<
>

Joe Girardi: Don't forget Andy Pettitte

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As the series shifts to New York for Game 3 of the ALCS, the Yankees find themselves staring at a matchup against Rangers ace Cliff Lee.

And Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows that's no easy task. But he's not about to throw in the towel, especially with Andy Pettitte taking the mound for the Yankees.

"We know he's very good. We've seen him a lot in his career," Girardi said of Lee. "There's been talk about Cliff Lee before we even started this series, and people were talking about Game 3. But let's not forget that we have a pretty good guy on the mound, too, that's won a lot of postseason games and has won a lot of clinchers in his career."

In seven postseason starts, Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA. Against Tampa Bay, he became only the fourth pitcher -- joining Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax and Hal Newhouser -- to throw a complete game and strike out 10 batters in a deciding playoff game. He also has pitched four games in the postseason where he's struck out 10 or more without walking a batter.

"There's no doubt he's got command," Girardi said. "Cliff Lee doesn't beat himself. And he's going to throw a lot of strikes and he's going to be ahead in the count. And we know that when he makes a mistake, you have to put a good pass on it. We've seen Cliff Lee very good, and at times we have scored runs off of Cliff Lee.

"The guy that's getting lost in this is Andy Pettitte, and he's pretty good."