After splitting the first two games of the 1998 ALCS, Andy Pettitte took the mound looking to give the Yankees an important edge, but lost Game 3 and the Yankees’ World Series outlook darkened. The Yankees’ fourth starter took the mound amid uncertainty and pitched one of the best games of his career.
I would love to see Orlando Hernandez come running out of the bullpen, tonight, but he’s probably not going to. The Yankees need AJ Burnett to summon his inner-Duque tonight. And though I’m sure you’re sick to death of reading about Cliff Lee, check out the first nine games (eight starts, one relief appearance) of Duque’s postseason career versus the first eight of Cliff Lee’s.
You’re looking at two of the best postseason stretches in history, and apart from the walks (which is more about style than effectiveness in this case), they’re almost identical. El Duque eventually faltered, hopefully Cliff Lee never does. That is, as long as his next postseason appearance comes in a Yankee uniform. If he’s got one more for the Rangers, I hope it’s a stinker.