So now what?

Given the night to ponder Game 1, there’s little to really analyze and debate:

  1. Cliff Lee was flat-out awesome
  2. The Yanks bullpen has more cracks than the Yankee Stadium ramps

So if we can all agree that Points #1 and #2 above are indeed true, then we just have simply put Game 1 behind us and stop sweating it. The Yanks were beaten by a great team with a pitcher who couldn’t be any hotter if he were sitting in a chaise lounge on the surface of the sun. It happens.

I don’t know about you, but I woke up a heckuvalot less angry and bitter than I did following some of the losses to the Angels in the ALDS. In those games, the Yanks had a chance –more than one chance in most cases– to win and failed. The Yanks had no chance last night. Great pitching should beat great hitting. I’m trying to follow my own advice and simply wipe the slate clean.

So where do we go from here? I’ll tell ya one thing: Now’s not the time to panic.

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The Prodigal Son Returns

Yes, Yankees fans, tonight is the night that Public Enemy #1 returns to the Bronx as a shell of his former self. Let’s hear from the man himself: I don’t know if you realize this, but because of you guys in some ways, I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium. I can honestly say that. I mean, I have been a big fan of baseball for a long time, since I was a kid. My first ball I ever got from a Big League player I actually got to purchase in Dodger Continue reading The Prodigal Son Returns

Game 2 Preview | World Series 2009 | Phillies at Yankees, Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are you ready to put Game 1 behind you? Good, me too. Moving on to tonight’s Game 2, we have a matchup between Pedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3Ks) and Allan James Burnett (0-0, 4.42 ERA, 13Ks). I feel good about the Yankee offense breaking out against Pedro tonight, unless the bats continue to pull a “Yankees in their last two trips to the World Series” encore. I’m reluctant to call tonight a must-win, although trailing 0-2 going into Philly won’t exactly be an ideal situation. Unfortunately Philadelphia taking Game 1 tipped the odds of winning the series significantly in Continue reading Game 2 Preview | World Series 2009 | Phillies at Yankees, Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stunned silence

Hard to find the words to adequately describe this game, from a Yanks fan’s perspective. However, this nonchalant catch by Cliff Lee on Damon’s pop-up (to the right*) might have been the most emblematic of the night for the Yanks:

It was too easy.

Let’s get to some of the points quickly, with a full game recap to follow:

  • Cliff Lee was better than impressive. Flat out dominant. If I wasn’t rooting for the Yanks, I’d be giving him a standing ovation from my living room.
  • Lee made seemingly every hitter look foolish.
  • A virtual no-look basket catch and a behind-the-back stab. What’s next? Between the legs? Pitching right-handed?
  • Sabathia wasn’t bad, but he served up two longballs to Utley. His control seemed “off” but he was able to keep it to just 2 runs through 6 innings.
  • Good to see the umpiring crew huddle up to get that wacky double-play called right.

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Cliff Lee utterly brilliant as Phils take Game 1 of the World Series 6-1

For 8 innings tonight, Cliff Lee looked poised to throw the second straight World Series shutout at Yankee Stadium. As it was, the utterly dominant Lee (complete game, 1R, 0ER, 6H, 0BB, 10K) extended the Yankees’ World Series scoreless streak to 17 straight innings until the home nine broke through in the bottom of the 9th on an unearned run. Lee was so good that the Yankees were unable to put multiple runners on base or advance a runner to third until the 9th inning, as the Phillies won Game 1 of the 2009 World Series 6-1. On the other Continue reading Cliff Lee utterly brilliant as Phils take Game 1 of the World Series 6-1

Yankees drop game one of series as Lee dominates

To have beaten Cliff Lee tonight, the Yankees would have had to pitch perfectly. Sabathia didn’t even pitch poorly–he’s been so dominant lately that a little bit of rust looked akin to a collapse–but he wasn’t a match for Lee tonight. Lee’s performance tonight sparked memories of Koufax and Ford–that’s how good it was. Until the ninth inning, the Yankees had just one batter reach second base, and none reach third. There’s not much else to day–it wasn’t a bad managerial move that cost the Yankees the game; the other team simply pitched better. Okay, so perhaps Brian Bruney should Continue reading Yankees drop game one of series as Lee dominates

Jim Bouton's just another cranky old former ballplayer

Was there clause in a standard contract back-in-the-day that prohibited you from a) having fun while playing it or b) enjoying the game once you left it? Jim Bouton’s the latest crusty, cranky old former ballplayer who thinks players should just keep their head down and not have any fun or celebrate, unless it involves “real men” putting live reptiles in others underwear:

In my day, they had more creative ways to sort of celebrate,” said Mr. Bouton, 70. “Pieing would have been silly, kids’ stuff. We would put a live snake in a guy’s underwear. That is something that real men would do. This is silly stuff, you know what I mean? it’s kid stuff. The guys today, they’re inexperienced.

[…]

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WS G1: Phillies @ Yankees

If you were hoping to see Jay-Z perform today, that performance has been moved to Game 2 (rain). Lineups via LoHud: YANKEES Derek Jeter SS Johnny Damon LF Mark Teixeira 1B Alex Rodriguez 3B Jorge Posada C Hideki Matsui DH Robinson Cano 2B Nick Swisher RF Melky Cabrera CF Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (3-0, 1.19 ERA in postseason) PHILLIES Jimmy Rollins SS Shane Victorino CF Chase Utley 2B Ryan Howard 1B Jayson Werth RF Raul Ibanez DH Ben Francisco LF Pedro Feliz 3B Carlos Ruiz C Pitching: LHP Cliff Lee (2-0, 0.74 ERA in postseason) TIME/TV: 7:57 p.m., FOX Here Continue reading WS G1: Phillies @ Yankees

RAB’s pitching preview

Due to practical time constraints, I’ve been unable to complete a thorough pitching analysis (those infield and outfield comparisons took longer than expected). Rather than offer a diluted version, I encourage you to check out Mike’s pitching breakdowns over at River Ave Blues. He’s done a very nice job evaluating the Phillies starting staff as well as their bullpen. In the end, I think it’s fair to say that the Yankees have better pitching, which is why they’ll ultimately win the World Series (in 5, as per my prediction).