Mark Teixiera needed 10 words to sum up the Yankees division series: “We showed how good we are when everything lines up,” he said.
More than 24 hours after the Yankees clinching win in Game 3, absolutely nothing has changed, and that’s not a bad thing for the Yankees. They seem to have made all the changes they need.
After that rocky month of September, the Yankees played pretty good baseball in those three games against the Twins. Their rotation went well beyond CC Sabathia, the bullpen was reliable in the late innings and their lineup was nine-hitters deep.
“Everybody that was saying that stuff in September is probably singing a different tune right now,” Nick Swisher said. “We’ve got to feel good about that. We flipped the switch when we needed to, and we need to keep that thing turned on for the rest of this postseason.”
What made the difference? Maybe making sure everyone was healthy really did pay off. Or maybe Andy Pettitte just needed a little more time to shake off the rust. Or maybe it was just a matter of a bunch of veterans turning it on when they had to.
“There’s a lot of experience in that room,” Joe Girardi said. “Our guys have been through a lot of games like this. You think about as many playoff games as these guys have played in, you know they know how to prepare. You know that they’re not going to get too high or too low based on one game, one at-bat. And I think that really helps our guys because of the preparation and the experience.”
Even most of the new guys in the Yankees clubhouse have postseason experience. Curtis Granderson, Marcus Thames and Lance Berkman have played in a World Series. Kerry Wood has been a postseason ace and a postseason reliever.
And of course, there are the guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera who have done this time and time again.
“You can’t go wrong following those guys,” Swisher said. “Those guys are winners. I think winning is an attitude. When you come over here, you experience everything this organization has to offer. Winning comes along with it.”
Associated Press photo