Tag:World Series
Posted on: October 30, 2009 12:57 am
Edited on: October 30, 2009 1:00 am
 

Rollins: It was 'tame and civilized' in NY

NEW YORK -- First he said Phillies in 5.

Now Jimmy Rollins is taking shots at the World Series atmosphere at Yankee Stadium.

Asked after the Yankees' 3-1 Game 2 win if this feels more like a World Series than last year did, Rollins responded, "When we get to Philly, it will."

Rollins said he expected more out of the Yankee fans.

"Our ballpark is so loud and rowdy, and I was really expecting some of that here," he said. "But it was tame and civilized, actually. You only heard one big cheer, on the home runs."

After Rollins' pre-Series prediction, you would have thought he'd have heard some New York venom. Instead, the fans seemed focused on Pedro Martinez, and even those "Who's your daddy?" chants sounded a little subdued.
Posted on: October 29, 2009 11:24 pm
 

All about Pedro? Burnett wins Game 2 for Yanks

NEW YORK -- The night seemed to be all about Pedro Martinez, from the moment he started warming up, with “Who’s your daddy?” echoing around Yankee Stadium.

Pedro against the Yankees. Pedro back at Yankee Stadium.

What about A.J. Burnett?

If not for Burnett, who pitched long enough and capably enough to hand the ball over to Mariano Rivera, the Yankees might well be down two games to none in this World Series, heading to Philadelphia for Game 3. Instead, they’re even in the series after a 3-1 Game 2 win, because Burnett quietly outpitched the guy who was getting all the attention.

While Pedro was giving up three runs in six innings -- not great, not awful -- Burnett allowed one run on four hits in his seven innings, with nine strikeouts. He kept the Yankees in the game long enough for Mark Teixeira to tie it with a fourth-inning home run, and for Hideki Matsui to put the Yankees ahead with his home run off Martinez in the sixth.

The Yankees gave Burnett $82.5 million last winter, but he inspired as much concern as confidence heading into the postseason.

What if CC Sabathia loses in Game 1? What if Burnett holds the Yankees’ season in his hands in Game 2?

Well, Sabathia did lose in Game 1 of the World Series. Burnett did hold the season in his hands.

Not only that, but the middle of the bullpen looked more vulnerable than ever. Alex Rodriguez, so hot in the first two rounds of the playoffs, was going 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the World Series.

There was little margin for error, and Burnett delivered.

He had help from Jose Molina, his personal catcher, who picked off Jayson Werth at a key moment of the game in the fourth inning. But Burnett retired 11 of 12 batters from that point on, and he did what any Yankee starter hopes to do -- hand the ball directly to Rivera.

The great Rivera did have an eighth-inning scare, when a walk to Jimmy Rollins and a Shane Victorino single put two runners on base with one out. But Rivera got Game 1 hero Chase Utley to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Posted on: October 29, 2009 3:52 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 3:58 pm
 

Game 2: Yankees play Hairston in Swisher's spot

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi has made a lineup change for Game 2 of the World Series, dropping Nick Swisher in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr.

Girardi cited Hairston's track record against Pedro Martinez. Hairston is 10 for 27 against Martinez, with no RBIs, although the most recent of those at-bats was five years ago.

Swisher has struggled in the postseason, with a .114 batting average in 35 at-bats.

Girardi also went with Jose Molina as his catcher, as he has done whenever A.J. Burnett has started in the postseason.

Posted on: October 27, 2009 5:07 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2009 6:01 pm
 

Predictions and frills: Hey, it's New York

NEW YORK -- Last year's World Series had its moments.

Cold, rainy moments. Cowbell moments.

This World Series is already different. Or did you miss Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins' made-for-the-tabloids pick of Phillies in 5? Did you miss the front page of Tuesday's New York Post , with Phils outfielder Shane Victorino pictured wearing a dress, and the headline: "The Frillies are coming to town"?

"They didn't even give him nice legs," Rollins complained, looking at the Victorino cover. "I was like, 'Shane, what did you do?'"

The Rollins prediction shouldn't come as a big surprise. He's the same guy who -- correctly, it turned out -- said in spring training 2007 that the Phils were "the team to beat" in the National League East.

Now he says Phillies in 5, explaining that the Yankees will "find a way to win" one game, and that the Phillies want to win the World Series at home.

"That's the way I feel," he said.

The way the Phillies feel seems to be that this World Series is better than last year's, that it's more real because we're in New York rather than Florida and because it's the Yankees and not the Rays.

"Nothing compares to this," reliever Scott Eyre said. "This is the most storied franchise in sports. I had a lot of calls about tickets last year, but nothing like this -- and it's all because of the NY.

"To me, if you win a World Series against the Yankees, that's the ideal."

Or, as Phils manager Charlie Manuel said, "I think we need to play the Yankees."

Posted on: October 27, 2009 3:31 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2009 4:34 pm
 

Hinske -- of course -- makes it back to Series

NEW YORK -- Was there one moment that guaranteed that the Yankees would be in the World Series this year?

"You bring [Eric] Hinske here, you're going to the World Series," Johnny Damon said with a smile the other day.

Hinske can't take much credit for getting the Yankees past the Twins and the Angels in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but maybe Damon was onto something. Hinske played in the 2007 World Series with the Red Sox, and in the 2008 World Series with the Rays.

The streak seemed sure to end when Hinske signed with the Pirates, but then Pittsburgh traded him to the Yankees.

And now, the New York Post reports that Hinske will be added to the Yankees' active roster for the World Series (replacing Freddy Guzman).

