7:00 PM EDT, October 15, 2012
Down for the count
It's always dangerous to count the Yankees out — except right now. They're one blow from being out cold, and Justin Verlander is winding up for a haymaker.
These Yankees are old, and one-dimensional. There's no such thing as hitting too many home runs, but there is such a thing as being too reliant on home runs, and walks. Did you see Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera stroke outside pitches to right for singles with runners in scoring position in Game 2? The only Yankees hitter who did that consistently was Derek Jeter, and he is now on crutches.
So despite their payroll and star power, the Yankees just are not as good as advertised and, let's be honest, it's a mini-miracle they've made it this far.
The Yankees don't have a prayer of recovering from the 0-2 hole they are in after losing the first two games at home in the ALCS. The Yankees couldn't hit against the Orioles in the ALDS and they clearly can't hit against the Tigers. Throw in the absence of Derek Jeter, who, besides Raul Ibanez, was the only Yankee to have a pulse against the Orioles, and you can stick a fork in them. Isn't it great?
About the only thing the Yankees can hope for is that this is quick and easy. Then the front office can figure out how to deconstruct the overrated and overpaid team it is stuck with thanks to the Steinbrenner sons. Good luck with that.
The Yankees might take one game from the Tigers, but not enough to get the series back to New York.
They can, but they won't
Los Angeles Times
A team with their firepower can get hot and win four of five games. Will they? No. The Yankees are going into the teeth of the Tigers rotation — Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer — for Games 3 and 4.
Too many of New York's key hitters are in deep funks — Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson are a combined 8-for-81 in the postseason — and Verlander and Scherzer aren't comfortable at-bats for hot hitters, let alone those who are struggling.
Plus, it will be too difficult for the Yankees to overcome the loss of Derek Jeter, not only because of his veteran presence at shortstop and the top of the order but because of his clutch play and production — Jeter had nine playoff hits before suffering an ankle injury.
Can't write them off
"They're old. They're tired. They're yesterday's news." That was the lead on a column I was working on late in Game 2 of the 2000 ALCS, against Seattle.
Led by the young Alex Rodriguez, the M's had won Game 1 and were ahead 1-0 through seven of Game 2. And that's when the Yankees scored seven runs in the eighth, turning around the series en route to another World Series title.
You write off the Yankees at your own risk, and I'm not doing it here. The Yankees are in a huge hole and they miss Derek Jeter. But if they beat Justin Verlander in Game 3, they're right back in the series, with CC Sabathia positioned to even it in Game 4. The Yankees are one big inning away from a recovery.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun