A word for Pedro Martinez vs. Andy Pettitte in Game 6 of the World Series: spectacular. And knowing the Phillies are the ones holding the magnanimous Pedro, recognizing his history in New York: unbelievable.
Tonight is just another chapter in a growing list of “pinch me” moments for Phillies fans. It's getting hard to remember what it was like to watch alternate prime time programming. Believe it or not, this is the first meeting between Pedro and Pettitte in 11 years and their first in the postseason, according to the Associated Press. Both pitchers are 3-3 in six meetings, and according to Stats Inc., the visitor has won each of them. But these are very different times. Many moons have passed. Pettitte will be taking the ball on short rest, while Pedro gets by on guile more than he did a decade ago. As much as I’d like to see a pitcher’s duel go into the books, signs point to a pair of short outings, with the game decided by the team that brings the better offense to the ballpark, and also the bullpen. So far, the Yankees have featured the better table-setters in Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon; I'd go so far as to say they've been the difference in the series, particularly Damon. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino haven't compared. Rivera has bested Madson and Lidge, but the Yankees' middle relief has been questionable. Both squads are lacking thunder from their first basemen. Ryan Howard is a strikeout away from breaking Willie Wilson’s 1980 World Series strikeout mark with 13, and if you're like me, you've been anticipating Mark Teixeira to break out at the most inopportune time.
For better or worse, something big is going to happen tonight.