Five Cuts: Heat's on Burnett for Game 2; look for Pedro to stay cool
Teams that have gone up 2-0 on the road have won 11 of 14 World Series
Cliff Lee became the first lefty in 33 tries to go the distance vs. the Yankees
Phil Hughes' continued struggles are creating a problem for manager Joe Girardi
1. The narrative has changed for New York Game 2 starter A.J. Burnett. He now gets the ball for his first World Series start knowing that the Yankees don't want to head to Philadelphia down two games to none. It's not a must-win situation for the Yankees, but ... In best-of-seven World Series play, the visiting team has won the first two games 14 times. Those teams went on to win the series 11 of those 14 times.
Don't worry too much about the mindset of Pedro Martinez, though. It will be great theatre with Martinez getting the ball for Philadelphia. "We expect him to respond to the big moment," pitching coach Rich Dubee said, "the way he did in Los Angeles."
Martinez has been relaxed, confident, talkative and fairly reflective in the previous two days. It seems as if he understands he does not know how many more of these big moments that he will ever get, and he is relishing this opportunity. He seems very comfortable about getting the ball at Yankee Stadium in Game 2, with only that game in Los Angeles, in which he threw seven shutout innings, as his only work in the past 28 days.
2. New York flustered Cliff Lee. No, not the Yankees, who, for the first time all year, could not knock a left-handed starter out of a game. It was the New York traffic that caused the most trouble for the Phillies ultra-cool left-hander on Wednesday.
Lee was riding in a cab to Yankee Stadium for World Series Game 1, except the cab wasn't moving. He looked up and saw nothing but red lights and traffic, so he jumped out of the cab and split for the subway. Lee rode the train to the Bronx and hopped out near Yankee Stadium, but didn't know how to find the ballpark. So he called the clubhouse and received walking directions from an attendant, which ended like this: "When you see the banners of the Yankee players, keep walking until you see the Chien-Ming Wang banner. When you get there, hang a left. That's the players' parking entrance. When you get there, don't move. We're sending someone there to meet you."
Lee followed the instructions. By the time he made it to the clubhouse -- by cab, subway and foot -- it already was past six o'clock for the 7:57 p.m. scheduled start. "He may have been late," Dubee said, "but that didn't exactly bother him, did it?"
Well, no. Somebody forget to tell Lee it was the World Series. In Yankee Stadium. The dude pitched as if throwing a simulated game at a back field at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla. Not only did he dominate the Yankees, he also gave off airs of near boredom with his fielding: a casual catch of a pop-up, a flourish of a tag on the backside of Jorge Posada and a behind-the-back stab of a one-hopper, after which he tried to suppress a wry smile and gave a slight shrug of the shoulder.
The importance of the outing by Lee is that he now hovers over this Series as a monster pitcher, the way Orel Hershiser did in the 1988 postseason for the Dodgers. He is the ace in the hole, the hot hand who is now in the heads of the Yankees.
"We know he's going to be that good the next time we face him," Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon said. "We'll have to win 1-0, 2-1 to get a game off him."
The Phillies still aren't saying whether Lee will start on short rest in Game 4 -- there's no need to make that call now. But know this: Lee never has made a start on three days' rest, and if Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel was even thinking about using him on short rest, why did he send him out to pitch the ninth inning with a 6-0 lead and 106 pitches? (He finished with 122.)
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