Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Game 1

- Cliff Lee was outrageous. Complete game, zero earned runs, 10 strikeouts, no walks, didn't allow a runner to third base until the ninth inning with a 6-0 lead. An all-time all-time performance from the Phils new lefty ace. Lee looked almost bored, like he was toying with the Yankees, and was as loose as anyone could possibly be, non-chalantly catching a pop-up and then tagging Jorge Posada on the butt for an out in the middle innings. Lee had excellent command of all of his pitches, moved the ball around, changes speeds, disrupted timing, and was just dominant. He has allowed two earned runs in 31.1 innings in the 2009 playoffs. What a game from Lee.

- Chase Utley appeared to benefit from the extended time off. Two bombs off C.C. Sabathia, only the second lefthanded hitter to hit two home runs in a World Series game against a lefthanded pitcher, joining some guy named Babe Ruth. The other great thing about Utley, after both of his home runs, he touched home plate and walked back to the dugout like he was the baddest mother out there. In the words of the late, great Harry Kalas "Chase Utley, you are the man!"

- Utley's game was the 19th multi-homer performance in World Series history. Three of these now belong to Phillies, following Ryan Howard's two in game four of the 2008 series against Tampa Bay and Lenny Dykstra in game four in 1993 against Toronto.

- Sabathia pitched well, just not well enough, proving the old playoff adage that you don't have to pitch well, you have to win. While he didn't get roughed up like he did against the Phillies in the playoffs last season, the Phils did make him work very hard and ran up his pitch count, forcing him out of the game after seven innings. The game broadcast seemed to indicate that C.C.'s ability to come back on short rest for game four would be dependent upon how game one went... so, now we'll wait and see.

- Joe Girardi can't like what he saw from his non-Rivera relievers. Five pitchers combined to throw two innings, giving up five hits, three walks and four runs. Only Damaso Marte even looked servicable out of the group.

- Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino were on base four times between them and scored three runs. When those two, especially Rollins, get on base and score, the Phillies are virtually unbeatable.

- Raul Ibanez looked bad against C.C. Sabathia, striking out twice and grounding out to second on a ball out of the strike zone on a 3-1 count with the bases loaded and two out in the first inning. Ibanez made up for it in the eighth, however, when his two-out, two-strike, bases loaded single through the right side off David Robertson scored two and gave the Phils two crucial tack-on runs, pushing the score to 4-0.

- Umpiring, which has been terrible all postseason, got a potentially controversial call right in game one, properly determining that Rollins had caught a flare by Robinson Cano on the fly and then doubled Hideki Matsui off of first. The men in blue needed a lengthy meeting to get it right, but ultimately they did, which is all you can ask for.

- In game one, the Yankees 3-4-5 hitters went 0-12 with seven strikeouts. The Phillies 3-4-5 went 5-11 with two homers, three RBI, three walks and two runs scored.

- Derek Jeter was the only Yankee who had a good night, tallying three of the six Yankee hits and scoring the only run.

- Carlos Ruiz (Senor Octubre) continued his hot hitting, ripping another double into the gap off of Brian Bruney in the ninth, and eventually came around to score the Phils fifth run.

- The Phils had one real opportunity to run on Posada in game one, with Rollins easily taking second with Victorino at the plate.

- Pedro Feliz is lost at the plate. He has no idea what he's doing up there, and pitchers don't even have to work very hard to get him out right now. In the words of Earl Weaver, "If you think you're going to hit into a double play, do the right thing and strike out."

- He's still making some nice plays defensively, however.

- For game two, Pedro Martinez could pitch great, like he did against the Dodgers in game two in Los Angeles, or he could get lit up and not make it to the third inning. I have no earthly idea. The ball hasn't carried as well in New York as it did throughout the regular season, but Pedro did give up alot of fly balls to the Dodgers. However, they were lazy fly balls that wouldn't go out of any park. But, the Yankees lineup is much better than the Dodgers. I could argue with myself about this all day. All of which to say again, I have no idea what to expect out of Pedro.

- A.J. Burnett takes the ball in game two for the Yankees. Like Pedro, I doubt anyone feels any confidence regarding what Burnett will do in game two. Burnett has the tendency to get erratic, and if he's wild in the strike zone, he could give up a lot of hard hit balls early. However, if he locates his pitches, Burnett could have an outstanding game.

- So, I won't be surprised if game two is 2-1 or if it's 10-8.

- Game two is Burnett's first ever World Series appearance, and a lot (read: A LOT) of pressure is on his shoulders. If the Yankees lose game two, they will head to Philadelphia for three games trailing 0-2 and knowing they will have to start Chad Gaudin on the mound at some point. Gaudin can likely only give the Yankees five innings max, as he is not stretched out, and he has a tendency to get rocked by lefthanders, which the Phillies (Rollins and Victorino switch, Utley, Howard, Ibanez) have no shortage of. That would be dicey for the Yankees.

- Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the Phils closing out the Rays in the continuation of game five of the World Series. A win in Thursday's game two would go a long way towards winning their second title in a row.

1 comment:

  1. A WOW game deserves a WOW review -- and yours delivers, Andy! I agree -- I think the pressure is clearly on the Yanks to win. It will be close. Should be a fantastic game . . . maybe one of the best, according to the ESPN talking heads. Hope Pedro Martinez delivers. He's at least familiar with pitching in the hostile environs of Yankee Stadium (albeit, a new stadium . . . but the crowd and the team are the same). Am cheering with you and Carrie . . . all the way from northern KY. GO PHILLIES -- from Hugh