The Yankees arrive in Anaheim needing just one win (or a Rangers loss) to clinch their first postseason berth under manager Joe Girardi. That’s a big deal, but it’s also an inevitability. Yankee fans tuning in this week to see a preview of a potential playoff matchup might be disappointed to see their team playing out the string, but that’s what the Yankees are and should be doing right now.
That clinching win will come. In the meantime, the Yankees have to make sure that, when they get to the postseason, their important players are healthy and rested. Getting A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain straightened out are priorities that met with differing results in Seattle. Tonight Andy Pettitte, whose last start was skipped due to some soreness in his pitching shoulder, takes the ball. Getting him and David Robertson healthy and effective again are also priorities.
Brett Gardner seems to have gotten his swing back, but he’ll sit tonight against the left-handed Joe Saunders. The Yankees will get a look at possible Joba-replacement Chad Guadin tomorrow and Burnett again on Wednesday against newest Angel Scott Kazmir. Somewhere along they way, they’ll clinch a playoff berth.
The Angels’ roster is the same as it was last time these teams met. The Yankees are 3-1 against the Angels in the Bronx this year, but 0-3 in Anaheim, but whether or not that latter mark is corrected or reinforced this week will have little bearing on how the Yanks are likely to perform in Disneyland in October.