Monday, November 2, 2009
The NY Yankees are 27 outs and Cliff Lee away from winning their 27th World Series. If the Yankees do win this title, the two plays that will forever be linked to this championship both involved Johnny Damon.
Game tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, two outs and Brad Lidge on the mound. Johnny Damon had one of his biggest at bats of his career. (Funny how is other biggest AB was his grand slam in Game 7 for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS.) Damon fought long and hard before finally driving a 3-2 pitch for a single. On the next pitch, Damon made one of the greatest plays of this World Series. Damon stole second base and then made the biggest heads up play in the history of the World Series. With no one covering third, Damon continued running and swiped third base.
This totally rattled Lidge, as he plunked Mark Teixeira to put runners on the corners for Alex Rodriquez.
A-Rod stepped up in the clutch on the biggest stage of the game. 2 weeks ago, that last sentence seem preposterous. A-Rod delivered with what he said was the biggest hit of his career. His go ahead RBI double put the Yankees on top on gave game's greatest closer the chance to put the Yankees up 3-1 in the series.
A-Rod only has 2 hits in the World Series, but his two hits maybe the two biggest hits of the series. His 2 run shot in Game 3 sparked the Yankees' bats as they ran away with Game 3. And last night's 2 out double was pure epic.
After A-Rod's homerun in Game 4, he was hit by a pitch twice. And then in his first at bat last night, Joe Blanton beamed A-Rod. That's dirty play by Charlie Manuel. If you're scared to pitch to A-Rod, intentionally walk him. You don't need to start anything but hitting him. And last night's play, the umpire warned both dugouts which basically meant that if C.C. Sabathia went a little too inside, he'd be thrown out. This is what the Phillies have resorted to.
The Phillies are a great team. They're defending champions. But the Yankees are the team coming up with the big plays in the clutch.
Joba Chamberlain came in the 8th inning and was looking like the Joba we all knew. He struck out the first 2 batters and got ahead of Pedro Feliz 1-2. But Feliz got a hold of a Joba fastball and sent it into the leftfield seats. Game tied 4-4. Joba went on to strike out the side, but it looked like his one mistake could have potentially lost the series.
Mariano Rivera has carried this team on his back. Last night was his 11th appearance in 13 of the Yankees' postseason games. In 14 1/3 innings, Rivera has 13 K's and a 0.63 ERA. Last night's 8 pitch save was his 39th career postseason save. He faced 3 batters last night, and not one ball left the infield. Mark Teixeira was responsible for all three put outs. In the last 2 games, Rivera has recorded 5 outs on 13 pitches. Can you say World Series MVP?
If the Yankees have the lead in the 7th inning tonight, does Girardi go to Rivera for a 9 out save?
The Yankees have a 3-1 series lead while Teixeira/A-Rod/Robinson Cano have a total of 5 hits! Hell, Andy Pettitte has as many hits in the series as Teixeira. But no matter how much Teixeira has struggled at the plate, his defense at first base has made up for his poor hitting.
What's been killing the Phillies? Ryan Howard is 3-17 in the series with 10 K's!