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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Yankees ready for sprint to the finish line

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Misc on Sep 24, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees seemed encouraged after completing a 7-2 homestand, albeit capped by Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Oakland.

There are 10 games to go and the Yankees own a one-game division edge over Baltimore.

Their schedule has a Minnesota/Toronto/Boston finish — three teams way south of .500. So it would seem on paper to be advantage Yankees, especially since the Orioles have to play a doubleheader today at home against the Blue Jays and conclude with three at Tampa Bay.

“I don’t know if it works to our advantage,” Eric Chavez said. “You’ve still got to play the games. … But are we supposed to beat the teams that we’re supposed to beat? Yeah.

“So we need to go ahead and have another good week and try to finish this thing up as good as we can.

“There are two things at stake. Obviously we want to get in, and we want to be playing well to get in, too. We don’t want to back up into it. We want to gain some momentum.”

Chavez likes how things are shaping for the Yankees beyond the schedule, which continues tonight with Andy Pettitte taking the ball in Minnesota, his second start since returning from his fractured ankle.

“Pettitte came back,” Chavez said. “Alex (Rodriguez) looks great. He’s been huge for our lineup. We started hitting the ball ever since Alex got back, so we really needed that. I think we’re playing good. We started to turn the corner a little bit. It was a good homestand for us. We really needed it.”

So do you think the Yankees are going to win the division or draw a wild card? I’ll cast a vote for the division.

Eduardo Nunez didn’t help the cause yesterday. If you have a moment, check out my linked story today for LoHud.com and The Journal News about that as well as the one looking ahead to Pettitte’s start.

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67 Responses to “Yankees ready for sprint to the finish line”

  1. 86w183 September 24th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I think the Yanks/Orioles finish one two and that the second wild card comes down to the final day with LA and T-Bay both making a move.

    Would prefer to face the White Sox and avoid Mr. Verlander, but either way any and all post-season series will be challenging.

  2. blake September 24th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    “Baseball would kill fan interest with 15 team leagues with no divisions. NOBODY will follow a team in eleventh place”

    Eh….I dont think so as long as they have 5 spots to play for.

    If they keep the divisions then they shoukd at least balance the schedule …..that would help things at least somewhat.

  3. blake September 24th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    If there were no divisons then the same teams would be out of ut and the same teams would be fighting for a spot…..the only difference is that the teams with the best records wouldnt be fighting to stay out of that WC game.

    Texas, Yanks, Os would be the 3 best seeds and the As, Angels, Rays etc would be fighting for the WC race.l and the Tigers and ChiSox would be out…..youd have the same nunber of teams in the race…..just woukd have the 5 best teams get in.

  4. Doc Iac September 24th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I think they should keep the divisons, cause its true some teams will be in it longer, even if it is a pipe dream, but balanced sch is somethin they should def do,

  5. 86w183 September 24th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    You need divisions for rivalries and viewable standings.

    Sorry Blake oyu’re wrong on this one. Every sport has divisions because people won’t follow otherwise.

    Put another way. Right now it sucks to be in 5th place, but imagine being in 13th place. There’s a psychological impact here.

    There’s a reason why no one does this anywhere but a few college basketball leagues.

  6. 86w183 September 24th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    gotta run…later gang!

  7. NYYanksFan September 24th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    “Alex (Rodriguez) looks great. He’s been huge for our lineup. We started hitting the ball ever since Alex got back, so we really needed that. ”

    I think they all relax more just with him in the lineup because of his ability but also because they know he’ll be the target of the boos if they lose.

  8. Doc Iac September 24th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    NYYanksFan September 24th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    “Alex (Rodriguez) looks great. He’s been huge for our lineup. We started hitting the ball ever since Alex got back, so we really needed that. ”

    I think they all relax more just with him in the lineup because of his ability but also because they know he’ll be the target of the boos if they lose.

    so true, arod has always been one of my fav yankees, which is way 2009 is my fav WS, (plus other factors too but) the guy cant catch a break, true yankee fans dont boo yankees who are tryin,

  9. Doc Iac September 24th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Mark Hale ?@HaleMark

    In his last 43 at-bats, Robinson Cano has zero homers. In his last 17 games, he has only one. My story: http://bit.ly/SolXaa #yankees

  10. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Morning everyone!!

