Freddy Garcia has, perhaps, been the most consistent starter for the Yankees in 2011, if not necessarily the best. He'll be on the mound on Sunday as the Yankees will try to reduce their magic number even further. The Yankees will face Toronto's Brandon Morrow (9-11, 5.23), who has struggled this season -- and allowed five or more runs in four of his last five starts.
Discussion of the Day: If you were sculpting a Mount Rushmore of pitchers for the Yankees, would Mariano Rivera be on it? If not, who would?
Behind Enemy Lines: Tyler Kepner considers the issues the Blue Jays (and Orioles) have to face, playing in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox. The problem -- and one that those who support realignment cite -- is that Toronto can't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, who have many more resources at their disposal. On the other hand, the recent success of the Rays proves it's not impossible for a team other than the two major powers to sit atop the division
For many, one of Rivera's assets is that, unlike many other closers in baseball, Rivera's celebration is usually not more than a simple handshake with his catcher. Ultimately, how Rivera celebrates his saves is much less important than that he gets them, but the understatement seems to fit in with the traditional Yankees' ideal of professionalism. While many athletes often make mention of thanking God for their success, as Raissman notes, when it comes to Rivera, there's not any doubt that his faith is the genuine thing.
2) Eric Schultz at The Yankee Analysts wonders if it's time to be concerned about CC Sabathia.
Since a no-hitter bid was derailed by rain, Sabathia's pitched to a 4.26 ERA, and while ERA is not the end-all of pitching statistics, it can certainly be a warning sign that something isn't quite right. Sabathia's numbers are bogged down by poor starts against Boston and Tampa Bay in August, and there's an argument that the six-man rotation is hindering a pitcher who has been so successful on short rest in the past, but whatever the case, the Yankees still need the ace of their staff to come through in the postseason, and poor starts now will not do much to assuage worries.
3) Tim Bontemps writes that both the Yankees and Mets will have to make some key decisions before the Rule 5 draft.
The Rule 5 Draft might seem a relatively minor date on the baseball calendar, but players such as Jose Bautista, Johan Santana and Joakim Soria were all Rule 5 picks at one point. As the Yankees have one of their most well-stocked farm systems in a long time, the question of which players need to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected is not necessarily an easy one. Fortunately, Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances are already on the 40-man roster, ostensibly making some of the decision making a bit easier.