Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thriller in the Bronx

I was feeling pretty good about the Yankees' chances of winning it all going into the playoffs, but after being at last night's game, I now believe the Yanks are destined to win the World Series. How else do you explain their thrilling Game 2 win in the American League Championship Series, especially considering the miscues and missed opportunities? And boy, there were a lot of those. Like the Yankees failing to score after the second base umpire rightly said Erick Aybar failed to touch second base while trying to turn a double play in the 10th. Or a rare error by Derek Jeter that put the Yanks in a huge jam in the 8th.

But too many things are going right for the Yankees and there are no signs of anything stopping them. Alex Rodriguez seems intent on shattering his history of postseason failure. There was a palpable sense of dismay in the crowd yesterday when the Angels scored their third run, led by Chone Figgins clutch hit and his emotional reaction when reaching second. But ARod coming back to hit an 0-2 pitch and immediately tying the game quickly cast aside any sense of impending doom. After that blast, you just knew somehow, the Yankees were going to win that game.

Another sign that the Yanks were going to beat the Halos: Mariano Rivera pitching 2 1/3 innings to keep the game tied, helped out by solid plays by Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano. It reminded me of his clutch performance in the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox, a game that ended with Mo collapsing on the mound in utter joy after Aaron Boone won the game with a home run.
I was predicting a repeat of that 7-game series against the Angels with the Yanks coming out on top, but you wonder if the Angels can come back from such a crushing defeat, especially with Andy Pettitte on the mound for the Yanks tomorrow. The Halos do have the advantage of going home for three games, but the Yankees are set up to put a quick end to what everyone expected to be a long series.

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