The more I think about it, the more I’m relieved the Yankees didn’t beat the Angels on Monday. Because being up 3-0 would have undoubtedly cued a barrage of clips from The Unspeakable Year. And if they had won 3, then lost 1? Forget about it, the sports world would have had a veritable field day predicting “Here we go again!”
But that’s not the case. The Yanks have Anaheim right where they want ’em: 27 outs away from the final hurdle in the Road to 27. A.J. Burnett (13-9, 4.04) gets the honor of trying to close out this series, while John Lackey (11-8, 3.83) gets the chore of trying to avoid headlining Anaheim’s season swan song.
Burnett, who I assign a generous helping of credit to for lighting a fire under this team’s ass, is too much of a pistol to not rise to the occasion here. In his last start, he let up 2 earned runs and 2 unearned, with his wild penchants discernibly surfacing before getting pulled. Lackey got worked in Game 1, giving up 9 runs and 4 runs over 5.2 IP.
The Yanks won’t be able to rely on their sit-on technique that worked like clockwork again Scott Kazmir: Lackey’s a 1st-pitch-strike kind of guy (my head is already hurting from T-Mac and Buck marveling at this for about 89 mentions.)
This also might be a good time for Mark Teixeira flex his offensive muscles and break out of his .133 postseason freeze. #13 can only compensate for his buddy’s sleeping bat for so long… As for predictions, I think #34 delivers us to 4-3 final tonight, giving the Yanks their 40th pennant with a 4-1 series victory. All on the eve of #41’s 31st birthday.
LET’S GO YANKEES. THE TITLE AWAITS!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2009