    Spotted this comment in the last thread and wanted to give LGY plus points for the comment of the day:

    LGY September 23rd, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    There have been enough knee jerk crazy comments on LoHud for us to create a Lunatic Yankee Fans Hall of Fame.

  11. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Doc – The ‘HA!’ play was still one of my favorite plays of all time. I freakin’ love Alex.

  12. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Not saying he had a great start either, but people questioning Kuroda’s spot in the post season rotation is pretty crazy to me… we wouldn’t even be in 1st if it weren’t for this guy. When CC was struggling a bit, I still believed his full body of work as a pitcher was more than enough evidence for why he’d be starting the 1st playoff game… Given Kuroda’s career numbers, I gotta feel the same about him.

  13. Doc Iac September 24th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Doc – The ‘HA!’ play was still one of my favorite plays of all time. I freakin’ love Alex.

    hahaha against the blue jays right? haha i remeber that it was classic!!

  14. blake September 24th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “Put another way. Right now it sucks to be in 5th place, but imagine being in 13th place. There’s a psychological impact here.”

    lets examine. If there were no divisions then the standings this year would be as such:

    Texas 90-62
    NY 88-64
    Bal 87-65
    Oak 86-66
    LAA 84-69
    Tampa 83-70
    CWS 81-71
    DET 80-72
    SEA 72-81
    KC 70-82
    BOS 69-85
    TOR 66-85
    MIN 64-89
    CLE 63-90

    So it would really have zero impact on the number of teams in the race…..the cut off would be the same at Seattle…..Detroit, Chicago, Rays, and White Sox would all be in the hunt for that final WC spot.

    The only difference is that the best records would be rewarded….and the number of place you’d be in would be different.

    do the Indians fans really care if they are in 5th place or 14th? There season is over either way…..I guess maybe mentally it would affect some fans…..but I think most fans are smart enough to know that the only thing that matters is there chances of making the playoffs…..not what numerical place they are in.

  15. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    We can’t know how fans would react to eliminating divisions because… it’s never been done. I highly doubt fans of the Royals would wait until that point to jump ship though. Some fan bases are used to being punished year in and year out. Those people are depraved. Having their team finish in 15th might make them even more frenzied with their fanhood.

  16. blake September 24th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I think the only thing fans really look at is the number of games back they are…..what actual place you’re in doesn’t really matter….what matters is if you’re close to a playoff spot.

  17. blake September 24th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    But do I think they will ever do away with the divisions? No…..the best we can hope for is a balanced schedule where we can feast on the Astros and Mariners as many times as Texas can.

  18. blake September 24th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Need a big start from Andy…..its good that the matchups have our two lefties going in the series and hopefullh they can neutralize Mauer, Morneu, and Span.

    Offense needs to pound these pitchers theyll see…..its time for the O to step up and take some pressure off the pitching.

  19. Doc Iac September 24th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    if we lose one game each series we go 7-3….hopefully its enuff to get us the division

  20. DONNYBROOK September 24th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    - RD 1 YANKEE PLAYOFF ROTATION -

    (1) SABATHIA

    (2) PETTITTE

    (3) KURODA (Another couple stumbles, and this slot goes to HUGHES)

    Phelps continues to elbow his way into a playoff roster spot. Nunez should be DH’ing vs lefties. Dickerson makes it as the 5th OF’er. Jones gets a roster spot by default. TEX making it back for RD 1, would simplify things immensely.

  21. DONNYBROOK September 24th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    You do away with Divisions, you Gotta play a “balanced” schedule. Stacking up teams accoring to their current W-L records, when a balanced scheduled is NOT used is pointless.

  22. blake September 24th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    The Yanks will need 4 starters in the ALDS because of the schedule…..and they may need mkre than that if they have to play the WC game to gwt there.

