Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 29, 2009
BASEBALL: Pedro Ehmke?

Friend of the site Dr. Manhattan asks whether Pedro Martinez is a candidate tonight to do to the Yankees something like Howard Ehmke famously did to the Cubs in the 1929 World Series. As you may recall, Ehmke - a 35-year-old pitcher who started just 18 games in 1928 and 8 in 1929 - was sent by Connie Mack to scout the Cubs for the last several weeks of 1929, and then pitched a surprisingly dominating game against them in Game 1 of the 1929 World Series. Pedro, of course, hasn't had nearly as long to know who his opponent would be, and the Yankees won't be surprised to see him, but otherwise there is some similarity: Pedro started just 9 games this season, and his 2-hit, 7-shutout-inning performance on October 16 against the Dodgers is his only appearance this month. So he should be fresh, rested and have a well-thought-out game plan to attack the Yankees. Downside is that Pedro in recent years has struggled to be sharp in the first inning, which could be a real issue for a guy who hasn't pitched in almost two weeks.

I won't make any prediction. Generally, the home team that loses Game 1, unless it's noticeably the inferior team, is a good bet to win Game 2; on the other hand, the pressure will be all on the Yankees tonight, and that's the worst time to face a crafty speed-changing veteran with nothing to lose. At any rate, Pedro's return to the Bronx will undoubtedly be tonight's spotlight storyline.

As for last night's game, not much to add besides the obvious: Cliff Lee dismantled the Yankees lineup. It really had to be a fairly rough game for Indians fans to watch their two best pitchers facing each other in the Series.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:00 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I don't know why that was supposed to be rough on Indians fans (other than a lame graphic titled "You still have LeBron James"). Our owner isn't willing to pay these guys; at the very least, it's nice to see the limited talent that the organization does develop play on a big stage.

I was rooting for a 0-0 tie after nine, innings, though.

Posted by: DKH at October 29, 2009 12:32 PM

Hard to imagine that it was just two years ago that the Indians were one win away from the world series. Since then, their two best pitchers play for someone else, their slugger (Hafner) looks more like an aging Chris Chambliss than one of the more feared players in the AL and their franchise CF'er, very recently the most prized possession in fantasy baseball, is coming off a season that was very Corey Patterson-ish.

Thank heaven for Choo, eh?

Posted by: RW at October 29, 2009 1:23 PM

I'm bewildered by the decision to start Pedro in game 2. I think he's capable of doing a good job. In fact, he probably will. But don't you want to start Hamels or Happ here, so you can maximize their starts in the series? Is Manuel planning on starting Pedro more than once in the series? I just find it odd.

Posted by: per14 at October 29, 2009 1:24 PM

Pedro can pitch again if he's good - he'd be rested for game six. But Manuel seems comfortable not using anyone but Lee more than once, and definitely doesn't seem enthused about using Hamels more than once.

Posted by: Jerry at October 29, 2009 1:39 PM

I think Manuel feels he can take a risk with Pedro here on the road. Hamels was much better (or less worse) at home this year. If Philly is going to win they need a good start from Hamels. If the Pedro gamble pays off they go home up 2 games to none. If the gamble fails they go home tied.

Posted by: Largebill at October 29, 2009 2:46 PM

I missed all of last nights game except for Lee (my namesake) striking out the last two batter (A-Rod and Posada). I guess that was representative of the whole game by Lee.

Anyway, I agree that Manuel is taking a gamble here. But now that he has the one win in NY he needs, he can afford to do this.

Also, I think Pedro can't pitch out of the bullpen. He can only start.

The bigger issue is how Burnett is going to stop the Phillies hitters. He did not look good against the Angles in his last start. If he gets hit hard early, the Yankees are in a heap of trouble.

Posted by: Lee at October 29, 2009 3:09 PM

The current Pedro looks better when he pitches against undisciplined free-swingers like the Dodgers. I don't think the Yankees fit that mold.

Posted by: Berto at October 29, 2009 5:41 PM

Just read this now-berto-OMG-a normal post.

Anyhow, I would have agreed with you before the game. I do think if they see Pedro again they will do better.

Posted by: dch at October 30, 2009 12:02 AM

The Phillies have reverted to their mid-season inconsistent form. The Yanks are playing almost flawless ball, and the Phils are looking like the Angels did in the ALCS. Maybe Lee can stave off the Yanks tonight, but I can't see the Phils winning 3 in a row he way that they are playing.

Posted by: Ashburn Alley at November 2, 2009 4:40 AM
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