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Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Yankees 0

10/18/2010

WHAT IT MEANS: Cliff Lee, to twist the classic Dennis Green line, is who everyone thought he was.

He was amazing, spectacular, incredible, a mixture of Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson, but better ... should we go on?

This means the Yankees probably need to win this series in six games and avoid a Game 7.

It also means that they will probably add $10-20 million to the contract offer that GM Brian Cashman has stashed in the top drawer of his desk. Lee will probably get somewhere between $115-$150 million.

The Rangers are closer to the World Series, which -- along with the right dollars -- might be the only way he stays down south.

Last, it means that Eduardo Nunez and Ivan Nova better be good, because those are the guys that Cashman refused to part with (he needed to include one of them) to get Lee in the package that was headed by Jesus Montero. The Yankees were willing to do a deal with Montero as the lead guy, but Seattle kept asking for better second and third prospects.

WHAT'S NEXT: A.J. Burnett is next. All eyes will be on him at the Stadium. Burnett will basically have the whole season resting on his shoulders, because the Yankees could come back from 3-1 deficit but if they were to climb the mountain to a Game 7 in Arlington, it will be Lee waiting for them.

So the Yankees need Burnett to pitch like he did in Game 2 of the World Series last year.



CURTAIN CALLS:
Andy Pettitte deserves one, no doubt about it. He gave up one porch-aided two-run homer to Josh Hamiltonin the first and then nearly matched Lee pitch for pitch. He almost deserves as many superlatives as Lee. The homer that Hamilton hit was the shortest one he has hit all year.

BRONX CHEERS:Mark Teixeira has yet to get a hit this series. The Yankees didn't have a runner reach second until the sixth inning. Derek Jeterstruck out. Nick Swisher grounded to second, moving Brett Gardner to third. That set up Teixeira. who grounded out meekly to short.

Teixeira had the 2009 ALDS Game 2 game-winner and he had a good ALDS this year -- both against Minny -- but besides that he has been lost as a Yankee at the plate in the postseason.

Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez hasn't been much better. He had the one big hit in Game 1, besides that not much.

In the ninth, Brett Gardner's misplay and David Robertson's poor relief made it impossible for the Yankees to come back.

ANALYSIS:The Yankees were sick of hearing about Lee. As Joe Girardi said, everyone was talking about Lee before Game 1, even though he wasn't starting until Game 3. All the words were justified. Lee was that good.The Yankees are going to be sick about talking about Lee.

Now, Girardi is under the gun as he is facing his toughest playoff situation as the Yankees' manager. Will he be Joe Cool, like Torre always was or will he give off a tense vibe to his team?

Girardi is sending out Burnett on Tuesday. He is the one who can calm everything down for the Yankees. It is going to be a fascinating night.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:Ian O'Connor is going to opine about how the Yankees have to avoid facing Lee again and win the series in six. Wally Matthews is going to write about Andy Pettitte. Ian Begley will talk to Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez. And I will be writing about Burnett.



QUESTION OF THE NIGHT:
How much confidence do you have in A.J. Burnett in Game 4 and the Yankees coming back? (comment below)