Found October 07, 2012 on Bronx Pinstripes:
Before we take a look forward at what is to come in the ALDS, let’s travel back in time to the beginning of the season in late March and early April. Just about six months ago the Yankee faithful had serious questions about the pitching staff and how the Bombers were going to match up against the Rays and Red Sox. The Yankees had to deal with the injury bug as it bit them when Mariano Rivera was lost for the season shagging fly balls in Kansas City. It struck again when Andy Pettitte was hit with a comeback line drive that fractured his ankle. Both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were lost for valuable amounts of time with injuries of their own. CC Sabathia was on the disabled list with injuries to his elbow, and their off-season acquisition Michael Pineda never touched the field (yeah remember that guy? Sorry for bringing him up).  Let’s also not forget that Brett Gardner was out for most of the season with his wrist injury. Needless to say, the Yankees had to fight the fight in 2012 and they did, against a team they didn’t expect to be in a battle with, the Baltimore Orioles. The last time the Yanks and O’s played in the post-season, Jeffrey Maier had something to say about the outcome In 2011, the Orioles claim to fame was knocking the Red Sox from playoff contention on the last day of the season. In 2012, manager Buck Showalter had his young team poised to make a run, and what a run it has been. They’ve been calling it “Oriole Magic” all season as the young birds won 16 of 19 extra inning games and were 28-9 in one-run games this season. The O’s pushed the Yankees to the brink, forcing New York to win the 162ndgame in order to claim the AL East division crown yet again. As the Yankees won that game, the Orioles lost in Tampa sending them to a winner take all, one-game playoff game in Texas against the Rangers. They came out on top in that game, capitalizing on Ranger mistakes and having timely hitting- the exact same thing they’ve done all season. The win sets up the showdown of AL East rivals in the playoffs for the first time since 1996 when a 12-year-old, Jeffrey Maier made a little magic of his own. Since that moment the two teams have went in opposite directions and destinies, until today. Sabathia will look to fire up the Yankees with a solid performance in Game 1 tonight The ALDS starts tonight in Baltimore, with MLB’s new playoff format as the lower seeded team gets the first two games then the next three are at the home of the higher seeded team. The Yankees will send their workhorse, CC Sabathia (15-6, 3.38 ERA) to the mound to try to silence the Baltimore bats, and their home crowd. Sabathia has turned it up a notch over his last three starts of the season. He pitched 8 innings in each of those games while only allowing 13 total hits, four runs, struck out 28 batters and lowered his ERA from 3.63 to 3.38.  To say he is getting hot at the right time is a complete understatement, as for the Yankees to have any post-season success they need their pitching and it starts with Sabathia. Following up Sabathia will be Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 ERA) in game two, Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32 ERA) in game three and scheduled to start game four, Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23 ERA). Kuroda has been a nice addition to the Yankees rotation this season after coming over from the Dodgers. He has been consistent throughout the season, but the question that remains to be answered is how he will respond to the playoffs in the Bronx. What we do know is that the playoff pressure doesn’t bother Pettitte; it actually makes him stronger (19-10, 3.83 ERA in the playoffs- 18 of those wins are as a Yankee).  When the Yankees won the World Series in 2009 Pettitte started and won every series clinching game- just shows how big of a playoff performer the lefty has been.  I only see Hughes pitching game four if the Yankees already grabbed a 2-1 series lead, otherwise expect Sabathia on three days rest. Cano looks to stay hot in the playoffs and carry the Bombers past the O’s The area that failed the Yankees last fall was their line up due to the lack of clutch hits. This year, the lineup is centered around Robinson Cano who has been on a tear as of late having 24 hits in his last 39 at-bats (.615) and has nine straight multi-hit games. He has brought up his average from .293 on September 24 to .313 at the end of the season. Setting the table for him will be Derek Jeter, who led baseball with 216 hits. Production is a must from guys like Rodriguez, Teixeira and Curtis Granderson if the Yankees are trying to capture title number 28. Granderson was second in baseball with 43 home runs and will need some long flies to help the Bombers advance. Another hot bat to keep an eye on is mid-season acquisition, Ichiro Suzuki who is in the playoffs for the first time in his career. No doubt he will want to come out and provide a solid bat, but if he presses, he could struggle. Having to face this Yankee lineup is no easy task. That responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Orioles pitching staff. The Baltimore staff has been pieced together and has no true ‘ace’ but says their number one guy is the one starting the game in front of them. It is a true team mentality that the Orioles support in Camden Yards. Game one starter will be Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.43 ERA) as he takes the mound in front of a rocking Baltimore crowd. Game two will be in the hands of Wei-Yin Chen (12-11, 4.02 ERA) and game three is on Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25 ERA).  These three young pitchers will have their hands full trying to keep the Yankees off the board and allow their offense to stay in each game. Backing them up is the band of brothers that makes up the Orioles bullpen, a group that posted a 3.00 ERA this season- a franchise best. Closer Jim Johnson led baseball with 51 saves but doesn’t have the velocity or movement that every other closer does. His split-finger fastball is tough for hitters to drive, but hits are definitely manageable against the young hurler. Jones will look to continue ‘Oriole Magic’ against the Yankees in the ALDS The lineup for the O’s is young and talented. They are not afraid to strike out, which is shown most by Mark Reynolds. Every batter in the lineup takes strong hacks at the dish and tries to drive the ball. They will steal bases with Robert Andino and Manny Machado. They will hit home runs with Reynolds and seasoned veteran Jim Thome. All-around their best offensive player is Adam Jones, who is as clutch as they come. His four extra inning home runs led the league as he was at the center of “Oriole Magic.” If the Orioles are going to continue their magical season and move on against the Yankees, this line up will have to continue their magic with timely hits and solid defense. These two rivals know each other very well as they split the season series with the Orioles outscoring the Yanks 52-50 in those 18 games, talk about even. Both teams are without major pieces with the Yankees missing Rivera, a playoff magician and long-time Orioles Nick Markakis is out for the season after being hit by a Sabathia pitch in September. Each of these players are big parts of what each team is all about. The void that Rivera leaves will be magnified in the playoffs, but Rafael Soriano has proven he is a shutdown closer that the Yankees can rely on. Both Thome and Chris Davis will be asked to play a part in making up the difference in production without Markakis. I like what the Yankees bring to the field in terms of experience and talent, where the Orioles bring youth and enthusiasm.  The Yankees have the edge in starting pitching and their lineup. The bullpen edge is in favor of the Orioles, as they look to shutdown the Yankees big bats. Jeffery Maier won’t be in attendance this year, but I don’t believe the Yankees need that to happen again to beat the O’s this time around. If there are any 12-year-old Yankee fans reading this that will be at the games, bring your gloves and be ready just in case! Prediction: Yankees in four!!!! Let’s go Yankees! You can follow me on Twitter @Justin_McElrath for in-game updates and more Yankee news! Check out our conversation with Jeff Maier HERE

