Five Cuts: Yankees' power pitching is stifling the Angels' offense
1. Yankees catcher
The New York offense hit the Angels in Game 4 with its full force, and
Since Sept. 1 and including the postseason, Sabathia, Burnett and
Eiland said he kept looking for the tell-tale sign that Sabathia was getting fatigued: His back leg collapses slightly in his delivery. "Never happened," Eiland said. "He just got stronger."
If the Yankees can dispose of Los Angeles in Game 5 on Thursday night, they will get a five-day break before the World Series; Sabathia would have seven days of rest heading into Game 1, which would mean extra rest for six of his last eight starts -- and the possibility of starting three times in the World Series without any problem.
"It's important to try to close series out when you can," Girardi said, "because if you're able to do it, it allows you to set up your pitching."
Just how good have the Yankees' starters been? Check out the New York starters this postseason as compared to its starters since 2004 ALCS Game 4:
2. Angels manager
But what about left fielder
3. The Angels, with two steals in just three attempts, haven't been able to get their running game going in the ALCS, in part because the Yankees have defended it so well. Pettitte, for instance, threw 17 times to first base in Game 2. Sabathia has a quick slide step for a big man. Even Burnett holds runners fairly well.
The Yankees' deep team of scouts also deserves recognition. No team has more information available in the dugout than do the Yankees. Of particular note is the defensive positioning of left fielder
4. The Yankees are one win away from setting up a World Series that may set records for times of games. The Phillies use a similar m.o. as New York: an offense built on walks and home runs. They spit on pitches out of the strike zone, always trusting the next guy in a deep lineup to get the job done. And when they do get pitches to hit, home runs are often the result. This postseason, the Phillies have outscored their opponents 55-31, outhomered them 14-8 and outwalked them 48-22.
If the Yankees win one more ALCS game, the World Series will be played in the two parks that allowed the most home runs this year. And it will be a matchup of teams that led their league in runs and home runs. The last time we got a World Series matchup with that kind of league-best firepower? You have to go all the way back to 1926, when the Cardinals and Yankees met.
And by the way, chalk up one more win for East Coast Baseball, with the Dodgers wilting in Philadelphia once again in Wednesday night's NLCS clincher. That makes West Coast teams 3-18 since 2003 and 10-37 in the wild-card era when they step into the usually cold weather and intense environment of postseason baseball in the Eastern hotbeds (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore).
5. Think the Phillies are battle-tested? Philadelphia is playing .783 baseball over the past two postseasons, going 18-5 without ever losing more than one game in five straight series. The Phillies' best news to come out of their latest series win is that their bullpen looks far better than it did toward the end of the regular season, especially