What a first two games
I was right.
Problem for the Yankees was: Cliff Lee was the same dominating pitcher he's been since joining the Phillies in July. He mixed and matched, accelerated and decelerated on his way to baffling the Yankees over a complete-game, 6-1 victory. He made the Yankees, the best offensive team in the major leagues all season long, look completely helpless.
Of course, Sabathia pitched pretty darn well too. He made two mistakes, though, and they cost him -- big time. Chase Utley took two of Sabathia's misplaced fastballs and deposited them into the right-field bleachers. Those two bombs turned out to be the margin of victory as Philly coasted the rest of the way to their sixth straight win in Game 1 of a playoff series, a streak that dates back to last year's NLDS.
Last night, the plot was basically the same -- except for a key role reversal.
A.J. Burnett threw the best game of his life and outdueled a rejuvenated-looking Pedro Martinez in the process.
Burnett went seven innings before giving the ball to Mariano Rivera, who, although wasn't at his best, did the job over the final two frames.
Martinez, for his part, proved nearly everybody wrong.
Like Sabathia the night before, Pedro made just two mistakes -- both were hit out of the yard. Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui each went deep, providing the Yankees all the runs they needed to even up the World Series heading into Philadelphia and what should be a raucous Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night.