Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes

New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins ALDS Series Breakdown, Part 1

The Wild Card New York Yankees will start the postseason in Minnesota against the AL Central Champion Twins.

Both teams will be critique over the next three days, as the sports media and baseball fans will express their opinions while trying to predict the outcome.

Being that I get questioned constantly about the Yankees, I took the three most asked questions and am breaking up into the most popular in a three part series. I will dissect  both teams and give my unrated, honest opinion. All to be finished before the first pitch of the Yankees-Twins ALDS is tossed Wednesday night.

Let’s not waste anytime, as here is the question one answered:

How do the two teams statistically match-up?

Historically, the Yankees have dominated the Twins in both regular and postseason series. The Yankees have a 9-2 playoff record against the Twins; the most recent victory was this same series in 2009.

Looking at 2010 statistically speaking, the Yankees are ahead of the Twins in home-runs with 200; New York leads the Majors in RBIs with 819 much better than the Twins total of 748. For total runs the Twins have 780, again losing to the Yankees who posted 855, which leads the Majors again.

The Twins come in third place overall for batting average with a .274, the Yanks come in eighth with a .267 average. In total hits the Twins have 1517, while New York has 1477 hits.

For the season, the Yankees have won 95 games, with the Twins following right behind with 94 wins.

Looking at the divisions individually, the AL Central doesn’t hold a candle to the AL East regarding competition. The Yankees play 18 games against the Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays and most improved Baltimore Orioles each. Compare that to facing a struggling Tigers, the awful Indians and Royals. The Twins did get about a month and a half worth of competition from the White Sox, but Ozzie’s White Sox were out of the picture weeks ago.

The Twins record vs. AL East teams is 15-20 in the regular season; while the Yankees vs. AL Central teams posted a 23-12. The difference in wins-losses when facing the other team’s division is a significant indication that the Yankees should win the series without too much of a hiccup.

Up Next In BREAKING DOWN THE YANKEES-TWINS SERIES…..What are each team’s pros and cons?

New York Yankees Start Postseason in Minnesota on Wednesday Night

The New York Yankees had a rough September, posting a 14-16 record for the month, and finalized it by losing the AL East to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Regardless, getting closer to the goal of repeating entails making the postseason and that first step has been accomplished.

Coming in as the wild card team has not fared well for the Yankees in the past, never getting past the Division Series. Maybe starting the postseason in the Bronx is more important than their regular season away-game record reads. In any case that historical stat is not relevant enough to be a reason that the Bombers are doomed.

For now, the Yankees are heading to Minnesota to face the Twins in the ALDS. The Twins won the AL Central back on September 21, which earns the Twins the rights to play host for the first two games this Wednesday and Thursday night.

The ALDS is a best of five game series, whose shorter length is a continuing debate amongst baseball professionals and fans over extending it to seven games to match the Championship Series and World Series.

Some consider that winning three of five games can be unfair because it does not give a team enough of a fair shot to win. The main problem is no one wants to extend the season any longer because last year it went into November and that leaves little or no off-season already.

The Yankees need to win, at minimum one of the first two games in Minnesota. Coming back to New York either tied or two games up on the Twins will be crucial.

The Yankees and the Twins both went 3-7 in their last 10 regular season games, not the best way to head into the postseason.

The Twins finished the season with a 53-27 record at home, but when playing against AL East teams they are 15-20. Not really surprising considering the Twins have characteristically been frightened of the Yankees and Red Sox for years. Another problem with the Twins stems when the opponent is a National League team, going 8-10 during inter-league play proves

The Yankees road record is not one of a homesick ball-club sitting at 43-37 on the year. Against AL Central teams, the Yankees have a 23-13 record. That shows me the team can win because knowing how to beat another team is so important, especially in this short series.

Over the next few days the comparing and predictions for the outcome of this series will be plentiful. This series, in particular could go either way since both teams seasons concluded on a low.

The foretelling sign will be the conclusion of the first game on Wednesday night, as one of the two will set themselves apart and that is depending on which Yankees show-up on the field.

It’s the Yankees series to lose, let’s hope it goes better than the AL East division’s outcome.

  • Bombers now must turn it around vs. old patsy (
  • New York Yankees Settle for AL Wild Card (
  • MLB Playoff Predictions: Can Andy Pettitte Save Yankees’ Postseason Pitching? (
  • Minnesota absolute-Lee right foe to face in ALDS (
  • New York Yankees: Stop Losing, Start Playing (

MLB Playoff Predictions: Can Andy Pettitte Save Yankees’ Postseason Pitching?

The New York Yankees are postseason-bound, but how far they make it is another story.

In 2009 the Yankees had a three-headed monster in CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and A.J. Burnett. This allowed skipper Joe Girardi to use a three-man rotation in the postseason, and the results speak for themselves.

