yanks head home down 0-2

The Yankees got absolutely spanked Thursday night by the Indians.  Chien-Ming Wang, who was our ace during the regular season with a 19-7 record, looked like crap.

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Facing a 19 game winner in CC Sabathia is no easy feat, but he was definitely off his game and we should have capitalized.  The Yankees offense was nowhere to be found.

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So how would Andy Pettitte do in Game 2 on Friday night?  Andy who is a Yankee living legend, has won 4 titles with Bombers and is also 2nd all time in playoff wins (14), behind John Smoltz (15).  If anybody can get the job done in crunch time, it’s Andy.

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Andy pitched a gem of a game.  Joba Chamberlain probably could have preserved Andy’s shutout if it weren’t for the damn midges.  In what can only be described as a an absolutely bizarre scene, a cloud of bugs swarmed the pitcher’s mound when Joba was out there.  Check the video here.  He had to get hosed down with bug spray twice by a Yankees trainer, but the little bastards kept coming back.  Although Joba was a true champion and denied the bugs having anything to do with his wild pitch that ended up bringing in the tying run, I am going to say bullshit.  He is saying the right thing, and I totally respect that.  We have a real champion on our hands here, Yankee nation.  This guy is the real deal.  His face and neck were literally covered in bugs… and it was his first ever playoff appearance.

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Regardless, the Yankees pitching staff came through in the clutch tonight.  It was the offense that was nowhere to be found on a second consecutive night.

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Most noticeable is A-Rod continued miserable playoff performance.  I will say this much… the regular season doesn’t mean anything anymore (54HR, 156 RBI, .314 BA).   This guy is supposed to be the best player in baseball, if not one of the best ever.  How do you continuously choke in the playoffs?  The season JUST ended a week ago, it’s not like you were off for a few months and all of a sudden got rusty.  In a 5 game series, there is no time to fall into a slump.  He is a deplorable 4-for-47 (.085) with no RBIs in his last 14 postseason games.  A statistic that is probably even more nagging for A-Rod is 0… as in 0 championships.

I am a firm believer that pitching and defense wins championships.  The Yankees historic 2nd half of this season (48-24 record) was spearheaded by the most potent offense in the majors, working harmoniously alongside an overachieving (and over-aged) pitching staff.  Both of these pieces of the puzzle better come together by Game 3, or else this season is over.  What a shame that would be, after being down 14.5 games to the Sox in May… only to get shown up in the first series by the Indians (the Yankees swept the Indians 6-0 this season).  Up next on the mound is the 44 years young, Roger Clemens.  Good news: he is 27-8 lifetime against the Indians.

On a side note, the Yankees were last swept 3-0 in the 1980 championship series against the Kansas City Royals.  The Yanks have only been swept 4 times in their playoff history.

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