The Phillies have had some problems that not many people would have expected this World Series. They’ve hit seven home runs and had a total of zero men on base when they did. Howard and Ibanez have combined to go 6-for-33 without a walk or a home run and struck out 19 times. Four of their eight regular players (Howard, Ibanez, Rollins and Victorino) are hitting .200 or worse for the series.
Those are all things it would have been pretty hard to see coming.
They brought some of their old problems, too, though, and if you’ve been waiting for them they’re pretty much all accounted for at this point. Cole Hamels had a miserable season and pitched badly in game three. In game four it was Lidge’s season-long slump that made itself known for the first time in the series. In a season when you throw to a 7.21 ERA there are going to be a lot of moments you would rather forget, but I’m guessing that last night’s game is going to stick out a little. Lidge entered a tie game in the top of the ninth and fell apart after getting the first two men he faced. The Yankees scored three times in the inning and won the game, putting the Phils in a deep hole down three games to one.
The Yankees jumped out to an early lead with two runs off of Blanton in the top of the first as Jeter and Damon both had hits to start the game. Victorino and Utley doubled back-to-back with one out in the first to get the Phillies on the board at 2-1. Howard led off the fourth with a single, stole second and came in to score on a hit by Feliz to tie the game at 2-2. Three singles and a walk off of Blanton led to two more Yankees’ runs in the top of the fourth and New York was up again at 4-2. Utley hit his third home run off of CC Sabathia in the series in the bottom of the seventh to get the Phillies within one at 4-3. Joba Chamberlain was mowing down the Phils in the eighth before Feliz connected for a home run that tied the game at 4-4. Lidge came on in the ninth and got the first two men he faced before Damon reached on a single. Damon stole second and, thanks to a weird shift that was on for Teixeira and a miscue that left nobody covering third base, took third on the same play. A-Rod delivered an RBI-double that put the Yanks up 5-4 and Posada extended the lead to 7-4 with a two-run single. The Phils went quietly in the ninth.
After losing game four 7-4, the Phillies trail the New York Yankees three games to one in the World Series.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double for Jeter, and he struck out seven.
He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Posada (C/S) (6) Cano (2B/L) (7) Swisher (RF/S) (8) Cabrera (CF/S). That’s the same lineup that New York used against Hamels in game three.
The Yankees had five players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston and lefties Brett Gardner, Hideki Matsui and Eric Hinske.
Jeter led off the game and hit a ground ball on the right side. Utley made a diving stop but slipped getting to his feet and Jeter had a single. Damon was next and he doubled to right, sending Jeter to third. Teixeira hit the first pitch of his at-bat down the first base line. Howard made a nice diving stop for the first out, but Jeter came in to score and put New York up 1-0 with Damon going to third. Blanton hit A-Rod with the first pitch of his at-bat, putting men on first and third. Both teams were warned. Posada hit an 0-1 pitch to left for the second out. Damon tagged and came home. Ibanez’s throw was on line and would have been late anyway, but it bounced once and went off the helmet of Damon. Ruiz couldn’t handle it and Ibanez was charged with an error as A-Rod went to second with two outs. Cano flew to center 1-0 to leave Rodriguez stranded.
Third time in two games the Phillies had hit A-Rod. Nice of the umps to warn both teams and not just the Phils. Eleven pitches in the inning for Blanton.
The lead had been cut to 2-1 when Blanton started the second. He set down the bottom of the New York order quickly. Swisher struck out looking 2-2. Cabrera swung at the first pitch and flew to left. Sabathia struck out looking 1-2.
After throwing ten pitches in the inning, Blanton had thrown 21 for the game.
Jeter led off the third and hit a 1-1 pitch to third. Feliz made a nice diving stop and threw to first for the first out. Damon flew to right on a 1-0 pitch for the second out. Teixeira struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch he thought was low. It may have been, but the 2-2 pitch he took for a ball looked like a strike for sure.
Quick frame from Blanton against the top of the order. Eleven more pitches and he had thrown 32 for the game.
He had a 1-2-3 fourth, too. A-Rod flew to center 1-2 for the first out. Posada struck out looking at a 1-2 pitch. Cano struck out swinging 1-2.
Eleven in a row for Blanton. He was at 44 pitches for the game after throwing 12 in the inning.