So Hinske will be back, playing in a third straight World Series.

"It's cool," Hinske said. "The Pirates kept me informed about trade talks, and when they said I was going to the Yankees, I knew I had a chance."

It makes sense for the Yankees to add Hinske for the World Series, because they will need pinch hitters for the three games played in Philadelphia. Guzman was only used as a second pinch runner, after Brett Gardner.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 27, 2009 12:59 pm
 

The House of Rain

NEW YORK -- It's raining at Yankee Stadium today.

Of course.

The Weather Channel says there's a 50 percent chance it'll be raining at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when the first pitch of the 2009 World Series is supposed to be thrown.

Of course.

The Yankees have played five home games this postseason. One was postponed by rain. Three others were threatened by rain.

It rained here back in April, on the day they opened the new Yankee Stadium for its first exhibition game. It rained in May, when the Red Sox visited for the first time (forcing a 9:22 p.m. first pitch and a 1:10 a.m. final out).

It has rained here just about every day since.

So yes, it's raining again today, and it could well rain again Wednesday.

But if they say there's only a 50-50 chance, we'll take it. That's better than usual. Usually, it's at least 70-30 that it rains.
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 23, 2009 2:35 pm
 

Does the long ALCS benefit the Phils?

In the Phillies' celebration the other night, there were many questions asked about the Yankees.

And there was one answer that made the most sense.

"I'd love to see CC throw one more time [in the ALCS]," Phils Game 5 winner Chad Durbin said.

CC Sabathia is the one Yankee who has made the biggest difference so far against the Angels, with two wins already and with his looming presence in a Game 7 hanging over the series. For all Alex Rodriguez has done, the Yankees have three wins and in two of them, Sabathia has pitched 16 innings while allowing just two runs.

Sabathia could be the difference-maker in the World Series, too, but only if the Yankees are able to start him in Wednesday's Game 1. With fewer off days in the World Series than there are in the second round, the only way for a pitcher to realistically start three games is to start Games 1, 4 and 7.

If the Angels win Saturday to force a Game 7 -- or if Game 6 is rained out Saturday and the Yankees choose to start Sabathia on Sunday night on regular rest -- then Sabathia would not be ready for Game 1. The Yankees have started him on short rest before, but Sunday to Wednesday is only two days' rest, and there's no way they try that.

No matter what -- barring three or four days of rain -- the Phillies will have six days off between series. Before last year, that would have been seen as a problem. The Tigers crumbled with six days off before the 2006 World Series, and the Rockies blamed their eight-day layoff for their poor performance against the Red Sox in 2007.

But the Phillies had six days off last year, and it actually worked to their advantage. They set up their pitching just as they wanted it, and the Rays admitted they weren't fully ready for the World Series to begin after going seven tough games with Boston in the ALCS.

So you can bet the Phillies were thrilled to see the Angels win Game 5 on Thursday -- and that they'll be even happier if the Angels win Game 6 on Saturday night.

*****

For the Yankees and their fans, the 2004 ALCS collapse is always in the back of their minds, the same way that the 1964 collapse always sits in the Phillies' organizational memory.

But the Yankees situation in 2009 feels less like Yankees 2004 than it does like Cubs 2003.

The Cubs took a three games to one lead on the road in Florida, then lost Game 5. Because they still had Mark Prior and Kerry Wood available for Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field, the NLCS felt over -- just as it still does now, with the Yankees going home and having Sabathia available if needed for Game 7.

Prior was 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 2003, and by that time he had already added playoff wins over the Braves and Marlins. Wood had 14 regular-season wins, and two more in the postseason.

As all of us (and Steve Bartman) know, the Cubs didn't win Game 6 or Game 7.

*****

Overall, Andy Pettitte has been OK, but not great, in starts where his team has a chance to clinch a postseason series. He has made 10 such starts, going 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA (compared to his overall postseason ERA of 3.90, and his career regular-season ERA of 3.91). His teams (the Yankees, and the 2005 Astros) are 6-4 in those 10 games.

But Pettitte has also started twice in the exact situation he'll face Saturday: Pitching Game 6, with his team leading the series four games to two.

Both times, his team lost.

The first was in the 2001 World Series, and Pettitte lasted just two innings in a 15-2 Diamondbacks rout.

The second? The 2003 ALCS, which one night later became known as the Aaron Boone series. Pettitte gave up four runs in five innings in Game 6, departing with a 6-4 lead that the Yankee bullpen couldn't hold.
Posted on: July 14, 2009 6:45 pm
 

Verlander returns to Busch

ST. LOUIS -- The roar of the Busch Stadium crowd carried Justin Verlander back.

Back to October 2006, when Verlander’s Tigers lost to the Cardinals in the World Series.

“It’s hard not to think about it,” Verlander said. “It was such a magical season. Yesterday, walking out with a packed stadium and people going crazy, this was a similar atmosphere to the World Series.”

The Tigers lost all three games at Busch Stadium. Verlander was the losing pitcher in Game 5, and his fourth-inning error helped the Cardinals take the lead.

That night, Verlander said: ``Hopefully we look back in just a few years and see that this was a building block for our organization. Maybe it becomes a dynasty. Who knows? Could be."

Verlander still hasn’t won a game at Busch Stadium. In an interleague game last month, he allowed five runs in four innings in an 11-2 loss.
Verlander pitched for the Tigers on Sunday, so there’s a good chance he won’t appear in the All-Star Game. American League manager Joe Maddon said heplans to hold back Verlander, Josh Beckett (who also pitched Sunday) and Tim Wakefield in case of extra innings.



 
 
 
 
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