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Yankees-Rangers Game 5 and Phillies-Giants Game 4 in review

Another early morning flight, for what figures to be another long day. It's all good, of course. If you don't love this time of year, then you shouldn't be covering baseball.

(I have no idea whom the "you" is I'm addressing.)

Anyway, I'm travelling because the Yankees showed signs of life in winning and sending the series back to Texas. For my column, I wrote that Yankees' fans concerns shouldn't center around their competitive fire, but rather their ability to play baseball. I think the Yankees showed yesterday that they still possess an interest in vying for the World Series title.

There is understandable agita over whether they can beat Texas and Cliff Lee, but I didn't understand how people could watch the first four games of this series and conclude that the Yankees were simply disinterested.

--Great effort by CC Sabathia, who didn't have his best stuff for his third straight postseason start. You have to wonder whether Sabathia is finally feeling the fatigue from working his fourth straight year into the postseason.

--Jorge Posada's baserunning was hilarious. That sequence was the Rangers' fundamental low point of the series.

--Robinson Cano is just ridiculous. What a pleasure it is to see he and his fellow AL MVP candidate Josh Hamilton go at it. Yankees fans have to be thrilled that Cano stepped into the third slot in the lineup, replacing the injured Mark Teixeira, and simply picked up where he left off.

--When Lance Berkman fell while pursuing Ian Kinsler's foul pop in the fourth inning, I laughed. It just looked so funny. Then, when Berkman laid on the ground as Joe Girardi and Yankees assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue tended to him, I felt like a fool for laughing. It appears now that Berkman is alll right - if you see the replay, you'll see that Berkman didn't hit his head, but rather his "lower back/upper glute," as Joe Girardi put it. 

--The Rangers say they don't want to adapt the "Even if we lose Game 6, we have Cliff Lee in Game 7" mentality. But how can you not think about that, with the way Lee has pitched lately? A Game 7 rematch of Lee and Andy Pettitte in Arlington would be outstanding. 

Speaking of Lee, Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg says he won't give up the lefty ace without a fight. It will indeed be extremely interesting to see how far the Rangers go, since they've made it this far by being responsible financially. How responsible it is to go gaga for a 32-year-old pitcher, no matter how good the 32-year-old is at the moment?

--Got to see the last couple of innings of Phillies-Giants. What a great game. Absolutely amazing that the Giants are one victory away from the World Series.

What I'm curious is, why did Charlie Manuel go with Roy Oswalt in the bottom of the ninth, rather than Brad Lidge? Was he saving Lidge for a save situation? It was a curious decision.

And now, just as the Yankees' season turned to Sabathia, the Phillies need Roy Halladay to earn his salary once more. Only he'll be going against Tim Lincecum in a rematch of Game 1.

--I'll check in later from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

--UPDATE, 4:04 P.M. CDT: Greetings once more from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It's hot here, although that feels good after spending a few hours on two different planes.

Nothing huge going on here. The Yankees already have left the premises, and the Rangers are working out as I type.

Items of interest:

--CC Sabathia will be available to pitch out of the bullpen as soon as tomorrow night. Sabathia said he can give the Yankees 45 pitches. I'd expect to see him in there in either Game 6 or, if necessary, Game 7.

--Alex Rodriguez spoke for the first time about the man who came onto the Stadium field during Game 3, who reportedly wanted to attack A-Rod.

"He’s very upset," A-Rod said of the man, generating a laugh, but then added: "It’s not a good feeling. Obviously, anybody who’s out on the field, playing in front of so many people...obviously, that can be very scary. I don’t wish that on anyone. "

A-Rod also said, of this series, "Any time you're playing for your life, these (games) are life or death, literally." He really has a gift for the misstatement.

--The Mets announced that they are done with their first round of interviews for their general manager opening. That means no Jon Daniels - which means that Sandy Alderson is even more of a frontrunner. They'll probably call back Alderson and one or two others for a second interview. I'd bet that Rick Hahn gets a second look just because of his impressive background.



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