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.”
Friday, October 30th, 2009 | MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments
Not that it was a must-win, but the Yankees must sure be thrilled that they defeated the Phillies 3-1 on Thursday night at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Going down 2-0 and heading to Philadelphia would not have meant the end of the World Series, but it would have been a mighty hill to have to climb to win 2 out of 3 in Philly and then 2 at home in New York to pull off a 7-game World Series win.
A.J. Burnett’s 7-inning gem allowed Manager Joe Girardi to keep his bullpen off the field. Burnett gave up just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. After 108 pitches, Girardi called upon Mariano Rivera to get the Yankees a 6-out save and preserve the 3-1 lead. Rivera came up big in the 8th after 2 men were on with just 1 out. Rivera induced Chase Utley – the Phillies’ Game 1 hero – to hit into an inning-ending double play to end the threat. Rivera allowed the Phillies to get the tying run to the plate when Raul Ibanez doubled with 2-out, but he struck out Matt Stairs swinging to end the game. And then the celebration began in the Bronx.
Pedro Martinez did about as well as he could given the circumstances – he pitched 6 innings, giving up just 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. He also had 8 strikeouts. But he gave up solo home runs to Mark Teixeira in the 4th inning and Hideki Matsui in the 6th inning that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Martinez even started the 7th inning, but Manager Charlie Manuel removed him after he gave up leadoff singles to Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Melky Cabrera. Brett Gardner – who ran for Hairston – ended up scoring an insurance run when Jorge Posada singled off of reliever Chan Ho Park.
Andy Pettitte will square off against Cole Hamels at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Saturday night in Philadelphia. And as it stands now, it looks like we could see a rematch of Game 1 on Sunday night, as CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee are penciled in to start in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night. This is really turning into the Classic Epic World Series Battle that we hoped for…
Monday, October 26th, 2009 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments
The World Series is finally back in New York. The Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2 on Sunday night to advance to their 40th World Series in franchise history. If the Yankees can defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 Fall Classic, it will be the Yankees 27th World Championship.
Andy Pettitte pitched a solid game in Game 6 of the ALCS – 1 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk in 6 1/3 innings pitched. Pettitte struck out 6 Angels batters and he won his 16th career post-season game – a major league record. Joba Chamberlain retired the only 2 batters he faced in the 7th inning to get Pettitte and the Yankees out of a “mini” 1-out, 1-on “jam” to preserve the Yankees 3-1 lead. And Mariano Rivera came on for his “typical” 6-out save, although he did give up a run on 2 singles to Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero in the 8th inning. But Rivera worked a perfect 1-2-3 9th inning, striking out Gary Matthews, Jr. to end the game and send the Yankees faithful into a tizzy.
After falling behind 1-0 on a Bobby Abreu RBI single in the 3rd inning, the Yankees rallied to take the lead for good with 3 runs in the 4th inning. Two walks and a single from a patient Yankees lineup loaded the bases with just 1 out. Johnny Damon delivered a clutch 2-run single to left, and then after a Mark Teixeira single loaded the bases again, Angels starter Joe Saunders walked Alex Rodriguez to force in a run. Just like that, the Yankees led 3-1 and they could taste another AL pennant. When the Angels cut the Yankees lead to 3-2 with a run off Rivera in the 8th inning, the Yankees answered right back in the bottom of the inning. Robinson Cano led off with another walk just like he did in the 4th inning. Then the Angels defense deserted them again. Nick Swisher reached on a Howie Kendrick error and then Scott Kazmir threw away Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt allowing Cano to score from 2nd base. The Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and after a Derek Jeter ground out and a Damon walk, Teixeira drove in the game’s final run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
Yankees 5, Angels 2. Game over…
The Yankees will host the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night. The $201 million payroll – the largest in all of baseball – finally delivered a shot at a World Series to George Steinbrenner and the Yankee brass – it has been 6 years since the Yankees have played in the Fall Classic. Alex Rodriguez – in his 16-year MLB career – is finally going to get to play in his 1st World Series. After struggling in his post-season performance to date, A-Rod delivered in 2009 – .438 batting average, 5 home runs and 12 RBI’s in the Yankees 9 playoffs games in 2009. CC Sabathia – the Yankees high-priced ace – will square off against his former Cleveland Indians teammate Cliff Lee on Wednesday night. Both pitchers have been “lights-out during the playoff in 2009. Sabathia is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 3 starts (3 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 22 2/3 innings pitched). Lee is 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in 3 starts (2 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 24 1/3 innings pitched). Should be a classic battle – wouldn’t it be great to see these 2 duke it out in Games 1, 4 and 7?! Can’t wait. We’ll have our predictions over the next 2 days leading up to Wednesday’s contest.