In a game that couldn't have gone any worse for the Yankees, Cliff Lee once again dominated the Yankees with an unbelievable display of bravura. He must have a voodoo doll hanging in his locker with the Yankees uniform displayed prominently. How else can you explain all those 90 to 91 MPH fastballs that went right down the heart of the plate that the Yankees either swung through or watched go by harmlessly for strikes? Jeter swung through at least five fastballs down the middle including the third strike of two of his strikeouts. Brent Gardner stood there as three straight hittable fastballs went over the plate without ever swinging. Granderson didn't swing at fastballs over the plate and then swung at curves in the dirt. If the Yankees had any kind of plan in this game against Lee, it was either a lousy plan or executed terribly. Thames was useless. Wouldn't you rather take a chance with Berkman, a proven run producer than Thames? Screw the split stats. Take the veteran. It was the worst game the Yankees have ever had at the plate. Give Lee the credit, but hang a gigantic goat over the entire New York dugout.
Pettitte was brilliant except for a short porch tennis serve by Josh Hamilton in the first inning. Pettitte pitched the kind of game that only the greatest starter in the history of the post season can pitch. But it was all for naught as the Yankees couldn't hit Lee if they had 100 innings. They better sign the guy next year because they certainly can't hit him. Kerry Wood was great in the eighth, but then the Yankee bullpen looked like some kind of slow pitch softball league in the ninth.
At least for the Yankees, they got blown out in a game they never had a chance to win. They face another lefty tomorrow in Wilson and it will be interesting to see if Girardi makes any kind of move. Berkman instead of Thames would be a good place to start. Even Posada at DH would make sense since Cervelli will probably catch Burnett. The Yankees sure don't seem to have much other hope this series. If they lose with Burnett, they are toast.
There was one turning point in the game. Gardner got on first and Lee obviously was bothered by him, so much so that he got in a 2-0 hole with Jeter. Then Lee hung a slider that Jeter should have mashed but didn't. With the count 2-1, Gardner took off and Jeter took a strike right down the middle to let him run. That was huge because Gardner on second didn't bother Lee as much as when he was on first. Lee knew that Gardner couldn't risk stealing third and just bore down and did his usual laser surgery on the helpless Yankees. A hit and run or something would have have had a better chance in that situation.
Again, you have to give Cliff Lee all the props for the game he pitched. But this writer has to think that any other pitcher in the league throws that game and the Yankee heads are in a different place and would have mashed. But the Yankees were helpless and now they are almost hopeless.
Late Edit: Hunter is starting for Texas and not Wilson