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:
Quatrain 23? Don Mattingly’s number. What number did Mattingly wear when he began his Yankee career? 46. It ends tonight.
27 outs away from 27
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.
Preaching from the Pulpit … (well, the media cafeteria)
All season long, the Lighthouse of Hope has been trying to guide the ships full of glass-half-full Yankee fans through their Sea of Negativity and to solid ground. All season long, the negativity, much like the mood slime from Ghostbusters 2, has been trying to overtake the Lighthouse, and all season long it has failed.
Whether it be monsoons, tsunamis, hurricanes, or water spouts half full of hope, the Lighthouse has remained sturdy and hasn’t faltered. The Lighthouse is always here to flip the script from negative to positive. Even in times of despair and deficits, the light always shines through. Through the fog, through the choppy waters, through a critical Game 6 tonight. Can I get an amen?!
As fans, this isn’t a time to be timid and shake in a corner. As fans, this isn’t a time to think of 2004. No, brothers and sisters, as fans this is a time to stand up as one. This is a time to stand up and have confidence in a team that won 103 games. A team that has 52 comeback victories. A team that exorcised their Red Sox demons. A team that always seems to come through when it needs to get the job done. A team that has lost just eight games at home since the All-Star break.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, tonight is the night where you take pride in your pinstripe affiliation. Tonight is the night where instead of worrying about the past, you concentrate on the present and future. Tonight is the night where you all stand as one, stand as one collected and confident group, and watch as the Bronx Bombers go after their 40th trip to the Fall Classic.
Let us Pray. And let’s go Yankees.
Today in Postseason History: The New York Mets rally from three runs down with two outs in the 10th inning to win Game 6 of the World Series.
Karma is on New York’s side on this night.
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.
“HELLO, MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA, YOU KILLED MY FATHER, PREPARE TO DIE!”
Sorry couldn’t help myself.
So 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.
Yankees, Angels, and tangents
Seven more. Yesterday it was eight. Today, the Yankees magic number is seven. To help us all understand a little better, I put my thinking cap on (dusted it off from first grade) and came up with a math problem for the Yankees post season. I guess it would be algebra. I’m not quite sure. Considering I couldn’t decipher an algebra problem if it jumped off a piece of paper, smacked me in the face, and said, “I’m an algebra problem, solve me!” Maybe if I called on Vanilla Ice during my SATs I would have had a better score. Let’s face it, Robert Van Winkle did tell us all, “If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” I need to seek help. This I know. Follow this logic though, if I make it up, I can understand it. Here we go:
7 W + 7 OL = 27 WS. I think you can figure it out if I made it up, but for those of you who need me to break it down, seven more wins plus seven more opponents’ losses will equal the Yankees’ 27th World Series title.
Seems like an easy equation, but to get too geeked over one win, especially my rollercoaster fans on Twitter, who live and die with every pitch in the Yankees season. I give you guys all the credit in the world for being the fans you are, but you are certifiable. Case in point, against the Twins, CC Sabathia gave up a leadoff double to Denard Span, and all of my Twitter Chicken Littles thought the sky was falling.
The Angels are better than what we saw last night. They’re not going to go down without a fight. Even if the Yankees take Game 2, the next three games are in LA, or Anaheim, or in LA of Anaheim, I don’t know ask them.
Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates with us and we get this in because we have Giants football tomorrow. We’ve gone from rain, to no rain, to chocolate rain, to rain again. It must be nice to be a forecaster. Nostradamus they are not. Hopefully Nostradamus isn’t Nostradamus. However, I have been looking through quatrains to see if the Yankees will beat the Angels. So far, nothing to report. I’ll let you know.
Update: After reading some of Nostradamus’ Quatrains I found this:
The Royal scepter will be forced to take
that which his predecessors had pledged.
Because they do not understand about the ring
when they come to sack the palace.
Century 7 Quatrain 23
Ring? Sack the Palace? Was Nostradamus a Yankee fan? I know its a stretch, but it’s pretty cool.
