We were lucky that the ALCS off-day didn’t come between Games 3 and 4. Otherwise there would have been almost two days of everyone questioning Joe Girardi‘s in-game management. Instead, they played Game 4 a day later and won decisively, making us forget about bullpen moves. We can thank CC Sabathia for that, who made moot any pitcher change issues. That’s what happens when you go eight innings and leave with a 10-1 lead.
As a Yanks fan, it’s hard to be more excited than I am right now. The team is on the brink of its first World Series since 2003, and the way the team is making it easy to feel confident. The pitching has been superb to this point, and maybe, just maybe, the offense is coming around after a slow start to the postseason. In fact, that could be one of the stories of tonight.
Only Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher went hitless in the Game 4 assault. If they get in on the action tonight, man, I can’t imagine what the Yankees can do. They’re both starting tonight, though you could make a case for either or both of them sitting. WIth Jose Molina in the lineup, the Yanks could use Jorge Posada as the DH, and with a righty on the mound for the Angels (and with the flyballing A.J. Burnett pitching for the Yanks), they could have gone with Brett Gardner in center and Melky in right.
But Girardi doesn’t want to mess with the script that has gotten them to this point. The Yanks will certainly be looking to Swisher for a breakout game. As for Matsui, even with his 0 for 5 on Tuesday he’s still hitting .286/.412/.357 in the ALCS, so there aren’t many worries on that end.
We went over John Lackey earlier today, so for a quick take on him in elimination games, plus his performances against the Yankees in the playoffs, check out that. The Yanks fared well enough against him in Game 1, and will look for production similar to their nine hits and three walks off Lackey.
I have to cut myself off here. I’m just so damn excited.
Pitching: Number thirty-four, Allan James Burnett
1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Bobby Abreu, RF
3. Torii Hunter, CF
4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
5. Kendry Morales, 1B
6. Maicer Izturis, 2B
7. Juan Rivera, LF
8. Jeff Mathis, C
9. Erick Aybar, SS
Pitching: John Lackey