By: Michael Tapia
As if last year’s Game 1 performance of the World Series did not serve of enough memory of what Cliff Lee is able to do to the New York Yankees, the story was repeated. It was déjà vu all over again in The Bronx as Cliff Lee dominated for eight scoreless innings.
Lee relegated the Yankees to just two hits and struck out 13 in what was a masterful performance from the lefty. Andy Pettitte committed one mistake that cost the Yankees for the rest of the game. In the first inning, MVP contender Josh Hamilton hit a 346 feet home run to right field giving the Texas Rangers a 2-0 lead. After that shot by Hamilton, Pettitte settled down but the Yankee bats never found their groove.
The Texas ace retired the first 11 he faced not being until the 4th inning when he walked Mark Teixeira and it was not until the 5th inning when the Yankees got their first hit in the person of Jorge Posada. The Rangers were still leading 2-0, but that was not enough as they had an enormous 9th inning. The first Yankee victim of the Texas 9th inning scoring massacre was Boone Logan who served up a double to red-hot Josh Hamilton. Joe Girardi immediately called on David Robertson to come in relief for Logan, who instantaneously gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero sending Hamilton to third. One batter later, Nelson Cruz singled scoring Hamilton (3-0). Two batters after Cruz, Bengie Molina singled to left scoring Julio Borbon who pinched ran for Guerrero, sending Cruz to third and David Murphy to second (4-0).
The feast continued with the next batter, Mitch Moreland hitting another single off Robertson scoring Cruz and Murphy and sending Molina to third (6-0). Elvis Andrus prolonged the scoring bonanza with a double to right field that scored Molina and sent Moreland to third base (7-0). After the 7-0 score, Girardi had seen enough from Robertson and brought in Sergio Mitre who threw a wild pitch that allowed Moreland to score and seal the 8-0 final.
After such a miserable performance, the Yankees are down 2-1 in the series and are hoping that struggling A.J. Burnett is able to turn things around. Should the Yankees lose Game 4 of the ALCS expect heavy criticism of Girardi’s decision of not pitching C.C. Sabathia on short rest and not simply pitching Burnett against Cliff Lee. While the Yankee will have Burnett on the mound, the Rangers will have Tommy Hunter. The action in the ALCS starts at 8:07 PM EST. Conversely, the Phillies and Giants will be playing Game 3 at 4:19 PM EST with Cole Hamels and Matt Cain on the mound.