Timely hitting and great pitching proved to be the undoing for the scrappy Minnesota Twins. Despite playing the Yankees close in most facets of the game, Joe Girardi’s bunch proved to be clutch at the plate.
Alex Rodriguez momentarily has thrown the monkey off his back and to the floor. Mark Teixeira has also shown he is worth the price the Yankees paid for him. Between the game 2 and 3 heroics for both of them, the Yankees are in the ALCS for the first time since 2004. That is an eternity for Yankee fans, who enjoyed ALCS appearances every year from 1998 to 2001, as well as 1996 and 2003. This is also the Yankees first appearance in the playoffs under Joe Girardi, whose squad missed the postseason last year while the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays dominated the AL East.
Both the Yankees and Angels swept their first round opponents, the Twins and Red Sox, respectively. The Angels displayed their prowess in the clutch as well on Sunday, when they finished off the Red Sox with a come from behind victory in the 9th.
The Angels have defeated the Yankees in their last two postseason meetings, 2002 and 2005. The Angels also won the World Series in 2002 after dethroning dispatching Minnesota in the ALCS, and San Francisco in the World Series.