Sunday, June 27, 2010

Game 75: West L.A. Fadeaway

When Joe Torre took over the Yankees in 1996, he inherited a roster that featured a talented young left-handed Texan named Andy Pettitte, coming off an impressive rookie campaign the previous season. Under Torre's tutelage, Pettitte turned in a breakout sophomore campaign, winning 21 games, making the All-Star team, and finished second in the AL Cy Young voting. The following year, Pettitte had perhaps his best season - unless he can keep up his torrid pace for the remainder of 2010 - finishing in the top five in most major pitching statistics.

More than a decade later, Torre found himself in a similar situation when he took over the Dodgers. When Torre managed his first game as Dodgers skipper in 2008, Texas southpaw Clayton Kershaw had yet to make his Major League debut. Less than two months into the season though, he was called up and turned in fair season as the Dodgers took the NL West. Kershaw had a sophomore season reminiscent of Pettitte's '96, posting a 142 ERA+ over 171 innings as a 21 year old. He's not quite on that pace this year, but he remains one of the best young pitchers in the game and enters the night with a league leading 10.1 Ks per nine.

Tonight, the two Texas lefties will face off in the rubber game of this interleague series between these old rivals. Kershaw, now in his third season, would be fortunate to replicate the successes Pettitte has had over the course of his career, while Pettitte, enjoying an outstanding first three months to his sixteenth Big League season, looks to continue what has thus far been his finest year as a Yankee.

Game is at 8:00 EDT on ESPN. If we have to suffer through Joe Morgan all night, the least the Yankees could do is win the game as this series fades away.

I met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I met an old mistake
Walking down the street today
I didn't want to be mean about it
But I didn't have one good word to say

West L.A. fadeaway
West L.A. fadeaway
Little red light on the highway
Big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey

[Song Notes: Chavez Ravine is more north L.A. than it is west L.A., but I'm going to use a little artistic license here. "West L.A. Fadeaway" comes from the Dead's 1987 album In the Dark, which was easily their most commercially successful release. The song references L.A.'s famous Chateau Marmont, site of John Belushi's fatal 1982 overdose. The Dead debuted the song in a live setting later that year, and many interpretations of Robert Hunter's lyrics assume that much of the song is about Belushi's death.]


Probably not. You know where to go.

1 comment:

  1. haha, true about the joe morgan comment.
    it's so unfortunate that he is paired with john miller. he has one of the best announcer voices i have ever heard.