Wow! That was amazing. I have so many ideas and perspectives following what was an absolutely amazing five game series.
Let's start with Joe Girardi. It's time to be fair and honest. Girardi did an outstanding job. Outside of the Game 2 debacle, Girardi actually out-managed Terry Francona. I know it's hip to say what a great manager Francona is, but, if he was in New York - imagine the outrage now. I felt that throughout the series, Francona made numerous questionable moves: Kipnis in center field, not starting Corey Kluber to open the series, using the entire bullpen in Game 4... Yes, Francona is an excellent manager, but he's not infallible. I believe his record in his most recent "championship" games is 0-6, am I correct?
Also speaking of Girardi. Let's say he doesn't come back for 2018. Please tell me who you would like to see managing the team who is better than Joe Girardi. Does anyone on the list of potential Mets or Red Sox managers inspire great hope? For me, I hope Girardi stays. I think his overall body of work as Yankees manager has been outstanding.
One last Girardi point - he deserves a standing ovation when the teams are announced at Yankee Stadium for Game 3. A Standing Ovation.
Moving Didi to the #3 spot in the batting order, breaking up the right handed bats of Judge and Sanchez, was a brilliant move (by Girardi). Didi is fast becoming a New York superstar and legend. He's happy, he's fun, he's full of energy, his Twitter posts are great, and he is one OUTSTANDING baseball player! Didi is one of the leaders on the team. The Yankees should extend his contract this off season. Keep Didi in the Bronx. He has become, in just a few years, a cornerstone player. He's already knighted. Might they make him the captain one day?
Brett Gardner has also cemented himself as a "True Yankee." He has also been the heart and soul of this team. The veteran. The leader. Full of energy. Gardner does not give away at bats. He battles. And then he battles some more. The 9th inning at bat last night was textbook great. He battled until he could get a pitch that he could drive. Those two insurance runs made all the difference.
I love Aaron Judge and think he's a super star, but the strikeouts are a HUGE problem. We have to admit this. His ALDS was a nightmare. I don't think he should be ripped by fans or the media. It's not like he isn't trying. But, he had a bad series. Legendarily bad. It happens. But, that being said, he's killing the Yankees in the #2 spot in the order. It's time for a line-up change.
My optimal lineup goes Gardner (LF), Hicks (CF), Didi (ss), Sanchez (c), Bird (1b), Castro (2b), Ellsbury (dh), Judge (RF), Frazier (3b). I could be convinced to flip Castro and Judge.
I think Matt Holliday should be left off the ALCS roster. The Yankees owe him nothing, there is no spot in which he'll be used, or so it seemed from the ALDS, so they should add a player who can play the field, just might hit, and can run (Clint Frazier).
Who will DH for the Yankees? The position gave the Yankees nothing. Nothing. Ouch. Think about that, the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, got zero production from their designated hitters. (And they still won the series!)
Back to the positive stuff...
Todd Frazier is full of positive energy. He brings a lot to this team. He's solid. He's a smart player. The run he scored last night, because he goes all out and is always thinking on the field, was gigantic. It took the pressure off of the team for the bottom of the 9th inning. It put the game out of reach. I'm so glad he's on the team.
The Yankees pitching has been spectacular. CC was amazing last night. Nine strikeouts! Girardi managed EXACTLY as I would have the way the game played out. Chapman has been outstanding since September 1. He fixed whatever was ailing him. He has been amazing. D-Rob, Tanaka. Severino, Kahnle... they were all lights-out. Brilliant. Man is that fun.
What a joy it is to watch great baseball!
Yankees fans must enjoy the moment. Today is a day to celebrate and relish in the joy that comes from unanticipated success. No one expected this. The joy of sports is in moments like these. The Yankees Won! The Yankees WON! The season goes on. And it is GREAT!
Go Yankees! GO YANKEES!!!!!