The ALCS schedule 2010 looked to break perfectly for the Yankees. Thanks to Texas getting on the ALCS schedule later than expected, they had to save Cliff Lee for Game 3 instead of Game 1. Since they couldn’t get Lee out right away, the Rangers looked to be at a disadvantage, even with home field. But home field didn’t help Texas in the ALDS, and didn’t help them secure a Game 1 win either. Yet two games later, the ALCS suddenly looks nightmarish for the Yankees anyway.
Texas looked to be in bad shape in this series since Lee couldn’t go until Game 3. But all they needed was one win at home so that Lee could give them the lead in Yankee Stadium. However, when the Yankees had their big late comeback in Game 1, it looked like a daunting task.
But now, the ALCS schedule may be too much to handle for the Yankees. Despite having all the momentum going into Game 2, they went down big again, and couldn’t come back this time. Then last night, Lee dominated even more than usual, and a six-run ninth inning decimated New York even further.
Now the defending champions may have to rely on A.J. Burnett just to save their season. In spite of arguments that C.C. Sabathia should start on three days rest, Joe Girardi is likely to go with the struggling Burnett anyway. He is afraid of putting Phil Hughes and Andy Pettite out there on three days rest as well – although no matter what he tries, his pitchers have been getting rocked anyway.
Thus far, the ALCS has been defined by struggling Yankees’ pitching. Yet Pettitte finally stopped the bleeding after Josh Hamilton’s opening home run. But Pettitte has been their only reliable arm, as Sabathia and Hughes have been knocked out early and the bullpen was torched in last night’s ninth inning.
Even if Girardi reverses course, there is no guarantee Sabathia will do well. He is the only superstar ace who hasn’t dominated in this postseason, and his playoff career has been checkered. But if Burnett tanks, as he has often done, Girardi will become public enemy No. 1 for not starting Sabathia.
Girardi is particularly vulnerable to second guessing because of the limited margin of error left. Technically, the ALCS schedule 2010 appears far from finished, since it is only 2-1 Texas in the series. However, if the Yankees lose tonight, they must win two in a row just to get back to Lee in Game 7 – which is even less promising than it seemed before last night.
If the Rangers win even one more game before Game 7, they may feel like they’ve won this series. Just days ago, the ALCS looked impossible to handle for the Rangers, and now the Yankees are in the same boat – but are on more of a razor’s edge.
New York Baseball Digest- “Yanks Can/Must Win the Next Three”