Cliff Lee is going to be a Yankee next season. I have little doubt of that now that he has no-hit them through 4 innings of Game 3.. Even if Lee loses his touch over the next four or five innings and forgets how to hit the corners you have think between the first half of this game and World Series last year, the Yankees brass has seen enough of Lee mowing down their billion dollar lineup to offer him whatever he wants this off-season even if it means pasting his face over the freshly unveiled George Steinbrenner monument. And you have to think ol' George would have been okay with that; he probably would have had Cashman in the Rangers dugout between innings trying to sign Lee before the top of 5th.
Now the game is not over but I have to say I had a feeling the Yankees were kind of due against Lee. Maybe not even the Yankees per se' but somebody has to be due against this guy. Lee had a decent, if unspectacular season. He was not dominant in Texas, apparently fighting through some back issues, but once October hit Lee has been, well Cliff Lee. Sportswriters and announcers have been calling this game a gimme for the Rangers since the series was determined. The Yankees had to have Games 1&2 because Lee was coming in Game 3 and his mere presence seemed to be good enough for at least 10 strikeouts and 8 innings the way some writers were talking him up. And so far it appears they might have been right even though I will admit I had faint hint of hope that these things never seem to go as planned and maybe this was finally the night Lee didn't have his October magic.
But one hit through 5 innings (thanks Jorge) and the sky is falling in the Bronx. Andy Pettitte cruising through the last 3 innings are of little comfort to anyone. The Yankees look like the team that stumbled to the finish line, the one that everyone thought got their Championship mojo back after feasting on Minnesota. Then they seemed to have the luck of not drawing Lee in Game 1. But aside from that miraculous 8th inning in Texas the Yankees have yet to really show up for this series. Tonight seemed like a good time to start.
But it looks like Cliff Lee has this thing well in hand and I have no doubt that these announcers who drone on and on (I'm looking at you Ernie Johnson) and bring up every stat known to man about every situation that occurs in the game will be gushing about Lee's pedigree next year while he dons a Yankee cap, regardless of how these playoffs shake out. The Yankees do, after all, have (as of right now anyway) another million dollar arm going for them tomorrow night: A.J. Burnett. For most Yankees fans if there was ever a time for Cliff Lee to start looking human now would be it.