Yanks Look Relaxed in Game 1 of ALCS

October 13, 2012 — As I wrote on this blog in before, every clubhouse celebration is different. Each champagne bath has it’s own unique qualities.

When the Yankees splashed each other with the bubbly last night, I was taken aback by how relaxed the team was. Not that any one player gave me the sense that they were about to take the Tigers lightly, but there was certainly a feeling of relief in the room.

The Yankees had just won a series that went down to the wire. Two of the five games were won in extra innings, one was one in the ninth and last night’s game came down to CC Sabathia getting out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the eighth.

Besides the in-game stress from each of the five contests against an Orioles team was as tough as any in baseball, the Yankees endured enough rain delays and train delays to stick in their memory for a while.

Anyway, the celebration was subdued, since the ALCS was set to begin 24 hours later, but in speaking to a few Yankees hitters, they seemed confident that their offense would score enough runs to succeed against the Tigers.

In my opinion, Mark Teixeira said it best when addressing all the attention that the Yankees lack of offensive fire-power got in the ALDS.

“It seems like in every playoff series, a few hitters are hitting every time up, a few guys are really struggling and a few guys are hitting at an average pace,” Teixeira said. “That’s what happened against Baltimore. There will be guys who struggle in the ALCS, but overall, our lineup is too good not to break through.”

After two innings of baseball in the ALCS, the Yankees lineup hasn’t broken through yet, but they still look significantly more relaxed and more efficient then they did during all but a few innings of the Baltimore series.

The Yankees have three hits and three walks thus far, and the bases have been loaded in each of the first two frames. Both innings ended on hard ground balls — one off the bat of Alex Rodriguez that narrowly missed going through the infield and the other off the bat of Robinson Cano that he came within a hair of beating out. For the record, he was called out on a controversial call at first base.

Another encouraging note is that Tigers’ starting pitcher Doug Fister threw 50 pitches over those two innings, and the Tigers bullpen pales in comparison to that of the Baltimore Orioles.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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