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Posts Tagged ‘WORLD SERIES’

Posted by at 11:52 pm ET 191 Comments

What happened?

The Yankees defeated the Phillies to win the World Series, 4-2.

Who did what?

Pedro Martinez (L, 0-2) allowed four runs on three hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out five.

Ryan Howard went 1 for 4 with a homer (1) and two RBIs.

Carlos Ruiz went 2 for 2 with a triple (1) and a run.

Andy Pettitte (W, ) allowed three runs on four hits in five and two-thirds. He walked five and struck out three.

Derek Jeter went 3 for 5 with a double (3) and two runs.

Mark Teixiera went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Hideki Matsui went 3 for 4 with a double (1), a homer (3) and six RBIs.

What does this mean?

Well, that’s it, Phillies fans.

Andy Pettitte bested Pedro Martinez and the Phillies as the New York Yankees took game six of the World Series to claim their 27th title in history.

Both pitchers exchanged scoreless innings in the first, but that’s where Pedro’s success would end. He walked Alex Rodriguez on four pitches to begin the second, and then allowed a two-run homer to Hideki Matsui after a lengthy at-bat.

The Phillies plated one in the third, after Carlos Ruiz tripled and was then knocked in by Jimmy Rollins, but the Yankees would add two more in the bottom half of the inning, when Matsui roped a two-out, bases loaded single to center to increase the lead to three runs.

The Yankees would add three more in the bottom of the fifth, while the Phillies cut into it in the top of the sixth on a two-run homer from Howard to cut the lead to 7-3.

It would be all the offense that the Phillies could muster, however, as the Yankees bullpen would toss four plus innings of scoreless relief, culminating in an inning and two-thirds from Mariano Rivera.

And just like that, the season is over.

At first, this recap felt like an obituary. Here lies the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies, it started out with. That theme continued for about 50 or so words, until I realized something: It’s wrong.

It’s wrong, and I’ll tell you why: 2009 wasn’t the death of something. These Phillies aren’t getting taken apart from a fire sale spurred on by cheap management. There are no pending free agents that anchor the team, and the owner doesn’t have a beef with the skipper.

For the most part, this team is going to be back in 2010.

So that’s where we are. A team that lost the World Series to continue an improbable, glorious run that dates back to April of 2008. A team that fought through adversity and tragedy and triumph and sorrow and glee and more. A team that won’t go away quietly. A team that won’t die.

So here they are; their 2009 hopes drowned in champagne stains and confetti clouds.

But that run doesn’t stop on a chilly November night in the Bronx.

It’s where it starts.

A new season starts now. Today. On a chilly night in November, after losing the last game of the season, is where it all begins.

What’s next for our 2008 National League Champions?

The 2010 season.

I want to use this space to thank each and everyone for reading these recaps in 2009. It was a helluva season to cut my teeth with as a member of the Fightins Dot Com, and the readers made it that much better. You made me feel welcome here, and for that I thank you all.

Posted by at 12:56 am ET 143 Comments

What happened?

Chase Utley drove in four behind a solid start from Cliff Lee to lead the Phillies to a victory to force game six in the World Series.

Who did what?

Cliff Lee (W, 2-0) allowed five runs on four hits in seven plus innings. He walked and struck out three.

Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 4 with a run.

Chase Utley went 2 for 3 with two homers (5) and four RBIs.

Jayson Werth went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Raul Ibanez went 2 for 4 with a homer (1) and two RBIs.

Ryan Madson (S, 1) struck out one and allowed one run in the ninth inning to earn the save.

A.J. Burnett (L, 1-1) allowed six runs on four hits in two innings. He walked four, hit one, and struck out two.

Johnny Damon went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI,

Alex Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with two doubles (3) and three RBIs.

What does this mean?

Cliff Lee does it again.

Lee pitched a gutty seven plus innings to earn his second win of the World Series, as the Phillies rolled past the Yankees to cut the lead to three games to two, forcing a game six in the Bronx, where the defending champs will once again be fighting for their post season lives.

The veteran lefty, who dazzled the Yankees to the tune of no earned runs over nine innings in game one, took the hill once again for the Phillies. Although he wasn’t as sharp as his previous effort, he held the American League’s best offense at bay long enough for the Phillies to build an early led en route to the victory.

Things didn’t start out so well for Lee, as he allowed one run on two hits in the top of the first inning, where his control was decidedly shaky.

