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10/26/09 3:39 AM EST
Series rotations unclear beyond ace lefties
Will Lee, Sabathia return on short rest in Game 4?
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- By avoiding a Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the pesky Angels, the Yankees have likely improved their chances significantly in the World Series. Consider the impact. The Yankees would have pitched $161 million ace CC Sabathia in Game 7 of the ALCS, which means he likely would have been idled until Game 3 of the World Series.
If Sabathia had to pitch Game 7 of an ALCS, the Phillies would have had a big advantage throwing Lee in Game 1. Now, the two lefties neutralize each other. That said, this World Series could well come down to what the starters below the aces do. The Yankees will probably pitch A.J. Burnett in Thursday's Game 2, and he has been a bit erratic in this postseason. After turning in a solid performance for a no-decision against the Twins in the Division Series, Burnett posted a 4.42 ERA while taking two more no-decisions in the ALCS. In Game 5 against the Angels, he was hit for a four-spot in the first inning. Who will the Phillies use against Burnett? One option is future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, who was brilliant in his lone start this postseason against the Dodgers. Martinez also has World Series experience, as he fired seven shutout innings for the Red Sox in a victory over the Cardinals in Game 3 of 2004. Whomever the Phillies pitch in Game 2 will have positive World Series experience on his side. For if it isn't Martinez, the Phillies will go with lefty Cole Hamels, who was the MVP of the 2008 World Series. Keep in mind, however, that Hamels has struggled in this postseason, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts.
Masters of October
|1.||Andy Pettitte||16||237 1/3|
|3.||Tom Glavine||14||218 1/3|
|Curt Schilling||11||133 1/3|
|10.||Catfish Hunter||9||132 1/3|
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.