Wednesday, November 4, 2009

World Series Game 6: Bring It On Home

Tonight the World Series shifts back to Yankee Stadium. This was a position that pretty much any Yankee fan would have signed up for when the season began, at any point during the season, when the playoffs began, at any point during the playoffs, when the World Series began or anytime before the Yankees won Games 1, 2, 3 or possibly 4. To paraphrase Louis C.K., "How quickly the World owes us something that we didn't know was going to exist 3 days ago".

Nevertheless it's feels like a bit of a let down to be in this position after taking three straight from the Phillies and having the tying run at the plate in the 9th inning of Game 5. Going to sleep Sunday night and then sitting through an off day filled with rehashing and second guessing and going to sleep again last night and waiting another 12-13-14 hours after you got up this morning was pretty excruciating. But that's almost over now.

There's a good chance that the Yankees are going to do something tonight that you're going to remember for as long as you live. There's also a decent chance that the Phillies are going to ruin our plans and take hundreds of years off our collective lives with a Game 7. Either way, don't forget that we are in a better position than fans of any other team in baseball right now. Twenty-eight teams have already packed up their lockers for the season and the other one not named "The Yankees" is starting Pedro Martinez tonight and praying their season doesn't end before they get a shot at the World Series.

Martinez wasn't great in Game 2, but he was a lot better than most (objective) people expected him to be. Had Charlie Manuel pulled him at the beginning of the 6th inning like most armchair skippers would have, Pedro would have had more strikeouts (8) than baserunners (7). Had Hideki Matsui not taken his 9 iron to a 1-2 curveball with two outs in the 6th, it might have been even better than that.

Pedro has had an unbelievable career and has put up statistics that would be remarkable even if they weren't accumulated during one of the greatest offensive eras of all-time. It's very possible that we see his very last outing this evening; only fitting that would be on the biggest of stages: At Yankee Stadium, in a possible deciding game of the World Series against the best offense in baseball. Will Pedro squeeze one more memorable performance out of his magic right arm? I sure hope not, but I wouldn't bet against it.

For the third time in his career, Andy Pettitte takes the mound in Game 6 of a World Series. Neither of those turned out particularly well, but as they say, the third time is a charm. Ben K. at River Ave. Blues examined all 4 of the Game 6's Pettitte has started in his career (World Series or ALCS) and the results aren't too inspiring, save for the most recent one.

If you are the superstitious type, which we all are at this point in the postseason to some extent, this next part probably won't provide you with much comfort. Pettitte has started two World Series-clinching games, but both have been on the road: Game 4 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in 1998 and Game 5 at Shea Stadium in 2000. But who better to be the first to do it at the New Yankee Stadium?

Also at River Ave. Blues today, Mike broke down how Pettitte rebounded from the high stress starts he has made this season so as to guess how he might fare on short rest tonight. Andy's numbers are pretty close to his season marks, so that should be of some comfort to those like me who are somewhat nervous about a 37 year old on three days rest.

So here were are. Back in the Bronx and back on the doorstep of baseball glory; hopefully only 17 half innings away from the ultimate prize. A whole season of observation and dedication and subsequent analysis - and nine more of waiting - all piled up behind us, ready to be expunged with elation.

Come on boys, it's time to bring it on home.

Let's go Yanks.

Baby, baby
I'm gonna bring it on home to you.
I've got my ticket, I've got that load.
Got up, gone higher, all aboard.
Take my seat, right way back.
Watch this train roll down the track.
I'm gonna bring it on home, bring it on home to you.
Watch out, watch out, man move.
Try to tell you baby, what you tryin' to do?

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