Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yankee Championship Prevention

We like "preventions" around here in Boston, and with the Yankees having a week this week similar to a Pat F week in August, Pat's going to wrap up his favorite team's obliteration of an overmatched Twins team Monday night. In the meantime, there's a lot of stuff to talk about with the other series featuring the rest of baseball. Not sure where to start. I'm just glad I limited it to 768 words.

1. Which remaining teams can beat the Yankees? This certainly feels like the late '90s again, when all I care about is not seeing Arod talk about how "we're gonna parteeee." But this is a serious question. Can the Yankees be beaten? I'd say they can, and here's why.

Let's start with the Braves and Reds (should they survive the night). I don't think they're capable of doing it. The Yankees are a much, much deeper team, both in terms of pitching and lineups. I love Bronson Arroyo as much as anyone not named Tim McCarver, but is he a #2 starter for any AL team? And while the Braves have taken Eric Hinske from the AL East World Series representative, they are not good enough to take four of seven from this team.

However, Texas can. I think the Yankees are far superior and from a better division, but I can imagine a game where the offense doesn't show up and Josh Hamilton whacks a three-run bomb against a reliever once or twice. It would take a Yankees' failure. But I feel like there have been weekends either this year or last when the Rangers took two out of three from the Yankees and Pat has been complaining in this space about how they're not a good team if they're losing 2/3 to the Rangers. It could be another team, but I feel like the Rangers could play that role. Could they do it 4 times out of seven? Maybe.

The Rays absolutely can. They're tough and they're well-managed by the emo kid. Their bullpen is back to 2008 form, as Orsillo and Buck Martinez was explaining. Soriano's been a pleasant surprise, and Grant Ball Four has gone back to Grant Balfour.

The Giants are a long shot, but they also can. While Aubrey Huff's 1-25 in New Yankee Stadium, I feel like he could be DHed and hit 2-3 homers over that short porch. Lincecum speaks for himself, and if Jonathan Sanchez can come out and toss 1-hitters over seven innings or whatever he did tonight, you can tell this team's in the zone.

The real team to do it, though, would be Philadelphia. Would you rather have Halladay or Sabathia? Would you rather have Andy Pettitte or Roy Oswalt? And would you rather have Phil Hughes or Cole Hamels? I'm liking the pitching matchups, and I like the rise this paragraph will get out of Pat. Okay, that was long. Other stuff:

2. There's been a lot of talk about the umpires. Honestly, what's the disadvantage to having three instant replay breaks? The elimination of managers flipping out and throwing the rosin bag as a grenade? Sad. The Sean McAdam idea of having a fifth umpire-in-a-booth, and having him serve as the official scorer as well makes way too much sense. All I know is that if instant journalism and blogs existed in 1999, instant replay would have been commonplace by now.

3. While the Phillies have executed quite well, the Reds deserve to lose this series they are 9 outs away from losing.

4. I love the Eric Hinske story, especially seeing he hit a heroic home run tonight. It's kinda too bad the Braves lost that game. I feel like the fact that he was on the 07 Sox, 08 Rays, and 09 Yankees must make Tim Kurkjian more excited than Brett Favre's multimedia text messages make Jon Gruden.

5. Out of all the series, the Braves/Giants one has been by far the most compelling. The fact that the Rays might come back from down 2-0 at home is good on the aggregate, but we've had the best games in the 1993 rematch. We had the Lincecum game that some thought was better than Halladay's. We had the Braves' four-run comeback against the league leader in saves. We had the Braves' comeback after a one-hitter tonight. I was pissed at myself because I was going to write in my preview that we all know Ramram is going to cost the Giants a game, but didn't. And there he was, doing exactly that.

Enjoy Pat's analysis tomorrow. Enjoy yo day.


Patrick said...

the only rise that paragraph will get out of me is that it is on point. would i prefer all of the phillies top 3 over our top 3? no, i wouldn't. do i think it's very possible they could be better over a 7 game series? yes, i do.

but the reality of the situation is that we are a long way from that type of match-up. both potential opponents for the yankees in the alcs are on par with them and have as good a chance of knocking the yankees out as the yankees do of knocking them out. texas has two of the tougher lefties in baseball this year at the top, one of which the yankees absolutely have not hit recently. they also hit the home run ball which is big in october. the rays play the yankees as tough as anyone has recently, including the red sox. the games have that kind of evenly matched, it's not over until the last out intensity to them.

the braves or giants can also knock them off. setting aside the obvious point that anybody can beat anybody in a short series (although that does apply), the braves are a very well-balanced club that refuses to quit at any time under bobby cox in his last season, and the giants have the type of pitching at the top where it doesn't matter what kind of offense they are facing, they can shut them down.

the yankees are no more likely to beat any of these teams than these teams are to beat them. it's a very evenly matched playoffs this year.

the gm at work said...

I much prefer to rile you up using logical fallacies like Ross Kaplan on the CHS Digest of Civil Discourse. Using accuracy to piss you off is passe.

On your point regarding the lefties, you're right in the sense that the point I made against Minnesota can also turn against the Yankees when facing a lefty-heavy rotation. You've blown up either this season or last about both the team not performing against lefties or Girardi trucking out the B-team against lefties - or both.

The Yankees are also prone to hitting a few long-balls as well. If they have to play four games in Texas, maybe the anti-stadium criticism will be off NYS for a while.

Seeing the Texas Rangers in the World Series would be freaking weird. Probably weirder than hearing an announcer say "the game is tied" three seconds before another run comes in.

the gm at work said...

By the way, thanks for the pity comment. I forgot it was a holiday for many people today.