One of best things about being a Yankee fan is the playoff season. For one, we’re usually in the playoffs every year so we can extend the support of our team and secondly, the situation usually places the Yankees and their fans in an “us against the world” situation. The rule of thumb for baseball fans seems to be “if my team can’t win it, root against the Yankees.”
I bring this up because it appears the whole baseball world, and probably some of those not in our world, think that the Yanks are done after losing Game 2 in Texas and they face the dilemma of having Cliff Lee starting against them on Monday.
Yeah. . .so?
Look, I know Cliff Lee has a 6-0 playoff record with an ERA of 1.44. Impressive to say the least. In fact, if he can continue on that torrid playoff winning pace he might someday equal or surpass the career leader in playoff wins. Wow, wouldn’t it be great if we could match Lee against the pitcher who currently holds that record? Now that would be a game to watch. Young Lion vs. Old Lion. Who do you think would lead their team to victory?
Gimmie the Old Lion.
Outside of Yankee fans and a few baseball analysts, Andy Pettitte is getting no love in this matchup. I guess it’s easy to overlook the fact that he has won 19 playoff games for one of the most storied, rich in tradition teams in sports history. And he does it without glitz, glamour and fanfare. Pettitte goes to the mound and works the corners, slings that infamous slider and basically keeps the hitters guessing for about 7 innings.
Ranger fans and Yankee haters are saying bring it on. They would rather have Cliff Lee who has been pitching gems over the last couple of years and I’m sure they are thinking whatever Pettitte has done is ancient history. The fact is, in the last five playoff games that Pettitte got a decision, they were wins. So either he was pitching well enough to win or the Bomber bats were doing their part and contributing to the cause.
There’s no denying it. . .Lee has been outstanding and carries impressive playoff statistics. But let’s be honest, Yankee Stadium will be rocking on Monday and there has to be a certain amount of angst within him knowing that he will have to be the hero in order for the Rangers to advance to their first World Series appearance. The pressure he feels now will build and bubble up like a shook up Coke bottle ready to explode sometime during Game 3.
For Andy Pettitte, it’s been there, done that. . .and business as usual.
About the Author
Written by Patrick Blakeslee
I am currently a full-time student at State University of New York at Cobleskill. As a life long fan of sports, I hope to bring some research, insight and knowledge to the readers.