Yankees Daily Briefing 10/01/11

After the first game of the ALDS was suspended due to rain, the Yankees and Tigers will try again tomorrow, with Ivan Nova and Doug Fister replacing CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast again, and it's looking like a possibility that the Yankees and Tigers will have to play the ALDS with no off days, not even for travel.

Discussion of the Day: If Saturday’s game is rained out, would you prefer the Yankees and Tigers play a doubleheader on Sunday, or use the current plan to play straight through with no off days?

Behind Enemy Lines: Steve Politi writes about Jim Leyland’s Old-School tendencies while Brendan Prunty catches up with former Yankee Phil Coke.

1) Wallace Matthews considers five keys that the Yankees need to consider for the ALDS.

The Tigers and Yankees are, on the face of it, pretty evenly matched: both rely heavily on one ace (and have gotten surprisingly effective help from their number two starters), have a dangerous middle-of-the order, and a vaunted bullpen. One could argue that the Yankees’ lineup and bullpen are better than Detroit’s, but that the Tigers have the edge in the rotation; either way Friday’s suspension neutralizes both team’s aces, and the Yankees might very well be forced to find out if having A.J. Burnett on the playoff roster over Bartolo Colon was the right move to make.

2) Kevin Kernan notes that the three team trade involving Curtis Granderson has paid dividends for everyone involved.

Indeed, all three teams involved – the Yankees with Granderson, the Tigers with Phil Coke, Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer, and the Diamondbacks with Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson -- have made the 2011 playoffs, and furthermore, all made it as division winners. Granderson was considered an MVP candidate for much of the season and will probably still make most ballots; Kennedy will probably garner a few Cy Young votes in the National League, and Detroit got some much needed depth for their rotation.

3) John Harper writes that the Yankees need Sabathia to pitch like an ace.

This is, of course, not a new sentiment. The Yankees needed every pitch of Sabathia’s in the 2009 playoffs and again needed his help in 2010; without Andy Pettitte this season one can argue that the Yankees’ rotation is significantly weaker, although Nova has perhaps been better than anyone has expected. The Yankees have a lineup that's good enough to overcome a shallow rotation, but the postseason is different than the regular season -- every other team to reach the postseason has decent pitching and hitting (or decent enough, at any rate), and the Yankees will need their ace to match their opponent's.

4) Danny Wild reports that Triple-A Scranton will play their home games in a variety of locations. The team’s home field is undergoing renovations that will take the entire season, and the Mets shot down a proposal which would have had the Scranton team playing in Newark.