I don't care if he is the greatest closer of all time, you DO NOT pitch a closer two innings in this day and age. He could get hit, he could get hurt, and it's simply just not done. The man's name is Mariano Rivera, not Goose Gossage, and the year is not 1978.
That's why it was shockingly fortunate when Rivera held up the entirety of the potentially harmfully long outing, giving up one run on two hits. His performance secured the Yankees their 40th AL pennant and Andy Pettitte earned his 16th postseason win (the most all-time surpassing John Smoltz) as well as his fifth win to clinch a playoff series (also a record).
So despite Joe Girardi's constant mishandling of his ball club, the New York Yankees have finally somehow returned to the World Series. CC Sabathia — the player who should have started Game 6 — was awarded the ALCS MVP nevertheless, going 2-0 with 1.13 ERA, beating out fellow teammate and playoff redemption story Alex Rodriguez for the award (.429/3 HR/6 RBIs).
Now New York will take on the Philadelphia Phillies (in a rematch of the 1950 Fall Classic) and Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday in the Bronx. The Yankees will counter by running fellow left hander (and AL Cy Young Award winner) CC Sabathia out to the mound (available due to Pettitte's Game 6 win). The rotation is in-line, the lineup has been hot, but the Phillies are a very good ball club that matches up well offensively with the Bronx Bombers (they were first and second in home runs this season).
If the Yankees are going to win this last stage on their season-long odyssey to a 27th World Series championship, it will be their rotation and bullpen that will ultimately get the team to their intended goal. And victory will come only if both of those units can be successful and win despite the destructive mismanagement of their absolutely "clueless" skipper.