Shifting momentum

I know most of you look here expecting Diamondbacks news, but thought I would provide some bonus coverage while I am covering the American League Championship Series. Certainly for better insight check out the blogs of my two MLB.com colleagues Bryan Hoch  and T.R. Sullivan.

It is always fascinating to see how the momentum, or at least the perception of momentum, can change from game to game in the postseason.

After the Rangers heartbreaking loss in Game 1 the consensus was that they were done. The Yankees seemed to have the upper hand when it came to the Game 2 pitching matchup and they also seemed to be in the Rangers’ heads.

That lasted for all of about 24 hours. Then the Rangers came out and blitzed Phil Hughes and the whole feel of the series seemed to change. Suddenly, the Rangers have Cliff Lee throwing Game 3 and after that they face A.J. Burnett, who has had a miserable year, plus they have Lee coming back in a possible Game 7.

Of course if the Yankees find a way to beat Lee in Game 3, which is certainly not out of the question, the momentum shifts back dramatically to the Yankees.

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Speaking of Lee, I am amazed at how relaxed he seemed Sunday. I mean this is a guy who is expected to win when he takes the mound tonight. I mean more than expected, he is being counted on to win and if he doesn’t it changes the entire dynamic of the series.

Yet the left-hander sat in the interview room Sunday talking about tonight’s game as though he were talking about a regular season game in June.

I talked to several of his teammates to try and get a read on whether he truly was relaxed or if he was just putting on a good front and they all said that he never gets uptight. That he’s just a simple guy who goes about his business with a tremendous amount of confidence.

Forget for a minute the tremendous physical talent he must possess to do what he does with the baseball and think for a moment about the mental strength he has to be able to deal with the pressure and expectations that come his way.

That to me is every bit as impressive if not more so.

1 Comment

And it all started with the beaning of Chris Snyder in Spring Training.

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