How fitting it is that the New York Yankees’ season came to an end at the hands of Alex Rodriguez.
Just one more yankee “star” not performing in the playoffs. He has never produced in the postseason as a Yankee, and he continued to struggle at the plate last night when he struck out to end the ALDS in an elimination game five. In New York.
A Rod shares the blame with Mark Teixeira. The four and five hitters in the Yankee lineup were awful in the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, but they have been this bad in the playoffs since they became Yankees. With a stacked lineup, a CY Young ace, an above average bullpen and the highest payroll in the majors, there’s no reason the Yankees were bounced in the division series.
Their pitching was their downfall. Ultimately C.C. was their ace, but not their best pitcher. He gave up an early lead to the Tigers in game one, and then again in game three when he got an opportunity to pitch a full game. C.C was not himself in this series.
Sabathia has an option to return to New York next year to pitch, or he can opt out of his contract. With many analysts and baseball brains thinking he is going to opt out and move on, it’s easy to criticize of C.C’s performance in the series.
Some will say he gave up. He let his team down.
He could have pitched better, but after carrying the Yankees’ staff the entire regular season, C.C. looked out of gas during his start in game three, and looked absolutely drained in game five. Joe Girardi, New York Yankees manager, brought C.C. in to relieve Phil Hughes in game five. Hughes relieved Ivan Nova, who came out after two innings due to forearm stiffness.
Sabathia did everything he could for his drowning club. But the real blame falls on the “superstar sluggers” Rodriguez and Teixeira.
Teixeira had a ground-ruled-double in game five, but it didn’t amount to any runs. He didn’t have any key hits in the Division Series, and the Yankees needed him to.
The Yankees’ who consistently produced over the course of the five game series were Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardener. Gardener was the most reliable Yankeee in the series, but Girardi batted him ninth the entire series in a stubborn move. The Yankee manager kept his lineup the same from game one of the series, even though it wasn’t working.
Rodriguez and Teixeira weren’t hitting blimps, Swisher couldn’t hit the side of a barn, Russell Martin looked like he was already golfing, and the pitching staff let the lineup down.
Losing Ivan Nova in the second inning hurt the Yankees, and Girardi had to play his bullpen the entire game. He was put behind the eight-ball, and couldn’t put game five in the corner pocket.
The Yankees’ fans should be disappointed about the 2011 season. It ended too quick, and it all happened because of their fat-contracted stars.