  23. Bring in the Goose September 24th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Understand the Arod support, but when I hear things like “he did hit a ball to the wall in the 9th inning”, that’s just a bit pathetic considering his resume, ability and paycheck.

    He’s in the lineup, has hit a few homers, and a bevy of singles – some with the assistance of a seeing eye dog.

    The guy needs to produce. He said after whiffing for the final out vs Detroit last ALDS that “I’m coming back with a vengeance”. Let’s see it then.

    This team will not advance if he does not drive in runs against the ChiSox.

  24. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    People keep wishing that rays are still in the race so that they play hard against the Orioles. You guys realize this is the RAYS were talking about, right? They don’t just let people win. They are complete” try hards” fro 162 games. Joe maddon will not allow them to just sleepwalk through the last series even if they have been eliminated. Its the rays… its their personality. They Dont ever give up, and they love being that pesky team that irritates the crap out of everyone. They will look to screw the orioles even if they are out of the playoffs.

  25. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Arod is not the person we need to worry about.

    Robinson Cano is the guy that needs to stop playing like utter crap and get hot for this team to have any glimpse of hope to win a world championship.

  26. UnKnown September 24th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Game Day in the Twins Cities. Target Field is beautiful. Big stadium and very nice. Weather is a crisp 53 degrees right now, playoff weather.

    Didn’t really think I would ever get to see Andy pitch again in person, but as luck would have it I will. I am expecting the crafty veteran to come up huge like he has done countless amount of times in his career.

    Go Yanks!

  27. Bo knows September 24th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Of course Cano batting 230 for the month, Granderson flirting with the 220s and Swisher swooning doesn’t make Alex look good.

    It’s like reading a post that starts with “Binder is an idiot”.

    - “Okay, that’s lost all cred”, Next.”

    Alex came back early, he’s rehabbing at the Majors level. The BP is whipped and the starting pitching is suffering from a lot of high stress innings.

    Anyone mention that the Nunez error was a tough play ranging to second base, that Jeter wouldn’t try?

    Okay, I’m partial to Nunie but that wasn’t an easy play.

  28. Bo knows September 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I was suffering with Kuroda yesterday. His slider was hanging, his two seamer was inconsistent and he couldn’t control the split. On top of that, the ump had a heads and tails strike zone.

  29. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    We really need the Jays to split one of these games today. That would give us a 2 game lead in the loss column. At the very worst…. they need to win 1 game against the orioles. As long as we go into the final series of the season tied or with a 1 game lead against the o’s… i feel pretty good. I really think the Rays will take 2/3 from Baltimore.

  30. DONNYBROOK September 24th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Agree on HP Ump, and Both benches were climbing his tree early on. Horrible.

  31. LGY September 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Donnybrook

    After watching yesterday’s game do you still think Nunez should have been on the major league roster all season?

  32. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    On a side note…. After Watching that New England/ Baltimore game last night, there is no way either of those teams is a major threat to the Texans. IF New England cant stop Smith and Jacoby jones… they wont even know what to do about Andre Johnson and the Texans WR core. Then Baltimore gave up 400 yards of offense at home? What happened to that Vaunted D? I will take our Defense over theirs any day of the week. Granted we did nearly have a epic fourth qtr collapse against denver yesterday. The Jets don’t seem like contenders with that joke of a offense, the steelers look old and apparently no longer have a defense either. What team really has a chance to even give houston a competitive challenge for the 1 seed?

  33. blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    LGY,

    Do you still think Nunez is a better defensive SS than Jeter?

  34. blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The umpiring this season has been the worst I can remember…..its atrocious on a nightly basis.

  35. LGY September 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    LGY,

    Do you still think Nunez is a better defensive SS than Jeter?

    ——-

    Hey! Never said that :mad: Was just trying to stir up some controversy on a quiet night.

  36. CompassRosy September 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    MTU says:
    September 24, 2012 at 8:26 am
    Was listening to SNB.

    The announcers all thought that being the #3 seed was the best deal
    because of this year’s format.

    The # 3 seed gets to play the first 2 of 5 at home.

