Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/10/12
The Yankees and the ALDS have an eerie relationship. It serves as either a small stepping-stone towards alarger pedestal or a heartbreaking roadblock of a larger goal. The Yankees aren’t like your favorite baseball team. The Baltimore Orioles have already had a successful season, anything in addition to making the ALDS is icing on a historic cake. They are playing with house money, having been a consensus pick for 4th in the division in March.The Yankees don’t have that luxury.  Like every other season, this one is World Series or bust. Expectations never wavier in the Bronx, even though the ALDS has been anything but an easy hurdle for the Yankees in recent years.  Since its inception in 1995 the Yankees have lost in the ALDS six times. Every one of those losses has been considered an upset to a degree. As this year’s version of the most nervous week of a Yankees fan’s year heads back to the Bronx tied at one game apiece, an unfamiliar feeling has settled upon Yankeeland. Uncertainty.You knew something was off during previous ALDS losses. The pre 2000 dominance was absent from even the wins. It never felt like the Yankees had control of the series. Yankees fans have conditioned themselves to weather the storm of under achieving ALDS teams. They know what to look for. A shaky first game is the first sign, and if the mighty Bronx Bombers bats are quieted, usually there is not enough pitching for the Yankees to fall back on.  A 7-3 win in game one quelled those fears from the Yankee faithful, and while leaving 10 runners on base is never a recipe for success, other then Alex Rodriguez the big bats in the Yankees order are not struggling.So why does a feeling of dread blanket the Yankee fan base today? The Yankees have three games at Yankee Stadium (It may not have the ghosts the old one did, but that’s an entire other column), where they must win two of those three. If they need it, they have C.C. Sabathia ready for game five.  Hiroki Kuroda goes tonight, and yet the feeling amongst Yankees fans is starting to feel like: “here we go again.”Yankees fans are accustomed to certain things, there will be games in the Bronx in October, and they will be heavily favored in the ALDS.  Yankees fans don’t like uncertainty, and the saga of these two teams dating back to the beginning of the season has been anything but predictable. The only thing we can predict is that we have no idea what is going to happen. These teams went 9-9 in the regular season. The 7-3 score in game one was indicative to a Jim Johnson mini meltdown, and take that away these teams have looked dead even through the first 20 games they have played this season.This uncertainty is uncomfortable for Yankees fans. The Orioles aren’t scared of the big, bad Yankees. The mystique of Derek Jeter has no tug on them, they all believe they can hit C.C. Sabathia, and who does Alex Rodriguez scare these days anyway? The Yankees have pulling, power hitting lefties that are built to play in Yankee Stadium. So do the Orioles.  The Yankees (save C.C Sabathia) have a solid, yet unspectacular staff anchored by a highly effective bullpen. The Orioles follow a similar model. The Yankees are playing a younger, healthier, and potentially hungrier version of themselves.  It doesn’t matter that the Yankees are heading home because the Orioles play a style that fits that ballpark as well. They can throw all the mystique and aurora at the face of the Orioles and it will go unnoticedWith a park so fit for offense and two starting pitchers (Kuroda and Miguel Gonzalez) who haven’tbasked in October’s glow enough to know that the autumn chill isn’t always kind to new comers, bullpen management could be essential in the rest of the series. This is where I think the Yankees gain a slight advantage.  Joe Girardi was able to conserve his bullpen in Baltimore. He only used David Robertson, and it was for only 1 1/3 inning combined.  Buck Showalter used his bullpen for six innings in the two games. Small details like bullpen management are magnified in close series like this. When I saw C.C. Sabathia trotting out to the mound with a four run lead in the ninth during game one I couldn’t help but wonder out loud what the point of that move was. Sitting here with game three mere hours away and a fresh bullpen, I am glad that Girardi was able to use his bullpen in a conservative fashion for the two games in the pitchers paradise known as Camden Yards. A fresh bullpen may be the key to the series, unless it has just saved Yankees fans from seeing a Rafael Soriano October breakdown (he seems like the type, doesn’t he?).The Yankees are not doomed, but the Baltimore Orioles are not the Minnesota Twins.  No fear exists in the eyes of the Orioles.  Through two games we only know that we know nothing. Buckle up everyone, these (potentially) three nights in the Bronx look to offer excitement. What else is new?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker