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Three American League Teams Baseball Fans Will Miss in 2010 Playoffs

With the regular season about to end, playoff spots are getting filled by eight of the 30 MLB teams who compete each season.

For players on the Yankees and Phillies, October is a familiar time of year but for many it will remain a mystery.

What is so crazy about baseball is an ace like the Phillies’ Roy Halladay is pitching for the first time in his career in the playoffs. There are many players, both veterans and rookies, who are virgins to October baseball, but the butterflies from the possibility of winning remain the same for anyone so lucky to partake.

There are three AL teams, which due to uncontrollable circumstances (i.e. injuries) will not be around past this Sunday. These usual suspects make the road to the World Series that much more competitive, as one team from each AL Division is represented on this list.

Which three teams am I referring too?

1) Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox couldn’t catch a break in 2010. Injury after injury, plus more injuries is the best way to describe it. Still, even with numerous All-Stars on the DL like Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacob Ellsbury, the Sox managed to keep fighting. They challenged other teams to count them out all season, but Boston continually proved that was a bad idea. Skipper Terry Francona should be the AL Manger of the Year for the way he handled himself and this ailing group. It would have been old school to have a 2010 Yankees-Red Sox’s ALCS again. Maybe next year…

2) Los Angeles Angels
The Angels’ season ended with a walk-off. On May 29th, 2010, All-Star first baseman Kendry Morales hit a walk-off grand-slam homer in the 10th inning to win a game versus the Seattle Mariners. Running around the bases, his Halo teammates waited for him at home plate to celebrate. Instead, Morales jumped on the bag and broke his ankle. The season was over for Morales and the Angels after the grand slam heard around the world.

3) Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are not regulars out of the AL Central, like the Red Sox and the Angels are out of their respective divisions. Still, the Tigers make the Central much harder and considering the best hitter in baseball—Miguel Cabrera—is a Tiger, it would have kept the Twins on their toes. In 2009 the AL Central featured a tiebreaker between the Twins and Tigers that was incredible; surely one for the history books. It was the perfect start to an exciting postseason and the Tigers were halfway to blame for that.

World Series Rematch? Why Phillies Would Be Favored Over Yankees

Monday night, the Philadelphia Phillies won the NL East for the fourth straight season in a row.

Up in Toronto, the New York Yankees evening could have been a champagne party too. Instead, AJ Burnett imploded worse than ever on the mound and the Blue Jays won the game 7-5.

Burnett could not even get out of the third inning, and he was to blame for all seven runs scored.

Rock bottom?

I thought that already happened for Burnett, as he showed glimpses of why the Yankees acquired him in the first place just a week ago.

Well, whatever it is holding AJ back seems to be an off the field issue that is eating away at him. The best Yankee fans can do is just hope Burnett figures himself out, as he is a big piece of the playoff puzzle.

Looking at the playoff picture so far, the Phillies are unanimously the NL favorites to make it to the World Series for the third year in a row.

It would be hard for anyone to disagree with that predictions, considering how hot a September the Phillies are having posting a 19-5 record.

A lot of that success has to do with the pitching rotation, which includes Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt. It is by far the best threesome in baseball and they keep getting better.

This month their combined record is 13-1, pitching just shy of 95 innings, have a strikeout total of 87 and the month is not over yet.

Another critical component on any team is the closer, and the Phillies have been a roller coaster ride with Brad Lidge since 2008 ended.

Now Lidge has found his swagger again. His 27 saves this season don’t do how he is pitching justice, as Lidge only earned the team’s trust back the last two months. He admitted he needed to change due to loss of velocity on his pitches.

No need to explain how good the Phillies hitters are because the proof is in the names alone: Utley, Howard, Werth, Rollins, Ibanez, Victorino, Ruiz, Valdez, and I think you get the point.

So, could it be a rematch from last year’s World Series?

Sure it could, but the Yankees need to clinch officially and for any team to match-up with Philadelphia my advice is to bring your A-Game.

It would be a treat to fans to see a Yankees-Phillies World Series, because if it is anything like 2009, it is sure to be exciting for baseball as a whole.

New York Yankees: Stop Losing, Start Playing

In 2009, the New York Yankees treated each game with the same sense of urgency.

Winning wasn’t just the team’s job, it was what each player wanted and there were no excuses. The pattern was if one Yankee player’ slumped, another teammate or multiple would pick up the slack.

It was no BS baseball, but that intensity is not lost even after four losses in a row.

I witnessed the reigning champs at Yankees Stadium last Monday and Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. The team was fierce beating a bewildered Tampa both nights without leaving room to lose.

Fast forward four days later and it made me wonder if these could possibly be the same Yankees. Now, the Bombers have lost four in a row, are no longer in first place in the AL East and can’t seem to put clinch the Wild Card spot for the postseason.

The Red Sox are going for a sweep in New York on Sunday night, and if achieved this could be trouble for the Yankees.

This was the Yankees Al East division to lose. Now considering the Ray’s easy schedule, the Yankees taking the Wild Card seems more realistic.

What happened?

