World Series Game Five: Yankees @ Phillies

27.

It’s the number of outs that stand in the way of the Yankees and a World Championship, which coincidentally would be the 27th in their history. It’s the number manager Joe Girardi wears on his back, and it’s the number of miles that separate the hometowns of tonight’s starters, A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee.

Burnett, who grew up in North Little Rock, Arkansas, will take the mound on three day’s rest for the first time as a Yank, and as history shows, he’s been pretty good in those spots in the past. Lee, originally from Benton, Arkansas, is fully rested after his Game One complete game. The two also share an agent (Darek Braunecker), and have been good friends for years.

The Yanks have been up 3-1 in the World Series eight times before, and they’ve wrapped up the title all eight times. They’ve never even had to go seven games to do it.  It’s so close we can taste it, but as a great Yankee once said, “It’s ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Here’s the lineups.

Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS
Johnny Damon, LF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Nick Swisher, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Brett Gardner, CF
Jose Molina, C
AJ Burnett, SP (13-9, 4.04)

Philadelphia
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Shane Victorino, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Jayson Werth, RF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Cliff Lee, SP (14-13, 3.22)

In case you haven’t seen it already, this was in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.