Last night, Cliff Lee did the equivalent of dropping a smoke bomb in the Yankees dugout and then punching players in the face one by one as they blindly ran out. The biggest workout he got all night was when he had to adjust his legs to make sure Tim McCarver and Joe Buck had enough room to blow him at once instead of taking turns.
When someone is humiliating you without breaking a sweat, all you can say is "too good. Get ‘em next time." But as great as Lee was (and he was just frightfully nasty), the Yankees hitters were equally listless and uninspired. This was game 1 of the World Series and I saw no passion; no fire. By the 4th inning, this group couldn’t even be bothered. Taking cues from the indifferent, corporate non-fans who pay $2,500 for Legends seats and then fail to show, perhaps? Or maybe the flawed outcomes of the ALDS and ALCS lulled them into a false sense of security. Who needs to hit when a braindead, undisciplined opponent will cock things up for you?
I’m not saying Lee was hittable, but we didn’t make it hard on him either. Jeter aside, our players were defeated before they even reached the batter’s box. With that in mind, it’s not out of line to wonder if they’ll come to play tonight. The Phils are coming at us with Pedro Martinez and a patient lineup that can hit from top to bottom. The Yankees? Well, we’ve got the skittish A.J. Burnett, Joe Girardi’s management, middle relief that is cracking like a desert of burning shame and a lineup that can’t string together big run innings. Someone gets on base, only to be followed by a guy in a woeful slump, or, even worse, Nick Swisher, who is a case study in the failure of positivism to translate to post-season reliability. Then suddenly, it’s rally over, inning over, game over.
With the Phils, you know what you’re getting, but with our guys? One can never truly say and that’s what stresses me out. Tonight, we’re either going to blow Martinez back to the mango tree in the first inning or not bother showing up until the 8th. If it’s the latter, this will be a quick series indeed.