It is not any one specific issue; it is an all around problem. The pitchers can’t seem to locate the plate, while the Yankee batters continually hang runners out to dry.

Yes, hitting those eight home runs over their last two games lead fans to believe the Yankees were back to being a hot-hitting team. Psyche, the Yankees lost both games to a Red Sox sans the big bats of Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.

Fact is, success in getting to October and beyond means doing a little of everything, with no room for errors.

Sunday night’s game is a must win for both the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Yankees can cut their magic number form three to one, while the Red Sox keep the door from slamming 2010 in there faces just yet.

Resolving to win cannot come in the eighth inning if the Yankees plan to get back to the World Series again.

Wait—almost forgot that making the playoffs has to come first.

HERE IS MY MESSAGE TO THE NEW YORK YANKEES:

You were the best team in baseball for the majority of 2010 for a reason, and it’s about time to remind you of this fact.

Win not because it’s your job but because you love the game of baseball and anything less would be unacceptable.

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MLB Blogger Rankings–Week 24

Here are the latest MLB Rankings – Week 24.
Come check out where your team ranks for the week….agree or disagree?

Click HERE to see what real fans think.
Lady Loves Pinstripes is one of six bloggers voting on Yardbarker’s Gillette Fusion MLB Rankings. Each week Lady Loves Pinstripes will rank all 30 MLB teams, along with the other five bloggers. All bloggers rankings are averaged together for each weekly result. In addition, Lady Loves Pinstripes will comment on he AL WEST.
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New York Yankees: Three Game Losing Streak Not Magical

The New York Yankees are not in the playoffs; their magic number remains frozen at three just for a spot in October.

Three appears to be getting bigger and growing harder to reach with each game. The Yankees need to stop playing Jekyll and Hyde since winning the first two games of their last series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays came and left in second place, but with the latest Yankee loss, and their win, they have officially taken over the AL East.

Everything was working for the Yankees in the first two games against Tampa Bay.

The Rays looked shell-shocked facing the 2009 champs. The Bombers reeked confidence, seemed indestructible, could do no wrong, all while enjoying themselves.

Could it be possible that winning went to their heads?

Well even if it did, the Boston Red Sox checked the Yankees egos at the door for them. Wasting no time, the Red Sox scored 10 runs by the middle of the fifth inning. The Yankees went missing but Curtis Granderson did homer to give them one run.

It was a seasonal milestone for the Yankees; the first time two opponents scored 10 runs against them in back-to-back games.

The Yankees were too little, too late again but managed to score 7 more runs and, for now, fans can hang on for a better tomorrow after a final score of 10-8.

This defeat takes the magic out of the number three, as the Yankees are now on a three-game losing streak.

For the Bombers, winning the AL East is bordering insanity. Getting in as the Wild Card team is becoming a tougher feat. As a fan it’s a reality check, as this team is not as playoff ready as I thought.

Can you imagine how elated New York Mets fans would be if the worst collapse in sports was no longer theirs?

No doubt that Mets fans dream of that tale’s ownership belonging to the Yankees and that they weren’t the ‘other team’ in New York anymore. Well, if the Yankees miss October it will be way worse than that.

As a Yankees fan, I want the team in the playoffs but not if it is going to be an embarrassment. This team seesaws from hot to ice cold so fast that nobody knows which team will show-up at the ballpark.

It’s about time the reigning champs start to play like it, and “The Boss” would love to be on top one last time.

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It’s Pitching Match-Up Deja Vu: Yankees-Rays And A Pair Of Aces

The New York Yankees lost the third game to the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday night, with a final score of 7-2.

The Yankees lead this four-game set, 2-1, with a goal to win the final and take the series.

The Rays’ best, and only shot is to spilt the series, creeping up on the AL East leading Yankees to just a half-game.

Clearly with nine games remaining after this series wraps up, nothing is set in stone in the AL East.

The Yankees have a tough schedule—playing the Red Sox six times and then the last three in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

The Rays, not so much, face two bottom feeders teams in the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners sans King Felix and the Baltimore Orioles.

There is not a better face-off than CC Sabathia vs. David Price, which was proved 10 days ago in a literal pitcher’s duel.

Both starter lefties threw eight scoreless innings, allowing five base runners each and ended up with almost identical pitch counts, CC with 119 and Price with 114 respectively.

Price fanned 11 Yankees in a row in the first five innings; Sabathia started his fanning in the third, and finished off 12 Rays in order by the end of the seventh.

I can’t say one out pitched the other that Monday night at Tropicana Field, but I can swear both were incredible.

The Rays won that game with a score of 1-0. The run earned on an 11th inning walk-off home run hit by Reid Brignac.

Let me clarify the Rays out played the Yankees for the win. As for Price and Sabathia, no baseball fan is questioning whether either did their jobs because all you can say is those two are Cy Young aces.

Sabathia is back home, and the Yankee fans will be his biggest weapons against the Rays. Fans are in playoff mode in New York; just ask any Yankee player how great it is to be back in the Bronx.

PREDICTION:

Yankees win 3-1. Sabathia wins his 21st start.