Anatomy of the New York Yankees’ LCS Defeat

October 26, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

It’s been a few days since the Bronx Bombers dropped Game 6 of the ALCS in Texas. And while the healing-process was undoubtedly delayed by Cooper’s drunken rants against all things Yankee and the decade-old ramblings from an endangered species called “Orioles Fans,” the fact that the Knicks are set to start the most exciting season in nearly a decade is enough to get us out of bed in the morning.

However, in the next couple days we’ll take a look at what went wrong, what went right and what needs to change for the 2010 New York Yankees.

By Anthony Strait

The New York Yankees headed into their American League Championship Series matchup with so much on their side. They were coming off a three-game demolition of the Minnesota Twins which allowed them some rest. The starting pitching was coming together after a rough September and looked poised to power the team much like in 2009. An added bonus was that the Texas Rangers needed all five games to eliminate the Tampa Bay Rays, meaning that Cliff Lee would not start till Game 3.

Yet so much went wrong for the Yankees that many will make the argument that they could have easily been swept if not for a bullpen meltdown by the Rangers in Game 1. The Yankees ALCS loss in the end became a microcosm of the problems that plagued them over the last month of the season and in the end left them short of their ultimate goal: repeating.

You can start with the Yankees bats, which many felt would be the strength that would carry them back to the fall classic. In the regular season, New York led the majors with 859 runs—72 more runs than the Rangers. Yet outside of Robinson Cano and an eighth-inning comeback in Game 1, the Yankees bats were punchless.

The team batting average in the regular season was .267; in the LCS they batted .201 with a .300 on-base percentage. New York was just 5-for-47 with runners in scoring position in Games 2 through 6. A more sobering realization for the Yanks was that Cliff Lee pitched once in the series—meaning they couldn’t hit the other Rangers pitchers either. Losing Mark Teixeira didn’t help matters but he didn’t have a hit in the series (0-14). All in all, the Yankees scored just 19 runs in the series.

“We’re capable of anything at any time on offense,” said GM Brian Cashman after the Game 6 loss. “But outside of the one inning [eighth inning of Game 1] and the one game in New York [Game 5], we didn’t do anything.”

The Yankees offense vanished while the starting pitching was pretty much beaten up throughout the series. CC Sabathia was roughed up in Game 1 and Phil Hughes followed that up by allowing seven runs in four innings in Game 2. The starting pitching, a question mark at the end of the regular season; pitched well in the Minnesota series. Against Texas however the ERA through the six games was 6.58. Andy Pettitte pitched well in Game 3 while the decision to start AJ Burnett was questioned. Yet Burnett pitched well up until the sixth inning of Game 4. The starting rotation struggled down the stretch and was really roughed up by an aggressive Texas team that ran the bases and forced the issue.

Another key under the microscope and one that will be during the offseason will be manager Joe Girardi’s decisions during the series. The decision to start Phil Hughes in Game 2 over Pettitte raised eyebrows. Many viewed starting Sabathia and Pettitte back to back would have given the Yanks a chance at trying to steal two games on the road before facing Lee.

Game 4 saw Girardi going with the numbers game in leaving Burnett in one inning too long. It led to an intentional walk of David Murphy followed by Benji Molina’s three-run home run that gave the Rangers the lead for good.

The final nail was bringing in David Robertson after Hughes was knocked out of Game 6. He immediately served up a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz.

A series that saw the Yankees get outplayed, and to an extent out-managed, has now left them with an offseason full of questions to answer. The future of the core four (Jorge Posada, Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera) is up in the air, along with adding or subtracting personnel.

Heading into the playoffs the Yankees looked like a shell of the team that won it all a year ago. The Rangers made them look old through six games and now it will be up to Cashman to retool for 2011. Perhaps he can look at the last week to address the team’s needs; considering they will have the winter to reflect on a series where everything did go wrong.


This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If it’s offbeat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders or Rangers, than The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at www.NYSportsDigest.com


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