Fans gunning for the Yankees to clinch it in the Bronx
Finish it tonight in the Bronx.
Fans are in a frenzy about the prospects of the Yankees clinching the World Series on home turf as they meet the Phillies in Game 6 Wednesday.
Sports insiders say the combination of Yankee pitching, with veteran Andy Pettitte starting tonight, plus home-field advantage puts things in the Bronx Bombers’ favor.“The fact that they are going to win in New York City, the greatest city in the world, is really special,” said Marcus Johnson, 36, a Bronx fan.
Despite a disappointing 8-6 loss in Game 5 on Monday, the Yankees go into Wednesday with a 3-2 lead over the Phillies. Baseball followers are surprised the series has come to a Game 6.
“The Phillies have a good lineup and their experience from being champs last year,” said Joe Pietaro, editor-in-chief of New York Sportscene magazine.
The Phillies are starting pitcher Pedro Martinez, who traditionally hasn’t fared well against the Yankees and brings a ton of drama with him every time he seems to step in to the Bronx. In 2004, he famously called the Yankees his “daddy.”“We’ve seen Pedro so many times, we’ve gotten used to his repertoire,” said Patrick O’Keefe, of YanksBlog.com.
The Yankees do well at their new stadium, going 57-24 during the regular season and 6-1 so far postseason. Hyped up fans in the stands hungry for the 27th championship will also be a boon.
“The fans are always the 10th team member,” said a baseball historian Peter Golenbock. “If you’re a Yankees fan, you’re not nervous.”
The Yankees won the World Series back when the House that Ruth Built opened in 1923. Fans said winning again in the first year of a new stadium would be especially sweet.
“It will be like a birthday gift for the new stadium,” said Yusef Shakir, 62, of Queens.
A win would put an end to the nine-year drought since the Yankee’s last championship. It would also redeem Alex Rodriguez from a year of scandal, and forever solidify the dynasty of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Pettitte and Jorge Posada, sports followers said.
Fans predicted days of partying if the Yankees clinch it tonight. If they lost Wednesday, Game 7 will be tomorrow night with CC Sabathia likely starting for the Yankees.
“(Wednesday) is going to be a good night,” said Edenton Cherenfaunt, 40, a Brooklyn fan who made a “27th World Series Cake” in honor of the assumed victory.
A NYPD spokeswoman said they will have “adequate detail in place” for any unruly revelers outside the stadium.
Courtney Crowder contributed to this firstname.lastname@example.org
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)