The game was tied at 2-2 when he started the fifth. Swisher walked on four pitches to start the inning. Cabrera was next and hit a ball back up the middle. Utley back-handed and tried to flip to second, but the flip was nowhere close and New York had men on first and second with nobody out. Sabathia tried to bunt and couldn’t, striking out for the first out. Jeter hit a 1-1 pitch between second and third and just out of the reach of a diving Rollins and into left for a single. Swisher scored and it was 3-2 with men on first and second. Damon was next and he blooped a 1-0 pitch in between Utley and Werth for another single. Cabrera scored to make it 4-2. Teixeira got ahead 3-1 but flew to left for the second out. A-Rod flew to center 1-1 to end the frame.
The Yankees had a chance to blow the game open with Teixeira and A-Rod, but Blanton held them to two. Three weak hits for New York in the inning, but you shouldn’t walk the leadoff hitter. Great base-running by Cabrera on the hit by Damon to see that it was going to drop and score from second. Blanton was up to 68 after throwing 24 pitches in the inning.
Posada struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out of the sixth. Cano hit a 1-2 pitch hard to first, but Howard took it and flipped to Blanton covering for the second out. Swisher drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to put a man on for Cabrera, but Cabrera grounded to first to set New York down.
26 and 94 for Blanton.
Park started the seventh for the Phillies after they hit for Blanton in the bottom of the sixth. Sabathia hit for himself to start the inning and Park got him on a fly ball to right for the first out. Jeter followed with a walk before Park struck out Damon. Teixeira grounded to first for the third out.
Madson started the eighth with the Phillies down 4-3. He struck A-Rod out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Posada was next and drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch. Cano followed and blooped a ball down the left field line that dropped near the line as Feliz, Rollins and Ibanez all chased. Cano had a single and Posada went to second. Madson struck Swisher out looking 2-2 for the second out. Gardner, who had taken over for Cabrera in center in the sixth, was next and he popped to Rollins in short center to leave both men stranded.
Lidge started the ninth with the score tied at 4-4. Hideki Matsui hit for the pitcher Joba Chamberlain and popped to short on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Lidge struck Jeter out swinging 3-2 for the second. Lidge got ahead of Damon 1-2 but couldn’t put him away. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Damon singled to left. As the count went 1-0 on Teixeira, Damon stole second. The Phils had a weird shift on for Teixeira, with Feliz playing near short. Feliz took Ruiz’s throw and Damon was safe, but Feliz got turned around with his back to Damon. There was nobody covering third, so Damon took third. Lidge hit Teixeira to put men on first and third. Lidge got ahead 0-1, but A-Rod pounded a double to left that scored Damon to make it 5-4 and moved Teixeira to third. Posada was next and he got behind 0-2 but delivered a hit into left. It scored both runners, putting the Yankees up 7-4. Posada was out trying to go to second to end the frame.
Great at-bat for Damon. Gutsy steal with Teixeira and A-Rod coming to the plate with two outs — if he’s out they don’t get to hit. Very heads up play to take third, which Lidge should have been covering.
Again Lidge looks very good early in the inning but can’t get the third out.
Lidge threw 30 pitches in the game and Madson 20.
The Phillies lineup against lefty CC Sabathia went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (DH/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R).
The Phillies started the game with five players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righties Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco.
The Phils started the bottom of the first down 2-0. Rollins flew to right on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Victorino hit a ball to left that dropped just in front of a diving Damon for a double. Utley got ahead 2-0 and drove a ball high off the wall in right-center for another double, scoring Victorino to make it 2-1. Howard struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Werth got ahead 3-1 and was walked intentionally. It put two men on for Ibanez, but Sabathia struck him out swinging 0-2.
Sabathia threw 24 pitches in the first inning. Ibanez had a big at-bat in the first inning of game one against Sabathia, too, and grounded to second with the bases loaded to end the inning. Nice to see Utley get a big hit, but the other two lefties continue their struggles.
The Phillies went in order in the second. Feliz flew to right 1-1. Ruiz got ahead 3-0 but grounded to short on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Blanton struck out on three pitches.
Sabathia was at 35 pitches for the game after throwing 11 in the inning.
The Phillies went in order again in the third. Rollins flew to left on a 1-0 pitch. Victorino grounded hard to first with a full count. Utley popped to second on a 1-1 pitch to end the inning.