Currently, the same group is still in pinstripes but unfortunately is not as reliable.

Let’s look at the three amigos individually.

The Yankees’ No. 1 is CC Sabathia, who is still an ace. Many believe that Sabathia should and could win the AL CY Young for 2010—no debate on that statement. Sabathia is the reason the Yankees are in the postseason in 2010.

Whatever the reason, A.J. Burnett is not the same at all. Whatever is distracting him seems to not be Yankee-related; at least that is assumed at this point.

In August and September the team lost nine of 11 games that Burnett started. Over that two-month period, Burnett gave up 70 hits, 46 earned runs, 10 home runs, and walked 26. The odd stat out was Burnett’s 48 strikeouts, which is still decent.

Everyone was hopeful before his last start, presuming Burnett would continue taking baby steps forward. Instead he fell apart worse than ever, and Burnett’s place in the dynamic trio is seemingly now Phil Hughes‘ spot.

The veteran of the group, Andy Pettitte, was having a phenomenal season. He posted a 2.88 ERA until he suffered an injury to his hamstring on July 18, which kept him on the DL for three months.

Arriving back September 19th at Camden Yards, Pettitte pitched six innings. He looked good, even though the team lost the game. In his next start things went horribly bad, as Pettitte gave up seven hits, six earned runs, and one home run to the Red Sox over four innings. Pettitte said his back was stiff, and being on the DL that long, it is not surprising.

Pettitte’s start tonight against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park will answer a lot of questions, and all of Yankees Universe will be watching.

Seriously looking at the bigger picture, what other options does Girardi have if Pettitte struggles for the second time?

Sergio Mitre?

Okay, all joking aside, Pettitte is the most winning postseason pitcher in the history of MLB. That is no joke. It does give Pettitte a “bye” if he implodes in Boston.

Still, the fact remains that it would be nice for the Yankees to get a solid five or six innings from the southpaw before heading into October.

New York Yankees Have Issues, But So Do Other Playoff Teams

The New York Yankees clinched another playoff spot on Tuesday night, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1.

The night belonged to ace CC Sabathia, who shut down the heavy hitting Blue Jays bats. Some are tagging the Yankees doomed in the playoffs, as the rotation is having some issues. Still, there are many positives in pinstripes too that tend to get overlooked.

One fact remains true in MLB: No team gets into the postseason via luck. Each team that plays in October deserves it; this is not the NFL and the Yankees are not the 2009 New York Jets. The season is long and 162 games doesn’t allow for it.

With the 2010 playoff spots almost filled, let’s find at the flaws of each team that has clinched so far.

The Texas Rangers owned the AL West pretty much all season, but the competition was a joke. MVP candidate Josh Hamilton is the bread and butter of the Rangers lineup and the team needs him being at 100 percent healthy. Hamilton has cracked ribs and has admitted he is injured. The Rangers are praying that Hamilton’s two weeks off will get him swinging for October, because if not…adios amigos.

Don’t forget that historically, the Rangers can’t usually hang with the AL East boys (Rays and Yankees) so perfection is needed deep in the heart of Texas.

The Minnesota Twins have been without All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau since July 18. No doubt having Morneau in the playoffs would be ideal, considering his other half Joe Mauer has been flirting with injuries all season. The latest is Mauer will be back behind the plate this Friday, after suffering a jammed knee on September 18. Morneau is practicing with the team but the concussion he suffered will not be resolved this season.

The Tampa Bay Raysbest player is third baseman Evan Longoria, who has been resting since the moment the Rays clinched. Skipper Joe Madden is no dummy and knows the Rays need Longoria in October. Also, other than David Price the rest of the Rays starters have been struggling. One other feature that makes the Rays so lethal is stealing bases, which has slowed down quite a bit.

It is tough to find many flaws when talking about the Philadelphia Phillies. All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins has been on the DL for the majority of the season, so keep an eye on Rollins. Also, first baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley both spent significant time on the DL too. The Phillies have starting pitcher Cole Hamels and closer Brad Lidge, who have gotten into major funks, AJ Burnett style. Though both seem to be back in form, you never know with players that both perform that badly for such long stretches of time.

The Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central over the powerhouse St. Louis Cardinals. It was a complete team effort, as the bench players came up big when injuries happened, but can this team hold up against teams like the Phillies, Rays, and Yankees. It will be tough for the Reds, as it will take the whole team to win. The NL Central was the Cardinals to lose, not the Reds to win. Also, the Reds were 2-5 against an injured Phillies during the regular season, so a healthy Phillies would be tough for the Reds to defeat.

MLB Blogger Rankings–Week 25

Here are the latest MLB Rankings – Week 25.
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.
Enhanced by Zemanta

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.