Thursday, November 5th, 2009 | 2009 Fall Classic, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports, World Series | No Comments
Pedro Martinez just couldn’t get Hideki Matsui out on Wednesday night. In the 2nd inning, Matsui gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead with a 2-run HR off of Pedro. In the 3rd inning, Matsui extended the Yankees lead to 4-1 with a 2-run single off of Martinez. Matsui capped off his amazing night – this time against Phillies lefty J.A. Happ – with a 2-run double that blew the game open in the 5th inning. After Matsui’s 3rd crushing blow of the night, the Yankees led 7-1 and they would cruise to an easy 7-3 victory in World Series Game 6. The win clinched the 27th World Series Championship for the storied franchise.
For his efforts, Matsui was named the World Series MVP – even though he only started in 3 of the 6 games played. Matsui finished the series with 8 hits in 13 at-bats, with 8 RBI’s and 3 runs scored, including 3 homers. His phenomenal Game 6 performance clinched it – no other player had ever had 6 RBI’s in a single World Series game.
Although Andy Pettitte did not have his best stuff – 3 ER on 4 hits and 5 walks in 5 2/3 inning – Pettitte worked out of jams and avoided the big inning that allowed the Yankees to keep extending the lead as the night progressed. It was Pettitte’s 18th career post-season win and his 6th win to end a playoff series – both major league records. Shockingly, Pettitte also started and won the game-clinching game in each of the Yankees series’ wins this October/November – against the Twins, Angels and Phillies. No other player has ever done that in MLB history.
Mariano Rivera – what can you say. Although he did not get a save on Wednesday night, he did get the final 5 Phillies outs of the game. He came in with 1-out in the 8th inning and gave up a double in that inning and a harmless walk in the 9th inning. For the series, Rivera appeared in 4 of 6 games – 5 1/3 innings pitched, 0 ER, 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s. Rivera allowed just 1 ER in his 12 2009 post-season appearances. For his career, in 88 post-season appearances, he has allowed more than 1 run in a game only once! Pretty amazing.
Congrats to the Yankees – as much as it pains me to say. The happiest/luckiest guy around is Manager Joe Girardi. If the Yankees had not won, or if had gone to a Game 7 where CC Sabathia would have had to pitch on 3 days’ rest, Girardi could have been on the hot seat for his moves. Now that they’ve won, he gets a reprieve and looks like a genius for “knowing his players and their limitations.” Girardi – a 3-time World Series winner as a Yankee player – had this to say about the accomplishment – “To be able to deliver this to the Boss, the stadium that he created and the atmosphere he has created around here is very gratifying for all of us.”
Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | 2009 Fall Classic, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports, World Series | No Comments
Cliff Lee made it look easy as the Phillies cruised past the Yankees 6-1 in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series. Heading into the 9th inning, Lee had given up just 4 hits (and no walks!) through 8 innings while striking out 8. After giving up singles to Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon to start the inning, Lee induced Mark Teixeira to hit into what should have been a double play. But Jimmy Rollins error allowed Jeter to score and Teixeira to move up to 2nd base with 1 out. But instead of getting flustered, Lee simply struck out Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada swinging to end the “mini” threat. Phillies 6, Yankees 1, Advantage Phillies with the 1-0 lead. The Lee – Sabathia duel was a good one, but Lee was just that much better. To not walk a single Yankees batter while pitching 9 innings is simply incredible. Lee never seemed out of sync and he never seemed to be intimidated by pitching in the Bronx.
Sabathia pitched well for the Yankees, but not good enough. He only gave up 4 hits and 3 walks in 7 solid innings of work. But 2 of the hits were solo home runs to Chase Utley. The Phillies only broke the game open after Sabathia departed after throwing 113 pitches in 7 innings. Phil Hughes promptly walked the only 2 batters he faced in the top of the 8th inning. Both runners came around to score on Raul Ibanez’s clutch 2-out 2-run single against David Robertson. That gave the Phillies a daunting 4-0 lead with just 6 outs left for the Yankees. Brian Bruney and Phil Coke did not fare much better in the top of the 9th inning. The 2 pitchers allowed 2 more insurance runs to score on Shane Victorino’s single and Ryans Howard’s double.
All in all, it was a solid start for the Phillies. They showed they were not intimidated by the Yankee “aura”. They showed the could score runs against the Yankees best pitcher. And they showed that they were in this for the long haul.
There’s not too much time to dwell on the Game 1 loss for the Yankees. Game 2 is tonight at 7:57PM EST on FOX. Pedro Martinez will surely be greeted with a lot of boos as he tries to pitch the Phillies to a 2-0 lead against A.J. Burnett. I hate to say there is a must-win game this early in a series, but it would serve the Yankees well to find a way to get a W tonight in the Bronx. Heading back to Philly for Game 3 on Saturday night down 2 games to none is not the game plan that Manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees drew up before the start of the 2009 Fall Classic.