It's almost surreal. I can't believe that in mere hours I'll be watching the New York Yankees in the World Series. I'm strangely calm, which means that it's all going to catch up to me about 2 minutes before the National Anthem is sung. Fortunately, I'm prepared.
Tonight, our favorite round boy and ALCS MVP CC Sabathia (3-0, 1.19) goes up against superace and ex-teammate Cliff Lee (2-0, 0.74) for a match that walked straight out of Type Casting for Mega-Pitching-Duel. The AP so insightfully informs us that the two hurlers have more in common than we may think:
"Teammates only 16 months ago, Lee and Sabathia have more in common than their Cleveland history and potent left arms. Their families are friendly, and they still text each other often."
Wow, they're practically clones.
CC hasn't had the most success against the Phils (1-2, 5.55), but then again, it seems like the baseball world has been scoffing left, right, and center at history this year. Lee isn't striking fear into the hearts of most NY fans either, though. In 12 IP, he's let up 16 hits, with Yankee hitters boasting a .320 BA against him.
Lee's the type of pitcher the Yanks can work from both ends--his control is subject to variability, and he has too much faith in his completely hittable fastball. If they jump on those 2 weaknesses, the Phillies aren't gonna know what hit 'em.
This year, the Yankees are 1-2 against their "Liberty Series" counterpart, but I think we can agree that the Late May Yanks are a far cry from this Late October one. Much has been made of the Big Bad Bats decorating the Philly line-up, but technically Ryan Howard and Chase Utley don't bat 9 times in a row.
And, most importantly, this is the Bronx.
And I think Reds' manager Dusty Baker sums it up pretty well here:
I’ve lost in Yankee Stadium as a Dodger and won in Yankee Stadium as a Dodger. It can be done, but you don’t want to be in a position where you have to win there. They just believe they are always going to win, the players believe it, the fans believe it.
They brain wash you. They put all those great moments in Yankees history on the scoreboard during batting practice. The highlights are great and the Yankees are just killing teams and you have to watch it for two hours. You can’t help but see it. It's just not conducive for visitors.
They wanted to take that vibe and that history from the old stadium and bring it to the new Yankee Stadium and with the success they are having it appears to have worked. I remember when Aaron Boone hit that home run off Wakefield to get the Yankees to the World Series in 2003, Derek Jeter had told him not to worry that the ghost will come.
So the Ghost of Babe Ruth may be a curse to some but he’s been good for the Yankees.
Scared yet, Philly?