Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comeback Wins and Confidence

A month into the Yankee’s season it appeared as if the season was going to be a bust. Nick Swisher was the best player on the team; no offense to Swisher, I still support him despite his postseason woes. Alex Rodriguez was not even playing and Mark Teixeira was slumping. But, through a combined effort the Yankees shook off the early season slows and won the 103 games, the most in baseball. They were able to do so primarily because of two things; comeback wins and reliance on teammates. These same aspects of the regular season Yankee team are showing themselves in the playoffs and they are what will carry the Yankees to a victory in the World Series.

The Yankees have won 8 games this postseason, 6 have been comeback wins. Though not as dramatic as walk-off hits, these wins show that despite trailing by at least 1 run, this Yankee team never gives up. Who would have thought that Rodriguez would have been able to hit a game-tying homerun off of Joe Nathan?

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with comeback wins. When the Yankees go down I don’t get too nervous because I know they still have the ability to win the game. But, I hate them because they have happened so often this postseason that there are periods during almost every game where I can barely stand to watch. Comebacks are a critical part of this Yankee team, albeit a nerve-wracking part, and have given the Yankees swagger and identity that has got them into the World Series.

The knowledge that teammates will get the job done even if you don’t have also given the Yankees confidence they have lacked in recent years. Before, Rodriguez especially would feel that he had to drive in a run every time he was up at the plate. Who would have thought that some of the key hits that have started rallies would have come from the bottom of the lineup? From top to bottom, despite the recent woes of Rodriguez or the earlier slumps of Swisher and Teixeira, the Yankees have found ways to win. Having confidence in your teammates is irreplaceable and crucial for a baseball team. The Yankees have that and they will keep winning because swagger is fundamental for postseason success.

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