Even in the aftermath of another marathon extra-inning game, the starting pitchers for Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium both seemed like they couldn't wait to get to the mound for the climactic finale.
"It's time to go,'' CC Sabathia said. "You know, this is what you play for. That's a good team over there we've been battling all year, so hopefully, I can go out and have a good performance, and keep us in the game and give us a chance to win."
Sabathia did not pitch very well against the Orioles during the regular season, but held them to two runs through 8 2/3 innings in Game 1. All four of his starts against the Orioles this year have come at Camden Yards.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel also pitched very well in that game, even though he had not made a start since Sept. 11 because of post-surgical knee soreness. He needed 112 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings, but allowed just two runs on four hits and struck out five.
Now, after missing much of the second half of the season, he finds himself in the biggest game of the year so far ... and on the biggest stage.
"It's obviously an honor to be the one toeing the slab," Hammel said. "But it's been a team effort to get here. It's been a lot of fun to watch the three months that I've been down, and the guys have pushed through, and we've played toe-to-toe with everybody all the way through, from the get-go. We're very confident that we can go ahead and win one more."