After my previous comments (28/10) about the need for the Yankees to shackle Chase Utley & Ryan Howard in order to beat the Phillies, the fact that Utley got away from C.C. Sabathia to hit two home runs in a Game 1 mauling seemed horribly prophetic.
I was hoping to be not quite so accurate when revisiting my earlier comments about A.J. Burnett, who was the starting pitcher in what was already looking like a crucial Game 2 last night. For someone reputed to be a pitching ‘ace’, A.J. has looked a tad wobbly at times in his first season, but last night he did – thankfully – have his ‘A’ game available and outfought Pedro Martinez as the Yankees took Game 2 by 3-1. Homers from Teixeira & Matsui gave the Yankees enough of an edge and Mo came on in the 8th to see that things finished quietly.
Next up, the whole circus moves to Philadelphia for three games, presumably with Andy Pettitte facing up to the erratic Cole Hamels on Saturday in Game 3 and, given the circumstances, probably with C.C. back for Game 4.
Last year, the Phillies split the opening two games with the Rays, then returned home and won the next three, so let’s hope that there’s no repeat and that the Yankees emerge from Philly with more than just cheese-steak stains on their clothes to show for their visit….