The battle for the AL East is finally over and the Yankees will have to be satisfied with the Wild Card berth in 2010. Not that anything other than a World Series title is considered acceptable in New York but the Yankees would have liked the benefit of home field advantage. Instead the Yankees will travel to Minnesota for Game 1 of the ALCS on Wednesday 10/6.
The Yankees finish the 2010 regular season at 95-67 in a tough AL East division. It was another great offensive year for New York who led the league in runs scored with 855 due in no small part to great offensive years by several players. Robinson Cano led the Yankees with a .319 batting average while Alex Rodriguez made it 13 straight seasons with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
The Twins won the AL Central with a record of 94-68 and went 2-4 agains the Yankees. The two teams met in last year’s ALDS with the Yankees advancing and eventually winning the World Series. Yankees vs Twins ALDS tickets are now available for all games.
Yankees vs. Twins ALDS Schedule:
Game 1: Yankees @ Twins Wednesday, Oct. 6
Game 2: Yankees @ Twins Thursday, Oct. 7
Game 3: Twins @ Yankees Saturday, Oct. 9
Game 4*: Twins @ Yankees Sunday, Oct. 10
Game 5*: Yankees @ Twins Tuesday, Oct. 12
That old Yankee magic seems to be at work once again in October as the New York Yankees stole game 2 from a now desperate Twins team. The Twins took a 3-1 lead into the 9th inning and were on their way to tying this ALDS at 1-1 going back to Minnesota. Enter the new “Mr. October”, Alex Rodriguez. With Mark Texiera on first after a leadoff single, A-Rod slammed a Joe Nathan fastball over the center field wall for a game tying two run homer. In the 11th inning it was Texiera who provided the heroics with a walkoff homer to left field.
The series shifts to Minnesota now for Game 3 on Sunday, where Andy Pettite will face off against Carl Pavano.
ALDS Game 2 is set for tonight at 9:37 PM at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Red Sox will try to even the series against the Angels with Josh Beckett on the hill leading the defense, before they head home to play at Fenway Park. Beckett over the years has experienced his fair share of MLB playoff baseball. In 2003 he led the Florida Marlins past the New York Yankees to win it all, holding a 1.10 ERA in his two World Series starts. In October of last season he struggled with an oblique injury, but for this year Beckett seems healthy and optimistic.
“He works really hard every day of the week,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “So when his day comes, he can go out and be ready to rise to the occasion. He doesn’t have to try to push a button. He’s prepared for what he’s supposed to do. Because of his talent, he put that together in a lot of big situations. He’s come up big.”
Don’t miss the Sox when they come back to Boston for a pair of battles at Fenway. America’s most beloved 37,000+ capacity ballpark is without a doubt most thrilling during MLB post-season play.
Fenway Game Times and Probable Pitchers:
Home Game 1 - Sunday, October 11th, 12:07 PM – Fenway Park
Scott Kazmir (Angels 10-9) vs. Clay Buchholz (Red Sox 7-4)
Home Game 2 - Monday, October 12th, 8:37 (7:30 if only game) - Fenway Park
If Necessary Joe Saunders (Angels 16-7) vs. Red Sox starter TBDBoston Red Sox ALDS tickets are available now!
John Lackey allowed just four hits in seven innings from the mound as the Los Angeles Angels went on to defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 in their opening ALDS matchup. Knowing he hadn’t earned a post-season win since 2002 going into yesterday’s game, Lackey was more than happy to finally help his squad in October. “Even in the bullpen, I knew my arm was feeling good,” he said. “The extra rest that I had really helped me out. I really felt like my arm was pretty live tonight. Our fans get dogged for not being loud enough, but they brought it tonight, and that ovation I got coming off the mound meant a lot to me.”
Jon Lester for the Red Sox let up three runs from one big mistake in his five innings pitched. The flaw in his outing came in the fifth when he left a fast ball right over the plate for Torii Hunter to smash over the center field wall. The three run jack scored Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu.
Game 2 is scheduled for October 9th. Red Sox ace Josh Becket will be taking the mound against the 16-8 Jered Weaver. Don’t miss the chance to see your Red Sox when they come back around to Fenway Park! ALDS tickets are available now!
Riding off their 12 inning AL Central tie-breaking spectacular, the Minnesota Twins carried their adrenalin over to the Bronx but couldn’t keep it up for all nine innings. Yankees veteran shortstop Derek Jeter crushed a two run shot down the left field line in the bottom of the third inning last night to bring New York back in the game. From there the Bronx Bombers completely dominated, finishing the ALDS opener with a 7-2 victory.
