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This ALCS on a classic course
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10/09/2003 11:39 PM ET 
This ALCS on a classic course
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Andy Pettitte pulled out the poise card and got the Game 2 win. (Ezra Shaw/Getty)
NEW YORK -- Not that anyone should have doubted it after Game 1, but after Game 2 this American League Championship Series is definitely right on course to be the classic it was destined to become.

With the Yankees pulling out the poise card in another Game 2 under pressure, the series seems to be shaping up as a glorious new chapter in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and perhaps a significant chapter in postseason history.

Each team has posted a solid victory, each team has scored runs off a stellar starter, and now we're headed to Boston.

All you have to do to figure out that this is a classic in the making is look at the pitching matchup for Saturday's Game 3 at Fenway Park, with the series tied, 1-1: Roger Clemens vs. Pedro Martinez, the Sox ace of the past against the ace of the present in an October bout.

The poise factor came up big for the Yankees in Thursday's Game 2, and it was stonefaced Andy Pettitte leading the way. He did the job for the Yankees in Game 2 of the Division Series, and he did it again Thursday. Pettitte started out by allowing six hits the first time through the Red Sox lineup, but only one run. That's the key. He maintained his focus and took it up a notch as the game went along, fending off the Red Sox's powerful lineup.

By gaining the split at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox managed to take home-field advantage away from the AL East champion Yankees. That's about all that separates the two at the moment.

And that's pretty much what we'd expect from Red Sox-Yanks in the ALCS, isn't it?

John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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