Well, there is not much more that I can say that has not already been discussed about the Yankees overall poor performance [so far] in the 2010 ALCS against the Texas Rangers. The Yankees are down three games to one. And very simply have been out-pitched; out-hit; and out-played.
The masterpiece painted by Cliff Lee in Game Three kind of really turned this series over fully in favor of the Rangers. But looking back to the stretch run in September, that’s when the Yankees great season up to that point really started to unravel. This reversal of fortune is reflected in the numbers 9-17. If only the Yanks played to a record of 17-9, instead of 9-17, they would have finished in first place in the AL East with a 103-59 record. Not a 95-67 “wild card” second place finish to the Division Champion Tampa Bay Rays (96-66).
Yankee fans heard it over and over again from Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman that, oh, yeah, of course, we want to finish in first place. But if we finish second, that’s not a big deal ’cause we will still make the playoffs as the wild card team. True enough, as that was the case when the Yanks entered the playoffs. But, in my view, that “wild card” attitude set the tone that we now see.
Resting starting players. Limiting innings of pitchers. Over-managing with an eye towards the post-season. Not fully focusing on winning the AL East, with the best American League record. This all led to a “mixed-message” that created a relaxed atmosphere that seems to have carried over to the playoffs, or at least to this series vs. Texas.
It is amazing. The three-game sweep of the Twins seems so far away. Of couse, the television schedule has a lot to do with that. And that is another story, for another day.
Just venting on my part, is all.
But I still hold out hope that the Yankees “can” turn things around today with CC Sabathia on the mound. All the Yankees have to do is focus on just playing one game at a time. And if they take the next two, I really think the momentum will be back in their favor when they face Cliff Lee in Game Seven. Then, maybe, only with a Yankees victory, though, all those mixed messages of September will become a little clearer to all us Yankee fans.
Anyway, “Go CC”. The plane to Texas is fueled and ready to fly.
– Jimmy Curran, “BY&L” – Baseball, The Yankees, and Life …
Update: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Game Five: Yankees 7, Rangers 2
The Yankees cut the Texas Rangers lead in the ALCS to three games to two, as the series now heads back to Texas for Game Six, and hopefully, Game Seven.
CC Sabathia did not have his best stuff in this game, but pitched well enough to win, tossing 112 pitches over six battling innings, while allowing two runs, on 11 hits, seven strikeouts, and “zero” walks.
The key for the Bronx Bombers was getting an early lead, scoring three runs in the second inning. That lead increased to 5-0 with two runs in the third on back-to-back homers by Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano (who has four homers in this series). Curtis Granderson also hit a solo homerun in the eight inning, to cap the score at 7-2.
Two solid scoreless innings of relief by Kerry Wood in the seventh and eight “built the bridge” for Mariano Rivera to enter the game in the ninth. And the “Great Mariano” delivered once again, closing out this must-win victory for the Yanks with a scoreless performance.
Everything looks a lot brigher for the Yankees today as they get ready to play Game Six on Friday, October 22nd, in Texas.
“Go Yankees” !!!
— Jimmy “BY&L”