2011 ALDS: 5 Things That Need to Happen for Yankees to Reach the ALCS
Game 2 of the ALDS just ended as the Tigers beat the Yankees 5-3. Powered by a Miguel Cabrera home run in the first and strong pitching from starter Max Scherzer, the Tigers tied the series up at one game a piece.
Yesterday Robinson Cano led the Yankees offense while Alex Rodriguez went 0-5. This needs to change.
This article isn't supposed to be pessimistic or doubting the Yankees' ability to produce, it's just a few things that I think need to happen if they do want to move onto the ALCS.
Arod Needs to Produce
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In the month of September Rodriguez hit .196, with just two home runs in 15 games. So far in the two postseason game Arod is 0-8.
He needs to step up and produce or teams will start to IBB Cano to get to Arod, to produce easy outs.
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Yes they are hitting the long ball with three already in two games, but they are not hitting for average.
Derek Jeter, Martin, Gardner, Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez are all hitting at or less than .200. Players other than Cano, Granderson and POSADA need to step up.
Hit with Runners in Scoring Position
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Collectively as a team the Yankees are just 2-19 with runners in scoring position! Both hits are big hits though, with one being Cano's grand slam in Game 1.
To win games you gotta score runs, and to score runs you have to drive in runs.
A.J. Burnett Has to Give Them a Quality Start
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Because of the rain out/delay in Game 1, Burnett will have to pitch Game 4.
Burnett went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA during the regular season, although did pitch well in his final start going seven and a third against a dead Red Sox line
I'm not asking him to pitch a complete game shutout, but I am asking him to give the Yankees something they can work with like a quality start. That's not to much to ask from Burnett, right? Right?
Make Verlander Work
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Justin Verlander was the best pitcher during the regular season this year. Whether you look at it from a traditional standpoint or a saber-metric one, there's no arguing that there was a better pitcher than Verlander.
In the lone inning he pitched in Game 1, the Yankees forced him to throw 25 pitches. That was perfect, as they could get to the bullpen.
If the Yankees can knock him out in 4-5 innings, even if they don't score a run, they can go against a bullpen they have fared well against so far.