First pitch of the 2009 Fall Classic is roughly 58 hours away, meaning there is plenty of time to strip this series down to its core. While you wait, here are some early things to consider:
-Cliff Lee is just as good as C.C:
Though you might not know it through the media, just trust me on this one. Lee’s postseason numbers are better than Sabathia’s at this point, although everyone in America will tell you just how great C.C. is and what he has meant to the Yankees.
Lee’s ERA is nearly a half-run lower through three postseason starts, plus he has pitched 2 1/3 more innings. Sabathia has allowed three more hits and has given up a home run, something Lee has yet to do in the playoffs. So before you go thinking that the Phillies are scared seeing C.C. times three, consider that the Yankees may have to do the game with Cliff Lee.
-The Phillies should run, run, run:
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has dealt with shoulder trouble in the past, and while that seems to be behind him, he can be run on. In the regular season, Posada threw out just 28 percent of would-be base stealers. The Phillies have stolen six bases in the playoffs thus far, but look for Charlie Manuel, along with his sidekick Davy Lopes, to send them when possible.
-Mariano Rivera is ridiculously good:
The guy still has it, even in the latter stages of an illustrious career. He throws a cutter that is virtually unhittable, one that tails in on lefties, which might be trouble. Rivera himself has caused the expansion of tree choppers, due to his penchant for breaking bats. Although he is still in top form, he can be had. The Phillies have shown great patience at the plate, and there’s no doubt that they’ve watched countless hours of tape on this guy already. They must continue that new found mentality, bringing it with them to the ninth inning.