The Yankees finished off the Phillies last night in a 7-3 win, highlighted by Hideki Matsui’s six RBIs, which tied the World Series record for one game held by Yankee Bobby Richardson in 1960. His batting average for the series was .615, third highest in history trailing only Mickey Hatcher(.750) and babe Ruth(.625).
The result: Series MVP, the first Japanese born player to take the honor. Well deserved too, I might add. He nearly hit the cycle, lacking only the triple to accomplish it, driving in two RBIs on each of the three hits.
Cliff Lee wasn’t quite as impressive last night as game one, but he still pitched a great game. He gave up a couple of hits and a run in the top of the first, but the Phillies came back with three in the bottom of the inning, the topper being Utley’s fourth home run of the series. Lee gave up a few more hits and a couple of walks before leaving in the eighth inning. He was eventually charged with five runs.
Utley got his fifth homer of the series to tie Reggie Jackson for the most, five, in the World Series. He still has one game, possibly two, to break that.
The Philles had a small problem in the ninth with runners on first and third with no outs, but got Jeter to hit into a double play that gave up the Yankees fifth run. But they closed out the game with a strike out of Teixeira after another Damon hit.
The Yankees lead the Series 3-2 with the next game Wednesday in New York. Pedro Martinez and Andy Pettite are set to pitch.
Game four showcased a number of bad moves by the Phillies. Bad fielding choices(Chase Utley tried, in the fifth, to go for the double play instead of the sure out too cavalierly. Result: no outs and a run scored later), bad pitching choices(Lidge, who’s not had a good season in relief, gets two easy outs in the ninth, then loses a duel with Damon, followed by fast balls to A-Rod. Result: a tie breaking double), no back-up at third when Damon stole second(result: Damon takes third with no coverage).
The Yankees are now up three games to one. Statistics show that the last eight times the Yankees were up three games to one in the Series, they won eight times. The Phils may win tonight, probably, but likely will lose the sixth game in New York.
Game three was home runs night I guess. A-Rod hit one, breaking out of his slump, Matsui and Swisher both added one for the Yankees. On the Phillies side, Werth hit two off of Pettite and Ruiz added one in the ninth inning.
Didn’t help though. The Yankees had eight hits and eight runs. The Phillies only managed six hits and five runs.
The result: the Yankees lead the Series two games to one.
Game 2 of the series last night was another good one. It didn’t end like I wanted, though, as, being a Dodger supporter, I’m automatically an anti-Yankee fan.
A. J. Burnett of the Yankees did a much better pitching job than anyone had seemed to be willing to give him. The Phillies’ plan was to try to wear him down by taking a lot of pitches, but it back-fired as he kept them constantly in the hole with first pitch strikes(something like the first eleven batters).
Pedro Martinez wasn’t bad, the wily old veteran using all his tricks to hold them off for awhile. A-Rod struck out three more times, something mitigated by Howard striking out four times(something never done by a clean-up hitter in a series game before).
Final score 3-1 Yankees.
I was pleased with the outcome of game one last night. Any time the Yankees lose, it’s a good day. The Phillies, or specifically Cliff Lee, completely dominated New York. Ten strike outs, no walks, Lee looked as relaxed as I’ve ever seen a pitcher in the series. The sportscasters say it might have been the greatest series game pitched in recent memory.
The nonchalant catch of Damon’s pop-up to the mound, the command of all his pitches, the behind the back stab of the line drive(it was surely luck) that he snagged, he was never in any real trouble. He likely would have had a shut-out but for a minor flub by Rollins.
Chase Utley’s two single run homers were icing on the cake.
Can they keep it up? The experts still say the Yankees will win the series. Of course, everybody was picking the American League representative for game one. It didn’t happen.
We’ll see how tonight’s game goes.