Two games into both American League Division Series match-ups and it seems that the Yankees made the right decision by winning the Wild Card.

The New York media continuously jumped on the Yankees regarding their play over the past two months. In reality, yes, they were playing horribly, but they were also not playing with a sense of urgency. The Yankees had already put the Boston Red Sox away, or at least it was the feeling at the time, and they played poorly because of it.

Joe Girardi knew his team was veteran laden, a nice word for being old, and this allowed him to rest some of his regulars before the grind of the postseason began. As a result, the Bronx Bombers went a combined 30-31 to end the season, yet still managed 96 wins.

The prolonged slump scared some in the media and fan base, who thought the Yankees would not be able to flip the switch once the calendar turned to October. However, the way they played down the stretch showed they had a plan.

The Yankees did not want to face the Texas Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Yankees split eight games with them this season, including a three game sweep in Texas, where they were thoroughly outplayed in every facet of the game.

They had every reason to fear playing them. The Rangers feature a rotation with two lefties, including one the Yankees are extremely familiar with, having faced him in the World Series last season. The Yankees Achilles heel this season has been facing lefties, and going against Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson, was not something they wanted to do.


Girardi’s pitching staff also has to be thankful that they do not have to go up against the juggernaut that is the Rangers offense. They can beat you with the long ball and small ball, without showing mercy for any of their opponents. 

Once the Yankees clinched the Wild Card, they did not have to worry much about the Rangers. Instead, they became the Tampa Bay Rays problems, and problems are exactly what the Rays have has so far against the Rangers.

The Rangers clubbed around Rays ace pitcher, David Price, to win game one, and then tallied another six runs off “Big Game James” in game two. The Rays are now in a desperate situation against the Rangers, facing elimination, with Matt Garza on the hill to save their season.

The Yankees, however, received an adequate pitching performance from C.C. Sabathia last night, in addition to some clutch hitting from Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson, to get the victory. Tonight, the Yankees sent Andy Pettitte, their old war horse and the most successful pitcher in playoff history, to the mound in hopes of taking a commanding series lead.

Clutch pitching from Pettitte, clutch hitting from the veteran Yankee lineup, and the brilliance of Mariano Rivera closing out the game for a second consecutive night, gave the Yankees complete control in the series. 

As the Rays contemplate the end of their season, the Yankees are one win away from advancing to the ALCS, knowing they made the right decision.

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