I’m not sure everyone is fully recovered from the shock of Wednesday night’s season-ender, but alas the playoffs start today. First off, congratulations to the Rays, who hung in there and never gave up. Secondly, if the Red Sox and the Nation blame anyone but the team for that collapse they should be ashamed. Now, onto the ALDS, where the Yankees take on the one man show named Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40) and the team that plays behind him, the Tigers.
Detroit’s ace has had an epic season, and is a legitimate MVP contender in my books. With the five-game format, the Yankees can expect to see him twice unless they can manage a sweep. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00) takes the mound against him after a not-too-shabby season himself. Sabathia sat for what could have been his last start and a chance at 20 wins to rest up for tonight. Yankees fans hope it will help. However the two pitchers fared in the regular season overall, their records against their opponents tonight are not as stellar: Sabathia went 0-1, 4.15 in two starts and allowed the Tigers a .320 average in 13 innings. Verlander posted a 4.50 ERA and .250 average in two starts while walking eight in 12 innings against New York.
After finishing with the best record in the AL, the Yankees have home-field advantage for Games 1 and 2. Ivan Nova, whom I thought Girardi wrongly left off the post-season roster last year, gets a start in Game 2 with Freddy Garcia taking the mound in Detroit. With Bartolo Colon and AJ Burnett hanging around, don’t be surprised to see one of them in if a starter struggles early. Add to that the bullpen of Robertson, Soriano and Rivera and they Yankees have the solid pitching edge. The pen led the league in ERA at 3.12, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what sets the Bombers apart from everyone else!
The Yankees put Jorge Posada on the post-season roster and I think that is an excellent move. You don’t leave out someone with that much playoff experience who can DH as well as play first and catch in a real pinch. Also making the roster is rookie phenom Jesus Montero, who showed signs of being this year’s Shane Spencer. While Montero is a catcher, he will be in the DH spot. A couple of roster spots remained up in the air, one of which may or may not go to lefty reliever Valdes. Regardless, expect the usual suspects for this five game set.
Offensively, the Tigers will be led by Delmon Young, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
New York beats Detroit in 3
Tampa beats Texas in 5
Philly beats St. Louis in 4
Arizona beats Milwaukee in 5
New York beats Tampa in 5
Arizona beats Philly in 6
New York beats Arizona in 6 – 10 years later the Yankees get it right
About the Author
Written by Stephanie Geosits