NEW YORK As he thought about his crucial start on Thursday night for the New York Yankees, A.J. Burnett got a tip from Cliff Lee as he walked through the back of his team's clubhouse after Game 1.
"Actually, I sat and watched his (postgame) interview on the field," Burnett said Thursday night after throwing seven solid innings in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Phillies at Yankee Stadium that squared the World Series at one game apiece.
"He talked about confidence and belief in his stuff," Burnett said. "I thought about the same thing today, going out there with confidence. As the game rolled by, I was in good rhythm. I managed to stay in that rhythm and get strike one."
After giving up four runs in the first inning of his most recent start, Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels, Burnett thought it crucial to get through the first inning without a problem, and he did.
"It was important," he said. "I wanted to come out and attack and feed off this crowd, feed off the energy and not just be calm. I think I've done a good job of being calm in this situation. But I wanted to come out with some fire tonight. I wanted to set the tone and be very aggressive."
The 32-year-old righthander allowed only two hits in his final four innings.
NOT AGAIN There was another blown call by the postseason umpires in the seventh inning of Game 2. With one out and runners on first and second, Johnny Damon hit a smash to Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard. Umpire Brian Gorman immediately threw his arm up to indicate the ball was caught in the air, but TV replays indicated it bounced into Howard's glove. Howard threw to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who tagged Jorge Posada who thought correctly that he'd reached second safely to complete the inning-ending double play. The umpires gathered in the infield, but the ruling stood.
MIC CHECK The World Series is back in New York without its voice. Longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard, who recently turned 99, is missing his first World Series since he began his career behind the Yankee Stadium microphone in 1951. Sheppard worked 121 consecutive postseason games, including 62 in 22 Fall Classics, a stretch that ended with the 2006 playoffs.
"Frankly, I'm content to be out of the swing of things," Sheppard said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. "I couldn't do it anymore."