Tagged: Phillies

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.

California Dreamin’

All the leaves are turning brown, but the sky is anything but gray with the Yankees’ postseason run. Just one loss so far, and with one more win tonight out in Anaheim, the Bombers will be back in the Fall Classic for the first time since 2003.

You should all know A.J. Burnett’s story by now. Last year he was in bed with his wife watching postseason baseball wondering what it would be like if it were him pitching in a big game. Tonight, Burnett doesn’t have to wonder. Tonight, Burnett can pitch his team to his second and the teams 40th World Series appearance.

So far in the postseason, with the exception of being a little wild, Burnett has given the Yankees two solid starts. He’s pitched 12.1 innings, allowed a combined three runs on six hits, and the Yanks have won both games by the final of 4-3. As fans you would probably like to watch games without wearing out the leather on the edge of your seat. However, regardless of how they did it, they won both starts and are just one win away from baseball Shangri-la.

Five more wins. Coincidentally for Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, five more wins equals FIVE GOLDEN RINGS! Calling birds, french hens, turtle doves, and partridges in pear trees sold separately. Christmas is just a little over two months away you know. I couldn’t help myself.

A half dozen

Have you ever ordered six bagels? Six donuts? Six geese a laying? Six anything? Well how about we all order six more Yankee wins?

Did you know you can almost count to six on one hand. If you’re Antonio Alfonseca, you actually can count to six on one hand. Google him if you don’t know him, or if you’re too lazy, he was a relief pitcher in the bigs and he has six fingers on his right hand. Much like Count Rugen from “The Princess Bride,” but Alfonseca didn’t kill Inigo Montoya’s father.


Sorry couldn’t help myself.

phillies_200_101909.jpgSo just six more wins and the Yankees will be parading down the Canyon of Heroes. It won’t be easy though. If the Yankees get past the Angels, they will have to deal with the Dodgers or Phillies. By the way, let me just say right now, I am hoping the Phillies win the NL pennant. Are you asking, “Why Chris?” Well if you are, here’s why. If the Dodgers and Yankees make the World Series, it’s not going to be about the Dodgers and the Yankees. It will be about Joe Torre and his return to the Bronx, and if he can be beat the team who let him go.

I don’t want that.I want the games to be the story. I don’t want Torre being the story. So “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition” and all you entertainment shows drooling over the possibility of this happening, I boo you. Stick to Jon and Kate, it’s what you do best. Leave sports to the people who cover it all season long. Leave the Yankees to the people who are there for Baltimore in April and the Nationals in June. Thank you.

Now, even with a 2-0 lead over the Angels in the ALCS there is still some cause for concern. This is a good team. They have a great manager. The Angels aren’t going to just let the Yankees walk in to their house and let them walk right over them.

The temperature in Anaheim is much more baseball friendly; the forecast is 71 degrees and sunny. There won’t be any ski masks, or any hats with ear flaps, unless Elmer Fudd decides to make an appearance. That’s his normal wardrobe. The next three games are on the left coast. Game 3 this afternoon, Game 4 tomorrow night, and Game 5, if necessary, on Thursday.

I’d rather not see pinstripes again until October 28th.

Tarp is off the field … Twice

Sitting in the visiting TV booth here at Bright House Field in Clearwater we were watching as the grounds crew was taking the tarp off the field to a standing ovation by the fans here who have braved the weather to this point.  And they took it off the wrong way the first time and they got water on the outfield grass…a pretty good amount of it too…they had to drag it back and take it off the right way.  Like I said there has been a drought here in the area…maybe they forgot how to take it off?  Despite the mistake though, we hear the game should be starting at 1:45.  We are now listening to Jimmy Cliff’s version of, “I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone.”  After being serenaded as previously mentioned by some songs with rain in the title.  Such as:  It’s Raining Men, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, good job by the Phillies people in the booth.

