Five Cuts: Angels could be facing another long, cold night in Game 2
1. The Angels didn't show up for Game 1 of the ALCS Friday, looking more like they'd rather be curled up by a fireplace than fighting through the New York autumnal cold for the American League pennant. Both their task and the weather could take a turn for the worse in Game 2.
Los Angeles will send to the mound
"For any pitcher going against them, it's more about throwing strikes, getting ahead and working ahead," Saunders said. "I think if you get behind those guys, you know, they're going to hurt you. If they're in hitter's counts, obviously they're going to hurt you pretty good and hit the ball pretty hard. For me and for us it's about throwing strike one, working ahead and getting them on the defensive and off the offensive."
That's sound philosophy to pound the strike zone against New York, but it's nothing Game 1 starter
2. The Angels had better do a better job competing in the elements in Game 2 or else they will be down two games to none by the time they warm up their toes back home.
Remember, this is a team centerfielder
3. Let's remember, too, that the Angels are in the way of a team that is no longer just hot, but bordering on an historically great run. The Yankees are 69-27 in their past 96 games, a .719 winning percentage. Only six Yankees teams have ever been that good for that long in the regular season; five of them won world championships, including some of their most iconic teams ever (1927, 1938, 1941, 1961 and 1998) and the sixth won 103 games.
Game 1 actually was a very unusual game for the Yankees. It was only the fourth time this year they won at Yankee Stadium without hitting a home run. And they didn't score after the sixth inning. The Yankees' ability to absolutely wear down opponents is why I believe this will be a short series; Los Angeles doesn't have enough power pitching at the back of a game to hold them down.
The Yankees are little more than a pretty decent team -- until they get into the last third of the game, when their war of attrition strategy takes hold. The Yankees are at their best, by far, the deeper the game goes. Check out the team's run differential when you break the game into thirds:
4. This bears repeating on
"He's been great all through the second half," Pettitte said. "All of his pitches are there. He has such quality stuff that I think he can go out there and just locate his fastball and win. His stuff is so good. Plus, I think the off days have really helped us [pitchers]. I feel strong. I feel unbelievable."
5. That wasn't vintage
Martinez threw 87 pitches, and the Dodgers swung and missed at only four of them. He struck out only three batters. And yet they managed only two hits and never reached even as far as third base. He left after seven shutout innings, his reputation as a master craftsman burnished brighter than ever. Only once before in his pitching career did Martinez throw at least seven shutout innings without striking out more than three batters, and that happened six years ago.
In eight days Martinez turns 38 years old, and that may be most impressive number of all. Inside the past 12 months, most of his pitching contemporaries have been driven to retirement, injury or humility, among them
Martinez became the oldest starting pitcher in National League postseason history to allow neither a run or a walk. Only a pair of 38-year-old Yankees,