Preview: World Series Game Two

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pedro Martinez takes mound in familiar company

As I have said before, this should be fun.

After smacking the Yankees in the World Series opener behind a brilliant performance by Cliff Lee, the Phillies will send their other mid-season Cy Young Award winning acquisition with Pedro Martinez. Knowing the history between Martinez and the Yankees (and their fans) this game makes for some high-profile drama.

With Martinez the Phillies may be playing their wild card in game two. Martinez was terrific against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of the NLCS but was pulled after just 87 pitches thrown. Martinez, who did not pitch in the first round after a weather postponement, had a long period of rest since his last start in the regular season. Martinez is 1-2 against the Yankees in his postseason career and has been quoted as saying the Yankees are his "daddy" in one of the more famous Martinez quotes of all time. The Yankee faithful will be sure to shower Martinez with a rousing rendition of "Who's your Daddy" chants early and often, but Martinez has the mind to block out the cat-calls.

What kind of stuff will Martinez have against the more high powered offense than the Dodgers had to offer? Truth is nobody knows and we will all await to see how Martinez handles this Yankees lineup.

Facing Martinez will be Yankees starter A.J. Burnett. Neither pitcher has recorded a decision in this year's postseason but Burnett is carrying a 4.42 ERA and has shown signs of vulnerability. Will the Phillies offense have a way of cracking through Burnett? The Phillies will be the toughest lineup the Yankees pitcher has faced this post season and if the Phillies can show patience and make him work, he could get rattled under the pressure.

My general feeling is that the Phillies have already earned the 1-1 split at a minimum. Stealing a game two victory would just put this team on cruise control. Right now they hold the upper hand with an offense that knows what they can do at any spot in the lineup (except for Pedro Feliz) and a bullpen that only saw one pitcher toss some warm-up pitches last night.

With Martinez on the mound, this should be fun.

First pitch: 7:57 pm

Pitching probables
Pedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (0-0, 4.42 ERA)

Phillies lead 1-0
Game # (location) - Date, time

Game 1 (New York) - W 6-1
Game 2 (New York) - October 29, TBD

Game 3 (Philadelphia) - October 31, TBD
Game 4 (Philadelphia) - November 1, TBD
Game 5 (Philadelphia) - November 2, TBD*

Game 6 (New York) - November 4, TBD*
Game 7 (New York) - November 5, TBD*

* if necessary

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