My friend and fellow Yankee fan, Angelo, was on me for not mentioning the Yankees on my blog in a while. And, he's right. The Yankees had a great regular season after a slow start. And, they were incredibly clutch in sweeping the Twins. I guess all these years living in Red Sox country have made me gun shy. But, with the Red Sox out of it (in a hurry!), I'll crow about the Yankees for a bit.
The key to the Yankees is their starting pitching. The more they can stick with three starters (Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte), the better chance they have. They've moved Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen, where he is very effective. Their fourth starter would be Chad Gaudin, not exactly imposing. I've heard that they are thinking of pitching Sabathia in Game 4 on three days rest. With a day off before a possible Game 5, they could go back to Burnett, Pettitte, and then Sabathia again for the possible games 5, 6, and 7. I like this strategy.
Of course, the Yankees bullpen has been excellent and is the best among the remaining teams, with Mariano Rivera as the one guy you'd always want on the mound at the end of the game, even as he approaches his 40th birthday.
The Yankees offense, other than A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada, was relatively quiet vs. the Twins. But, their offense is too deep to stay quiet. And, they don't need everyone to be hot in order to win. Jeter is the key. He's getting on base all the time and making heads-up plays in the field (as usual).
The Angels are the one team that gives the Yankees the most trouble. But, this year the Yankees split 10 games vs. the Angels and won 2 out of the last three in Anaheim. And, as the Red Sox learned, past results mean nothing.