Things haven’t been going well for the Yankees. They’re being out-hit, out-pitched, and generally outsmarted.
That’s not to say that things are over. CC Sabathia hasn’t been pitching well so far in the playoffs, but he’s a horse who has won 21 games for the Yankees this year and won big games for them in the playoffs last year. He’s been bad, but to me that just means he’s due for a big start.
Behind Sabathia are Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte. Not only would both pitchers be pitching in must win games, but the odds are stacked against both as well. Hughes was just awful in his last start against Texas. His stuff was flat and entirely too hittable. He dominated against Minnesota in the ALDS, but that’s just the way his season has gone – up and down.
Still, going into this series Hughes not only had been coming off a very good game, but he had a tremendous track record against the Rangers. There is certainly potential for him to go out and pitch a strong game.
Even if Sabathia wins today and Hughes wins his start perhaps the toughest challenge would come in game seven where Pettitte would go up against Cliff Lee. But Pettitte is the winningest pitcher in baseball history when it comes to the playoffs. That doesn’t mean everything, but it does mean that he is up for the challenge. He was stellar in his first start just making the one mistake to Josh Hamilton in the first inning. It’s a tall order I know, but Pettitte has the potential to get it done.
Of course the pitching doesn’t matter if the Yankees offense continues to sleep through this series. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter are hitting, but they are left out there alone. Again though, there is potential that things can turn around. The Yankees offense was the best in baseball this season and as recently as the ALDS they were hot.
It’s likely that the long layoff between the Twins and Rangers series has put a hurting on their timing, but if that has been the case they should have the capability of settling in and coming through. At least in games six and seven they should also have an advantage as this will be now the second time in a week they are seeing these Rangers starters.
I realize that this is a longshot. It’s unlikely. Everything would have to go right for the Yankees in a series where almost everything has gone wrong. It is possible though. This series is not over yet and the Yankees are as capable as anybody to win three in a row.
My point is, it’s not impossible and this series isn’t over just yet.