After taking the first game of the ALDS behind Ivan Nova's stellar technically-a-relief-appearance, the Yankees will attempt to push the Tigers to the brink on Sunday afternoon. Detroit will have Max Scherzer on the mound, as they will try to even the series and neutralize home field advantage.
Discussion of the Day: What do you think is the most impressive postseason performance from a rookie Yankee pitcher? Andy Pettitte? Ivan Nova? Someone else come to mind?
Behind Enemy Lines: Vincent C. Mercogliano writes that the future looks bright for Scherzer.
Burnett, of course, had anything but a solid season for the Yankees, but the other options for a fourth starter are not without their own drawbacks. Phil Hughes missed part of September with back spasms, and Bartolo Colon was noticeably less effective in the second half, likely a result of fatigue from pitching more innings than he has since 2005. In the best case scenario, the Yankees sweep the Tigers and the fourth starter is a moot point (at least, until the ALCS), but as long as Joe Girardi has a quick hook with Burnett, the Yankees should be in decent shape.
2) Rob Parker writes that the Yankees are making the right decision sending Garcia to pitch in Game 2 of the ALDS, and not CC Sabathia on short rest.
The decision might be more debatable had the Yankees lost Game 1, but ahead in the series there seems to be no reason not to give Sabathia an extra day of rest. Garcia's season numbers might not pop, but he's certainly been effective for the Yankees this season, posting an ERA and WHIP favorably comparable to another former Yankee.
3) Brendan Prunty reflects on the discussion about whether to build a roof while constructing the new Yankee Stadium.
New York weather in April and late October can be unpleasant, rainy and cold (and snow is not out of the picture, either). Still, the Yankees have played in the Bronx since the 1920s, and they've done for so long without a roof that unless there's more to climate change than anyone realizes, it would seem perhaps an over-indulgence for a roof in New York. More importantly, however, is the cost -- even without a roof, building a stadium isn't exactly cheap, and adding a roof would have been an unnecessary addition. Weather at the start of the season and towards the end of the playoffs, and being able to play in the cold weather can be turned into an advantage -- as the Angels might recall.
4) Tim Bontemps writes that it was a mixed bag for Yankees' prospects in the minors this season.
The Yankees' farm system didn't necessarily have a bad season; Hector Noesi, Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine and others all made their major league debuts with the team that had drafted and/or signed them, and some prospects, such as Mason Williams, did have big years. Compared to the resounding success of last season, however, 2011 for the Yankees' system looks far more ordinary. Andrew Brackman took a step back, while J.R. Murphy, Slade Heathcott and Gary Sanchez had their seasons hampered by injuries. Even so, the Yankees system still remains in better shape than it was in the middle of last decade, and there's every reason to believe it will continue to produce.