Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 28, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:57 AM)

Hard to believe we're at Game 162 but we are, which means we're also at about Chat No. 40. We'll get underway at high noon so bring your A game because the playoffs are around the corner

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 3rd Starter in the ALDS for the Yankees?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:01 PM)

hey, Chris. I've thought all along it would be AJ but now I'm leaning toward Freddy. I know it won't be Bartolo. Hopefully Girardi ends this silly mystery this afternoon

phx az [via mobile]

Aj burnett seems to be the weak link in an otherwise strong NYY bullpen.Will his services be retained during the Yankees playoff run?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:03 PM)

I think they will, and I even think it might be in the rotation, simply because he can;t pitch out of the bullpen. I have said all along I don;t think the Yankees will risk completely losing this guy with two more years and $33 M left on his contract. But I owuldn;t be surprised of for the first round, Garcia gets the No. 3 rotation spot and Burnett sits in the pen as an emergency long man

jj (salem, ma)

Wally, it's been heavenly to be a Yankee fan in enemy territory the last cpl. weeks- it's absolute panic up here! So who is the better matchup for NYY-I say it is Texas due to the fact they handle LHP so well. 35-16!

Wallace Matthews
  (12:04 PM)

I would agree it is Texas but because you don;t want to have to face Verlander twice in a five-game series. But I think both potential opponents are dangerous for the yankees, and the short series is dangerous for everybody

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the worst Yankees team that you have ever seen since you have Covered the Yankees?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

Chiris, I have been lucky enough not to have covered the Yankees before 1994, so every Yankee team I have been around has been in significant games throughout the season. They've all been pretty good, but I guess it would have to be the 2002 team that went out in the first round against the angels and had the likes of raul Mondesi and Karim Garcia on the roster.

Tedy (Miami)

Will the Yankees throw another game tonight so the Rays can complete the sweep

Wallace Matthews
  (12:08 PM)

Ha! Only I don't think the Yankees have thrown these games. For the most part, the regulars have played and Tuesday night, the A-bullpen pitched. I think if anything, the Rays have showed why the Yankees might be wise to fear them, too, in the ALCS

bartolo's colon (new york, ny)

If there is a one-game playoff tomorrow in the AL, the Rays have to have the advantage with an untaxed pitching staff and home field, right?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:08 PM)

that, and all the momentum on their side.

Eric (Not at the Trop (but is that a bad thing?))

With all the MSM hype about the Yankees and their rotation the RedSox seem like the worse mess. Bruce Chen for a potential 163rd game? Wakefield/Lackey/Bedard in playoff rotation? Which Beckett/Lester show up?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

The Yankees rotation problems seem more rooted in quantity than quality. They simply dont have enough starting pitchers you can rely on. Right now, the Red Sox starters just stink. So, yeah, Boston is the much bigger mess right now

Rob (NY )

Why not play Montero DH, Romine at Catcher and start Betances tonight to see a glimse of our future?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:11 PM)

It's possible you;ll see the first two but doubtful you'll see Betances, even starting for just a couple of innings. The Yankees have to at least make a show of playing to win and Girardi has always been strong on maintaining the integrity of the games. still, it's a good idea

Rick (New York)

Wound't we rather see the Red Sox then the Rays? Granted the Red Sox are a threat with their offense but their starting rotation is no better then ours and our bullpen is far superior. As for the Rays that starting roatation is scary good and they would be red hot heading into the playoffs. Thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

It's a legitimate question because how many times have we heard that it's the best teams that get to the playoffs and the hot team that wins them? Obviously, the Rays are a hot team right now and the Red Sox are reeling. The Red Sox offense is still plenty dangerous but their pitching is very suspect. This could turn out to be that other old saying, be careful what you wish for. The Rays might turn out to be a much tougher opponent than Boston would have been

Mike (Seattle)

Any chance you see the Mariners and Yankees talking about a package deal in the offseason between Montero and King Felix?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

There's a chance of anything but I think Montero's performance in september will make the Yankees reluctant to deal him. And what makes anyone think the Mariners would want to move Felix?

Slade (South Carolina)

Should the Yankee's fear both teams competing for the Wild Card? As both would get the sense of invincibility and not only that but Boston has had the upper hand on the Yankee's most of the season, as for Tampa I keep thinking its going to end up like the 2002 Angels.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

Right now I suspect the Yankees have more to fear from the Rays than the Red sox, simply because they are hot and have great starting pitching. Their bullpen is shaky, however, and they don;t score all that much. Still, if they pull this off and sneak into the WC ahead of Boston, I think they;re going to be a very dangerous opponent for anyone.

Big L (New York, NY)

What do you think of the lineup change with Cano at the #3 and Tex at #5? Why now?Who are the bubble players for the playoff roster?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

The timing surprises me but the move doesn't. Cano is the best hitter on the team and should be in the three hole. Teixeira's avg is lousy but he's still and RBI guy and should be hitting lower in the lineup than he has been. It makes perfect sense to switch them, you just wonder why Girardi waited until the eve of the playoffs to do it. But Cano's super-hot aug/sept had something to do with that, I'm sure. As for bubble players, I would say Romine, Golson and/or dickerson among the regulars; Colon, Valdes, Laffey among the pitchers.

Evan (NY)

The MLB should get rid of the whole Division winner can't play the wild card team if its in the same division. its ridiculous that the team with the best record in the league won't benefit if the wild card game comes down to a one-game play in.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:23 PM)

I agree. I've never understood the inter-division first round embargo. The whole wild card concept needs to be re-evaluated because really, there's very little difference between a division winner and a WC in terms of difficulty of winning the World Series

Bonqueeza (Donalsonville, GA)

How much $$$ in the off season will the Yankees have to spend to buy another championship?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

you gotta admit, they didn;t spend a heck of a lot this off-season by their standards, and this thing isn;t over yet. They may have bought this one at recession-era prices

Dan (Orlando)

With all this conference realignment, do you this the yanks will be a contender for the BIG 10 or the ACC if they give out anymore invites? Not much of a football tradition, but one hell of a money maker!

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

Money-making is the oldest and most revered Yankee tradition of all.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:28 PM)

Thanks, everyone, for all the great questions. Enjoy the beginning of the playoffs and we'll chat again before Game 5, if there is one, where ever that happens to be.