Who’s Your Daddy?

You know that old baseball cliche, momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher.  If you’re the Phillies, I think you’re feeling pretty good.  I mean, go back to Pedro Martinez’ first start last week in the Bronx.  Was it that bad of a performance?  I don’t think it was.  The guy went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs while striking out 8…in New York…that’s not too shabby for a 38 year old (so says the 41 year old typing this thing).

From the Yankees perspective, you know what you’re going to get out of Andy Pettitte.  Or do they?  I can’t imagine what it’s like to pitch on three-days rest in a World Series.  The reality of the situation is that you can never tell what you’re going to be featuring on a particular night, especially on short rest.  The mind and body might be telling you one thing but until you get out on the mound, you have no idea of what you have at “game speed”…and I think that’s what happened with AJ Burnett the other night and may even happen to Pettitte tonight.  The one thing Pettitte has going for him (unlike Burnett) is the fact he has post-season experience and moxy.  If Pettitte doesn’t have his “best” stuff early, he’ll be able to make adjustments on the fly and attempt to work through it.  And that’s something, I believe, Burnett is still trying to figure out how to do.

So what does Game 6 boil down to?  For the Phillies, I think it’s going to come down to Shane Victorino (.167 in World Series) finally getting on base as well as Ryan Howard AND Raul Ibanez figuring out left-handed pitching.  Victorino, in the Series, has looked like an impatient guy at the plate, chasing pitches out of the zone in order to force the issue…that’s not his game.  As far as Howard and Ibanez, both guys have pulled off lefties the entire series.  And in the specific case of Howard, I think that game 1 against C.C. Sabathia really sent him into a tail-spin that he’s currently in.

For the Yankees…it boils down to Pettitte working at least 6 innings and try to shorten the game as much as possible so that Mariano Rivera can get in the game in the 8th inning…if not sooner (yes, I’m throwing that out there).  On the offensive side, Martinez was extremely effective throughout with his changeup.  Pedro knows how to pitch and he did throw everything and the kitchen sink at the Pinstripers in Game 2, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make adjustments and that’s what Yankee hitters will need to do as well.

Even with all of this, Martinez will be on a short leash…obviously.  If the Yankees can put the hammer on Martinez early in this game, it’s going to be a long night for the Phillies.  Conversely, if the Phillies continue to swing the bats like they did against Burnett on Monday night, that whole momentum thing could really continue to mount and make things extremely interesting in this World Series. 

Conclusion…I think we’re going to Game 7 (my bad, I’m a sucker for the baseball dramatic).

Random Thoughts:

The Tampa Bay Rays traded Akinori Iwamura to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday and in return they received reliever Jesse Chavez.  Iwamura is slated to earn $4.25 million in what is an option year of his contract.  The interesting thing I realized in looking up Iwamura’s contract information on the web is the fact there’s supposedly a clause in there that stipulates the Rays (and I would imagine it’s the Pirates now) sign him to an extension by the end of the deal or release him, effectively granting him free agency early.  If true and the Pirates don’t extend him, I would assume it looks like a one year deal because that clause precludes the Bucs from offering arbitration.  Interesting to say the least.

There were multiple reports out of Texas on Tuesday stating that the Texas Rangers were on the verge of naming former Rockies manager, Clint Hurdle, as their new hitting coach.  The Rangers have talked with four candidates for the job (Rusty Greer, Thad Bosley, Gerald Perry and Clint Hurdle) and all of them are more than qualified for the position.  The one thing I will say on behalf of Clint Hurdle (especially now that I’ve had a chance to work with him at MLB Network) is that he’s an incredibly astute baseball man who’s been a manager and hitting coach throughout baseball.  I think he’d be a great addition to any club that would want his services as he’s a terrific blend of old/new school thinking.

Sticking on the coaching front…the Detroit Tigers have three candidates to choose from as they look for a replacement for Andy Van Slyke, the former big league outfielder who had served as Jim Leyland’s first base coach.  Why is this on my blog?  Because of the three candidates listed, one is my brother.  That’s right people, the new Tigers 1B coach will come from the pool of Tom Brookens, Gene Roof or MIKE ROJAS.  My bro’s been with the Tigers for several years now and is currently their Minor League Field Coordinator.  The guy’s managed at every level in minor league baseball and I think this would be a fantastic move for him should he get the job.



  1. yankeemeg

    I really think this is going to be the end of the road for the Phillies. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a Yankee fan 🙂 Left handed pitching has really taken big Philly bats out of the hands of Howard, Ibanez and Victorino (the exception being Utley, who I’d love to see hit the dirt). I do have concern though with Pettitte pitching on 3 days rest BUT in terms of leverage it’s the right move. Most talk leverage in relation to a situation in a single game, but in this case you want your most experienced pitcher on the mound, starting this game. I agree with you on the “mind-body” point, but Pettitte’s moxy will prevail. Hopefully that experience and moxy takes him past the 6th with perhaps Robertson (best K/IP in the bullpen) taking the mound, leading to Mo in the 8th. I agree with you in saying that Mo should be prepared to come in early (for him), especially after an off day, but being a realist, the Yanks can’t afford to have him come in that early IF a Game 7 situation is looming (there will be no game 7). Like what I did there? Yanks take it tonight. The ghosts from across the street will make sure of that…and they will make sure that Perdro doesn’t go past the 4th. Yup, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    On another note, good luck to the bro!!!!


  2. yankeemeg

    Oh!!! And I forgot something…..in terms of Victorino, I think he’s out of this entirely now. While x-rays were negative, during game 5 he couldn’t hold the bat or throw after being hit. Even with the off day, he’ll still be in pain, and this weather is not going to help him one bit.

  3. redstatebluestate

    Best of luck to your bro, VR! The Tigers could use some mojo in the clubhouse to pick them up from that lackluster September fail of theirs. I too hope there’s a Game 7! Right on with Howard and Ibanez… just think how different this series would be if Ryan Howard actually let loose and did his thang. Maybe tonight’s the night.

  4. farris_khan@yahoo.com

    Granderson had more value to Detroit than New York. In Detroit, he was the face of the franchise and had transcended the team and the sport. He legitimately put people in the seats and increased interest in the team. A sort of mini version of Barry Sanders or Stevie Y. In New York, he will be just another ultra rich corporation in the Evil Empire. Doubt he, on is own, will help sell even one of those infamous $2000+ “blue seats”.

    I am not sure that his value as a player will go up either. Everyone talks about how he will easily get 35 or 40HRs because of the change from Comerica “National Park” to the Billion Dollar softball field in the Bronx. This idea is a product of the lack of knowledge from the East Coast biased sports writers.

    As a 1/2 season ticket holder in row 3 of section 104: http://bit.ly/6dzmDx , I can definitively say that Comerica has a short right field porch, not much unlike Yankee Stadium. Remember how the field was mocked as site of the worst HR hitting contest ever in 2005, only to product Bobby Abreu’s 40+ record? Also, remember that Maggs patrols right? There is not a lot of space there… unlike left field.

    I look forward to seeing all 4 new players in Comerica in 2010, but it is sad to see a sport play by two sets of rules, unlike the other sports. I suppose winning is that much sweeter if you are the underdog… I will have to find the “D > $” sign I had in the 2006 playoffs and hope I can use it again in 2010 when the Tigers meet the Yankees in the playoffs.


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