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Game 5: First chance to clinch

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All the debating and arguing about whether Burnett should pitch on short rest will end if the Yanks win tonight.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - A.J. Burnett 13-9 33 33 1 0 0 0 207.0 193 99 93 25 97 195 4.04 1.40

On three days of rest, A.J. is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA (in 27 innings) in his career. The last time he pitched on short rest was September of 2008 (6 ip, 0 er). Very good numbers, but beware of small sample sizes...


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Cliff Lee 7-4 12 12 3 1 0 0 79.2 80 35 30 7 10 74 3.39 1.13

Lee hopefully comes back to Earth tonight. His postseason ERA is .54.

He's done incredibly well vs. the Yanks recently: 1.29 ERA in his last four starts, and hasn't allowed more than three runs since 2006.

Surprisingly, Jose Molina hits Lee better than Posada. Tex, Jeter and A-Rod have had a lot of success against Lee, but on the other end of the spectrum are Damon and Cano, who might as well try to bunt for hits.

Here is John Flaherty's take (and I fully agree with him):

On pitching alone, I'd give a slight edge to Lee but less than if you'd asked me at the start of the series. That's how much I think of what A.J. did in Game 2. I'd say this, too: I think the first three innings are huge tonight. If Lee stumbles at all, and gives up a few runs, I think the Phillies might say ‘we can't win three in a row against this team' and make life easier for A.J. In a game like this one, I see one inning - or even one hit - being the difference.

One more guys! Stay focused.