There's nothing like a good old World Series rematch to fire up the memory bank and heighten an otherwise mundane midweek series in the middle of June. The Phillies are rolling into the Bronx to try for some revenge against the team that ended their reign as world champions on the very same field in November.
Will Phillies hero Cliff Lee be able to stop MVP Hideki Matsui from blasting more balls into the night? Could Johnny Damon possible pull off another double steal all by his lonesome? Does Pedro Feliz have more late-inning heroics up his sleeve against Yankee relief ace Phil Hughes? Has their been a change in paternity for Pedro Martinez?
If this were an issue of Highlights, we'd draw a picture and ask six-year-olds to tell us everything that was wrong with the above paragraph, but you probably don't need such an illustration. Other than Hughes, all of those guys are playing (or, in Pedro's case, watching) in other locations and Hughes now starts games instead of appearing in the late innings of them. It definitely takes a bit of shine off of the renewal of vows at the Stadium this week.
There's another reunion worth watching, though. Roy Halladay meets up with the Yankees for the first time since being shipped out of Toronto and it will be interesting to see if any of his Yankee killer magic has worn off with the change in leagues. He's 18-6 with a 2.84 ERA against the Yankees over his career with 190 strikeouts in those games. That's good enough to win you a Cy Young in plenty of seasons, not that Halladay needs to only face one team to grab one of those.
He's 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA and a perfect game on his resume in 2010 which sounds like a path to becoming the fourth pitcher in history to win the award in both leagues. The fact that Ubaldo Jimenez has turned into some ungodly combination of Bob Gibson and Tom Seaver might make that impossible, but it certainly bodes well for his first meeting with his old AL East whipping boys in pinstripes.
CC Sabathia gets the ball for the Yankees, which could be good or bad for the home team. The negative side is that the Phillies, struggling though they may be in recent weeks, aren't the Orioles. CC hasn't had the most success against teams without cheerful little birds on their caps this season and the Phillies can still bring the lumber. The plus side is that there figures to be a little added atmosphere to Tuesday night's contest, a situation that brought out the best in Sabathia last season and may find him up to his old tricks.
So even if it's not quite a three game return to the heady days of 2009 it should be fun nonetheless.