|It was late in the game, and I found myself increasingly frustrated with a constant theme of Fox's analysis last night when Joe Buck finally saved the day. He pointed out that it's a mark of how dominant C.C. Sabathia has been through the AL playoffs that we're (Buck & McCarver) talking about him not being sharp tonight. Indeed, Sabathia was brilliant last night, going seven innings and giving up only two solo home runs to Chase Utley. On any other night, this would have cemented his developing legend. Instead, Cliff Lee was beyond brilliant and into some superhuman world, completely dismantling the Yankee attack. All credit to Lee and let's be reasonable about just how good C.C. was really supposed to be. |
One thing that's readily apparent in this Series--and unsurprisingly so--is that if the Yanks are going to win this Series, they are going to have to truly beat the Phils. New York has let the Twins and Angels make their own mistakes to this point, but Philly is not intimidated. If the 2008 World Series rings, Jimmy Rollins' audacious prediction of a five-game triumph--"six if we're feeling gracious"--didn't make that clear, Lee's nonchalant basket catch of a popup in the sixth with an almost disinterested look, send a loud message that this is not a team feeling any undue pressure. They play loose and cocky. The Red Sox beat the Yanks in '04 because they had guys like Manny & Millar who didn't get overly wound up. Philadelphia's got that too. It doesn't mean they'll win this thing, but they aren't going to tighten up either. The Yankees will, appropriately enough, have to play their best baseball to win this championship.
On a final note, there's not much to second-guess about Joe Girardi's pitching decisions last night. But I do wonder his hangup with Damaso Marte is. Why does this obvious mediocrity keep getting the call in key situations, like the eighth inning of last night when he gave up the crucial two-out, two-run single to Raul Ibanez that broke the game open? I know Marte is a lefty, but he's getting the ball in some very crucial situations when Phil Coke would be available as a lefty or you could go to Joba Chamberlain, who might also be mediocre, but has something resembling an upside.
Game 2 goes tonight, 8 ET on Fox.