At first, I was a little disappointed that the Yankees didn't win the division. It felt like getting into the playoffs as the Wild Card winner made the Yankees an inferior team. But now, I'm not too upset about it. Maybe they were better off.
The Yankees won every single game they played against the Minnesota Twins in 2009, 4 of them in walkoff fashion. They were 4-2 against them in the regular season in 2010. So when the Yankees were the Wild Card winner, I thought that maybe it was okay, because they would play the Twins. One worry I had, though, was that they were starting the series on the road - in Target Field, where Twins fans show no mercy on opposing teams.
I'm not too upset about that now either.
Astonishingly enough, it was the New York Yankees who won the first two games of this ALDS in Minnesota. And now, they are headed back to the Bronx, needing just one win to move on.
Game 1 was the typical postseason game: a see-sawing, back-and-forth, intensity-ridden beauty. CC Sabathia labored, but he did well enough to pick up a postseason "W." Many people I know were worried about CC's struggles in Game 1, but I am not. CC was a little rusty from not having pitched in over a week. I am confident in Sabathia's ability to return to his normal dominance in Game 4 - if there need be a Game 4.
In Game 2, it was Andy Pettitte's turn to toe the rubber. In all honesty, I was nervous. I didn't know what Andy was going to give us, because his three starts after coming off the DL were all different...and not in a good way. My Dad told me that I was silly to worry about Andy, because he knows how to win in the postseason. That's true. And it was true in Game 2.
Andy Pettitte threw a gem last night. Over 7 innings, he allowed just 2 runs, and threw just 88 pitches. Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera finished up the 5-2 Yankees win. It really is true: when the postseason arrives, you have to throw everything from the regular season out the window, because it's a brand new season...and anything can happen.
Andy Pettitte always spoke extremely highly of his buddy Lance Berkman. Berkman didn't contribute the way he would have liked in the regular season, but according to Andy, Berkman really shines in the postseason. Thankfully, Berkman lived up to Andy's expectations, providing a spark of offense with his solo home run and RBI double. I don't think they will, but I hope the Yankees bring Berkman back next season...Maybe Andy Pettitte will stick around another year if they do, because they are very close friends.
I didn't expect it going into the postseason, but these 2010 Yankees are reminding me of those World Champion Yankees from 2009. The offense has been fighting without dying, and the pitching has been gutsy and solid. The Yankees are getting contributions from guys up and down the lineup and all over the bullpen. It even seems that they have more guys playing hot than they did last season...and they won it all last season...I better not get ahead of myself.
In other news, the Tampa Bay Rays, the AL East winners, have lost the first two games to the Texas Rangers at the Trop. I know it ain't over till it's over, but to me it looks like the Rays are screwed.
Maybe it was good that the Yankees won the Wild Card after all.
by Virginia Califano
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