Injuries to Sabathia and Pettitte Crushed Yankees ALCS Chances

The Yankees were fresh off of crushing a pretty good team in the Minnesota Twins so most fans were pretty optimistic watching their team going into the ALCS.

If they had only known that the Yankees ace CC Sabathia and veteran stalwart Andy Pettitte had been injured, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten their hopes up.

By now you have heard that Sabathia had a knee injury that will require him to have surgery and Pettitte pitched with both leg and back injuries.

Now the Yankees lost both by being out pitched and out hit so this was obviously only part of the problem. It goes beyond just the score of the games in which these guys pitched in though, after all the Yankees won both games Sabathia pitched.

The biggest problem was that their injuries prevented the Yankees from using either pitcher on short rest the way they did in 2009 en route to a World Series victory.

Instead of using Sabathia potentially three times in the series, the Yankees were forced to go to A.J. Burnett in a pivotal game. If they had been able to use Pettitte in game two, the Yankees may have been able to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Perhaps more importantly, he would have been able to start in game five on short rest or game six, a start where Phil Hughes crumbled under the pressure.

With the injuries both players suffered though it made this scenario impossible. Combined they made three starts when ideally they would have made at least four or even five during the series.

Again, there were other issues and the Yankees might have been able to overcome these injuries. Had they somehow been able to get past Texas though it is possible they could have broken down even worse leaving them with almost no chance at winning a World Series anyway.

So when looking back at this season and putting the blame on some of the hitters, Joe Girardi, or even Hughes, try to remember that injuries happen and when two of your biggest pitchers get hurt it makes it nearly impossible to go the distance.

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3 Responses to Injuries to Sabathia and Pettitte Crushed Yankees ALCS Chances

  1. BeckyBravo says:

    Doesn't matter what the starting scenario is. The Yankees were not hitting. Point, blank period. I understand the concept of "keeping your team in the game," regarding Hughes and AJ… but Andy allowed just 2 runs through 7 and still took the loss. Why? Because the lineup did nothing. Had Andy pitched game 2, would they have hit any better? They had runners on during the series finale but only scored on a pathetic wild pitch.

    Massive RISP fail, a common theme which caused them to be swept by the Rangers in September, finally came back and bit them in the ass when it hurt the most.

  2. You can't hit with RISP if you can't hit. They hit about .200 in the playoffs. If they hit .230 with RISP that's technically clutch.

  3. My point though is that in 2009 the Yankees won 5 games where they scored 4 runs or less. In 2010 they only held the Rangers to less than 5 runs once. Offense is always inconsistent in the playoffs, just look at the Rangers now, but it is possible to have consistency in your rotation. If you get that you have a good chance to win. Without a healthy Sabathia and Pettitte that was impossible for the Yankees.

    Look at it this way, CC pitched game 1 and won. If Pettitte is healthy he pitches game 2 and that is a winable game. Then CC comes back in game four and if you get the same performance out of him that you did in game 5, that's another winable game. Then game 5 is winable as long as the offense scores the same 7 runs, a third winable game.

    At that point you are guaranteed of going 7 games with Pettitte and Sabathia pitching one more time each. Even if the offense performed the same way, they can win that series.