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ALCS case for Yankees: Peaking at the right moment

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson Photo Credit: Getty Images

When the Yankees entered the postseason coming off a 9-17 September slide, momentum was not on their side against the Twins. So much for that. After sweeping Minnesota, the defending champions get the Texas Rangers, whom they eliminated from the postseason in 1996, ’98 and ’99.

One measure of the Yankees’ positive outlook is that their best ALDS hitter was resurgent outfielder Curtis Granderson (not Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira), and Phil Hughes (not CC Sabathia or Andy Pettitte) turned in their strongest start. Granderson leads all postseason players with a .455 batting average to go with his three RBIs; Hughes, the Yankees’ least experienced starter, allowed no runs over seven innings with six strikeouts and a 0.71 WHIP in Game 3.

Yankees in 6

Key stat: Experience matters
The four Yankees starters’ combined 57 postseason starts dwarf that of the Rangers’ quartet (10). The Yankees’ postseason staff is 27-14 in those starts; the Rangers are 7-1, most of that courtesy of Lee (6-0 in seven postseason starts).

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