CC Sabathia showed he can perform on the hill just as well in October, letting up just two runs in eight innings of work. Jeter and third basemen Alex Rodriguez led the Yanks high power offense with two hits apiece. Outfielder Hideki Matsui contributed with 2 RBI’s from his 5th inning blast to center field.
Minnesota is not yet discouraged but is excited to have an extra day to be ready for Game 2. “We all need to go home, get a good night’s rest,” said Twins pitcher Carl Pavano, who will start Game 3. “We’re going to be a little fresher, I’m sure, on Friday.” Saturdays game will again take place at Yankee Stadium and is scheduled to start up at 6:07 PM.
Don’t miss out on the ALDS action! Tickets are available now!
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
The Red Sox (Wild Card) and Angels (AL West Champs) since 2004 have met three different times in the American League Division Series in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Boston has the clear advantage thus far based on what history tells us, knowing they’ve won all three previous ALDS battles with ease. In their first two meetings the Sox swept LA en route to winning the World Series. In 2008 it took Boston four games to beat the Angels, where they advanced and eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
Even though the Angels haven’t been too successful in the playoffs against Boston, they seem to be more confident than ever looking ahead to their October stretch. “I really like this team, where we are,” said Angels veteran right fielder Bobby Abreu. “I feel like it’s our time, I really do.” LA is one game up on the Red Sox for 2009, winning five out of their nine games played.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting Pitchers:
Game 1 – Thursday, October 8th, 9:37 PM – Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Jon Lester (Red Sox 15-8) vs. John Lackey (Angels 11-8)
Game 2 – Friday, October 9th, 9:37 PM – Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Josh Beckett (Red Sox 17-6) vs. Jered Weaver (Angels 16-8)
Game 3 – Sunday, October 11th, Time TBD – Fenway Park
Clay Buchholz (Red Sox 7-4) vs. Scott Kazmir (Angels 10-9)
Game 4 – Monday, October 12th, Time TBD – Fenway Park If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 14th, Time TBD – Angel Stadium of Anaheim If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
Right after the Minnesota Twins barely edged the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central tie-breaker game, the club had less than a day to pack up and travel to the Bronx for their ALDS meeting against the New York Yankees. This matchup will surely favor the Yankees, knowing their 7-0 2009 regular season record against Minnesota. Manager Joe Girardi believes this year’s Yankee team won’t take any opponent lightly no matter how well they have previously performed.
“It’s a lot different team,” said Girardi. “I sense that there was a determination after what we went through last year when we didn’t make the playoffs. You don’t play this game and put all that hard work in to just make the playoffs. There’s a goal set. And the goal was set when we went to work last winter.” Despite the Bronx Bombers success all season long, don’t be surprised if Minnesota can ride off their high energy and come in looking to spoil a game or two.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting Pitchers:
Game 1 – Wednesday, October 7th, 6:07 PM – Yankee Stadium
CC Sabathia (Yankees 19-8) vs. Brian Duensing (Twins 5-2)
Game 2 – Friday, October 9th, 6:07 PM – Yankee Stadium
A.J. Burnett (Yankees 13-9) vs. Nick Blackburn (Twins 11-11)
Game 3 – Sunday, October 11th, Time TBD – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Andy Pettit (Yankees 14-8) vs. Carl Pavano (Twins 14-2)
Game 4 – Monday, October 12th, Time TBD – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 14th, Time TBD – Yankee Stadium If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
With less than a week left in this year’s regular season, most playoff bound teams have already clinched their spots. The New York Yankees look like they’ll be staying at the top of the league with 102 wins. Clinching the AL East Division this past weekend, they should expect to face the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers in the first round, unless the Minnesota Twins string a big set of wins together. The Tigers are currently 84-73 and lead Minnesota by two games.
The Boston Red Sox with a Texas Rangers loss were just able to earn the AL Wild Card. They are set to face the LA Angels of Anaheim who will finish as the AL West leaders. The matchup will mark the fourth ALDS meeting between the two teams. In 2004 and 2007 the Sox swept the Angels in the initial series on their way to win the World Series. Anaheim was able to avoid the sweep in last year’s contest but the Sox still took care of business in four games.
The American League playoff picture is pretty much set in stone. With the Yankees on a tear and Boston’s previous ALDS history against the Angels, it is very likely for another Sox/Yanks ALCS showdown in the near future. However, if Tigers ace Justin Verlander can shut down New York in one of the first two games it could be anyone’s series. The Angels despite years past have the upper hand on the Red Sox in 2009, winning 5 out of their nine games played. Don’t miss out on the most exciting baseball to come all year.
American League Division Series tickets are now available!
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