    Win both and you only have to take 1 of the remaining 3 at the other guy’s park.

    ~

    How’d that work for you in ’95 MTU?

    Sorry, I’m certainly in no position to gloat…
    It’s just that, as far as baseball is concerned, my fond memories are so few :(

  37. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    blake, I think the only issue you have with your plan to eliminate the divisions is what to call the ALDS from now on lol :)

    And yes.. Team Greedy wants to play ALL the bad teams, in case anyone was wondering.

    I’m gonna try to get on the blog tonight to get a full Team Greedy roster in order. I’ve been meaning to… I think a Team Greedy roll call would be good for morale in the post season.

  38. blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    “Hey! Never said that Was just trying to stir up some controversy on a quiet night.”

    Lol….I see ;)

  39. Don Vito A. Bellamo September 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Yankees hold the tiebreaker over Rangers if they end up in a tie for best record in the AL, by virtue of 4-3 head to head, right ?

  40. blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “blake, I think the only issue you have with your plan to eliminate the divisions is what to call the ALDS from now on lol”

    How about Round 2 :)

  41. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    LGY – Meant to mention I completely agree about putting the A line up out there… we need to start rolling out the regulars now. I know Girardi is being careful with Jeter and perhaps also trying to get Nunez used to playing the field as much as possible in the case he ends up out there in the PS (god help us..), but we really need to get our A guys out there nightly at this point.

    When does Tex return??

  42. blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Or the quarter finals…..or the elite 8…

  43. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    blake September 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “blake, I think the only issue you have with your plan to eliminate the divisions is what to call the ALDS from now on lol”

    How about Round 2 :)

    ———————

    No imagination!! But ALR2 does sound like a good time.. sort of C3PO-ish. And we are the Evil Empire after all…..

  44. spidanyc September 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Monday that he’s considering making Christian Garcia a starter.
    Garcia, a former third-round pick of the Yankees, posted a promising 0.86 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 66/17 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings of relief this season in the Nationals’ minor league system. He has three good pitches, and Johnson feels he’s being wasted in the bullpen.

  45. LGY September 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    However, with regular playing time I am open to the idea that Nunez may he a better SS.

    Playing sporadically, no way.

  46. Against All Odds September 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    He has three good pitches, and Johnson feels he’s being wasted in the bullpen.

    ————-

    I wish the Yankees would do that with a pitcher in their pen.

  47. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Keep the divisions, balance the schedule, do away with interleague play and reward the #1 seed in each league the ability to pick it’s first round opponent.

    If the Yankees need a division playoff and become the WC they’ll need at least 5 starters.

  48. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Not only will Yanks hold on for the division, but they will have best record in AL too. Rangers last 10 games are all vs Angels/A’s. Not going to be easy for them.

  49. bruceb September 24th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Morning folks (just). I would be feeling a lot more confident about winning the division if the Yanks had shown they were capable of dominating games now and again but they haven’t. It seems 90 percent of the games come down to one or two runs, which puts enormous pressure on your pen and your closer.

    And this business about playing teams with losing records being easier is complete bull. Didn’t the Twins just go into Detroit and sweep a double-header against a team who had everything to play for?

  50. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’d be shocked if Phelps isnt on the post season roster. They need another reliever that isn’t a specialty guy. Plus, he can obvisouly give them length if a starter got hurt or knocked out early.

  51. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Morning folks (just). I would be feeling a lot more confident about winning the division if the Yanks had shown they were capable of dominating games now and again but they haven’t. It seems 90 percent of the games come down to one or two runs, which puts enormous pressure on your pen and your closer.

    ————

    I certainly agree that it would be nice to have a few laughers mixed in. But playing (and winning) these close games will be good for them heading into the playoffs. As we know, that’s how most of those games turn out. Yanks will certainly be experienced in them.

  52. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    CC-

    Very possible that the Yankees are the #1 seed. That means they play the WC away for the 1st 2 games. Could be close by in Baltimore, possibly Texas, or cross country to Oakland. LA and Tampa I suppose still have a slim chance.

