Before last night’s game, I meant to post something like the following:

I just can’t shake the feeling that Bad A.J. will be showing up tonight. The Phillies are patient and Burnett is wild anyway, which is not a good combination. I also can’t shake the feeling that Pedro Martinez is going to junkball his way through six scoreless innings in his return to the Bronx. I would love to be wrong in both cases.

I was mostly wrong, and I couldn’t be happier. Burnett struck out nine and walked two in seven innings of outstanding work. Martinez’s performance (6 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) seemed pedestrian by comparison, but he really was in control for most of his outing. Both pitchers were pleasures to watch, even if I was actively rooting for Pedro’s rehabilitated shoulder to fall off.

On a less heartening note, the front page of ESPN.com has a “story” about Alex Rodriguez’s 0-for-8 performance so far in the World Series. You can get to it by clicking the image captioned “A-Rod’s Struggles.” You can probably imagine how I feel about this, but I want to point how just how stupid (and really, there is no other word for it) this article is. The article basically consists of Yankee players saying “it’s only eight at-bats”, “he’s the reason we’re here”, and “we’re not worried”, while Gene Wojciechowski retorts with “they can dress it up all they want, but A-Rod is choking.” It’s utter nonsense, and I’m profoundly disappointed that it took eight (EIGHT!) unproductive at-bats for national columnists to start readying the torches and pitchforks.

Go get ’em in Game Three, boys.


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