The ALCS is already a unmitigated disaster after just one game. The Yankees waddled into the series with the A-Rod soap opera and to add to that, they lost Derek Jeter for the season in Game 1 on Saturday night thanks to a broken ankle in the 12th inning.
I’m confident there are some Yankee fans out there either blaming Jeter’s injury on Raul Ibanez for tying it up and forcing extra innings with another timely home run, or Jeter himself for not ending things in the bottom of the 10th with two out and Brett Gardner on third base. Fun stuff. Let’s just move onto New York’s starting lineup.
Ichiro will slide into the leadoff spot followed by Cano, Teixiera, Ibanez, Russell Martin, A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, and Jayson Nix. How Swisher is in the lineup is a damn good question. Of all the Yankees showing nothing in October, he has been the king of nothing, both with the bat and the glove. Additionally, Hiroki Kuroda will be starting on three days rest.
Meanwhile, Jim Leyland has stated Jose Valverde will not be his closer for Game 2, and rightfully so. Valverde has been deplorable so far in October, giving up 7 runs in 1-1/3 innings. While Leyland’s not sure who will close, I assume Octavio Dotel will be the guy. However, in classic Leyland form, he told reporters he would have a suggestion box by his office.
Worth noting that the last time the Yankees played a playoff game without Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera on the roster was October 28, 1981.