The deficit wouldn’t last, as the Phillies pounced for three runs in the bottom of the frame, as Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino reached base in front of Chase Utley, who put the first pitch he saw into the left field seats to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

It would be all Phillies for most of the night, as they piled on three more runs in the bottom of the third, chasing starter A.J. Burnett before he could record an out in the inning.

The Yankees added one on an RBI groundout from Johnny Damon in the fifth, while the Phils added two of their own in their half of the seventh on two solo homers from Utley and Raul Ibanez to pad the lead at 8-2.

The insurance runs would prove to be vital, as the Yankees would score three in the top of the eighth on the strength of a two-RBI double from Alex Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly from Robinson Cano to cut the lead to three.

The Yankees would add a run in the top of the ninth off reliever Ryan Madson, but it’s all they would muster, as Madson would go on to strike out Mark Teixiera to end the game and preserve the win.

To call this game a must-win is an understatement, but it holds true nonetheless. After the gut wrenching loss that was game four, the Phillies needed to bounce back in a big way if they were to have any shot of winning the thing. They got that in the first, when Chase Utley rocketed his fourth World Series homer to give the Phillies the lead.

It was important for the offense not to let up, as Cliff Lee didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He was shaky in the first inning (well, shaky for Cliff Lee, that is), and he never really fell into that groove that made him so dominant in game one. However, it didn’t much matter, as the Yankees would fail to get anything going against him until the top of the eighth inning.

The Phillies’ bullpen did a great job of holding the lead, especially Madson, who turned a two-on, none out disaster in the ninth into a double play off the bat of Derek Jeter. He didn’t have his best, but it worked.

And now the Phillies have life. They turned the tide in their favor, as the bats broke out at the exact right time to help send the series back to New York. As such, the Phillies find themselves in a very fortuitous situation, because the Yankees will be sending Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia back to the hill on short rest for games six and seven, respectively.

While this is nothing new, Andy Pettitte isn’t a young man, and his start in game three didn’t exactly inspire confidence. In 14 career starts on three days rest, he is 4-6 with a  4.15 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.

And although C.C. Sabathia has been very good this October on short rest, you have to wonder when this will start to take a toll on him. The Phillies made him work in both starts, and if it gets to game seven, how much will the big man have in the tank?

For now, the Phillies can rest easy, as there is still more baseball to play.

What’s next for our heroes?

The Series shifts back to the Bronx, with Pedro Martinez (0-1, 2.08) taking on Andy Pettitte (3-0, 3.24)

Posted by at 1:16 am ET 370 Comments

What happened?

The Yankees rallied for three runs off Brad Lidge to take the fourth game of the series to take a 3-1 lead.

Who did what?

Joe Blanton (ND) allowed four runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.

Shane Victorino went

Chase Utley went

Pedro Feliz went 3 for 4 with a homer (1) and an RBI.

Brad Lidge (L, 0-1) allowed three runs on three hits in one inning. He struck out one.

C.C. Sabathia (ND) allowed three runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds. He walked three (two intentional) and struck out six.

Derek Jeter went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.

Johnny Damon went 3 for 5 with a double (2), two runs, and an RBI.

Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 4 with a double (1) and an RBI.

Jorge Posada went 1 for 3 with three RBIs.

Mariano Rivera (S, 3) pitched a perfect ninth inning to record the save.

What does this mean?

Brad Lidge needed one more out, and the offense needed one more run.

That’s all that had to happen for the Phillies to hand the ball to Cliff Lee in game five, with the chance to take the series lead before heading back into New York.

But this is the game of baseball, and things never quite go as planned. A two out, nobody on situation can very quickly turn into a game changing rally – a stark truth that many teams had to come to terms with this post season.

Tonight, it happened to the Phillies, and more specifically, Lidge.

After Pedro Feliz’s solo homer tied the game in the eighth, the Phillies were three defensive outs away from facing Phil Coke in the bottom of the ninth. Lidge took the hill, the first time since he closed out the Los Angeles Dodgers ten days ago, with a purpose: easy inning, easy inning, easy inning.

It certainly started out that way. Hideki Matsui popped up to shallow left. One away. Derek Jeter struck out on a nasty slider. Two away. Johnny Damon struck out, but Carlos Ruiz couldn’t hang on to the foul tip. After a nine pitch at-bat, he singled to left. Then he stole second, and then third. Mark Teixiera got hit by a pitch. Alex Rodriguez singled to left. 5-4, Yankees. Jorge Posada singled to left-center. 7-4, Yankees.

