Fact And Fiction

Fact- Cliff Lee is one of the best pitchers in baseball

Fiction- The Yankees can’t beat him.

It seems like the Yankees should not bother showing up if the ALCS goes 7 games. As I understand it, Lee is destined to win both Game 3 and Game 7, so the Yankees not only have to win in 6, but they had better make sure they win both games in Texas. Otherwise, they will return home and lose to Lee in Game 3 and then probably lose Game 4 with AJ on the mound.

Hogwash.

The funniest part of this narrative is that is completely ignores what happened in the World Series last year. You keep hearing about how Lee beat the Yankees twice in that series. That part is true, but let’s remember that there was a big difference in the two games. In Game 1, Lee dominated the Yankees for eight innings and then hit a rough patch in the ninth, allowing the first two runners to reach. The problem was, the Phillies already had a 6-0 lead at that point. In Game 5 he cruised though seven innings until he his another rough patch, this time allowing 3 runs in the 8th. The problem was, the Phillies had an 8-2 lead entering the 8th. Overall, the Yankees scored five runs off of Lee in that game, a total which should be good enough to win in most circumstances.

In both cases, the Yankees got to him once he got over 100 pitches. You can make the argument that Lee didn’t win Game 5 of the World Series as much as AJ Burnett lost it by burying the Yankees chances when he surrendered six runs in the first two innings.

No, beating Lee won’t be easy and obviously, I would much rather avoid facing him in Game 7, but the Yankees certainly can beat him if they are patient and work the count. It will certainly be an interesting series.