joe Girardi and Mike Scioscia are scheduled to meet with MLB representatives at 7:00 pm ET to discuss weather conditions.

5:10 p.m Lineups are posted in addition to some important and interesting game notes.

4:58 p.m. The gates opened to the stadium about 30 minutes ago. MLB is looking closely at the weather forecast for tonight. Right now it is not raining and 49 degrees with 11 mph winds. Keep up with the weather at weather.com

ALCS Game 2 Lineups

Yankees Logo Special.jpgYankees (4-0, 103-59)

Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Jose Molina C
Pitching: A.J. Burnett (13-9, 4.40 ERA)

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Angels (3-1, 97-65)
Chone Figgins 3B
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Mike Napoli C
Erik Aybar SS
Pitching: Joe Saunders (16-7, 4.60 ERA)
JOSE MOLINA: He gets the start again over Posada catching Burnett. In the regular season, opposing hitters had a .307 OBP when Burnett threw to Molina, as opposed to a .353 OBP when throwing to Posada. Molina Caught Burnett in his first postseason game last week and Burnett threw 6 innings of one run, three hit ball and struck out six batters.
THE RAIN: Once again, rain is in the forecast. According to weather.com there is a 35% chance of rain when play will start. If the game gets called, it will take place tomorrow afternoon.
SAUNDERS: The Yankees are combined .288 hitters against Saunders with five homers. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both lead the team with seven hits against Saunders in their careers. Saunders has faced the Yankees twice this year and has a 4.72 ERA in those starts. He hasn’t pitched at Yankee Stadium this season.
BURNETT: Burnett finished the regular season very strong and carried it over to the playoffs. Since September 18th, Burnett has a 1.80 ERA and 34 strike outs.

NACK FOR GAME 2: The Yankees have not lost game two of the ALCS since and 12-inning loss to Cleveland in 1998. They are 5-0 in ALCS game two since that game.

ALCS Game 1 Live Coverage

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7:52:05 pm (Pre-game) It’s 46 degrees in the Bronx. The players are on the field getting ready all bundled up. According to Weather.com, there is a 40% chance of rain at 8 pm, then it will tamper off and then there will be a 60% chance of light showers at 10 pm. Looks like there will be baseball.
7:58:29 pm (Top 1, 0-0) First pitch is thrown to Figgins. A strike.

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8:12:05 pm (Bot 1, 0-0) Jeter leads off the game with a hit. In the regular season, the first batter in the game was hitting .077 off Lackey. Shows you how good Jeter is.

8:17:09 pm (Bot 1, 1-0 NY) Jeter scores first run on ALCS on sac fly by A-Rod. 1-0 Yankees.
8:20:05 pm (Bot 1, 2-0 NY) Pop-up by Matsui is inexplicably dropped right between Figgins and Aybar. Damon scores, Yanks take 2-0 lead. Somehow that was called a single. I don’t know how to get an error in this league.
9:03:46 pm (Top 4, 2-0 NY) Hard double by Guerrero. Somehow that stayed in the park. First mini-jam for Sabathia. That was the 3rd hit allowed by Sabathia in 3.1 innings. He is approaching the 50 pitch mark.
9:07:30 pm (Top 4, 2-1 NY) Little flare hit by Morales into left scores Guerrero. Yankee lead cut in half, now 2-1. Morales now 3 for 12 in the post season.
9:23:38 pm (End 4, 2-1 NY) Lackey strikes out Jeter in a big 2 on 2 out situation. Through 4 innings, Lackey has thrown 76 pitches.
9:35:14 pm (Bot 5, 2-1 NY) I’d say that the slump is over. Damon 2 for 3 tonight with a double and a single. Runner on second, nobody out. Time for the Yankees to get some insurance.
9:43:04 pm (Bot 5, 3-1 NY) Nice RBI double by Matsui who is now 4 for 12 in the post season. Yankees take a 3-1 lead. A-Rod runs through stop sign and is thrown out at home. Unacceptable, hope he gets fined for that one.
9:51:57 (Top 6, 3-1 NY) Great play by Sabathia and Teixeira on a bunt by Hunter. Teixeiras foot appeared to be off the bag according to Hunter and Scoscia came out to argue. Replay shows that he was on the bag. McCarver made up plenty of excuses for why Hunter was 

