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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.
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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.

  • New York Yankees: Couldn’t Get A Loss When Honoring The Boss (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • New York Yankees: Four Days, Three Wins, One Surreal Goodbye and They’re Hot (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • Yankees-Rays: Why This Series Will Still Leave The AL East Up For Grabs (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • Don’t Drown Before, Be Playoff Bound As Second Place New York Yankees Lose Again (bleacherreport.com)
  • New York Yankees Message To Tampa Bay Rays: Me Casa, Su Casa (ladylovespinstripes.com)

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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