Well, at least the Yankees avoided being shutout in Game One of a World Series for the first time in their history (covering 40 World Series).
Funny, for some reason, this didn’t feel like a World Series game. Maybe it was the damp conditions with all the mist and the lack of crispness in the air? Then again, I didn’t sense a lot of enthusiasm resonating from the Yankees starting line-up as they were being announced during the pre-game either.
Sure, you had Yogi and the big flag before the game, etc. But, it felt more like “just another game” watching this one – more so than feeling the electricity of “The Fall Classic.”
Heck, even during the 1976 World Series, where the Yankees got waxed by the Reds, at least it felt like the World Series during those games. Here? Well, not so much…at least to me.
Speaking of lack of emotion, that Cliff Lee is one cool cucumber…more so than I ever knew. Talk about not being rattled! And, those plays he made…the “ho-hum” grab on the Johnny Damon pop-up in the 6th inning and the Robinson Cano come-backer in the 8th inning that he caught behind his back…they were right out of the family “for-fun” backyard whiffle ball game. You just don’t see guys being that “chill” during a World Series game that often, do you?
Will the Yankees bats wake up tomorrow? They better snap out of it…and, if they don’t, this just might end up being more like the 1976 World Series…in terms of the end result.
CC Sabathia was not clicking early in the game. Yet, despite throwing 58 pitches over the first three innings, he went seven inning and kept the game close. Two fat pitches to Chase Utley were the only thing to hurt him. And, on the whole, I think most would be happy with seven innings and two runs from Sabathia – every time. It’s really a sin for the Yankees to lose a game when they get this kind of result from Big CC.
Without question, the Yankees cannot afford to lose a well pitched game from Sabathia and not have it hurt their chances in this World Series. And, for sure, it now puts a ton of pressure on A.J. Burnett in Game Two. And, he has to do better than he did in Game Five of the ALCS.
Moving on…is it now safe to say that the bloom is off Phil Hughes as a relief pitcher? At the least, it’s probably safe to say it when it comes to this post-season. (Shame on Hughes, too, for barking at the umpire after being removed from the game. That’s not taking ownership of his own lack of good performance.) And, Brian Bruney? Hey, I told you so!
Now, for some miscellaneous observations…
So much talk about the “Spike Curve” in this game. Really, guys, is it any different from the “Knuckle Curve”? Let’s not go crazy over something that’s been around for a while now…
Thank goodness the umpires, after huddling up, got the call correct on that Cano liner-DP to Jimmy Rollins in the 5th inning. Imagine the fallout from that had the men in blue screwed up another call this post-season?
FOX mentioned that it’s 108 miles from Yankeeland to Phillie-town. Pretty cool – considering there are 108 stitches on a baseball as well.
Also cool: Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia pitched in the first regular season game ever at the new Yankee Stadium and they faced each other in the first World Series game at the new Stadium – both happening in the same year. What are the odds on that?
Lots of empty blue seats to be seen on the monarchy-side of the moat from the seventh inning on in this one. Guess the bandwagoners had seen enough?
Speaking of the Stadium crowd, it was funny to hear the field mikes, during the 7th inning stretch, pick up fans yelling “Hats off!” Some things never change at the Stadium…no matter which one it is.
Lastly, I saw where the Phillies are hanging Harry Kalas’ sports jacket in the dugout. Made me wonder…when the time comes…will the Yankees players hang Big Stein’s blue blazer and turtle-neck in the Yankees dugout? Somehow, I don’t think that’s happening…unless Randy Levine and Lonn Trost can figure out a way to place some advertising on it.