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It’s Clinch Time, Baby: Let’s Wrap This Motha Up
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Sheffield seems like he might be an angry drunk, but bring on the champagne anyway

The air is getting cooler, my friends, and you know what that means: the post-season is upon us!

Matsui and Sheffield are both back on the roster and Carl Pavano is still on the DL, and the Yanks are just an A-Rod bloop single or Mirabelli strike-out away from joining the Mets as playoff locks. As we all learned in 2004, its best to avoid counting playoff chickens before they hatch, but I’m an optimistic gal and A-Rod has been hitting well lately, so I think it’s safe to start thinking about who they’ll likely be facing in October.

None of the Yanks’ potential October opponents have been officially determined yet, but the A’s are leading the western division by 6 games, and Detroit and Minnesota are battling it out for the central division title. The White sox are several games back in their division but could feasibly grab the wild card spot if either the Twins or Tigers drop the ball. Unlike last year, when the Yanks had to play at full force right through the bitter end to secure their spot as division champs, an early clinch will allow Torre to rest up his a-team before the ALDS – that one advantage could actually give the Yanks a good edge against their exhausted challengers.

The first round of playoff play cannot pit two teams from the same division against each other, so the Yankees will be facing the Twins, Tigers or White Sox first. The A’s and Yanks won’t face off against each other unless each of them can trump their first-round opponent, but let’s take a gander at the key numbers for all 5 teams:

As of

9/20/06

Home

Record

Away Record

Batting Ave

Batting Ave w/ RISP

OBP

SLG%

ERA, Starters

ERA, Relievers

Yankees

47-28

45-31

.284

.286

.364

.458

4.53

4.18

Tigers

45-30

45-31

.273

.275

.326

.445

3.95

3.38

Twins

50-24

39-37

.285

.294

.347

.425

4.51

3.03

White Sox

47-29

38-37

.283

.312

.345

.466

4.53

3.98

A’s

46-30

41-33

.260

.239

.340

.412

4.43

3.44



As of 9/20/06

Home

Away

Yankees vs Tigers

2-1

3-1

Yankees vs Twins

2-1

1-2

Yankees vs White Sox

3-0

1-2


Dogpile on Pavano!
The Yankees match-up fairly well with all 4 of their potential opponents, and it’s important to remember that the Yankees have been improving consistently over the course of the season. The Big Unit and even Jarret Wright have perked up significantly and much of the Yankees’ success was achieved without the help of Matsui, Sheff or Cano. The pitching of the Twins and Tigers will be a challenge, but the Yanks boast league-leading OBP numbers and solid slugging, too - if A-rod can keep hitting and if Matsui’s wrist remains intact, the Yanks have a great shot at steamrolling right past the Twins, Tigers, A’s and/or White Sox into the World Series.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, September 20, 2006  
4 Comments:
  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Adam B. said…

    I saw on ESPN News the Yankees celebrating, and I must say, it was pretty awesome how Randy Johnson quieted Kim Jones by pouring champagne on her. Also funny to see 7 guys pouring beers on Jeter, and then Melky wouldn't stop. Melky's definitely one of those guys who looks like he'll be fun to have around.

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous nyhmr said…

    Now on to the playoffs!!!

    You put the wrong Twin on your poll. It should ne the eventual MVP Justin Morneau.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said…

    i'd say their only potential stumbling block would be the pitching. randy and wright, while fairly solid in the 2nd half, could spit the bit at any moment, like randy in the angels series last year.

    but their offense is so strong, they might be able to overcome poor pitching anyway.

     
  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said…

    9/22...we got our Mo-jo back!!! Woot!

     
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