In advance of the ALCS, LSB and Pinstripe Alley exchanged questions about the series and our respective teams. You can read our questions of Pinstripe Alley, and their answers, after the jump:
UPDATE -- And the questions to me, with our answers, are up here.
1. How confident are you in Andy Pettitte right now?
After his solid ALDS performance, most Yankee fans feel perfectly confident with Andy Pettitte on the hill. He's a 39 year old, pitching on guile as much as stuff, so I'm realistic about him facing a potent offense like the Rangers' lineup. But I think he can keep us in the game against Cliff Lee and give us a chance to win. That's all you can ask.
2. The Rangers will have 4 starts from LHPs in this series...any concerns about how the Yankees match up against lefties?
Marcus Thames will get the start at DH.
Swisher and Posada OPS'd nearly the same against lefties and righties.
Tex OPS'd 100 points higher this season when facing lefties (mainly because it's harder to shift on him when he's hitting right handed).
The remaining lefties (Cano, Granderson & Gardner) will all be fine. Their splits dip against LHP, but only Granderson's dip dramatically. Since working with hitting coach Kevin Long, Granderson's results against LHP are much improved, including a key triple off Francisco Liriano in the ALDS.
3. What are the Yankees going to do at catcher in this series -- roll with Posada the whole series, or look to Cervelli to try to deal with the Rangers' running game?
I expect Posada to play every game, with the possible exception of Game 4 to catch AJ. With LHP on the mound for 4 games, it's really up to the starters to hold runners on. Don't expect any David Price moments from CC, Andy or Hughes. AJ... well, I no longer make promises or predictions about AJ Burnett.
4. Are you comfortable with A.J. Burnett going in game 4, or do you think the Yankees should have tried to juggle things to get C.C. Sabathia an extra start?
No. It is clearly in the Yankees' favor to win the series in 6 games, to avoid facing the 'magical' Cliff Lee a second time. I would start Sabathia on short rest. But, as I said earlier, there is no predicting AJ Burnett. He could have everything working properly and throw a 7 inning, 9K gem like last year's World Series Game 2, or he could get bounced after 2 innings with the team in a 6 run hole, like Game 5 of the World Series.
5. What do you see the key matchup in this series being?
Phil Hughes v. the Ranger's lineup. I feel we know what we're getting with CC, though he's often too strong on extra rest. If Hughes looks like he did in Game 3 of the ALDS, we'll be fine.