Back To NYS Where It Was Meant To Happen

November 3, 2009 – 12:11 pm

Philadelphia 8, NYY 6. With A.J. Burnett you have to take the bad with the good, a reality we’ve witnessed all season. And when “Bad” A.J. shows up, you can pretty much put the game in the loss column. Particularly if you are up against a good team with one of their better pitchers. Last night it took all of three at-bats by Philadelphia to see that sure enough it was “Bad” A.J. on the mound. And the game was pretty much over before A.J. could even record a single out in the third inning. Of 15 batters he faced, nine reached base and six scored. A 5-run lead is just too much to overcome when you are playing postseason caliber teams.

And let’s not have any of this nonsense about Burnett’s problems being due to short rest. That’s crap — historically he’s pitched well on three days rest. This was about one and only one thing — Burnett is totally inconsistent. You never know when he’s going to pitch lights out, and when he’s going to stink it up. Every time he goes to the mound it’s a crap shoot. And last night was no different. “Good” A.J. was just as likely to show up as “Bad” A.J. Amount of rest had nothing to do with this.

Actually this loss wouldn’t have been all that troublesome if Cliff Lee had pitched like he did in Game One. But he didn’t have near the command and control he did in that first game, and he was very hittable last night. But the Yankee offense sputtered until the seventh inning, and by the time they finally did get to Lee, it was too little too late. To their credit, they did make one of their patented late inning runs — but when Derek Jeter hit in to a rally-killing double play in the ninth, it was all but over. Even then, though, Johnny Damon still kept their chances alive, and gave Mark Teixeira one more opportunity to redeem his so far miserable series. But it just wasn’t to be this time, as Tex struck out.

All things considered, though, you have to still be very optimistic at this point — in fact, if I dare say, it’s all working out quite well. What better way to christen New Yankee Stadium than by winning the World Series at home in the stadium’s first year? And who better to have as the starting pitcher than Andy Pettitte, the Yankee with the most post-season wins in history? And surely you like having Jorge Posada as the starting catcher in the series clincher, no? And of course, Mariano Rivera will be fully rested and will no doubt throw the series ending pitch Wednesday night. So I dare say, a near-perfect script has been written. Time to make it happen.

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