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Saturday, October 16, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Where's Yogi? Deja Vu, all over again


WHAT IT MEANS: Where's Yogi? It seemed like Deja Vu all over again. Just like in the ALDS when they trailed by three runs in Game 1, the Yankees came back to win. This time they turned the trick down five runs to the Rangers. The Twins never recovered in the ALDS.

It is going to be very difficult for Texas.

This was a very bad Game 1 loss for them. They had it in their hands and then let it slip away. The Yankees needed to win at least one of the first two games to diminish the importance of Cliff Lee's Game 3 start. They accomplished it.

WHAT'S NEXT: Phil Hughes still faces an important start in Game 2, but it is not as vital now. If the Yankees had lost, he would have had to prevent going down 0-2 with Lee in the on-deck circle for Game 3.

This ALCS is not over yet, but the Yankees have already accomplished what they needed to here. They got their one win, which takes the pressure off Hughes. Hughes, who had a no-hitter into the seventh at Rangers Ballpark in 2007, has never given up a run in 15 1/3 innings here.

What this also means is something we all know. The $200 million Yankees are just so deep. One facet of their game goes down (CC Sabathia) and another can pick it up. The Yankees just trot out too many great players and their opponents run out of great players. That's what happened last year.

CURTAIN CALLS: Basically, every Yankee in the lineup gets one for what they did in the five-run eighth inning. The old men, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, were joined by Robinson Cano and Marcus Thameswith big hits. Thames brought home the go-ahead run. Cano gets two curtain calls for his seventh inning solo shot.

BRONX CHEER: If the Yankees had lost, Sabathia would have likely said it in the postgame that it was his fault. A loss would have been all on him. After the long layoff, he didn't have it. Was it because of the layoff, who knows? But he did not pitch well from the start, giving up the Josh Hamilton's three-run long ball in the first.

After making so much good history for the Yankees last year, Sabathia's four inning start was the third-shortest postseason Game 1 start in Yankees' history. Ron Guidry lasted just three innings against the Royals in 1980 and Don Gullet went just two innings in 1977 against the Royals.

For the Rangers, umm, the bullpen, but we will leave that to ESPNDallas.com.

ANALYSIS: We're not going to say this ALCS is over, but this is just a devastating loss for the Rangers. Not as much as the psychological aspect -- that is a factor as the franchise has never won a home playoff game -- but because they could have put all the pressure on Hughes in Game 2 and could have put Lee in position to, at worst, be deadlocked at one game apiece entering Game 3. Then A.J. Burnett is scheduled to pitch Game 4 and you could see their road map to win this series.

Now? It is hard to see the Yankees losing.


QUESTION FOR YOU TO COMMENT ON:
Do you think this series is over?