So it is apparent that Cliff Lee is disgusting and could be a huge force in the series. Same goes for Chase Utley. It is not like anyone didn't see these two guys coming, both have been close to the best at what they do for the past two or three seasons. Still, it is a bit disheartening that the Yankees would go down so easily in Game 1.
CC Sabathia was good for the Yankees. He was shakey all night but only made two real mistakes, both to Utley. Still seven innings of two run baseball is a solid effort for the big lefty. It is the Yankee bullpen that was the biggest disappointment of the night.
After Sabathia held the Phils in check for seven innings, the bullpen utterly collapsed. Phil Hughes looks like he is scared these past few rounds, and Brian Bruney should be nowhere a baseball diamond at this time of year. Combined all four relievers allowed four hits, three walks and four runs.
That simply will not get it done and if the bullpen continues to falter as it has then this could be a short series.
As for Game 2, the Yankees should destroy Pedro Martinez and with A.J. Burnett on the mound this game could easily end somewhere around 11-10. But here is the thing. The Yankees normally destroy pitchers like Pedro. He pitches to contact and can't really strike anyone out anymore. He doesn't have overly powerful stuff and relies on location and deception. These are all characteristics of pitchers the Yankees normally hit, meaning that in a playoff setting he is bound to dominate. Think Kenny Rogers circa 2006 (although he clearly cheated with his pine tar palm) or even Paul Byrd in '07.
No matter how Pedro pitches A.J. Burnett can do a lot to rehab his image after his poor performance in Game 5 of the ALCS. The Yankees need this game and Burnett needs a good showing.