Going into the ALDS my thought was that as long as the Yankees win one game in Baltimore, it's all good. Not that I didn't want to see the Yankees take both games, but the key was winning one of 'em. If that was the case I'd feel good about the rest of the series, which would take place at Yankee Stadium.
Well, the series is indeed knotted at one game a piece, and I do feel good about the Yanks chances of moving onto the ALCS. However, that doesn't mean I feel like it's in the bag.
The biggest issue is not a surprising one, as it led to the infamous #RISPFail hashtag on Twitter. The Yankees were 3-8 with RISP in game 1, and all three of those hits came in the 5-run 9th inning. And last night the Yankees were 2-8 with RISP, giving them a batting average of .154 for the series (outside of that 9th inning). Not that I think it's okay to toss out extraordinary circumstances just to make a point, but it's not as if this is a new concern.
The good news is that this is a team that can hit the ball. The Yankee offense had the 2nd highest WAR in the American League, behind the Angels... who didn't even make the playoffs. They were also tied with the Angels for the highest wRC+, and had the highest wOBA. So neither I nor anybody else should really be concerned about the Yankee bats.
Nor should we be concerned about the pitching. Yankee pitchers finished 4th in the AL in WAR (behind the Tigers, Rangers, and Rays), 5th in ERA (behind the Rays, Athletics, Mariners, and Tigers), and 5th in FIP (behind the Rays, Tigers, Athletics, and Rangers). I'm not saying it's a lockdown pitching staff, but going along with the top offense we shouldn't have to worry about them.
And I wish I could figure out where the Orioles got this magic potion that turned them into one of the luckiest teams of all time (if not the luckiest). I remember at least three ground balls last night that just missed the gloves of Yankee infielders, and that doesn't count the errors by Jeter and Teixeira... two sure-handed defenders (assuming Jeter gets to the ball, that is).
I see no reason why the Yankees should not move on to the next round, but I'm not going to start thinking about who I'd rather face... the Tigers or Athletics (not that it's a hard choice).
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Game 3 : Wednesday 10/10/12 7:37 pm ET on TBS
UNLESS both the Tigers and Reds sweep tonight then the game gets pushed back to 8:37 pm ET on TBS
Game 4 : Thursday 10/11/12 7:37 pm ET on TBS
UNLESS the Tigers have clinched then the game is moved to 8:37 pm ET on TBS
Game 5 : Friday 10/12/12 5:07 pm ET on TBS
UNLESS the Yankees and Orioles are the only two teams still left then the game will be played at 7:07 pm ET on TBS
Everyone confused now? Good.