As much as I wanted the Yankees to play last night, postponement was probably the right call, I thought to myself, as I trudged through Tribeca in the pouring rain to meet Scott at Mudville9 for a game that wasn't coming.
It initially sounded as though Jered Weaver might toe the rubber for the Angels in Game 6, a development which pleased me no end, as the Yankees have mostly been able to handle Weaver, especially in their home ballpark. However, it appears that Mike Scioscia is also sticking with his original starter, Joe Saunders, which is probably the right move here, especially when you look at Saunders' last two outings against the Yankees, the latter of which came in this very ALCS:
September 21, 2009: 8.1 IP, 7H, 2R, 0BB, 3K
October 17, 2009: 7 IP, 6H, 2R, 1BB, 5K
Of course, Saunders is likely due for some market correction, and if the Yankees can actually get to Saunders early for once, they may end up seeing Weaver enter the game anyway.
The Yankees counter with Andy Pettitte, who would become the winningest postseason pitcher of all time if he can nail down a victory. It goes without saying that this is a big game for both teams, and arguably even moreso for the Yankees, who definitely do not want to have to play a Game 7 on Monday, which would require the use of CC Sabathia and subsequently make the big man available for only two starts in the World Series.
If the Yankees win the ALCS in seven games, A.J. Burnett would then start Game 1 of the World Series, followed by Pettitte in Game 2 on Thursday and Sabathia in Game 3 on Saturday. If the Yankees stayed with the three-man rotation, each starter would have to pitch on short rest throughout the World Series, with Burnett in the pivotal Game 1, 4 and 7 slots.
So it behooves the Yankees to wrap this thing up tonight, which they're definitely going to do, especially since I called the sweep of the Twins and had the Yankees in 6 in my ALCS preview. As wonderful as it would have been to take the ALCS in 5 games, as many have noted, every Yankee fan prior to the series' start would have gladly taken a 3-2 edge over the Angels going into Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, and now it's time for the Yankees to finish the job.