New York Yankees beat Baltimore Orioles in game 1 of ALDS

The story of the Baltimore Orioles making the playoffs this year, something they haven’t done in fifteen years has been a good one. Tonight the Orioles played the first game of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. The game was tied 2-2 until the top of the 9th inning when Russell Martin hit a home run off of Orioles closer Jim Johnson. It seems that...

Yankees ALDS Game 1 lineup: 10/07/2012

CC Sabathia and the Yankees will square off against the Baltimore Orioles in Game One of the 2012 ALDS tonight at Camden Yards. The Yankees and Orioles last played each other in the playoffs in 1996. The Orioles haven’t played postseason baseball since 1997. Right-hander Jason Hammel (Reg. season 8-6, 3.43 ERA) is on the mound for the Orioles. He hasn’t pitched in a big-league...

The brilliant CC Sabathia continues his push to overcome Reggie Jackson as the greatest free agent signing in the history of the New York Yankees

Displaying his customary brilliance on the mound, CC Sabathia helped lead the New York Yankees to a 7-2 victory over Baltimore in Game 1 of the ALDS last night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Sabathia, who came within an … Continue reading →

C.C. Sabathia Pitches Gem While Yankees Rally to Beat Orioles 7-2 in Game 1 of ALDS

BALTIMORE -- Russell Martin led off the ninth inning with a tiebreaking home run off Jim Johnson, CC Sabathia turned in a sparkling pitching performance and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 Sunday night in the opener of their AL divisional series. Sabathia allowed two runs and eight hits in 8 2/3 innings to help the Yankees spoil the Orioles' first home playoff...

Orioles Lose Game One of ALDS

People in Baltimore were flying pretty high, with the O's hosting their first play-off game since 1997. Orioles. Yankees. The two teams fought until the bitter end for the AL East title, and now square off in the AL Division Series. New York sent ace CC Sabathia to the mound, while the O's countered with Jason Hammel, who was their best pitcher this year but had barely...

AL Division Series Game One: Yankees 7, Orioles 2

It was a hard-fought battle for eight innings...until Jim Johnson opened the floodgates in the ninth, leading to a 7-2 win for the Yankees over the Orioles in game one of their ALDS, giving the Yankees a 1-0 series lead. CC Sabathia started for the Yankees, and quite frankly, he was awesome. Sabathia threw 120 pitches for the Yankees, with 80 strikes in those 120, completing 8...

Yankees vs. Orioles: Picking ALDS favorite

English: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles April 24, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The New York Yankees found out their opponent in the ALDS will be their AL East division rival Baltimore Orioles. So down to Baltimore they go, to an all-familiar Camden Yards where the Yankees have played, time and time again. The two teams have spilt games this series 9-9, and that pretty much...

Orioles, Yankees rekindle playoff memories of 1996

Orioles rookie third baseman Manny Machado was a 4-year-old when Baltimore and the New York Yankees last met in the postseason. The year was 1996, a lifetime ago for Orioles fans and a rather meaningless event in the development of Machado, who grew up to become a No. 1 draft pick and a key player in Baltimore's improbable, magnificent 2012 season. Sixteen years after the Yankees...

Ichiro Suzuki ready for first playoffs in decade

Joe Girardi says the only thing set for the New York Yankees thus far in the postseason is starting CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the division series. Girardi said before New York worked out Friday night at an eerily quiet Yankee Stadium that there were too many unknowns until the Yankees learned their opponent for Sunday. The Yankees will play on the road the first two games but Mark...

Orioles-Yankees ALDS Game 1 Winners & Losers

I’m not sure we’ll do this for every O’s playoff game, but we’ll do it for this one, a 7-2 loss in Game 1 to New York. Winners Jason Hammel — Hadn’t pitched in a month but matched CC Sabathia for five and two-thirds. Too bad CC went three more. Nate McLouth — Picked up a two-RBI basehit, plating both of Baltimore’s runs. Chris Davis — Made two great defensive plays...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.