Even after the New York Yankees won the ALDS, the team was bombarded with questions about everything from will Alex Rodriguez be on the playoff roster to what they were planning on doing next season with players.
Not having the luxury of a day off between the ALDS and the ALCS like the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees never had a chance to take a minute to reflect, or even relax. By no means is being down three games in a best-of-seven series a time to relax, but with so many problems and injuries popping up like weeds, the day off may be just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees.
The pressure level is always high in the Bronx, but nothing like the possibility of getting shut out in a playoff series for the first time since 1976.
No real personnel issues will change with the postponement–same pitchers and assumedly the same lineups for the game, but this could be a time for Yankees skipper Joe Girardi to take a minute to think about what he can do to help this struggling lineup.
The initial lineup for Game 4, just like the first few, looked nothing like the lineup that got the Yankees into the playoffs. So why not play the regular starters?
The Yankees got this far with a team that was very capable of scoring and hitting and somehow lost that before they headed to the ALCS against the Tigers. Girardi, of all the individuals with a day off, should take this chance to reflect on what got his team this far.
Instead of Girard’s normal mixing and matching of the lineup card, with each day odder-looking than the day before, why not take a chance: pull out one from July and use that. In the postseason, down a game or three, is not the time to mess with so many pieces every day. With the Yankees, everything is a story, so he is not only messing with the lineups, he is creating a media distraction, the kind he so often says he doesn’t like.
If doing this was making a difference, his point could be validated, but so far, just two moves with one player have worked. There may be a need to change something every game, but so far, it has not been a change that’s putting the Yankees in a position to win. All these changes are needed is what he tells the media, but is it possible that it is time to do nothing?
With the night off, the players have had a chance to reflect and possibly remember what it was that made them such a powerful lineup so they can save the season.
Girardi also had a chance to reflect on who helped the Yankees achieve the best record in the American League, who helped them lead all of baseball in homeruns, runs scored, hits, and most, if not all, of the batting categories in baseball.
Change is not always better. These are professional athletes, they should know what needs to be done to get runs scored.
The Yankees need to rally around someone or something, because they themselves have witnessed coming back down this far, and know it can be done.
Since this was possibly the first chance the Yankees have had to think in these playoffs, it could help. Right now the Yankees are looking for anything to help. In baseball, sometimes all a team needs is one big hit, or for the Yankees, taking a lead instead of having to ignite a comeback rally. They have been given another day, they have to take advantage of it and quickly figure out what is wrong.
In Girardi’s case, the night gave him time to think, which may not be the best for him since he seems unable to come up with the right formula to win. So why not stick with what got the team here? It is not as if the Yankees lineup can get much worse.
Looking at the lineup on October 17, 2012 compared to mid-July, it would seem the Yankees were playing a double-header and giving their stars a game off. The time in the dugout waiting to play and the chance they were given to survive another day, even if it were because of Mother Nature, may have been a gift.
Right now the Yankees are looking for any and all answers, when maybe the answer has always been there and this time, albeit small, may have been time enough for the team–as well as coach–to realize that they are the Yankees, and they are good.
Girardi had a night to do a lot or nothing with the lineup that was posted last night. Since none of his lineup changes are working, why not try something insane and just play the Yankees that got the team this far? Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing too much.
What is the worst that could happen? The Yankees lose in four. They are already faced with every mathematical and baseball stat there is against them.
Girardi may take some heat, but it will die down as the team heads to the offseason. The lineup for the original Game 4 was not a winning lineup, and maybe Girardi is out of options, so go back to what got the Yankees here.
Who knows, maybe you catch lighting in a bottle and the Yankees get this series back to the Bronx–they do like to keep it interesting.