November 2009

Short Un”rest”

Andy Pettitte is the topic of sports radio today and the concern is the veteran lefty going on short rest. He said he wasn’t going to go out there and try to blow the ball by people, he is just going to approach it as he always does and try to get people out.

Here’s some food for thought Yankees fans. The only Phillies starter to have W’s in this series isn’t pitching tonight. Pettitte is going up against 37-year-old Pedro Martinez. No one is talking about Pedro’s age, Why? Why is Pedro getting a pass here and Andy Pettitte the most winningest pitcher in post season history being underestimated because he is on three days rest?

Some more food for thought, I hope your hungry. This will be just the fifth start for Pettitte in the last month. He has thrown four postseason games in 30 days. That is plenty of rest. That means on average he has had over seven days of rest if you factor in all the off time. You may think I’m crazy or weird, but it’s fact. I know he has only had three days of rest between his last start and this start tonight, but it’s not like Pettitte has been on a regular workload. He has had ample rest. He clinched in Game 6 of the ALCS on October 25th, then didn’t pitch again for six days in the World Series. That’s an extra day of rest and Pettitte wasn’t sharp. He said he didn’t have it, so you can sit here and argue and try to make a radio show on this topic, but I am calling you all out.

By the way, Pedro is 37.

Also as far as the decision to go with the Three Horseman who got the Yankees to the game clincher here tonight, Joe Girardi absolutely made the right decision. Why put Chad Gaudin in to start against Cliff Lee and basically forfeit a Game 5 when you can have A.J. Burnett on the mound? No one knows his players better than the manager. If he didn’t think Burnett didn’t give the Yankees a chance to win Game 5, he wouldn’t have been on the hill.

By the way, Burnett was hitting 95 on the gun. He had problems locating. If you followed this team all year, Burnett had problems locating on regular rest. Why didn’t these guys on sports radio just tell Girardi to have Derek Jeter go up to bat in the top of the first with a white flag tied to the top of his bat?

By the way, Pedro is 37.

One more thing before I punch out. Was Nostradamus a Yankees fan? Check this out:

NOSTRADAMUS_250.jpgQuatrain 23? Don Mattingly’s number. What number did Mattingly wear when he began his Yankee career? 46. It ends tonight.

Sights, Sounds and Nuggets from the field, pre-game: WS Game 5

Biff Henderson from the David Letterman show interviewing our own Kenny Singleton and former Yankees General Manager Bob Watson … he also interviewed Joe Buck.

Johnny Damon continues to be my new BFF because whenever we ask this guy for an interview he is, dare I say, Johnny on the spot. Joe Auriemma is busily editing it and it will be up on the site later, as well as my interview with Kenny Singleton.

I asked a lot of beat reporters, radio hosts or just people here working for various media outlets what their gut feeling was for tonight — about 80-85 percent of the people I asked thought this Series was going back to New York for Game Six. This is not exactly a Quinnipiac or New York Times poll, but still a good one.

Brett Gardner starting in center field tonight. Melky is done. Ramiro Pena is now on the roster.

Kenny Singleton’s 1983 Baltimore Orioles were the last team in World Series history to lose Game One and then win the next four. They did it about 300 yards away from where we are sitting right now, at Veterans Stadium.

Four times a team lost Game One and went onto take the next four games.

1983 Orioles (vs. Phillies)
1969 Mets (vs. Orioles)
1942 Cardinals (vs. Yankees)
1915 Red Sox (vs. Phillies)

Will this be the third time the Phillies surrender that fate?

Also interesting to note: the Yankees have been up 3-1 in the World Series eight times. They are 8-0. They have won Game Five six times and Game Six twice.

Year       Opponent     Game 5 Result 

2000       Mets           Won 4-2
1977       Dodgers       Lost 10-4 (Won Game 6)
1961       Reds           Won 13-5
1949       Dodgers       Won 10-6
1943       Cardinals     Won 2-0
1941       Dodgers       Won 3-1
1937       Giants         Won 4-2
1936       Giants         Lost 5-4 (Won Game 6)

27 outs away from 27

clifflee_250_110209.jpgTen down, one to go. The Yankees are on the precipice of winning their 27th World Championship, but they are going to have to go through the Phillies’ best pitcher in Cliff Lee to wrap things up tonight.

Lee’s only postseason experience has been this season with the Phillies and he’s made the most of it. He is 3-0 in four starts with a 0.54 ERA and the opposition is batting just .171 against him. Those are the best numbers by a pitcher with at least 30 innings in the postseason.

The lefty has proven to be a playoff sure thing so far, but can he can be due for a clunker? Over his last seven starts of the regular season Lee was 2-4 with an ERA over six. In fact, his last loss came in his last start of the regular season against Houston back on October 1. Lee hasn’t tasted defeat since. Cue fictional Indians manager Lou Brown from the Major League movies, “I have a hunch he’s due.”

The series may not end tonight, but if the Phillies do extend the Fall Classic their patchwork pitching staff after Lee will come into question in the next two possible games.

Game six, if necessary, at Yankee Stadium will be Pedro Martinez. Game 7 if necessary will be putting three names in a hat and seeing who Charlie Manuel picks out of it. All hands would be on deck in a Game 7 we know that, but the starters would be a choice of J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton on three days’ rest, or Cole Hamels (who said he can’t wait for the season to end). Hamels by the way was loudly booed in his Game 4 introduction for those postgame comments after Game 3. What competitor begs for the season to be over when his team is down 2-1 in the World Series after he implodes on the mound?

By the way, this is how quickly “The biggest game in your life” is overtaken by the next “biggest game of your life” as A.J. Burnett will toe the rubber in the possible clincher here in Philadelphia. Like Lee, it’s also Burnett’s first postseason experience on the mound. He does have a ring with the 2003 Marlins; he was injured during that time though. How about that? Beating the Yankees in 2003 with the Marlins, but not playing, and Burnett tonight could pitch the Yankees to their 27th World Series Championship. If Burnett indeed pitches well in the next biggest game of his life, he can walk away with the World Series MVP.

The Lighthouse is beaming with confidence. The Yankees are just 27 outs away from their 27th Championship. Glass half empty Yankee fans get your cups ready. They are just one win away from overflowing with champagne.