“We’re Not Going To Celebrate”

That quote came from Derek Jeter when he was interviewed after the game this afternoon. The win assures the Yankees of a playoff spot, but not the division crown. Gotta say, I loved hearing that.

The Yankees really have two magic numbers now. They have a magic number of 2 to clinch the division and a magic number of 4 to clinch the best record in the AL. If they win tonight and Boston loses, they wrap up the AL East. In fact, they are now in a position where Boston will have to sweep them this weekend to keep them from winning the AL East.

We probably won’t know who the Yankees play in the first round until the season is almost over. Texas and Detroit are tied and the Yankees will play the one with the worse record, unless Anaheim sneaks into the wild card ahead of Boston and Tampa. The conventional thinking is to avoid Detroit and Verlander who would be very tough in the five game series, but Texas presents plenty of problems as well. The Yankees can’t worry about that, they should just go out and clinch the division and best record in the AL.

They will need to do some pitcher shuffling. CC starts tonight, which means he would take the ball again on Monday. But, the ALDS starts next Friday and he obviously is not going to make the Game 1 start on short rest. So, I imagine the Yankees will have him make and abbreviated start Sunday against Boston. Nova would be scheduled to go Sunday and could be moved to Monday, either way he is in line to start Game 2. Colon starts tomorrow and would be in line for Game 3. The big question is Hughes. He was sent to the doctor today, that may make Freddy Garcia the Game 4 starter by default. (Yup, not including a certain other pitcher in this discussion.)

The other questions that will be answered over the next week are the health of Cervelli and the back of the playoff bullpen. If Cervelli can’t go, it seems like the Yankees will carry Romine as the backup catcher. I think that is a dumb decision. You don’t use a backup catcher in the playoffs unless there is an emergency and Posada or Montero could step in if that were the case. As for the bullpen, we know Rivera, Robertson, Soriano, Logan, Ayala and Wade are probably in. I would assume the Yankees will cut down to 11 pitchers which means the last spot is probably a long guy or another lefty. Valdes looked good today Noesi didn’t. Advantage additional lefty.