October 20, 2010 — The Yankees came into Game 5 of the ALCS on the brink of elimination for the first time since 2007.
The Yankees took staved off the Rangers for another day, but winning Game 5 in convincing fashion.
Elimination games bring intense pressure, and the Yankees still need to win two more of them. But the first one is in the books, and the ALCS is going back to Texas.
The Yankees may have more confidence in Game 6, thanks to tonight’s 7-2 win, but their approach won’t change.
In a team meeting before today’s game, Joe Girardi stressed the “one game at a time approach.” That message came through loud and clear tonight.
“You worry about your guys trying to do too much,” Girardi said. “You can only focus on the game today. You can’t think about tomorrow or the next day.”
“The message is that we just play hard today and forget about tomorrow,” Mariano Rivera added.
The Yankees played hard today, and it was obvious that they were focused on the task at hand. That wasn’t surprising to see from a veteran team, but it is by no means an easy task.
Well, today is over, and the Yankees’ focus has moved Game 6 in Texas on Friday night.
–Alfred Santasiere III