Eight is Enough
Eight wins. Just eight wins stand in the way of the Yankees and their 27th World Series title.
The Bombers won 103 games in the regular season, so eight may not seem like its much. However, the last eight wins will be the hardest eight wins of the season. It will mean the Yankees would have beaten a very good Angels team four times, and either the Dodgers or Phillies another four.
On a side note, speaking of the number eight, if you’re Dick Van Patten, “Eight is Enough.” There I go dating myself again. Eight is also the number Grover used to paint on the blue bald guy’s head on Sesame Street. Why couldn’t the SATs been more about primetime television from the 80’s, and not Geometry and Algebra? A2 + B2 = Chris is going to a college after he gets good grades at a community college because his SATs were awful.
Me and my tangents.
Anyway, a couple interesting facts for you about the Yankees and this series. This regular season, the Bombers were 15-0 when the score was tied at the end of the seventh inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the second longest streak in Major League history. Only the 1906 Giants had more wins in a row. They had 16 when the game was tied after the seventh. Why is this important you ask? I think this series will come down to the bullpens. The starting pitching is lights out on both sides, and the Yankees have the edge in the pen. They have the best pen left in the playoffs, hands down. So if the game is close or tied late, Shearn: Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the 2009 ALCS Bible says, “It’s advantage Yankees, boys and girls.”
Another cool stat to keep all of my Twitter followers from committing Chip Caray in the first inning after a lead-off double: The Yankees were a combined 21-14 against the teams in the AL that made the playoffs — 9-9 against the Red Sox (after starting 0-8, by the way), 5-5 against the Angels and 7-0 against the Twins.
If you are an avid reader of, “Off the Wall” or you listen to the “Off the Wall: The Podcast,” you know what I think about things “on paper.” If it’s on paper, it means it’s in the past. You can break down stats all you want. It’s a new season, it’s a new day, and at the end of this series, there will be new heroes to revere.
History is still the future
I went to the Rays-Yankees game last night hoping Derek Jeter would go 4-for-5 and break Lou Gehrig’s all-time franchise hit record. After he struck out his first three times at the plate, I knew the chances of anything happening were slim and none, and slim just went on vacation.
Such is life. I did see David Wells perfect game in person, so I have that going for me, which is nice. It’s not like receiving total consciousness on my deathbed, but still, nice.
Anyway, as the players kept coming up and I kept hearing their musical selections, it got me to thinking. What song would I come up to if I was a Major League player? I thought for a second and then it hit me:
Ah, AB Logic’s Hitman. It may be a little brash, or egotistical, like I am going to get a hit everytime I go to the plate, but isn’t that the idea?
Now I want to know what song you would come out to if you were striding to the plate at Yankee Stadium. I will mention the best responses in the “Off the Wall” podcast tomorrow!
Ho hum. Another day, another win. Remind you of any other Yankee teams? Maybe one from 11 years back? The team that seemed like it won almost everyday? The team where if it lost you were like, “Ah, whatever. What are we? 70 games over .500?”
I’m not saying this team is going to win 125 games. I’m just saying the day in and day out winning lately, just got me reminiscing a little bit that’s all.
The Yankees are six straight wins away from reaching an unbelievable 40 games over .500 this season. Why is it unbelievable? Do you remember last year? My, what a difference a year makes. My, how the glasses go from half empty to half full. Although I guarantee you there are some fans out there that STILL aren’t satisfied. Maybe they are upset they lost the series to the Rangers? Get over it. It was the first series they lost since they were in Chicago at the beginning of August. In fact, since the All-Star break the Yankees have played 13 series. They are 11-2. By the way, the 11 wins include two series wins and a four-game sweep over the Red Sox. They also swept the Tigers, Orioles, Blue Jays and White Sox. This team is playing how everyone expected it to play after an unbelievable offseason of signings.
