Monday, September 21, 2009

Calm Before The Storm

The next two series for the Yankees, separated by yet another off day Thursday, should serve as a nice tune up for the postseason and will represent the last meaningful games before the playoffs begin. During this six game stretch, the Yanks will certainly clinch a playoff berth but can go a long way towards securing the division and home field advantage as well.

The Yanks would have to falter badly while one of the other teams gets extremely hot to lose HFA or the AL East. If the Yanks go 5-7 over their final 12, the Red Sox would have to go 11-3 just to tie them and the Angels 11-2. Keep in mind that the Yanks have 3 games against the Royals and 3 against the Rays mixed in there as well.

So even though the Yanks just went 3-5 against the Orioles, Blue Jays and Mariners, and Pettitte is hurt and Joba sucks and Mo blew a save and Ian Snell just shut down the offense... let's try not to hit the panic button.

Expect both the series in Anaheim as well as the one in the Bronx against the Red Sox to extrapolated to predict the Yankees' success or failure in the postseason. There will be much talk about "playoff atmosphere" and possibly "must-win" games. Plenty will be said about the Yanks ability to get it done in the clutch and judgments will be made about whether or not they can get it done under pressure.

In reality, the outcome of these games has hardly any predictive value in looking towards the playoffs. Did the 8 consecutive games that the Red Sox won against the Yankees to begin the season do a very good job of predicting the Yankees sweep of them in early August? Then why would they dynamic change when the playoffs roll around? Answer: It doesn't, it's just a function of the media attempting to take the temperature of the team after every game in order to foreshadow what's going to happen when the games really matter.

Right now, teams are playing with house money and expanded rosters and as we know all too well, anything can happen in October. So whatever happens over the next six games, let's try to keep things in perspective.


  1. As a Sox fan who is now realizing the division is not as over as I thought 2-3 weeks ago, I will point out that if, IF, IF the Red Sox sweep the Yankees this coming weekend, the Yankees could go 4-5 against the Angels, Royals, and Rays, and the Sox could go 8-3 against the Royals, Jays, and Indians and win the division outright. They could actually go 7-4 (or the Yankees go 5-4) and the Sox would still take the division based on the H2H tiebreaker, which they would hold if they do indeed sweep. Would it be an epic collapse? You bet. But none of these scenarios I've outlined sound even remotely impossible.

  2. Double and triple negative alert.

    But all of these scenarios I've outlined certainly sound possible.