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Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Curt Schilling (2-1, 2.84 ERA)

I'm going to use a couple of words here, before I get into the first Yanks/Sox series of the year to talk about something that I think has been ignored by the media regarding Alex Rodriguez.

The story, basically since the Yanks folded against the Red Sox in 2004, has been that the fans are going to run A-Rod out of town. He can't get the job done in the post season. He's a choke-artist. He's the new Mr. May.

You name it, it's been said. And, full disclosure here, I've said many of those things myself. This is the bad side of playing in New York. Failure is not tolerated. What no one has been talking about is the flip side of the coin. No town loves success more than New York.

A-Rod is off to an amazing start. If this season ends like I think it will, with another MVP award for A-Rod, and then he follows that up with post season heroics, or even just a good post season, he will own this town. Like Frank sang, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” A-Rod can become a hero in this town. He can make the past two post seasons a distant memory. He can even make the Yankees extend his contract.

Those boos everyone’s been talking about will turn into raucous cheers for A-Rod. In fact, they already have. Nothing breeds success like success. Does anyone think A-Rod is going to leave if he becomes a fan-favorite in the Bronx? If he wins a ring there? There is no bigger stage, and if he keeps playing like this, there’s no way the Yanks will let him walk.

And now, tonight’s game.

What do you really need to say about a Yanks/Sox series, no matter what time of year it is? These games will be heated, they will take 5 hours to play. They will feature ups and downs, walks and K’s, emotion, and maybe even a fight.

Game one pits Andy Pettitte against Curt Schilling. Two aging warriors who are off to good starts this season.

In a nutshell: The pens always make the difference in these series. Both teams work the count and get into the opposing team’s pen. I think this is a clear advantage for the Yanks. Bruney, Proctor, Myers and Henn have been outstanding. Farnsworth is capable of dominating, and Mo is Mo, no matter what Marco Scutaro says.

Key to the game: Today’s key is a departure from nearly every previous game. The Yanks need to get Schilling early in the count. He throws strikes, and he’s deadly when he’s got two strikes on you. He will throw a “get-me-over” fastball early in the count from time to time, the Yanks need to punish him when he does.

Sox blog-of-the-day: The Joy of Sox

And finally, for any of you Sox fans who may have found your way here, ENJOY!!!!

by Brian on Apr 20 2007
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