The boo birds are lying in wake. They are getting ready to let loose a tirade the likes of which have not been seen in a very long time in the Bronx. Last night there were rumblings, signs of things to come.
Despite the fact that Alex Rodriguez was hitting over .430 in the post season and hit clutch tying home runs late in games, here he was on baseball’s greatest stage with the opportunity to completely bury his past failures and finally be accepted as a true blue New York Yankee.
The only person to stand in his way was the former Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee, who is having a post season for the ages. What a classic confrontation. Even I was psyched despite my disappointment in the World Series combatants.
Last night clearly belonged to Cliff Lee. Not only did he strike out A-Rod three times but completely shut down the heart of the Yankee lineup with A-Rod, Texiera, and Posada going a measly 1-12 against the crafty left hander. Lee struck out 10 and posted his first win and complete game in the World Series.
Chase Utley supplied all the offense the Fightin’ Phil’s needed with two home runs off Yankee ace and former Lee teammate, C.C. Sabathia. Other than the two blasts, Sabathia held the powerful Phil’s bats in check allowing only those two runs in seven innings.
Then the Yankee bull pen, which I said was a course of concern for Joe Girardi’s troops managed to give up four runs in two innings to put Game One out of reach. With the win, the Phillies grabbed the home field advantage and need to win three more games to repeat as World Champions. With three of the next four games at Citizens Bank Park, I like their chances.
The Yankees find themselves nearing to have their backs against the wall for the first time in this post season and will give the ball to their other gazillion dollar free agent, A.J. Burnett, who many times this season looked nothing more than an ordinary struggling pitcher.
Make no mistake however, when Burnett is on his game he can be one of the most un-hittable pitchers in either league today. He is going to have to be if the Yankees plan on expanding this series into November.
The Phillies counter tonight with my favorite pitcher and player in this past generation, Pedro Martinez. He has been nothing short of sensational since the Phillies picked him up late in the season. One of the great big game pitchers of all time, Pedro brings his expertise to a Yankee organization that he once called his “Daddy”.
Don’t you just love this?
If Pedro does get racked around, Charlie Manuel may be second guessed since he had a choice of starting another left hander in Cole Hamels who would have turned around the Yankee switch hitters to the right side where his patented change-up is a devastating pitch.
Regardless, Hamels will start Game Three in Philadelphia and if the Yankees find themselves down 0-2 they will have to pull out of their past hat from the Series of 1999 where they lost the first two games to Atlanta only to come back and sweep the Braves from there.
Prediction; I have only missed one game in picking the right team in this post season. I expect Pedro to pitch a gem but unfortunately Charlie won’t let him go beyond 105 pitches and then I expect the Phillies bull pen to implode late in the game as the Yankees did last night.
The Yanks will come back and tie this series at one each. It will also be the last game the “Skankees” will win in 2009, and A-Hole-Fraud-Roid’s woes will continue. You see I really believe in “what goes around, comes around” and Alex Rodriguez, once a hero of mine, is the poster child for arrogant, ignorant behavior which is too wide spread in professional sports.
Yankees 7 Phillies 3