There are two MVP candidates in this American League Championship Series.
Robinson Cano: .467 with three home runs and four RBI
Josh Hamilton: .333 with four home runs and seven RBI
The difference in this series has been basically everyone else.
“They’ve played better than us,” Derek Jeter said. “They’ve pitched better. They’ve hit better. When you have that combination, you find yourself behind. But at this point, we’re going to come in tomorrow — or later today — and try to win a game.”
It’s not a surprise the Yankees are in this spot. This series has been a perfect storm of the Yankees not playing well and the Rangers playing incredibly, almost perfectly, well. They’ve hit throughout the lineup, and aside from one bad inning in the opener, the pitching staff has been outstanding.
The Yankees on the other hand…
Aside from Cano, the Yankees have only three hitters with better than a .200 average this series. One of those is Lance Berkman, who’s played in two games. Alex Rodriguez is the only non-Cano Yankee with more than one RBI. Mark Teixeira was 0-for-14 before his hamstring blew up. That’s to say nothing of a pitching staff with four pitchers carrying an ERA above 10.00.
The Yankees played very well — as a complete roster — in the division series. Through four games of the ALCS, it’s been the total opposite. That’s what put them in this position, needing three straight wins to stay alive.
“We don’t look at it that way,” Jeter said. “The only way you can look at is you have to win a game. You can’t worry about winning three games. You have to worry about winning one.”