While Nick Swisher certainly wants another chance to face Cliff Lee — which would mean the New York Yankees forced Game 7 in the AL championship series — he is tired of hearing all the talk about the Texas Rangers ace left-hander.
In the lead-up to Game 6, Swisher wondered aloud why there was so much talk about Lee and said he couldn’t wait to hit against him.
“I hope Swish is right. I hope we do get a chance to face Cliff Lee. Because that would be a good thing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday before Game 6. “We were talking about Game 3 before we even started the series. … Guys have had to answer a lot of questions. Swish in a sense is right.”
When asked about it, Swisher said he wasn’t talking about Lee, who struck out 13 Yankees in eight innings to win Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. Lee also beat New York twice in last year’s World Series while pitching for Philadelphia.
“That’s Swisher. He’s a tough competitor. He’s not afraid to say what he feels,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I haven’t nothing against him saying what he feels. I think if I was sitting in his shoes and I had to face Cliff Lee, I’d probably feel the same way.”
Washington and Swisher have known each other for a long time.
The first coaching job for Washington was in 1991 with the New York Mets organization for the Triple-A Tidewater Tides, whose manager then was Steve Swisher, Nick’s father.
GAMETIME TBA: The Phillies downplayed not knowing the start time of Game 6. They would play at 3:57 EDT if the Yankees-Rangers series goes to a Game 7. Or, they’ll play at 7:57 if Texas eliminates New York.
“I don’t think that’s going to hurt us,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We got in early this morning, and I think the fact that we did not work out today, I think that that’s OK. As a matter of fact, I think that can help us. I don’t think the time of the game tomorrow is going to hurt us. Our guys are ready. I’m sure the Giants are ready, too. Our guys are ready to play.”
Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt said it won’t affect his preparation.
“You don’t really start getting ready until two hours before the game,” he said. “So if it’s 4:00 or 8:00, it doesn’t really matter.”
PETTITTE PLANS?: The question seems to arise yearly: Will Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte be back next season?
New York manager Joe Girardi hasn’t gotten any indication if the 38-year-old Pettitte is leaning one way or another.
“And that doesn’t surprise me,” Girardi said. “As Andy has done the past couple of years, it’s a decision that he goes home and makes with his family. As long as we are still playing, that decision probably has not crossed his mind.”
Pettitte would be the starter if there is a Game 7 against Texas.
SNEAK PEEKS: Yankees manager Joe Girardi caught a glimpse of Game 5 of the NL championship series at dinner on Thursday. He watched purely for entertainment, and said he wasn’t scouting a potential World Series opponent.
“At this point, it’s pretty much to enjoy,” Girardi said. “I mean, that has been an outstanding series, too, with a lot of well-pitched ballgames, very close ballgames. But as far as doing more than that, it’s pretty much just for the enjoyment.”
San Francisco leads the NLCS 3-2 after Philadelphia’s 4-2 victory. Game 6 is set for Saturday afternoon at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Texas manager Ron Washington watched Game 5 start-to-finish, but said his focus remains on his own team’s task at hand.
“As far as thinking about who we will play if things work out, or anything like that, that’s getting out of the moment,” Washington said. “I can’t allow myself to think about anything else.”
CATCHING DUO: Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor both have multi-RBI games this postseason, the first time since 2001 a pair of catching teammates have done that.
Molina has multi-RBI games in both the AL championship series and division series. Treanor drove in both runs for Texas in the 7-2 loss in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Yankees.
They are the sixth set of catchers to both have multi-RBI games the same postseason, the first since Atlanta’s Javy Lopez and Paul Bako in 2001. Lopez and Charlie O’Brien also did that for the Braves in 2001.
J-ROLLING: After struggling with leg injuries that forced him to miss half the season, Jimmy Rollins is off and running again. He stole two bases in one inning in Philadelphia’s 4-2 win over the Giants in Game 5.
“I wasn’t sure at all. I rolled the dice twice,” Rollins said. “I was just trying to get into scoring position.”
Rollins stole a career-low 17 bases playing in just 88 games. He twice was sidelined by a calf injury and missed most of September with a hamstring injury.
“Jimmy showed me yesterday on the bases when he took off that he thinks that he is well and he can run,” manager Charlie Manuel said.