Lee's rosin doesn't rile up Joe

October, 17, 2010
10/17/10
11:38
PM ET
Joe Girardi says the flap over the rosin on the bill of Cliff Lee’s cap is no big deal.

Some have speculated that the rosin on Lee’s cap gives him an unfair advantage as the sticky substance allows him to create extra break on his off-speed pitches.

The theory – first raised by ESPN 1050’s Michael Kay– was debunked by Girardi and Lee himself on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s rosin, it’s available to everybody,” Girardi said. “If it was maybe right here (points to his forehead) and was a distraction to the hitter, I might question it. But I haven’t seen it to be a problem.”

Said Lee: “I go to the rosin bag quite a bit. I touch my hat in the same place over and over. And it just accumulates.”

PETTITTE SAYS LEE IS A CUT ABOVE: Mariano Rivera has used the cut fastball to carve out a Hall of Fame career. It’s also a pitch that may put the Yankees in a dangerous hole in the ALCS.

Rangers Game 3 starter Cliff Lee has a filthy cutter, and it’s a pitch Andy Pettitte says makes Lee one of the most dangerous starters in baseball.

“That cutter has to be pretty dominating,” said Pettitte, who will face Lee on Monday night. “It has to be moving extremely well for guys to have such a hard time handling it.

“I think at this stage right now, that’s what’s separating him from everyone else; to be able to cut the ball like he’s doing on both sides of the plate.”

GAME 3 LINEUP: Girardi said the Yankees lineup on Monday would likely be the same as it’s been against lefties throughout the postseason. So look for Marcus Thames in the designated hitter role, hitting behind Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher in the No. 2 hole.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146