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Cliff Lee Dominates Yanks From Easy Chair

By Mike Silva ~ October 29th, 2009. Filed under: 2009 World Series.

Maybe Roy Halladay wasn’t the best pitcher available at the trade deadline. Cliff Lee, who just two years ago was sent down to AAA, dominated the Yankees last night at the Stadium and made it look easy. He did it the old “Ray Miller way” as he worked fast, threw strikes, and changed speed.

The Yankees offense hasn’t been great this postseason, but as Lee stabbed Robbie Cano’s grounder backhanded and nonchalantly caught Johnny Damon’s pop up I wondered if they would be able to mount as much as another threat. The Yanks would, but the game was long out of reach at that point.

I said before the series the Phils are relentless and fearless enough that Yankee Stadium wouldn’t be as much of an advantage. That held true as they were patient at the plate and made some heads up plays in the field.

So now A.J. Burnett really needs to show he is worth $80 million dollars. It was just a few weeks ago that I suggested the Yankees make Andy Pettitte their Game 2 starter because I didn’t trust Burnett if the Bombers were down in a series. That theory will be tested tonight as he takes the mound versus Pedro Martinez. The fans might be too tight to even chant “whose your daddy” especially if the Yanks fall behind early.

A-Rod’s Trifecta

The most surprising part of Lee’s 10 strikeout performance was how he handled Alex Rodriguez. If anyone deserves a pass this postseason it’s A-Rod. Quite frankly the Yankees offense has been below average with him. In past postseason games he has let this type of performance spiral and get out of control. I thought this edition of the Yankees was good enough to withstand a poor A-Rod postseason, but now I am not so sure. Tonight might be just as big for him as it is for Burnett.

Hughes Ducks the Media

I praised Phil Hughes for standing up to the media after his Game 5 loss in the ALCS. Apparently the World Series is a different story. Sam Borden of LoHud reports that Hughes ducked the media after the game. The Yankees bullpen hasn’t been very good outside of Rivera. Joe Girardi already likes to play chemistry set with the group and losing confidence in the second best arm doesn’t bode well. On the flip side both lefties looked good, especially Marte, which is going to be a prerequisite going forward.

Molina to catch?

Joe Girardi wouldn’t announce his catcher for Game 2. So far the whole “Molina Gate” has been a non factor. The one game the Yankees fell behind (Game 5 in Anaheim) he was able to bring Posada in during the middle of the game. Burnett really suffered from one bad inning during his last start. I would think the Yankees can score some runs against Pedro Martinez even with Molina in the lineup. Personally I would make A.J. as comfortable as possible out there and Molina, whether it’s real or imagined, is probably an important piece for that comfort.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Cliff Lee Dominates Yanks From Easy Chair

  1. Gregg

    I am very concerned. Lee is good, but come on he’s not THAT good. We looked terrible at the plate. Swisher really needs to sit down. I dont think I want Gardner in there, but I’d like to see Hinske get a shot. Just like you, I dont have confidence in Burnett tonight.

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