Bauman: Lee's outing trumps rest debate
Burnett roughed up in Game 5 after quick turnaround
PHILADELPHIA -- In this World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies are 2-0 when Cliff Lee is the starting pitcher and 0-3 when anybody else has that assignment. A subtle trend may have emerged.
Long odds on short rest
In the other clubhouse, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had been second-guessed because he had not pitched Lee in Game 4 on short rest. But with this Game 5 result, Manuel appeared to be a man of patience and discretion, somebody who had not panicked under the pressure of trailing the Yankees in a World Series.Lee wasn't as unhittable as he had been in his Game 1 start against the Yankees. But it tells you how well the guy is going when he isn't at his best, yet he defeats baseball's best offense in the biggest game of the year. It was win or take a hike for the Phillies. Their pitching was good enough to win. The Yankees' was not. "If we would have pitched today, we probably would have won," Girardi said. "That's the bottom line. A.J. struggled today. He felt good, he just struggled today. That's something that happens in the game of baseball." Girardi's use of his starters has been aggressive, but it may also be the only reasonable option that he has. There has been a lot of talk about Chad Gaudin getting a start, but you don't see Gaudin out there on the mound, do you? He has pitched one inning in this postseason. The Yankees are not going to start him in this situation. He has been a decoy in this postseason, which is not that bad when you consider that this April he was released by the Chicago Cubs. It is also distinctly possible that this short-rest obsession would have never occurred if the Yankees had the services of Chien-Ming Wang, who had already become a rotation staple before he was sidelined by a foot injury in 2008 and a shoulder injury this year. "Chien-Ming Wang was excellent for the Yankees, and it's unfortunate that he got hurt this year and what he's been through the last two years," Girardi said. "Here's a guy that had won 19 games in '06 and '07 and was on his way last year to winning 19, I believe, before he hurt his foot. It's been tough for him going back to the foot injury."
Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.