Yankees Blog Baseball Playoffs 2009 edition

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Minnesota vs. New York is the least even matchup. Everything favors the Yanks and they are better at every position but catcher and manager. Not a knock on Girardi, Gardenhire is one of the best is all and has a lot more experience. On top of this the Twins could not set their rotation and had to use their closer Nathan last night. Playing that 12 inning game and arriving in NYC at 3:00 am probably is not going to help them for today. The Yanks also swept them 7-0 in the season series. So in every way possible the Yanks have to win this one. It would probably be the biggest professional team upset since the Jets beat the Packers in Superbowl III.

See here for updates on game times.

Minnesota vs. New York

Wednesday 6:07pm on TBS at Yankee Stadium (Today)

Friday 6:07pm on TBS at Yankee Stadium

Sunday on TBS TBD at Min

Monday on TBS TDB at Min

Wednesday on TBS TDB ay NYY

Cardinals vs. Dodgers

The Cardinals have better pitching and the best hitter in baseball. Overall they seem to have the better team. Both teams have been scuffling lately and backed into the postseason. The managers are in the top 3 of active manager for Wins and playoff experience.

Gm. 1 STL@LAD Wed., Oct. 7 9:37 ET

Gm. 2 STL@LAD Thu., Oct. 8 6:07 ET

Gm. 3 LAD@STL Sat., Oct. 10 6:07 ET

Gm. 4* LAD@STL Sun., Oct. 11 TBD

Gm. 5* STL@LAD Tue., Oct. 13 TBD

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Gm 1 BOS @ LAA Thu Oct. 8 9:37 PM TBS

Gm 2 BOS @ LAA Fri Oct. 9 9:37 PM TBS

Gm 3 LAA @ BOS Sun Oct. 11 TBD TBS

Gm 4* LAA @ BOS Mon Oct. 12 TBD TBS

Gm 5* BOS @ LAA Wed Oct. 14 TBD TBS

Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies.

Gm 1 COL @ PHI Wed Oct. 7 2:37 PM TBS

Gm 2 COL @ PHI Thu Oct. 8 2:37 PM TBS

Gm 3 PHI @ COL Sat Oct. 10 9:37 PM TBS

Gm 4* PHI @ COL Sun Oct. 11 TBD TBS

Gm 5* COL @ PHI Tue Oct. 13 TBD TBS

Detailed thoughts on the Yanks: The only big news so for from the Yanks is that Molina will be catching AJ Burnett on Friday instead of Posada and Posada is less than happy about it.

The line-up is scary with power and speed. The pitching looks solid too great. CC Sabathia is probably the second or third best pitcher in the AL this year and the best that is moving on to the post season. AJ Burnett looks like he corrected himself and Andy Pettitte has looked very good in the entire second half. Even Joba Chamberlain and Chad Gaudin have looked much better of late and they are unlikely to start in the first round. The pickup of Gaudin was a great little move by Cashman. One of the Yankees scouts apparently picked up on something he was doing wrong and the Yanks corrected it when he came over. The Yanks have him for two more years.

The bullpen is anchored by Mariano “Mo” Rivera of course and his primary setup man is Phillip Hughes who has been nearly perfect in relief. For lefties they have Phil Coke who has not given up a run in September and Damaso Marte who has had 4 perfect outings and will probably be the lefty specialist. They round it out with Alfredo Aceves who has proven a very valuable swing man. Joe Girardi has confidence in using him for 3 early or the 8th if needed. David Robertson is the #1 strike out to inning pitching in the AL and his ERA of 3.29 is inflated by some early season games. He is coming back off of injury though and so has a small question mark. Rounding out the bullpen is the Erratic and injury prone Brian Bruney who when he is on can shut down the Red Sox for 3-5 outs with ease but seems almost as likely to walk a batter or two and give up a few runs. He has actually had a few games this year of late where he was brought into a non-save 9th inning and gave up a hit and walk and Girardi went to Mo for the save. However, he is the 12th man on the staff if he makes the cut. The odds are Joba and Gaudin will both see action before Brian and the Yanks might opt to go with only 11 pitchers in the first round.

The bench is more up in the air. Posada and Molina are sure bets at Catcher. Teixiera at first, Robbie Cano at second, Derek Jeter at Short and A-Rod at 3rd. Damon, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui and Brett Gardner* are the outfield and DH group. This leaves 3-4 spots.

Jerry Hairston and Ramiro Pena are competing for the utilityman role. Eric Hinske plays plenty of positions poorly but is a somewhat scary bat off the bench, Francisco Cervelli is an excellent young defensive catcher with enough speed to be a factor in pinch running for Posada or Molina if they started. Defensively he is already better than Posada. His bat is better than Molina’s. I would like to see the Yanks carry him as a third catcher. He is next year’s back-up as Molina will move on. Finally there is Freddy Guzman who is an outfielder with great speed, nearly as fast as Gardner. He would be brought as a pinch runner if he made the cut.

I would go with the 11 pitchers, but I think they will take 12. I would take Jerry Hairston, Ramiro Pena, Cervelli and Guzman for the maximum flexibility. The Yanks do not really need power off the bench. If I was only taking 3 of them, I would drop Guzman.

Manager: Joe Girardi is getting better, but he is not yet a great field manager. He handles the bullpen and staff superbly and the egos of the team. However as I like to remind people Joe Torre was no genius of a field manager either and could not handle a bullpen. So Joe should be no detriment to the Yankees advancing.

My picks

Yankees over probably the Twins. Yanks outclass them in every aspect and can set the rotation as they wish and will be able to use Rivera, Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in every game in relief. This should be a huge advantage.

Red Sox vs. Angels: I think the Red Sox will take it in hard fought series. The Red Sox have better pitching and good enough managing and plenty of offense. They don’t seem to have the problems in Anaheim that Yanks do. I do give the Angels the edge in making runs and manager but overall the Sox seem better.

Cards over Dodgers: Torre is on his way to another 1st round elimination as the Cards look better right now. Better hitting and pitching and the Dodgers bullpen is tired.

Rockies over Phillies: This one is just a gut pick. I feel like the Phillies are floundering a bit and the Rockies are ready for some magic.


The Yanks should beat the Red Sox. The starters match up about the same and the Yanks appear to have the slightly better bullpen currently. The Yanks have better defense and offense. This should decide it.

Cards over the Rockies: Cards are the best team in the NL right now and I don’t think the Rockies run will be enough to overcome the much better team.


Yanks over the Cardinals: Cards have a better 1-2 punch in the starters and Pujols will be the best player on the field, but 1-9 the Yanks are a better team with a much better bullpen. The Yanks should have enough starters. The Yanks will probably take 2 of the games late once the Cardinal starters are out. The Yanks are the comeback team with 15 walk-off victories and 51 come from behind victories this year.

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I got the Yankees Roster and it is almost perfect (to my thinking)

Good Roster. My only change would have been Pena over Hinske but that should not prove important. The pitchers and taking Cervelli is exactly as I wanted and thought best. Note that they did leave Bruney off as I thought they probably should.

14 position players
1. Derek Jeter
2. Johnny Damon
3. Mark Teixeira
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Hideki Matsui
6. Jorge Posada
7. Robinson Cano
8. Nick Swisher
9. Melky Cabrera
10. Brett Gardner
11. Jose Molina
12. Jerry Hairston Jr.
13. Eric Hinske
14. Francisco Cervelli
11 pitchers
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Andy Petttitte
4. Alfredo Aceves
5. David Robertson
6. Phil Hughes
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Phil Coke
9. Joba Chamberlain
10. Chad Gaudin
11. Damaso Marte