The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers will square off at roughly 8:07 tonight in Game 6 of the ALCS. The pitching match-up will feature a repeat of Game 2 starters, Colby Lewis and Phil Hughes. Lewis got the better of Hughes, as the Rangers won the game, 7-2.  The Rangers lit Hughes up in Game 2, pounding him for seven runs on ten hits in only four innings. Coming into this contest, Hughes had thrived in Texas, tossing 15 scoreless innings. For this feature to any meaning moving forward, Hughes needs to come out strong tonight….

On to the historic potential Game 7. A team who has never made it the World Series COULD tangle in a winner-take-all affair with a team who has won so many championships, anything less than a ring every year is a total disappointment. Potentially, the Rangers will pin their World Series dreams on the left arm of arguably the best pitcher in the game right now, Sandy Koufax Cliff Lee. Lee has been so good in the playoffs and even better at toppling the Yankees. He is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in the playoffs over the last two years. He is 5-0 in six starts against the Bombers in the last calendar year. Maybe some people were surprised with Lee’s Game 3 performance (eight innings, 13 Ks), but I wasn’t. Could Lee duplicate that performance in a pivotal Game 7? Maybe.

Do I think he’ll get through the Yankee order with the ease he did in Game 3? Not a chance. The Yankees are chock full of veterans who can work the counts and make adjustments. Lee threw 119 pitches in Game 3 and the Yankees will do everything to extend at-bats. The Yankees have drawn a playoff-high 29 walks.

If we get to that Game 7 that we all desperately hope for the Yankees will send out the all-time post-season wins leader, Andy Pettitte. Many fans were quick to dismiss Pettitte’s Game 3 performance (seven innings, two runs). However, Pettitte only made one mistake to Josh Hamilton which ultimately cost them the game. Pettitte’s experience, competitive edge, and Texas pedrigree would show through in a Game 7.

Let’s not forget either that both Pettitte and Lee will be free agent at the end of the season…

The stage is set. A team looking for their first World Series trip. A team looking to collect their 28th World Championship. Two  free agent pitchers squaring off with millions of dollars on the line. It’s Texas-sized drama. It’s what October is all about…

As long as the Yankees take care of business in Game 6.