For the first time in the 2009 postseason, Yankees manager Joe Girardi sat in front of reporters Monday night and talked about something he hadn't planned on talking about, something he hadn't experienced: a loss.
How will the Yankees bounce back Tuesday at Angel Stadium in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, scheduled for 7:57 p.m. ET on TBS? That remains to be seen.
With a 2-1 series lead, the Yankees will get a look at Angels starter Scott Kazmir, with whom they have a history -- and not a good one: During his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays, Kazmir went 6-5 with a stellar 2.67 ERA against the Bronx Bombers.
Not surprisingly, Kazmir has proven to be a matchup problem for several key members of the Yankees lineup, including Derek Jeter (4-for-36, .111 AVG), Johnny Damon (6-for-36, .167 AVG), Hideki Matsui (5-for-28, .179 AVG), Nick Swisher (5-for-27 .185 AVG), Robinson Cano (4-for-26, .154 AVG) and Alex Rodriguez (3-for-24, .125 AVG).
"I have faced [the Yanks] quite a bit," Kazmir said. "I think there's not going to be any disadvantages or advantages to anyone. ... I just have to execute pitches."
Executing pitches is something ace CC Sabathia did plenty of in Game 1 of the ALCS, allowing only one run on four hits over eight innings en route to a 4-1 victory over the Angels. The big lefty will take the hill Tuesday night on three days' rest.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal going [on] three days' rest," Sabathia said. "Everybody made such a big deal of it last year. But if you're healthy enough during the year, I think anybody is able to do it."
The following chart breaks down how experts from MLB.com and MLB Network see Game 4 of the ALCS shaking out:
ALCS Game 4 Predictions
|MLB.com||NYY||4||7||0||A-Rod continues torrid pace.|
|MLBN||NYY||5||10||0||CC spins second perfect game in postseason history.|
|MLB.com||NYY||6||11||0||CC shuts down Halos again.|
|MLBN||NYY||4||10||1||Angels down Yanks behind hit parade.|
|MLBN||NYY||2||7||0||Kazmir replicates regular-season success vs. Yanks.|