(This is not a good look. Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Newsday)
The statistical advantage will be on the Yankees’ side tonight with the series shifting back to Yankee Stadium. But the other great part about playing at home in the postseason is the emotional lift a team gets from its home crowd. The atmosphere, the cheering, the mere feeling of anticipation and tension building in the stadium as the fans get ready to explode, while not being something that can be statistically measured, is something that can have an impact on a game. That impact will be something to monitor tonight simply because next to comments on the price of beer, the expensive tickets, and the “living monument” presentation of the team history in the new Yankee Stadium, the one comment that I’ve heard most consistently about it from people who have been there is that it doesn’t have the same feel and energy to it as the old Stadium did.
Having still not lost my new Stadium virginity yet, I’m not qualified to comment on that from personal experience, but from what I’ve seen come across on the TV broadcasts of the past few homes games I’ve watched I would have to agree with that assessment. The Stadium hasn’t been full, the fans haven’t been loud or even seemingly into the games at all. The whole atmosphere in the place feels like it’s just a bunch of people who came to watch a baseball game because it was something to do, and that needs to stop tonight.
The Yankees could have and should have won Game 2 easily. That's a fact. Lost in all the "A-Rod sucks" discussion and talk of RISP Fail, pinch runners, and Derek Jeter being a terrible shortstop is the fact that the Yankees had more hits, more baserunners, and more scoring opportunities than the O's. If just 2 or 3 plays in that game go differently, the Yankees could have very easily won a 5-1, 6-1 game and the Orioles know it. They did what they had to do to salvage some semblance of a chance in this series and the pressure is still on them tonight to win a game and negate the homefield advantage that is now clearly in the hands of New York. Game 3 tonight could be the swing game in this series, and the Yankees need to put Game 2's failures behind them and come out ready to score some runs tonight.