Home > Uncategorized > 5 Keys for the Yankees in the ALCS

5 Keys for the Yankees in the ALCS

5. Beating Cliff Lee

If the Yankees can manage to beat Cliff Lee in one of his starts would be crucial in them winning the series. He bested them twice during last year’s World Series and they were able to pull through. While Lee was lights out against the Rays, their offense was pretty abysmal for most of those games and the Yankees lineup is a whole new ball game. This season he is 2-1 against the Yankees.

 

4. C.C Sabathia

Sabathia must be the anchor in this series if the Yankees want to move on. He will get 2-3 stars and he will have to show up with his A game. He pitched solidly in his lone start without having his greatest stuff, but that will not happen against the Rangers who had the 5th best offense in all of baseball this season.  Game 1 could be the roughest start for him going on over a week’s rest when he is not usually at his best. Without good starts from C.C. they will not be heading to their second straight series.

3. The Bullpen

Mariano Rivera cannot do it all alone and get more than 3 outs in every game. Wood and Joba need to show their effectiveness as setup guys in the playoffs. The Yankees have not had a solid playoff bridge to Mo since the days of Nelson and Stanton. Mo is old, and while he pitched great against the Twins, his September was not the best of his career either.

2. A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, & Andy Pettitte

Two of these three starters need to show up and pitch well in this series. If they do not then the Yankees may well be done in this series unless C.C pitches every game of the series. I trust Andy to pitch well like he showed in Game 2 of the ALDS when he did not have his best stuff early on, but ending up pitching well. It comes down to A.J. and Phil to who will have to show his Game 3 start was not a fluke.

1.     The Offense must hit

The offense needs to show up and show up big time. The Rangers had the fifth best offense in all of baseball this season and with the shaky Yankees staff the offense will be called upon to pick up the starters. The young guys like Cano and Granderson must continue their successes and clutch hits from ALDS and contributions from A-Rod, Jeter, and Jorge will have to be their to back them up if they can’t pull through.

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