Observations:  The place is packed…there are people beyond the outfield…the grass continues up a hill and people are on blankets getting their first glimpse of the sun…still mostly overcast here in Clearwater, but the sun is fighting its way through the doom and gloom.  There are grounds crew members preparing the infield…Chase Utley and some of his teammates came out to stretch.  Chen-Ming Wang went out to the outfield for long toss…and he will be starting NOT Brett Tomko as earlier reported.  Tomko was on the dry erase board in the media room, but it will indeed be Wang.  More and more Yankees are out of the clubhouse and doing their warmups.  Cano, Teixeira, Ramsom, Cabrera are all getting some running in on the outfield grass…

Lineups Today…We Will have Baseball!


Melky Cabrera CF
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Xavier Nady RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C (Jorge Posada caught CC Sabathia in a minor league game yesterday see Off the Wall blog from yesterday)
Ramiro Pena SS (Derek Jeter is on his way back from the WBC)
Chien-Ming Wang P


Eric Bruntlett 3B
Jayson Werth CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Matt Stairs RF
Jason Donald SS (Last year with Triple-A Reading .307 14 HR  54 RBI)
Ronny Paulino C (Last year with Pirates 40 games .212 2 HR 18 RBI)
J.A. Happ P

Happ is a 26 year old lefty so far this spring in five appearances, two starts, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA.  He was with the big club for eight games (four starts) last season and he posted a 1-0 record with a 3.69 ERA.  He won the Paul Owens Award as the best pitcher in the Phillies minor league system. 

Mother Nature has been repeatedly opening up a can of you know what on Clearwater today…as we continue to listen to every song imaginable with the word rain in it here at Bright House Field.  Other Yankees taking the mound today will be David Robertson, Jonathan Albaladejo, Dan Giese, and Brian Bruney.  More to come…the tarp is still on the field.



Guess who’s back…back again…Hey everybody!  Happy Monday!  Sorry for my enthusiasm for this Monday.  Normally Mondays are reserved for sour pusses and dreading the drudging back to work after a nice two days off.

Not this Monday.  Not for me.  This is a different kind of Monday.  A Spring Training Monday.  I’m not in a cubicle and I can’t hear anyone answering the phone repeatedly saying, “Accounts payable, Nina speaking, just a moment.”  Little Office Space humor for you there…and it continues…This guy typing definitely doesn’t have a case of the Mondays as I listen to the Mama’s and the Papa’s “Monday, Monday” blaring over the speakers here at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., as the Yankees are set to take on the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies in Grapefruit League action. The Yankees are coming off a 5-0 loss to the defending American League Champion Rays yesterday, where lefty David Price was nearly unhittable.                                              

First let me tell you about our adventure to get to the ballpark this morning.  I brought my GPS device down here, or as I like to call her, Lola, and Lola ran us into a little bit of trouble at the outset of our trip. We started out going the right way until Lola told us to turn around and head in the other direction. As we got on Route 275, I told Kevin Sullivan to check to see where this thing was taking us, and as he scrolled ahead to the upcoming turns, it turns out we were headed to Jacksonville.  Um…I’m not very Florida literate…but…as I use my Ron Burgundy voice as I type…Even to the laymen Jacksonville is not Clearwater…agree to disagree…when in Rome…

There is construction all around our hotel, and they warned us about using a GPS, but did we listen? Nope. Just thought that would amuse you. I hope it did.

We were able to talk to Nick Swisher, Brian Bruney, Cody Ransom, Jim Kaat, and Hal Bodley of MLB.com. We are in the process of editing all of these pieces and as soon as they are done they will be up on the site. Plenty to look forward here today on the new YESNetwork.com!  Come back during the day and I will have game updates…hopefully because right now it is a monsoon here in Clearwater. This area needs the water though.  They are going through a drought.   TTFN…

Clearwater Tomorrow

Hi all…your friendly neighborhood blogging maniac Chris Shearn here…just a quick note to let you know we will be in Clearwater tomorrow when the Yankees take on the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies in Grapefruit League action.  We will have updates on the game and interviews from both clubs.  Hope you are tuned in from work, home, or wherever!