Ten 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.
I’m sitting in my office watching our “live shot” of Yankee Stadium. The tarp is on the field, and our crew has some Hendrix playing over the shot. Cool stuff, but ‘m a little in the dumps today. Why? Well the Yankees just lost their fourth straight game to the Red Sox last night. Jorge Posada needs an MRI on his hamstring and the Bombers have to face Josh Beckett tonight.
I have to be honest, the thing that has me bumming the most though is the passing of Dom DeLuise. My siblings and cousins can communicate with each other just through lines from his movies. If any of us were ever in a sour mood, all someone would have to do is say, “Treasure..bathtub, I’m going to take a TREASURE BATH! TREASURE BATH!” “Here, wash this!” Or maybe his entrance into a room as Captain Chaos (who he simply called, HIM) would bring one of my family members out of the doldrums.
I just know he brought a ton of laughter to me and my entire family for decades, and he will for decades to come. If you knew of him do yourselves a favor and pass on his memory to a new generation. I know I will. His credits are endless, and his humor is timeless.
Hey everyone! We here at YESNetwork.com would like to start a little contest to see who can come up with the best nickname for the new Yankee Stadium. The winner will walk away … drum roll please … with a choice of a blue or white YES Network Sports Sprint T-shirt that you could sport at the beach or cut the sleeves off and wear it at the gym. We don’t mind … it will be your shirt.
After evaluating the submissions left in the Off the Wall comment box, here are the best nominees. Place your vote now:
The House that Ruth Built. The Cathedral. The Home Office for Baseball. 161st St. and River Ave. The gracious, grand old ballpark the Yankees used to call home still stands, for now, in the gigantic shadow of the Yankees future, the new Yankee Stadium.
We will miss the old ballpark. We’ll miss the mystique, aura and ghosts that came along with the place across the street.
One thing we won’t miss are the memories. Those we carry with us for the test of time. Those will stay in our thoughts to carry on to our future generations. Our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandkids will all be the beneficiaries of our picture painting of those great times at what was simply called, “The Stadium.”
It is time to turn the page, though. It is time to move across the street and make new memories. It’s time for Opening Day 2009 at the new Yankee Stadium. Whether you are here in the ballpark today, taking all of the festivities in at home on TV, or listening to John and Suzyn on WCBS 880AM, we are all a part of this historic day. Raise your glasses and toast the old place one last time, and then look across the street and embrace the future.
A.J. Burnett was absolutely lights out picking up Chien-Ming Wang once again. Burnett had a 2-0 lead and a no-hitter into the seventh. Then gave up his first hit, the shutout and the lead, all in the Rays’ half of the seventh.
He didn’t crumble after he gave up two runs. Joe Girardi didn’t even get anyone up in the bullpen. Burnett got out of the jam and the Yankees rewarded their starter with a run in their half of the eighth to go back out in front, 3-2. Burnett then worked a perfect eighth inning and his night was over. Eight innings, three hits, two runs, one walk, and nine strike outs. He is now 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA.
Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, so far in Yankeeland 2009, I give you your cure for Janet Jackson Disease: Mr. A.J. Burnett.
Brett Gardner exploded Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., (3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI). I’d like to reiterate my comfort level from my Homegrown Gardner blog from March 30:
“Gardner will be the Opening Day center fielder for Joe Girardi and the Yankees, and even though some “experts” aren’t comfortable with him being there, I am in a lazy boy with the fridge and a case of beer, and comfortable.”
Do they still make the recliners with the refrigerators?
The top two guys in the lineup, Derek Jeter and Gardner, went 6-for-10 with four RBIs. How about Swish at the dish? Nick Swisher was in the four hole and went 2-4 with a solo home run, his fourth of the year. Oh by the way, Swish is hitting .458. He thought it was heady to be hitting in the three hole with Mark Teixeira out of the lineup. I wonder how he felt hitting clean up? I’ll ask him Thursday when I am at the new Yankee Stadium for Opening Day.
Sleep well Yankee fans. See you for the Sprint at 1p.m. ET, then for Yankees Batting Practice today at 3 p.m.