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“safe” but we all know McCarver just hates the Yankees and has no idea what he is talking about… ever.
10:04:40 pm (Bot 6, 4-1 NY) Jeter comes through with a clean RBI single to center after a throwing error allowed Cabrera to advance to second. Hunter bobbled the ball allowing Melky to score and Jeter to go to second. Boy, he just always comes through. Lackey out, Bulger in. 

Bulger in the regular season had an ERA of 3.56 and recorded 68 strike outs in 65.2 innings.
10:21:20 pm (Mid 7, 4-1 NY) Probable the most electric moment of this new ballpark. Sabathia strikes out Napoli to end the top of the seventh inning. Crowd with a roaring C-C, C-C chant. May be the new REG-GIE, REG-GIE. What a game, what a season. Not over yet.
11:18:34 pm (Final, 4-1 NY) Mariano nails it down after a lead off walk to Hunter. The Yankees take the first game of this series. 
11:41:22 pm (Post-game) Joe Girardi: “Hopefully we get tomorrow’s game in but if we don’t, we don’t.” Don’t quite know what that means. Either way, should be a good game tomorrow.


Post Game Thoughts:

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Yanks are now 4-0 in the postseason. They won this game with pitching, defense and taking advantage of the other teams mistakes, things the Yankees haven’t done in a long time. The starters get all of the credit, of course with Sabathia tonight. They average 1.00 per nine innings in their four starts. If they can continue to pitch like this, this is going to be pretty easy. Some positive signs came from Damon tonight who looks to be out of his little slump that was getting a bit serious during the division series. More importantly, the Yankees saved their bullpen tonight and are all ready and fresh for tomorrows game (weather permitting). The Angels did a good job of conserving their bullpen as well tonight, they used some guys, but didn’t completely blow it out. Keep the focus, the Yankees also won game 1 of both the 2002 and 2005 series against the Angels and lost both of them. Obviously your not going to lose this game on purpose for that reason, but it just goes to show that you need to maintain your focus to win this 7 game series. Tomorrow is a big game. Saunders vs Burnett. It would be huge for the Yankees to win this game and go to LA up 2-0 rather than tied 1-1.
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ALCS Game 1 Preview

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Game 1: Best of 7 Series

Angels Probable Pitcher:

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John Lackey
#41 RHP
(11-8) 3.83 ERA 176.1 IP 1.270 WHIP

Last Game: 10/8 vs BOS: W, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 4 SO
Post Season (Career): 12 G (3-3) 3.02 ERA 1.264 WHIP
Away (Season): (5-3) 3.80 ERA 1.233 WHIP
Opposing Hitters (Yankees):
Most PA: Alex Rodriguez (61)
Best BA: Jorge Posada (.414, 12 for 29)
Most H: Mark Teixeira (19)
Most HR: Alex Rodriguez (4)
Notable Stat: Night Games: 4.71 ERA
Yankees Probable Pitcher:

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CC Sabathia
#52 LHP
(19-8) 3.37 ERA 230.0 IP 1.148 WHIP

Last Game: 10/7 vs MIN: W, 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, HBP
Post Season (Career): 6 G (3-3) 6.54 ERA 1.989 WHIP
Home (Season): (7-2) 3.17 ERA 1.133 WHIP
Opposing Hitters (Angels):
Most PA: Torii Hunter (74)
Best BA: Howie Kendrick (.667, 8 for 12)
Most H: Torii Hunter (20)
Most HR: Torii Hunter (3)
Notable Stat: vs LHB: .198 BAA

Keys to the Game:
  1. Swing Early: This regular season, opposing hitters hit .354 on the first pitch from Lackey.
  2. Think Under the Ball: When the ball is hit on the ground against Lackey, opposing hitters are batting just .188, so focus on keeping the ball in the air.
  3. Work the Count: Lackey throws 64% of his pitches for strikes. That’s good, but nothing special. So, for the Yankees, don’t be afraid to take some pitches, there’s still a chance you won’t fall behind. 

