Why the Yankees will, and won't, win the World Series

Monday, September 28, 2009

Now that the business of clinching the AL East is taken care of, we can officially look ahead to the playoffs. I figured I'd get a quick run down on the reasons the Yanks will win, and some of the problems they're going to need to overcome.

Reasons they get trophy #27:

  1. The offense: The Yankees rank first in the the league in runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and home runs, and is 2nd in batting average, and 7th in stolen bases. Also, they own the third-best stolen base conversion percentage with 81%.
  2. The bullpen: The development of this bullpen from the mess it was in April and May is Girardi's most important effect on this team this season. The addition of Hughes to the mix solidified the bridge to Mo. On the year, including the part where the 'pen was largely ineffective, it has recorded a 39-16 record with a 4.01 ERA while logging 491.2 innings. The relievers also have a combined .232 batting average against, good for second in the majors.
  3. Ability to come back: The bullpen has been a huge factor in holding opponents scoreless in later innings, allowing the offense to work it's magic to bring 49 comeback wins, including 14 pie-in-the-face-inducing walk off wins. It may be cliché, but this team is never out of a game. If you win 100 games, and 49 of them are comeback wins, even I can do that math, that's 49% or almost half of their wins.
  4. Their first round opponent: While anything can happen in a short series, the Yankees have owned both the Tigers and the Twins this season. They swept the Twins in 7 games while going 5-1 against Detroit. Those two teams start a four-game set tonight that will decide who wins the AL Central and faces the Yankees in the ALDS.
Reasons they won't win:
  1. The starting pitching: Behind CC, there are some question marks in the starting rotation. Burnett has been inconsistent of late, going 2-5 since August 1st, with an ERA of 5.42 over that span. The Yankees are 5-6 in his last 11 starts. While Pettitte had an amazing month of August, he is still 37 and has thrown almost 200 innings. While he put most of the concerns about his shoulder to rest during his outing against the Angels, it could still be a concern. Then, of course, there is Joba, who stepped up Friday night against the Red Sox. The main problem with him has been consistency, and the amount of rest he gets between starts. If the Yankees skip him in the first round, will he be ready to go for Game 4 should they reach the ALCS?
  2. Girardi: While the skipper did a fantastic job this season, this will be his first postseason as manager. He obviously was part of the playoffs as a player and coach, it's going to be a completely different experience going in as the manager. Will he now which buttons to push at the right time?
  3. The pressure: Since the Yankees haven't won a World Series since 2000, the pressure is all on this team to bring the title back to the Bronx. Will they be able to handle it?
  4. Post-season performance of key players: We all know about A-Rod's struggles in the post-season, including how he has only 7 hits in his last 13 playoff games. CC Sabathia has not fared much better, with a 2-3 record and a 7.92 ERA. This will also be AJ Burnett's first playoff experience, so three of the most important pieces to the puzzle will be eyed very closely throughout the postseason.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Post a Comment

Legal Disclaimer

The owners, operators, and writers of the Michael Kay's Successors blog are in no way sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with the New York Yankees or the aforementioned Michael Kay. Because if they were, we'd be on World Series championship #39 by now.

Also, anything written about broadcaster/on-air personalities is all in good fun and meant to be taken as a joke.

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP