27 outs to No. 27: Andy vs. Pedro
Tonight brings us one of the most anticipated games of the season, and you really cannot script it any better than this. All that stands in the way of the Yankees winning their 27th World Series title is Pedro Martinez.
Andy Pettitte gets the ball tonight for the Yankees on three days rest in what Martinez called a matchup of a couple of “old goats.”
The Yankees have all the faith in the world that their offense will get it done in the first couple of times through the order against Martinez, with Alex Rodriguez oh so close to his first World Series ring, Derek Jeter commanding the ship as usual and Mark Teixeira grinning despite hitting 2-for-19 thus far in the Fall Classic.
What’s he got to smile about? Well, for one thing, all of the Yankees can breathe a sigh of relief that Mariano Rivera is still there to lock down any leads in the late innings. Rivera is almost certainly going to be asked to get more than three outs tonight if New York is up late – the question is, when will Joe Girardi push that button?
If it’s the difference between going to Game 7 and putting a World Series trophy on George Steinbrenner’s desk, expect Rivera to be called into action in the eighth inning and maybe even the seventh. There could be no tomorrow, so it is time to empty the tank.