Didn't want to post this until it was official, but the New York Yankees are going to be in the 2010 MLB playoffs! CC Sabathia delivered a great performance last night, which put the Yankees in once again. The questions about playoff roster spots, rotation, and line-ups are coming soon Joe G!
Many players end up mattering a whole lot on the playoff roster, but here are some extra important players.
Top X-Factor: Phil Hughes- As of this second, Phil Hughes sports a 17-8 record and a 4.21 ERA. (.245 BAA) I'd like to think Girardi realizes that he should pitch Hughes on the road, so assuming so, Hughes will pitch either game two or game three. (Assuming Girardi also knows that Hughes deserves a spot ahead of Burnett) If either Sabathia or Pettitte put in a shaky performance, the Yankees' playoff hopes will depend on a solid start from Hughes. This year against the Rangers, Hughes pitched one scoreless inning in relief. Hughes has not pitched against the Twins.
Second Biggest X-Factor: Joba Chamberlain. Sure, the Yankees have Dave Robertson, Kerry Wood, and Boone Logan, but with Joe Girardi's "book" who knows how much Chamberlain will be needed? Joe trusts Joba, and Joba will find himself in a big situation. This year against the Rangers, Joba has pitched two innings, giving up one hit and one earned run. Facing the Twins, Chamberlain has pitched three innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs.
Third Biggest X-Factor: Curtis Granderson. Yes, the journeyman. He has to get on base and be productive. This season in games Granderson scores a run the Yankees are 50-12. Granderson did not face the Twins this year and hit .200 with an RBI against the Rangers.
Other Lefty X-Factors: Like Granderson, the last two X-Factors are lefties. Lefty pitcher Boone Logan, who will be counted on to get top lefty hitters, such as Joe Mauer, or Josh Hamilton out in pressure situations. The other is Brett Gardner, as if he gets on base the Yankees' will score runs. Enough said.
Everyone matters, but these are the players that need to step up. Granderson has so far, Hughes pitched well on Sunday, the rest are up next.