I hate the fact that Cliff Lee is so darn humble. . .so damn likeable. I wish he would run his mouth like Curt Schilling used to (and probably still does) or say stupid things like ex-Braves pitcher John Rocker often did so I had a reason to hate him other than the fact that he made Yankee hitters look like that were batting blindfolded. But no, he just goes out and pitches. Pitches good. Pitches great. Pitches freakin’ phenomenal.
As any fan would, I stood behind my guy, Andy Pettitte, and I still do. With the exception of Josh Hamilton’s reach out and touch me homerun in the 1st inning last night, Pettitte pitched a helluva game. Two earned runs and 5 hits allowed over 7 innings. . .nothing to sneeze about.
The problem was. . .Cliff Lee was just plain out sick.
Are you kidding me? Zero earned runs, 13 strikeouts, 2 hits and 1 walk. Thanks Cliff, for punching our face in. If this series goes to a 7th game and the Yanks have to face Lee again, I’m thinking that might a problem and it may be time for the Bombers to make late October golf trip plans.
Tonight the Yankees turn to A.J. Burnett and hope he can shut down a Ranger offensive onslaught that has been averaging over 6.5 runs per game over the 1st three games of the ALCS.
Hey, don’t get me wrong. I bleed pinstripes like the rest of the diehard Yankee fans do too. And I know everyone of them, like me, is not too jazzed about Burnett pitching tonight. The fact is, we are scared. Petrified. If the Rangers can put up big run numbers against Sabathia, Hughes, and select members of the Bomber bullpen, then you can bet your last nickel that those Texas hitters are foaming at the mouth waiting to hit against Burnett. Burnett’s ERA is a whopping 5.26 and in a simulating setting last week, he couldn’t even maintain enough control to keep from clunking two of his own players. Yikes.
But A.J. has had his moments. . .albeit far and few between this season but a few. As a fan, I’m hoping he can muster the command and internal fortitude it’s gonna take to shut down that offense.
And speaking of offense, “hello. . .Yankee batters 2, 3 and 4. . . .are you there??” A lot more production out of the middle of the lineup is in order. Maybe tonight the Bombers can end the funk and slap Tommy Hunter around for awhile. He’s making his first appearance at Yankee Stadium and it would be nice to give him a warm, loving Bronx welcome, if you get my meaning.
Let’s just hope it’s a welcome and quick “goodbye”.
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.