I've enjoyed reading Jeff Passan over at Yahoo all season. Maybe someone will disagree, but I think he's one of the better baseball writers out there. But I just about flipped when I read his column this morning and the analysis of Cliff Lee. Here's the first two paragraphs:
"Nobody lives in the strike zone like Cliff Lee, spelunking into danger, inviting batters to attack balls over the plate, daring opponents – damn near begging them – to swing their bats. It doesn’t just take a man of great skill to throw 71 percent of his pitches for strikes. It necessitates great fortitude, too.
Because every so often, it happens. Lord, did Lee not want this to be the time or place, but it’s simply a consequence of who he is, an uncommon side effect of his usual brilliance. Sometimes, the baseball doesn’t cut or fade toward the corners of home plate. Sometimes, it just sits there, dead red, fat as a force-fed duck, at the knees, bisecting the plate, a cookie on which major league hitters, even a crew as rag-tag as the San Francisco Giants, will feast."
Where the hell was this in any pre-World Series analysis? This bit could have - and should have - appeared in analysis leading up to game one. Passan - or anyone, really (hey Worldwide Leader in Sports!!!) - could have written the following...
"Cliff Lee is undefeated in postseason play. He has been untouchable. However, nobody lives in the strike zone like Lee, which dares batters to swing their bats. And with the timely hitting that San Francisco has produced thus far this postseason, maybe the Giants can be the first team to feast off Lee if his throws don't cut or fade toward the corners of home plate."
How hard was that?
But it is what it is, and we have game one in the bag. Here's hoping we don't pull of a 2002 by following a 16-run performance in Game 5 with two straight losses. Obviously I'm happy, but I'm still very, very nervous.
-Giants fan in Pennsylvania