A few quick notes before we embark on wins five through eight.
Here’s the updated schedule of times for the ALCS:
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 16, 7:57 p.m. ET
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 17, 7:57 p.m. ET
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 19, 4:13 p.m. ET
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7:57 p.m. ET
Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 22, 7:57 p.m. ET
Game 6: Saturday, Oct. 24, 4:13 p.m. ET (will switch to 7:57 p.m. ET if NLCS is over)
Game 7: Sunday, Oct. 25, 8:20 p.m. ET
I wanted to comment about the postseason schedule. If you remember I feel that a lot of the playoffs tend to be a crap shoot on who wins. Part of the reason is that teams can be built for the regular season and teams can be built for the postseason. Either way, when you have the longest layoff all year right before the biggest games of the year, then you have days off after every few games and then you play the games in much colder weather than you do all year, you see why it is a crap shoot.
The weather after 5 days off will be wind-chill of about 37 degrees and rainy…sounds like baseball weather! Now this may help us because our guys should be used to colder weather or it may hurt us if we are an older team, but either way, I am not fond of the way baseball playoffs are handled.
I have had some questions regarding our decision of going to a 3 man rotation. I believe it makes the most sense, but I don’t know why we feel the need to discuss it publicly? I think you have a plan and you try to stick to the plan with the understanding that you may need to modify or may want to modify it. If the games end up playing with no rest between them, I would start Gaudin and then have a very quick hook to Aceves.
Let’s hope we can get the game in through the snow flakes (yes we got about an inch of snow at my house in NJ on Thursday; I even made a small 4 foot snowman).
CC - 3.37 ERA who is a better pitcher than Lackey. Lackey is solid and consistent but he doesn't have the greatness of CC. Sabathia is tougher on lefties with a .560 OPS against compared to .679 against righties.
Lackey: 3.83 ERA, similar to last year. Lackey has an OPS against of .757 against lefties and .659 against righties. Notice they both pitch to righties about the same, but CC is a lot stronger against lefties. While the differential of Lackey is 98 OPS pts. the fact that Lackey was stronger against lefties last year (he has a cutter) makes me look at this as more like a 50 point differential against righties. The main difference is Lackey allowing about 35% more HR's against lefties this year. Considering our lineup won't change with the exception of CF and catcher (when Burnett is on the mound), in this case Gardner could (and I think should) play CF when a righty is on the mound and Posada gets to bat from the left side against Lackey.
BTW, the Yankees realized that having Guzman would have been helpful pinch running (maybe also defensively and bunting) a few times and put him on the roster for this series; they decided to drop Hinske. I would expect them to also realize that Gardner should see more action as a starter against righties if only to get the better defense out there and maybe even a spark offensively. As usual, I am not sure why Hairston is on the roster as Hinske could be used as a pinch hitter for Gardner if needed? I guess one could argue if Gardner is struggling and Melky is struggling you could use hairston against a lefty pitcher. Hairston's OPS is better against lefties this year is .741, but over the 3 previous years it is .659. Hinske has an OPS of .786 this year against lefties and .779 against righties. The 3 previous years Hinske's OPS against lefties was similar to Hairston's at .649. Conclusion is that I hope neither has to be used as a pinch hitter against lefties and if we needed to pinch hit against righties, Hinske would be the obvious choice. Considering the odds of either being needed are not that great, it doesn't matter to me which one is kept, but because Hairston can play IF, he would be our backup (God forbid) we get an injury). I am ok with Hairston over Hinske (this might be my first analysis that was in Hairston's favor...that doesn't say much for Hinske (who is an above average hitter against righties)
Philly is up 1-0 on the Dodgers because a good hitting team beat a good pitcher in Krenshaw (who had an absurdly low .583 OPS against him). I am sure the "pundits" will say the Dodgers just didn't pitch well in game 1. Good pitching will beat good hitting every time...except when it doesn't. :-)
Time to find a way to win!