September 27, 2006
The First Step Is The Steepest
I've been giving this some thought now and could see the Yankees post-season results this year going down one of the following paths:
1. Their pitching fails and the Yankees get waxed in the ALDS - somewhat like 2002 and 2005.
2. At some point in the post-season, Damon, Jeter, Abreu and Matsui go on fire (as a group) and the Yankees win 8 post-season games in a row - on route to a ring.
3. Each post-season series for New York goes at least up to the next to last game scheduled and via a bunch of breaks and fluke performances, the Yankees win it all.
Now, from the Yankees fan perspective, two of these three outcomes would be fine - as they end up in a ring. But, that doesn't mean it's a 67% chance for a ring this year - in my mind. I would say that it's 50-50. I believe that the odds are equal - and that the Yankees have just as good of a chance to get bounced in the ALDS as they do to go all the way.
Winning, simply put, comes down to run differential. The Yankees pitchers will have to step up in October - meaning that guys like Wang and Mussina will have to continue to pitch well and guys like Johnson, Wright and Lidle will have to have their "A" game going at all times. Or, New York's hitters will have to make the team's pitching performance irrelevant. I have a lot of faith that Damon, Jeter, Abreu and Matsui are going to hit well this October. I believe that each one of them has the ability to bring it to another level in a big spot. But, that's going to be hard - as the Yankees will always face good pitching in the post-season.
Of course, if the Yankees don't pitch and don't hit, it's all going to end fast.
O.K., enough, here's the final prediction for this post-season: If the Yankees win the ALDS, I can see them going back to the World Series and then winning a ring in six games. This said, the ALDS will be one small step for the Yankees this October, but, one giant leap for their overall chances.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 27, 2006 11:08 AM
I would like to add a fourth option.
1. Alex Rodriguez turns it on and hits like the monster he can be, with help from the supporting cast. Arod has the ability to turn it on and be the best player in baseball.
I honestly believe that he will do it this postseason. We'll win it an he'll be WS MVP or something.
Posted by: DownFromNJ at September 27, 2006 11:39 AM
I hope you're right. But, I would be surprised too.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at September 27, 2006 11:43 AM
Each of the possible opponents have just as many, if not more, question marks at this time.
That's good enough for me.
I don't want to see Sheffield at 1st base in the playoffs.
The Yanks have superb hitting, sound fielding and excellent relief pitching, but questionable starting pitching. Overall I think the Yanks are about as good as each of the teams they'll play in post-season. I would put the odds on each round at 50-50, which gives the Yanks 1 chance in 8 of winning the World Series, or 7 to 1 against.
I'm OK with Sheffield letting in a run, somewhere in a game, as long as he knocks in three in the same game. Bascially, I'm saying it's OK to have him there - *if* he hits.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at September 27, 2006 02:51 PM
I haven't been able to see as many games as I would have liked, how is Sheffield looking @ 1b?