I know many people have brought up the fact that Joe Torre is in a weak division as the reason that he is in the playoffs, but unfortunately its too simplistic a view to take. This view completely denies the fact that Torre got way more out of his team than the Yankees got out of there's. Torre managed to get his team to the playoffs despite his best pitcher Brad Penny being on the DL and being largely ineffective when he pitched (6.27 ERA), two of his biggest power threats Andruw Jones and Nomar Garciappara combining for 11 homeruns and 42 RBI's as they missed huge stretches of the season due to injury, and no one on the team reaching 100 RBI's.
The Yankees had some largely ineffective pitchers in their rotation, but this isn't a drastic change from any of our previous years. 2005 through 2007 we had just as many injuries in our rotation and still managed to make the playoffs every year. Is it just by chance that the first season Torre's gone that the Yankees can't figure out how to deal with injuries? Just to be clear, I support Girardi, and think this was a good learning season for him, but Torre had a bigger effect on this team than I think anyone really appreciated.
The Dodgers had their pitching problems as well. They had 11 different pitchers making starts for them including Chan Ho Park. The Yankees had 13 different pitchers make starts but really I only count 12 because Bruney's start wasn't necessary. Its a mystery to me why we even let Pavano pitch. Either way, the Dodgers made it to the playoffs with pitching problems and big injuries to major players. If the Yankees were to lose Abreu and A-Rod this season to major injuries, the Yankees would be dead last in the AL East. Torre loses his two best power hitters and wins the division.
Torre made it look easy, and now the Yankees are seeing how difficult it really is. Go Torre! I'm pulling for you even though I don't think you'll beat the Cubs.