Five Cuts: Pedro, Pettitte headline intriguing Game 6
"Me and Derek were talking about it in the clubhouse [Monday] night," Pettitte said. "Just, 'How strange is this?' After all the battles, with him being in Boston."
This is how Martinez defined the matchup: "Two old goats out there doing the best they can, and having fun with it."
Isn't this grand: Upon Game 6, Martinez, 38, and Pettitte, 37, will have pitched in exactly 1,000 career games between the two of them.
Martinez, pitching on his sixth day, has a slight advantage because Pettitte is throwing on his fourth day after a laborious 104 pitches in Game 3. Pettitte may have an impressive postseason record on three days of rest (3-1, 2.80), but the bulk of it was built when he was a much younger man. He hasn't pitched on short rest in 104 consecutive starts, and hasn't done it coming off a 100-pitch outing since he was 29 years old.
Only once before has there been a World Series matchup between two pitchers past their 37th birthday, and that was a low-wattage Game 1 matchup in 2004 between
Baseball has been a game in transition as young pitchers assert themselves on the other side of The Steroid Era and the careers of former "old goats" such as
And yet even in this cresting wave, the postseason has proved to be no place for youngsters. Starting pitchers in their 20s are 5-10 this postseason, including 2-9 for those not named
In the elders they trust, and lucky for us. In Game 6 we get the next best thing to a Game 7, in every way. Pedro pitching against the Yankees for the 40th time. Pettitte pitching in a postseason game for the 40th time. The World Series decided, be it Wednesday or Thursday, at Yankee Stadium (old and new) for the 17th time. It's like a great bedtime story to a child. Tell me again, because it never gets old.
Philadelphia is fine as long as
Game 5 was excruciating for Manuel. Basically, he was trying to find any way to get six outs before the Yankees scored six times. It was an ordeal -- down six, New York eventually twice brought the tying run to the plate -- but yet Manuel did not call on his closer,
After that game, in which Manuel said he was giving Lidge a "break," where can he use him in Game 6?
Maybe you'll see Game 4 starter
Whatever the case, Martinez looks like a five- or six-inning guy. "I would think what we want to do is drive up his pitch count, make him work," said Yankees outfielder
So if Manuel has to cover 12 to 15 outs with multiple pitchers out of his bullpen, the game is bound to get very interesting. He is a manager working without a script.
Hamels, though, felt badly enough about it that he met with Manuel for 10 minutes after Game 5 to explain himself, then stood at his locker and explained himself to reporters. "I'll never quit," he said, while realizing his stream-of-consciousness way of speaking does land him in trouble. "It's hard to play baseball and talk at times," he said, laughing.
Of course, teammate
So what? What matters is that Hamels, as shaky as he has been, still appears to be Manuel's best option if there is a Game 7.
Hamels did show he could pitch once around the New York lineup. Manuel's plan should be to hand Hamels the ball, but to get him out at the first sign of trouble. Hamels has shown time and time again, and by his own admission, that he has done a poor job of limiting damage when things start to turn.
And when Manuel does need another option behind Hamels, it might very well be Lee. Thursday would be his normal throw day, and there are no more games to worry about after that. Then again, there is rain in the forecast for Thursday ...
After all these years, Rivera remains the ultimate postseason weapon, the guy who gives Yankees manager