  53. MTU September 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    YT-

    You have to at least split those first 2.

    Otherwise you’re in heap big trouble.

  54. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Trader,

    Unlike a lot of people, I think starting on the road could be an advantage. If you take 1 of the first 2, you come home with 3 chances to win 2 more. I’d sign up for that.

  55. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I just want to win the AL EAST. If we so happen to be the 1 seed, fine. We cant get to caught up on who we play, or anything we cant control. I just want the EAST… and will worry about all the other stuff when the time comes.

  56. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Does it really matter about how the series is structured? If they Yankees get good pitching and timely hitting, they will win. If they don’t get good pitching and timely hitting, they wont. Last year we went into a elimination game in Detroit and spanked the tigers. We then flew home and ended up losing the series because every time we had a chance to score we found ways not to. 2-2-1,2-3… none of it really matters all that much. Lets just win the East and stay hot… and we will take care of business.

  57. yankeefeminista September 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Against All Odds September 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am
    He has three good pitches, and Johnson feels he’s being wasted in the bullpen.

    ————-

    I wish the Yankees would do that with a pitcher in their pen.
    *******
    QFT, and groan, Christian Garcia always had unbelievable stuff. I died a little when we released him. I know a lot of other people watched him pitch MiLB and know how great is stuff was/is. (Pruf included).
    ——-
    Shame, RE: “There have been enough knee jerk crazy comments on LoHud for us to create a Lunatic Yankee Fans Hall of Fame.”

    Actually, they should rename it the Lunatic SSS Yankee Fans Hall of Fame, in my estimate.

  58. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    MTU-

    Hi. Sorry I couldn’t join the Breakfast Club.

    It looks like it’s going to come down to the last 3 games for the Orioles and Yankees to decide the division winner. If the Yankees get Tex back that last series, get some hustle and production out of Cano,play better defense, if the starters can give the team quality starts and length, and the bullpen can rebound………………………..then

    I think the Yankees will be the #1 seed taking a bus to Baltimore, unless Texas is the other WC in which case it’s off to Arlington.

    I’m picking Detroit in the Central to play the winner of the West.

  59. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Tabbert has it right. Play better, get healthy, win the division and see if it ends up being the #1 seed and let the chips[opponent] fall where they may.

  60. Shame Spencer September 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hey fem!!

    Good point! I was just quoting a funny from LGY in the last thread lol, and he was actually referencing those who were calling for CC to NOT be a part of the starting rotation in the playoffs, which I should have mentioned since I’m such a fan of context.

    You know I think there are plenty of smart folks on the blog.. even though we try our best to hide it!! ;)

  61. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Via Jeff Bradley, outfielder Brett Gardner will take his hacks in live batting practice today. “I feel great,” he said. “I have hit in the cages this week. Soft toss. And once I hit live on the field, I think I’ll be able to show that I’m 100 percent and ready to play. My body feels like it’s March. I’m excited to get back on the field and help any way I can.”

    http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....day-76441/

  62. blake September 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    “Unlike a lot of people, I think starting on the road could be an advantage. If you take 1 of the first 2, you come home with 3 chances to win 2 more. I’d sign up for that.”

    I agree….the only way its bad is if you go lose both games on the road….otherwise it puts you in the driver’s seat playi f the final 3 at home.

  63. CountryClub September 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    The Yankees are who they are. They’re a flawed team, but so is every other team in the AL. They’re good enough to go to the WS and they’re flawed enough that they can lose in the WC game. This yr, more than any, will depend on lucky bounces, which teams makes a crucial error, etc…

    The AL playoffs are wide open.

  64. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Trader-

    Speaking of getting healthy…. If we get Tex and Gardy back, it will be the first time ALL season we have had our entire team. We started the year with no Andy. I feel like everything is just falling into place at the last second and right on time.

  65. Tabbert September 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    In the NL i have a Braves vs Giants NLCS.

  66. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    YF and Shame-

    You’re never too old to learn something stupid. :)

  67. Yankee Trader September 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    New Post—————>

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