11 and 46 for Sabathia.
Howard led off the fourth and singled to center on a 2-1 pitch. He stole second as the count went 2-2 on Werth. Werth grounded to third for the first out with Howard holding second. Ibanez got behind 0-1 and flew to right for the second out. Feliz lined a ball to left that fell just in front of Damon. Damon short-hopped it and made an accurate throw to the plate as Howard rounded third and stormed towards home. Howard and the ball arrived at about the same time as Howard lowered his shoulder into the glove and arm of Posada. Posada didn’t handle the throw and Howard was safe. 2-2. The ball got away from Posada for an error that allowed Feliz to go to second. Ruiz was walked intentionally to put two men on for Blanton, but Sabathia struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave both men stranded.
Howard looked pretty imposing plowing into Posada. Can’t imagine what it must have looked like to Posada. Big hit for Feliz with two outs. The Howard stolen base might have kept the Phillies out of a double-play on the ground ball to third. Werth is really fast, so I’m not positive the Yankees would have gotten two if Howard had been on first.
Sabathia was at 66 pitches for the game after throwing 20 in the inning.
Rollins led off the bottom of the fifth with the Phils down 4-2 and singled into center. Victorino was next and walked. Utley got behind 0-2 and popped to Jeter checking his swing for the first out. Howard popped an 0-1 pitch to Jeter in shallow left for the second out. Werth struck out swinging 2-2 to leave both men stranded.
No runs for the Phils after putting two men on with nobody out and Utley, Howard and Werth coming to the plate. Golly. That’s kinda the who’s-who’s of players you would like the Phillies to send to the plate after they put the first two men on to start the frame. Sabathia was at 88 after 22 more pitches.
Gardner replaced Cabrera in center for the Yankees before the start of the bottom of the sixth. Ibanez struck out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Feliz was next and he singled into right on the first pitch. Ruiz hit a ground ball to second for the second out, moving Feliz to second. Francisco hit for Blanton and flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat.
Just seven pitches in the inning for Sabathia. He was at 95.
He was back for the seventh after hitting for himself in the top of the inning. Rollins hit a 2-1 pitch hard, but at A-Rod. Rodriguez knocked it down and threw Rollins out for the first out. Victorino flew to right on 1-1 pitch. Sabathia got ahead of Utley, but Utley hit a 1-2 pitch out to right to cut the lead to 4-3. That was all for Sabathia and lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Howard. Marte quickly got ahead of Howard 0-2, throwing an 0-1 fastball that was on the plate passed him. Howard flew to left on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Third home run of the series for Utley off of Sabathia. Six home runs in the series for the Phillies, all solo shots. Three by Utley, two by Werth and one by Ruiz.
Righty Joba Chamberlain started the eighth for the Yankees and struck Werth out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Ibanez was next and he struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Feliz got a 3-2 fastball and blasted it out to left to tie the game at 4-4. Ruiz got behind 1-2 and struck out swinging.
In game one the Yankees left a righty, David Robertson, in to face the lefty Ibanez and it hurt them. In this game the righty strikes Ibanez out, but Feliz delivers a huge hit to tie the game.
Mariano Rivera started the ninth for New York with a 7-4 lead. Stairs hit for Lidge and grounded to first for the first out. Rollins popped to first for the second. Victorino got behind 0-2 and grounded to first to end the game.
Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and is 3-for-15 without an extra-base hit in the series. He leads the team in walks with four.
Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double last night and is 3-for-15 with a double in the series.
Utley was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the series. 4-for-15 with three home runs and a double in the series. All three of his home runs have been solo shots. Rollins is on-basing .368 in the leadoff spot, but Victorino is on-basing .278 in front of Utley.
Howard was 1-for-4 and is 3-for-17 with two doubles in the series.
Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts last night and is 4-for-13 with two home runs in the series.
Ibanez was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. 3-for-16 with two doubles so far.
Feliz had a huge home run in the bottom of the eighth last night. 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the game. 4-for-15 with a double and a home run in the series.
Ruiz was 0-for-3 last night and is 3-for-12 with two doubles and a home run in the series.
Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and is 1-for-6 in the series.
Francisco was 0-for-1 last night and is 0-for-4 with a walk in the series.
Game five is tonight with Cliff Lee facing AJ Burnett.