Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Series Game 1: The Best Is Yet To Come

It's been a great season for the Yankees to this point. They opened the New Stadium which, despite being met with some outspoken opposition at first, has treated them awfully well.In the first 29 games (without A-Rod) they went 14-15, but has gone 97-46 since then, including the postseaon. It's been almost 7 full months loaded with affirmative answers to questions people had about the team coming in.

There were resurgences of Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter's defense. The smooth transitions for Nick Swisher, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia. A-Rod's recovery from offseason hip surgery and avoidance of bad press. Brett Gardner's development into a useful Major League player. Johnny Damon's power surge. Mariano Rivera's continued dominance. The sustained health of the team. Some small but important acquisitions during the season. All the walkoffs and pies in the face. The AL East title and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Wins over Anaheim in Minnesota thus far in the postseason.

As fans of the Pinstripes, we've been treated to pretty much all we could ask for to this point. But we're not done yet. The Yankees will face the best and most complete team they've been this postseason and the series will start with the best possible pitching match-up featuring, coincidentally, the previous two AL Cy Young winners and former teammates on the Cleveland Indians.

After coming to the Phillies at the trade deadline, Cliff Lee went 8-4 with 3 complete games, a 3.39 ERA and struck out 74 batters while walking only 10. He only made three poor starts, but those were pretty awful, accounting for 19 of his 30 earned runs with the Phillies. In his other 9 outings, he was 8-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

You might say I'm cherry picking those numbers, but Lee's been even better than that this postseason. In his three starts (two in the NLDS), he's pitched 24 1/3 innings, given up 14 hits, 2 ER (0.74 ERA), and is sporting a strikeout to walk ratio of 20:3. The only weakness in his game over that time is that he's got most of his outs in air (39) as opposed to on the ground (26) or by strikeout (20). As we know, once balls get up in the air at Yankee Stadium they can find the seats in a hurry.

The pitcher with the second best resume this postseason will be taking the hill for the Yankees. After getting past the Twins with 6 2/3 innings of one run ball, CC Sabathia picked up the ALCS MVP for his work against the Angels. Sabathia was great in Game 1, going 8 innings and allowing one run, but was just as good or better on short rest in Game 4. His only mistake came on a home run to Kendry Morales and he needed only 101 pitches to rip through those 8 frames.

Like Lee, Sabathia has only walked three batters this postseason. Postseason games are notorious for their interminable durations but with these two guys on the mound, this one could be over relatively quickly.

As good as the Yankees have been this year, there is reason to believe that the best is yet to come. Along with most of you, I'm guessing, I feel like the Yankees are going to win this thing. It's not us just being biased homers, people who cover baseball for a living overwhelmingly agree. Those predictions don't mean a thing, but they do reflect who the best team is coming into this series.

We don't like to break him out very often, but we would have been remiss not to go with Frank Sinatra to start the World Series. The last time we called on Ol' Blue Eyes, this is what happened in the next 4 games. Past performances don't guarantee future results, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Let's go Yanks.

Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum,
You came along and everything started to hum,
Still it's a real good bet, the best is yet to come.

The best is yet to come, and baby won't it be fine.
You think you've seen the sun, but you ain't seen it shine.


  1. Wooo fucking hoo Chase fucking Utley! What are we at? 54 pitches? LOL!

  2. Ahh this is the postseason CC I am used to. Chase Mutley and the Frillies are my favorite team for the next few games or so. Hahaha!

  3. Go play golf with the Red Sox jerkoff

  4. Welp, that was frustrating.

    Cool to see the trolls show up though. And by "postseason CC" do you mean the one who gave up 2 runs in 7? Yeah, that's really shameful. (eyeroll)