And that was it.

The Phillies were staring into the eyes of a ninth inning that saw them facing Phil Coke with the top of the order due. And in a matter of moments, they faced a three run deficit against Marino Rivera.

But that’s how baseball works: A victory can turn into a crushing defeat in an instant. Just ask the St. Louis Cardinals, who were one Matt Holliday error away from evening the NLDS. Or the Colorado Rockies, who were one strike away from forcing a game five against the Phillies. Or the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were one out away from a series tie in the NLCS.

In hindsight, the rest of the game was mostly trivial. Joe Blanton pitched well, despite giving up four runs. What the box score won’t tell you is that four of those five hits were bloops and bleeders. His opponent, C.C. Sabathia, wasn’t dominant, but he worked himself out of a few jams to keep the Phillies’ bats at bay.

And now the Phillies are staring at their first elimination game since 2007. The first time since October of 2008 that they might not wake up the next day with a baseball game to play. The first time that there might not be a tomorrow.

And the only thing that stands between is Cliff Lee.

What’s next for our heroes?

In game five of the series, Cliff Lee (3-0, 0.54) takes on A.J. Burnett (1-0, 3.55)

Posted by at 12:58 am ET 246 Comments

What happened?

Cole Hamels was ineffective in his third straight postseason start, as the Yankees won the third game of the series to take a 2-1 lead.

Who did what?

Cole Hamels (L, 0-1) allowed five runs on five hits in four and a third. He walked two and struck out three.

Jimmy Rollins went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Jayson Werth went 2 for 4 with two homers (2) and two RBIs.

Pedro Feliz went 1 for 4 with a double (1) and a run.

Carlos Ruiz went 1 for 2 with a homer (1), and an RBI.

Andy Pettitte (W, 1-0) allowed four runs on five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out seven. He went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Johnny Damon went 1 for 5 with a double (1) and a run.

Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 2 with a homer (1) and two RBIs.

Nick Swisher went 2 for 4 with a double (1), a homer (1) and an RBI.

What does this mean?

Another start from Cole Hamels, and another wistful glance to another time.

Despite setting down the Yankees early and often, Hamels ran into trouble in the fourth inning, which was the beginning of the end for the struggling lefty. After allowing a two-run homer to Alex Rodriguez, he allowed three more runs to score in the fifth before he was pulled after recording one out in the inning.

And this time, it wasn’t a lingering injury or a botched play by the middle infielders that spelled his demise. It was his curveball. The same curveball that has haunted Cole throughout the season, the same curveball that he just can’t quite get a handle on, and the same curveball that he used sparingly during the first go-round in this game.

Notwithstanding the homer by Rodriguez, which could have been a double, Hamels was still pitching a very good game. He was locating this fastball and using his changeup with the same level of effectiveness that made him so dominant during the 2008 campaign.

But it was during the top of the fifth inning, with the bottom of the order coming up, that Hamels lost control of the game. After getting ahead 0-2 on Nick Swisher, Hamels threw a hanging curve on a 2-2 count that Swisher roped for a double to left. Two batters later, Hamels tossed a curve on the first pitch to Andy Pettitte, who promptly deposited the offering into shallow center to tie the game at three.

From that moment on, it was all New York, as the Yankees took the lead and never looked back. The Phillies bullpen, which has been a strength for most of October, gave up three more runs , while the offense failed to do much of anything off a mediocre Yankees’ pen.

But the issue in this game, as it’s been the entire post season, is Cole Hamels. As good as he has looked in all of his starts, he can never quite get over the hump and capture the same success that saw him win the 2008 World Series MVP.

To be fair, Hamels looked very sharp for the first four innings. Even after he gave up the homer to A-Rod, he recorded two quick outs to end the inning. It appeared to be nothing more than a small hiccup in what looked to be a very solid start from Cole.

Unfortunately for Cole, the offense couldn’t bail him out, as they did in his previous two starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They took the early lead against Andy Pettitte, but any signs of life from the bats disappeared after the fifth inning, as they couldn’t get anything going against the Yankees bullpen.

As bad as this game was, the reality is that they are only down by one game. And if there is one thing that his team is good at, it’s rallying after a tough loss.

What’s next for our heroes?

In game four, the Phillies send Joe Blanton (0-0, 4.66) to the mound to take on C.C. Sabathia (3-1, 1.52).

Posted by at 12:08 am ET 84 Comments

In the fourth inning of tonight’s game, Cole Hamels was efficiently mowing down the New York Yankees, making his three run lead look more and more insurmountable with each pitch. After walking Mark Teixiera on an oh-so-close pitch (Fox Trax revealed it would have been the third strike), Hamels gave up a line drive to right field to Alex Rodriguez that appeared to carom off the top of the wall for a double.

Upon further review, it appeared the ball actually hit the right field camera. Joe Girardi argued the call, and the umpires would review it and overturn the original ruling to give A-Rod a homer.

It was the first case of instant replay being used in the World Series, and while it would ordinarily be a celebration of MLB actually doing something that is beneficial to the game, it would, in fact, further muddy the waters of what has been some already poor officiating in the postseason.

Why? See for yourself.


Photo courtesy Big League Stew

It appears that the camera is actually hanging over the metal fencing in right field, and seeing that A-Rod’s hit connected with the camera on the way down, it is quite plausible that the ball would have caromed off the top of the fence and back into play for a double.

However, the camera’s presence there makes a bad situation worse, as there is no way, not with the naked eye and the available angles, that the umpires could have determined that the ball would have left the yard. At least, not with any sort of conclusiveness.

What say you, readers? Was the camera in the field of play? Did it have an impact on A-Rod’s homer? Will the MLB ever have a postseason where Murphy doesn’t have tickets to every game? Will Wanda Sykes ever be funny?

Posted by at 11:29 pm ET 158 Comments

What happened?

A.J. Burnett shut down the Phillies offense as the Yankees took game two of the World Series to even it at one apiece.

Who did what?

Pedro Martinez (L, 0-1) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out eight.

Matt Stairs went

A.J. Burnett (W, 1-0 ) allowed one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out nine.

Mark Teixiera went 1 for 3 with a homer (1) and an RBI.

Hideki Matsui went 2 for 3 with a homer (1) and an RBI.

Jorge Posada went 1 for 1 with an RBI.

Mariano Rivera (S, 1) pitched two shutout innings to earn the save.

What does this mean?

Pedro was good, but A.J. was better.

Despite only allowing three runs in six plus innings, Pedro Martinez couldn’t quite capture the magic that saw him toss seven shutout innings in his only start in the NLCS. He was solid against a tough Yankees lineup, but one well placed pitch to Hedeki Matsui was all it took to derail his first World Series start since 2004.

After taking a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, Pedro allowed a leadoff homer to Mark Teixeira to even things at one. He worked a scoreless fifth, and after striking out Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to start the sixth, he allowed a solo shot to Matsui to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

It would be all the Yankees would need, as the Phillies would be unable to mount any offense the rest of the way. Their only run of the game came in the second inning, when Matt Stairs singled in Raul Ibanez to take a 1-0 lead.

A.J. Burnett was superb over seven innings, striking out nine and never giving the Phillies a chance to mount a serious threat.

Their best chance to strike came in the eighth inning, when Marino Rivera allowed a one out walk to Jimmy Rollins and a single to Shane Victorino to bring the go ahead run to the plate, in the form of Chase Utley. Utley worked the count full, but grounded into a double play to end the inning and the rally.

It was a solid showing for Pedro Martinez, but unfortunately, the offense couldn’t quite get the job done. With the series even at one, the fate of the Phillies falls into the hands of Cole Hamels, who has the arduous task of facing off against Andy Pettitte in game three on Saturday night.

What’s next for our 2009 National League Champions?

In game three of the World Series, Cole Hamels (1-1, 6.75) takes on Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.37).

Posted by at 12:09 am ET 59 Comments

What happened?

Cliff Lee dominated the Yankees over nine innings to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 lead in the World Series.

Who did what?

Cliff Lee (W, 1-0) allowed one unearned run on six hits in nine innings while striking out ten.

Jimmy Rollins went 1 for 4 with a run and a stolen base (1).

Shane Victorino went 1 for 4 with a run and an RBI.

Chase Utley went 2 for 4 with two homers (2) and two RBIs.

Ryan Howard went 2 for 5 with two doubles (2) and an RBI.

Raul Ibanez went 1 for 4 with two RBIs.

C.C. Sabathia (L, 0-1) allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out six.

Derek Jeter went 3 for 4 with a double (1) and a run.

What does this mean?

Eight down, three to go.

The Philadelphia Phillies, on the strength of Chase Utley’s bat and Cliff Lee’s arm, took the first game of the World Series as they defeated the Yankees by a score of 6-1.

With C.C. Sabathia on the mound, the Phillies knew that this date with destiny was sure to be an ardous one. But as the Phillies have proven, it’s not the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man.

The offense made C.C. work, as they worked themselves into deep counts to drive up his pitch count early on. But for all their patience, they came away empty handed in the early innings, as they left the bases loaded in the first.

They struck in the third inning on a solo shot by Chase Utley, but would be stifled by Sabathia, who would go on to set the next eight hitters down in order, until Utley found himself at the plate in the top of the sixth. With two strikes, Utley delivered another solo shot to pad the lead to 2-0.

It would prove to be all the offense the Phillies would need, but they would add two more in the top of the eighth on a two out, two run single from Raul Ibanez, and then two more in the ninth on RBI singles from Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard.

While the offense showed no signs up rust, it was Cliff Lee who stole the show in the Bronx. He was dominant against a superb Yankees lineup, allowing only one runner to reach second base in the first eight innings. He struck out 10 while not walking any.

Truthfully, the box score does not do any justice to Lee’s start. To put it bluntly, the Yankees never had a chance with him on the hill. From the first inning on, he absolutely owned them. As good as he was in his last start against the Dodgers, he was even better against the Yankees, in what could go down in the books as one of the greatest post season starts this decade.

With game one in the books, the Phillies now set their sights on game two, where they will send Pedro Martinez to the hill to take on A.J. Burnett. With the momentum on their side, they can put a hammerlock on the series with a strong showing in game two.

What’s next for our 2009 National League Champion heroes?

In game two, Pedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00) faces off against A.J. Burnett (0-0, 4.42).

Posted by at 12:28 am ET 119 Comments

First, let me say that I hope your respective teams’ off-seasons are going well. By now, Chipper Jones has probably bagged his fourth or fifth ten-point buck, and Jason Varitek is putting the finishing touches on his backswing. Sounds nice and relaxing, doesn’t it, and why not? Those fellas worked hard. They’re not sitting around feeling miserable about what might have been, so why should you?

Now, I’ve seen a few things here and there while perusing the ol’ blogosphere lately that have me a bit concerned. It seems that many of you who happen to be fans of teams like the Red Sox and the Mets have decided to root for the Phillies to beat the Yankees in this World Series. In your collective wisdom, you and others like you have reached the conclusion that because they are considered the lesser of two evils, the Phillies are worthy of your support.

Speaking as a Phillies fan, I would just like to say this in response: Take that support and cram it far, far up into your ass. We don’t want you rooting for our team. Fuck off. Really.

Read more »

Posted by at 11:24 am ET 5 Comments

Here we have the newest Adidas/Dick’s Sporting Goods collabo wherein Big Brown and Bossman Junior argue over which facet of their game was more beneficial to their team’s playoff success.

Howard contends you get to the Series with power, homers, and offense; while B.J. claims you need speed, stolen bases, and defense. Personally, I don’t think it matters how you get there, as long as your 3-4 hitters don’t hit a combined 3-for-37 once you finally do.

(A tip of my World Series Champion Phillies cap to Professer Cork Gaines of Rays Index)

Posted by at 2:27 am ET 1 Comment

While you were busy out Rocking the Vote, Vietnamese child laborers were making sure you could enjoy the Phils victory via candy-coated chocolates.

Now available, Phillies M&M’s! I’m pretty sure they do this for every team, and this isn’t as good as the Free Taco promotion, but the Phillies ones have World Series logos on ‘em.

I personally don’t care for candy. Let me know when they have other pill-shaped objects with Phillies logos on them. Those I’ll drop a couple Hamiltons on. So pop a couple of these babies in your freezer (next to the animal carcasses you plan to throw at Stephen Drew), they will only be made every 28 years.

Suck on these (more puns!!! OMGLOLZ!!) Tampa!

Wait a second, is there something missing on this next one?

Brian Knobbs’s fat ass will have to just settle for ordinary Tampa M&M’s.

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R.I.P Harry Kalas