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.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments
Talk about a gutsy performance – I was shocked (on so many different levels) to see the Angels defeat the Yankees 7-6 to push the ALCS back to the Bronx for Game 6 on Saturday night.
First: I could not believe how the Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead before even recording their 1st out in the 1st inning. Torii Hunter’s big 2-run single seemed to relax the rest of the team and electrify the Angels fans. The place went nuts, and when Vladimir Guerrero and Kendry Morales got hits to drive in 2 more runs, I thought I was back on the east coast in Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. That set the tone for what looked to be an easy Angels win.
Second: But then it all went wrong in the 7th inning. John Lackey, who had allowed just 5 hits to the Yankees through 6 innings, seemed to implode. After Lackey got the 1st out, he gave up a double to Melky Cabrera. Lackey thought he had struck out Jorge Posada, but the home plate umpire called the 3-2 pitch a ball – instead of man on 2nd 2 outs, it was now 1st and 2nd with just 1 out. Lackey lost all focus when he walked Derek Jeter to load the bases, and even after he got the 2nd out of the inning on a Johnny Damon fly out, Manager Mike Scioscia opted to go with a lefty reliever – Darren Oliver – to turn Mark Teixeira around to his “weaker” right side of the plate. Teixeira ended up delivering a 3-run double that cut the Angels lead to 1. After intentionally walking Alex Rodriguez, Oliver served up a Hideki Matsui run-scoring single that tied the game at 4. The Angels still had a chance to get out of the inning all even, but another Scioscia move backfired when K Jepsen gave up a rocket triple to Robinson Cano that brought home 2 runs to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead. You could have heard a pin drop in the stadium as the Yankees players were going nuts in their dugout. Game over, right? No way the Angels could rebound from this disaster – they would go quietly with their final 9 outs and the Yankees would advance to yet another World Series to take on the Philadelphia Phillies who had already disposed of the Los Angeles Dodgers in ho-hum 5-game NLCS for the 2nd year in a row.
Third: A.J. Burnett has settled down after his awful 1st inning, but he let 2 Angels reach base to start the bottom of the 7th inning, and it was Manager Joe Girardi’s turn to remove his starter for a bad reliever. Damaso Marte gave up a sacrifice to Chone Figgins and then got Bobby Abreu to ground out for the 2nd run of the inning. The Angels scored a run to cut the lead to 6-5, but there 2 outs and Phil Hughes could get that final out for the Yankees. Think again… Hughes promptly walked Torii Hunter to put the go-ahead run on base. Then he gave up Vladimir Guerrero’s game-tying single that scored Erick Aybar. Kendry Morales then drove in Hunter with the go-ahead run to give the Angels a 7-6 lead, but would it be enough.
Fourth: Brian Fuentes had blown a save before in the series – on A-Rod’s solo home run way back in the 11th inning of Game 2 that the Yankees ultimately won in 13 innings. Fuentes had to go through the heart of the Yankees order 2-3-4 to record the save. But the baseball gods wouldn’t let the Angels get this far just to have Fuentes blow it, would they?! Well Fuentes sure made it interesting, even after he recorded the 1st 2 outs of the inning. Fuentes then intentionally walked A-Rod – great move Scioscia (seriously!) – but then he walked Matsui and hit Cano to load the bases. What in the hell is going on here? Here we go again – another come-from-behind win for the Yankees as we are forced to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver get all goo-goo over how good the Yankees are at erasing leads late in games. But my prayers were answered – Fuentes got Nick Swisher to pop out to left field and the Angels lived to see another day.
And I get another day (2 actually) to hope that the Yankees somehow blow this 3 games to 1 lead over the Angels to let the Angels battle the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Gotta love October baseball…