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The Rest of the World Series

Well, I never wrote specific commentaries for the rest of the games of the World Series for two reasons. Well, first, I had family in town to visit for my son’s Baptism, which was this past Saturday. With them in town, I didn’t have much time to write, and then on the last day they were here, I got sick. Pretty sick – I had spiked a fever as high as 102.8. Today is the first day I’ve not had a fever since, but I’m still pretty “hazy” in my head, so I won’t write much.
I’m disappointed that my Phillies didn’t repeat, and I’m doubly disappointed it was to the Yankees. Unfortunately, my early playoff prediction turned out right. Yankees over Phillies in 6. Sigh. Yeah, I could take solace that my hometown team was in the World Series two years in a row. But it would have been so nice to WIN twice in a row, something that still hasn’t been done in a little over 30 years in the NL.
Congrats to Chase Utley for tying Reggie Jackson for most home runs in single World Series (5).
The other thing is that former Rangers Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, & Jerry Hairson, Jr (!?!?) have World Series rings now. :(
Anyway, this is the last update for the “2009 Game Updates” series. I’m not in the mood to retroactively write updates for the games I missed – much less Game 6 where it was over.

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WS G2: Yankees bounce back against Phillies, win 3-1

Normally, I don’t write about games the Yankees win, but this is the World Series, I kind of have to. :)
Game two of the World Series goes to the Yankees. To be honest, I figured the teams would leave the Bronx tied. Obviously, I would have preferred my Phillies take 2-0, but it pretty much turned out the way most people expected.
On paper, I thought the Phillies had a good chance if Pedro could hold up. He had a great game in LA, but somehow I didn’t think he’d be like that again. He wasn’t, but he was still pretty good. AJ Burnett I saw as the weak point in the rotation, I figured we could get to him. We didn’t. Their lines:
Pedro: 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 8K, 2BB
Burnett: 7IP, 4H, 1ER, 9K, 2BB
Pedro gave up solo home runs to Texieira & Matsui, which was all they needed. The Yankees tacked on another run later, but the last two innings were pitched by Mariano Rivera, who didn’t give up anything (although he had a somewhat shaky 8th).
Jayson Werth was picked off first base by the catcher, which was embarrassing, and seemed to issue a change in tone for the game at that point.
Both teams benefited by a bad call. The Yankees by a called DP where replays showed the Philly runner was safe. The Phillies by that lineout double play that was really a short hop that Howard “caught”.
Really odd to see Jeter bunt with two strikes. That makes me wonder. You can foul off 50 pitches, and it stays strike two. You tap at one, and you’re out. Who decided that?
Finishing off with Pedro, I felt he shouldn’t have been out there for the 7th. I think he should have been done after six, and some national media were saying after 5. But overall, his line was not bad at all. Really.
Looking forward to the games in Philly. My family is in town for my son’s baptism this weekend, so we’ll be watching the games here.

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WS G1: Lee & Utley take down Yankees, 6-1

OK, my Phillies are back in the World Series. Against the Yankees. Back when the playoffs started, I kind of thought it would be these two. Even went so far as to predict the Yankees would take it in six, because I didn’t think the Phillies would have enough after Cliff Lee to take the Bronx team down. There’s still a ton of time for that prediction to come through, but man, do I feel better after Game 1 of the World Series.
Cliff Lee v CC Sabathia. Despite all the hype coming in about how this series would be nothing but 9-7 games with multiple home runs in each game, that is NOT what we got. Sabathia pitched pretty darned good (7IP, 4H, 2ER, 6K), but Cliff Lee was way better. Lee threw a complete game, allowed no earned runs (there was one unearned run in the 9th), allowed only six hits (three to Jeter), and struck out ten, while walking nobody. He was seriously dominant, and the only blip was in the ninth, when he allowed two hits to start the inning. That was the ONLY time the Yankees had more than one runner on at a time in the entire game. Lee was just filthy. He struck out Jeter swinging to start the game, and it pretty much set the stage.
Outside of Jeter, who had three hits, the Yankees scattered only three others. Singles by Damon, Posada, & Matsui were it. One of Jeter’s hits was a double, everything else was a single. Other strikeout highlights were Mark Teixeira fanning twice, and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, who has been tearing it up this offseason so far returned to the A-Rod of playoffs past. When he was nicknamed “The Chiller”, and couldn’t hit jack. That’s what happened tonight. Arod went 0-4 with three strikeouts! It was really the playoff A-Rod of old, was a great sight to see! Jorge Posada, who is in the game mostly because of offensive reasons (according to some national press) also struck out twice, so the 3-4-5 slots struck out seven times in 12 at bats! WOW.
The Phillies early on wasted a chance I thought to REALLY set a done. Sabathia walked two around a double by Ryan Howard. That loaded the bases, but Raul Ibanez grounded out, scoring nobody. This is pretty much the way it stayed until the third when Chase Utley eeked a ball over the right field fence for a home run, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. This must have pissed off Sabathia, as he struck out several more batters after that, and retired I believe eight in a row after the home run until Utley came up again in the sixth, this time tattooing another ball over the fence, only that one was a no doubter, for a 2-0 Phillies lead.
The Phillies got into the soft underbelly of the Yankees – their middle relief. In the 8th and 9th, the Yankees used five different pitchers, and in those innings, they gave up four runs. Two in the 8th, and two in the 9th. The ones in the 8th came when Raul Ibanez got a second chance with the bases loaded, and delivered that time with a single to right. The runs in the ninth came on a single and a double, but the Yankee pitchers were having some issues late.
As if Lee’s pitching wasn’t enough, his defense was up there, too. Had a rather blase catch of a popup to the mound early, and then later on caught a liner up the middle behind his back. You can catch video of both of these plays here.
It was quite a good game, despite the 6-1 score. Both starters pitched well, but fortunately, the Phillies guy pitched better, and that led us to the win, no doubt.
While I hold no illusions that Pedro Martinez will pitch like Lee did tonight, I do wonder what we’ll get out of him. Pedro is an enigma in 2009, he’s not what he was, and guys like that who start to play the bounce around game with teams usually get toasted from time to time. I really hope that’s not Thursday.