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • Bobby Abreu makes his return to Yankee Stadium in the postseason. It will be interesting to see how the crowed greets him. I bet they will greet him nicely.
  • Lackey has a ERA of a little over 2 in day games and a little over 4 in night games. That should help out the Yankees. 
  • When Lackey throws to Napoli, opposing hitters are batting .308 as opposed to .237 when he throws to Mathis. Hopefully, that will keep Napoli out of the lineup. He has always killed the Yankees.
Yankees – Jeter SS, Damon LF, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Matsui DH, Posada C, Cano 2B, Cabrera CF
Angels – Figgins 3B, Abreu RF, Hunter CF, Guerrero DH, Rivera LF, Morales 1B, Kendrick 2B, Mathis C, Aybar SS

ALCS – The Five Questions

We are now just one day away from the ALCS opening game between the Yankees and the Angels. The game will take place in Yankee Stadium and will likely be Sabathia for the Yankees and Lacky for the Angels. It could be held up by rain, but lets hope it won’t be. Here are the top 5 questions I am looking foward to to learning the answers to as the series progresses. 

1. If necessary, will Sabathia be able to pitch effectively on 3 days rest?

Girardi’s plan is simple; stupid, but simple. He will go with a 3-man rotation that looks like this: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte^, Sabathia^, Burnett^*, Pettitte*, Sabathia* (^=away, *=if necessary). As we know, Giardi is not a fan of pushing his starters. So, his brilliant plan to protect C.C., is to hope that one of the games gets rained out. Good job Giardi. Assuming that he will, in fact, need to start on 3 games rest, it will be interesting to see if he can come through. As you remember last year, C.C. went consistently on 3 games rest and carried the Brewers on his back into the playoffs. Sabathia has pitched four games on 3 games rest and has a 1.01 ERA in those starts. But, in 2 starts in the ALCS, he has a 10.45 ERA in 10.1 innings.

2. Which first baseman will perform better: Teixeira or Morales?

If you saw my entry yesterday, you saw that these two players have very, very similar numbers. In the regular season they had almost an identical BA, OBP, SLG, HR and RBI. They both hit better against righties and have similar numbers against lefties and will both face 2 righties and 2 lefties (assuming a 4 man rotation.) For both of them as well, this is their first appearance in the ALCS.

3. Will A-Rod continue his “clutchness”?

In the ALDS against the Twins, A-Rod hit .455 with 2 HR and 6 RBI, which are all career bests for him in any postseason series. I think its fair to say that without A-Rod, the Yankees might not have won that series. If he continues to play like this, this series will be A LOT easier. He has 67 home runs against LA, his best against any team, so that may help.

4. Can the Yankees overcome their Anaheim Hex?

Although the season series was even at 5 this year for these teams, there is no doubt that the Yankees have had some struggles against this team, especially on Anaheim’s turf. They had 2 series in LA this year. They got swept in one and won their first series since May of 2004 in the other. If the Yankees are going to win this series, they will need to end the hex.

5. Will Hughes pitch well?

Hughes was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball this year, with a 1.40 ERA and 65 SO in 51.1 innings. In his second postseason series in his career, it was a different story. He pitched 2 innings and gave up 2 runs and 5 hits. Although the Yankees swept, it would have been a lot easier if Hughes had pitched like he did during the regular season. I think its fair to say that this series could very well come down to how well Hughes pitches. 

Girardi Interview on Mike Francesa:  

Poll of the Day: