Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Phillies Chase Yankees Home Field Advantage, Quick-Lee...

Two swings of Chase Utley's bat, and many swings and misses by Yankees hitters, that added up to a 6-1 win for Philadelphia in Game One of the World Series. Utley hit 2 home runs off of CC Sabathia, and Cliff Lee went the distance for the second time this post season. He allowed just 6 hits, walked none and struck out 10. He's now 3-0, with a 0.54 ERA in the playoffs. Lee struck out Alex Rodriguez three times, holding him hitless in 4 at bats in game one.

The Yankees have to be asking themselves what it might be like to possibly face the lefty Lee 2 more times. Sabathia lost for the first time in the playoffs this year, and didn't pitch badly, he just didn't get any offensive support and exited the game after 7 innings. That's when the lead was only 2-0 Phillies, and that's when the game turned. The Yankees bullpen imploded. The combination of Hughes, Marte, Robinson, Bruney, and Coke gave up 4 earned runs over 2 innings and it was pretty much over. Remember that one of the keys I brought up yesterday was getting the game to Mariano Rivera. If the Yankees can't find a way to do that, they could be in trouble.

Utley by the way, set a new post season record by reaching in his 26th straight playoff game. He failed to reach in his very first game in 2007, and has reached in every one since.

Game 2...
The Yankees won't have to wait long to try and even up the series. Game two is Thursday night in the Bronx. AJ Burnett will try to turn things around, after a rough outing in Anaheim last week as the Yankees couldn't close out the Angels that night. Pedro Martinez will go for the Phillies. He is no stranger to pitching in New York, he had some memorable games against the Yankees, while pitching for the Red Sox.

All the pressure in Game 2, squarely falls on Burnett. The Yankees and their three man rotation has usually featured a win by Sabathia, allowing Burnett and Pettitte a little margin for error. Not Thursday night. Burnett needs a strong 7 or more likely 8 innings to get things to Rivera. Joe Girardi is probably sleeping on whether or not to use Rivera for 2 innings like he did in the clincher against the Angels.

For Martinez he'll make his first career start at the New Yankee Stadium, but he won't be phased. Pedro is a career 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA against the Yankees in New York. He has made only 1 post season start this season, he didn't figure in the decision against the Dodgers in the NLCS. He went seven scoreless innings in that start. That's the last time he's pitched, so the 38 year old should be fresh and ready to go.

Umps get one right...
I know I'm not alone in beating up the umps this post-season, and I've certainly pointed out when they've blown calls, now it's time to point out one they got right. Give this crew some credit. With Yankee runner at first, in the 5th inning, Robinson Cano hit a sinking liner to Rollins, he made the catch on the line, just to be certain he stepped on second and then threw wide to first pulling Ryan Howard off of first (maybe). Matsui the runner at first, believing he'd been forced at 2nd, stopped running, and Rollins noticed it, yelling to Howard to tag Matsui. He did. Now at first, the umps ruled only one out. They huddled, all six of them, and then realized that if Rollins made the catch, the touch of second was a non factor, and Matsui was off the bag at first, for a very strange 6-3 double play. Way to get it right guys. Congratulations.

This was the first World Series matchup of Cy Young winners, since Greg Maddux (Atlanta) faced Orel Hershiser (Cleveland) in 1995.

The last six teams to win the series opener, have gone on to win the World Series Title.

Sex for tix?
Police in Philadelphia arrested a woman for offering "sexual services for world series tickets" in an on line ad. The 43-year old self described "buxom blonde" was trying to 'score' tickets on line to take her husband to a Phillies WS game. She was arrested when she showed up at a bar, and met up with an undercover police officer who responded to the ad. Her lawyer is trying to get the charges dropped.

On that note. Have a great night!


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