How The New York Yankees Got To The ALDS

It's perhaps a bit strange to see the Yankees advancing to the MLB playoffs as the Wild Card, rather than as AL East division champions. These being the Yankees, you expect a little more from them, and it's worth noting that, in their three previous season in which they advanced as the AL Wild Card - 1995, 1997, and 2007 - they lost in the Division Series. Since its birth, the Wild Card hasn't treated the Yankees very well.

Still, those were then, and this is now. The Yankees might be the Wild Card, but they also finished with the third-best record in baseball, and at no point over the last three months has there ever been any doubt over whether or not they'd make the playoffs. The Yankees were rolling from the get-go, and when the Red Sox dropped out of the race in early July, the only question left was which of the Yankees and Rays would take the Wild Card, and which would win the division.

The Yankees spent the second half of the season preparing for October, and their status as the Wild Card was decided on the final day. They swung a flurry of deadline trades, the most significant addition being setup arm Kerry Wood. The big question they face is starting pitching behind CC Sabathia, and they hope that Andy Pettitte will be able to shake off his two most recent starts and solidify the starting corps.

Record

95-67

Key Players

Robinson Cano (2B; .319 BA, .381 OBP, .534 SLG)
Alex Rodriguez (3B; .270 BA, .341 OBP, .506 SLG)
Nick Swisher (RF; .288 BA, .359 OBP, .511 SLG)

CC Sabathia (SP; 3.18 ERA, 2.7 K/BB)
Andy Pettitte (SP; 3.29 ERA, 2.5 K/BB)
Mariano Rivera (RP; 1.80 ERA, 4.1 K/BB)

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