Arkansas-born pitchers are 2-0 so far in this year’s World Series. Yesterday we posted about Benton native Cliff Lee and his stellar performance in game one. Last night, North Little Rock’s own A.J. Burnett took the hill and helped the Yankees tie the series at 1-1. Both teams will now head to Philadelphia for game three. There’s an interesting piece in today’s New York Times about the two pitchers and their agent, Darek Braunecker, who is based in Little Rock. Needless to say, Braunecker is having a pretty good series so far.
On Wednesday, Lee became the first pitcher since Pittsburgh’s Deacon Phillippe in 1903 to win in the World Series while striking out 10 with no walks. On Thursday, Burnett followed with the first start in the Yankees’ last 50 postseason games to include at least nine strikeouts, with no more than four hits and one earned run.
Lee is from Benton, Ark. Burnett is from North Little Rock. Nobody from the Natural State has seemed this comfortable in New York since Bill Clinton moved his offices to Harlem.