Let me throw some more numbers at you. Since Alex Rodriguez came back into the lineup in Baltimore on May 8, the Bombers are 59-33. Since June 25, they are an unreal 42-16. Since the All-Star break, they are 31-11. They have the best record in the Majors, they are the best team in baseball right now. Not arguably the best, they ARE the best, right now. Some more numbers now for the remaining naysayers and people who can just never be happy. Maybe this will turn that frown upside down. August 31, 2008, the Yankees were 72-64 — just 8 games over .500, 12.5 games back of Tampa and in third place. Do I see a smile? Or was that just gas?
Come on people! Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. This team is flat out good. They are proving it on the field everyday! You know who you are. Don’t make me sic Susan Powter on you. Children of the ’80s you know who I speak of — “STOP THE INSANITY!”
Let me take you back to a past blog. At the All-Star break, if you remember, I was asked to grade the Yankees as a guest on WFAN. I gave them a B+ and I got destroyed. Here’s an excerpt that entry:
Baseball is cyclical. If you have ever played the game you would
understand that sometimes the ball looks like a pebble and you’re trying
to hit it with a toothpick, and sometimes it looks like a beach ball
and you have that big fat red wiffleball bat.
There are 73 games left, 73. That’s almost an entire NBA or NHL season.
What? I’m gonna worry? GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE! I said this last year
and I’ll say it again. If you don’t like rooting for a team that
consistently runs out players that are fit to win championships ever
season, there’s always Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Washington. Pledge
your allegiance to teams and owners who put money into a new yacht
instead of putting money into their team.
Am I patting myself on the back? No. Was I right? Yes. The Red Sox won eight straight in the first half of the season. In the second half, the Yankees have taken six of seven. The Yankees are 19-4 in their last 23 home games. They are scoring close to six runs per game, and they are batting .287 with 38 home runs. The fat red wiffleball bat is in full effect. The pitchers are keeping it in the park as well, pitching to an even 3.00 ERA.
Back then there were 73 games left, now 32 remain. The Red Sox keep winning and are still lurking, just six games back. Chew on this though. If the Yankees played .500 ball the rest of the way, that’s 16-16, Boston would have to go 22-10 just to tie. I’m not a betting man, but I like the odds.
So, as the Tempo’s once sang, “See You in September,” everyone. It’s been a heck of a ride, and hopefully the good times will keep rolling along. Hopefully we’ll see you in October, and November where the only number that will matter is 27.
You Don’t Live in Boston…
The New York Yankees run a VERY classy organization and their fans are dubbed by the players as the most knowledgeable fans in the league. Well this week the Boston Red Sox come into town and David Ortiz will bring his cheatin’ heart along with every other cheatin’ part of his body into the Bronx. This will be the time, ladies and gentleman and boys and girls, to show the rest of the country, especially Boston, that not only are you the most knowledgeable, but you handle yourselves with class. Not only because your own team has been caught out on more than one occasion with steroid use, but because you have more CLASS than your “school on Sunday” counterparts in Beantown.
The field microphones picked up plenty of steroid chants when Alex Rodriguez came to the plate whilst the Yankees were in Boston. I don’t want a repeat of that happening at the Stadium. It’s just plain embarrassing.
First of all, for these gulli-bulls, for these nin-cow-poops (Bugs Bunny terms) up in Boston, who thought their precious team was pristine, and free from PED’s … oh wait, that’s right, these are the same people that have re-elected Ted Kennedy over and over and over again, so I shouldn’t be shocked there. The wool is, how you say, easily pulled over their eyes. The entire game was jilted by the juice. Not just New York teams as the Mitchell Report would have you believe, which by the way was run by a guy with ties to the Red Sox.
So Yankees, fans when the big bloody sock machine pulls into town on Thursday for a four game set at the stadium, leave your blow up syringes and steroid chants at home. You don’t live in Boston, YOU live in the greatest city in the world. You, ladies and gentleman boys and girls of all ages, have something your counterparts from the North will never have … class. It reminds me of a coach who took the microphone once and said something along those lines to his hometown crowd.