2009 World Series

Non-starter

The Playoff Start Log is updated and I think it says a lot about what went wrong for the Phillies in the World Series. In 2008 the Phils won it all, getting five quality starts in five World Series games. After Lee allowed one run in nine innings in game one of the NLDS against the Rockies this year, the Phils had made seven quality starts in a row in playoff games. In the last four games of the World Series this year the Phillies didn’t have a quality start and their starters threw to a 7.59 ERA. They allowed 18 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.

That probably has a lot to do with how much better the Yankees are at scoring runs than the Rockies or Rays. Still, you aren’t going to win a lot of games when your starters throw to a 7.59 ERA.

The Yankees won the World Series this year. The Phillies didn’t. The Yankees had Andy Pettitte and the Phillies had Joe Blanton. The pair didn’t play in the same league in 2009, but they had pretty similar numbers during the regular season:

  GS IP ERA Ratio ERA+
Blanton 31 195.1 4.05 1.32 106
Pettitte 32 194.2 4.16 1.38 107

If the two players had a similar year in the regular season, they didn’t in the post-season. The Yankees put a whole lot of their playoff eggs in the Pettitte basket, but Blanton was not a big part of the Phillies rotation in the playoffs. You didn’t have to watch the Phillies play too many playoff games this year before that became apparent. He was pitching in relief in the sixth inning of game two of the NLDS with the Phils down 4-0.

The Phils and Yankees both played 15 post-season games in 2009. Pettitte threw almost twice as many innings as Blanton. He threw 30 2/3 while Blanton threw 15 2/3. Blanton made two starts and two appearances in relief while Pettitte’s post-season legend grew. Pettitte made five post-season starts in ’09 and went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Why would the Phillies do such a thing? Well, it wasn’t because Blanton hadn’t been good in the post-season. He helped them win the World Series in 2008 as he started three playoff games. The Phils won all three as Blanton went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio.

The why, apparently, turned out to be that the Phils thought their chances were better with Pedro Martinez. The Phils signed the free agent Martinez in mid-July to a contract that would have the Phillies paying him about a million dollars. Martinez made nine starts for the Phils in 2009 and pitched better than a lot of people were expecting, going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. There were some warning signs, too, though. Opponents slugged .472 against him and he allowed eight home runs in 44 2/3 innings. That home run rate would have had him allowing about 36 over 200 innings. Milwaukee’s Braden Looper was the only pitcher in either league that allowed 36 or more home runs this season. Two of his early starts with the Phils were cut short by rain, but he threw less than five innings per start in his nine outings with the Phils.

He didn’t exactly end the regular season on a high note. He made a fantastic start against the Mets on September 13 in which he threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings. His next start was against the Braves on September 19 and he allowed three runs over three innings before leaving the game with a neck problem. He made just one more start before the end of the year and he wasn’t very good. On September 30, he faced Houston and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings.

It didn’t scare off the Phillies. They let him start a game in the NLCS and two games in the World Series. They lost all three games. In the first he pitched great but had to be pulled before he had thrown 90 pitches. In each of the next two the Phils left him in the game too long. He started the game in which they were eliminated from the World Series and was awful.

So Blanton was a solid pitcher this year, the Phils gave at least some of his playoff starts to Pedro, who not a lot of other teams seemed to want, and then they lost every post-season game that Pedro started. That sounds pretty bad and I think it was. It’s a little more complicated than that, though.

The Phillies scored a total of five runs in the three games Martinez started. Pedro didn’t pitch as well as his numbers would indicate, but his numbers were great overall for the playoffs. In the three playoff starts with the Phils, Pedro threw to a 3.71 ERA with an 0.88 ERA. Blanton, meanwhile, did not pitch well in his post-season chances. He made two starts and two relief appearances overall for the post-season, throwing to a 5.17 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Still, the decision to go with Martinez instead of Blanton in the post-season was critical for the Phillies. And it didn’t work.

Cliff Lee will be back with the Phils in 2010 after the Phillies picked up his $9 million option.

Brett Myers will not be back.

Feliz may or may not be back, but it’s a little less likely now that the Phillies have declined his $5.5 million option.

I think the Phils went 3-for-3 in that flurry. I think it was the right decision not to pick up Feliz’s option, but I was surprised to see them do it. Beltre, Figgins and DeRosa seem to be the names that most people are talking about as improvements at third. If he’s healthy, I think Troy Glaus would be a huge help for the Phillies offensively as well. You might notice some defensive dropoff, though. The list of free agent third basemen that would help the Phils more than Feliz isn’t that long, so hopefully they have something in mind.

Ibanez (sports hernia) and Eyre (loose bodies in his elbow) were scheduled for surgeries yesterday and Lidge will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow.

Park, Feliz, Bako, Stairs, Martinez, Myers and Cairo have all filed to become free agents.


Controversial decision not to start Mecha-King Ghidorah dooms Phils

In their defense, it would have been tough to start him after he said he couldn’t wait for the season to be over after game three.

The. Yankees. Win. They beat a great Phillies team that fought to the end and still has a fantastic core with a lot of games left to play. But not this year. If the Phils came into this series full of swagger, they have to come out of it knowing that if they want to beat the best in baseball they will have to get better.

You get the feeling that the Phillies might get another chance against this group of Yankees before it’s over.

With that in mind, let’s hope they bring some better pitching next time. I would also like to say that if I ever see Pedro Martinez wearing a Phillies uniform to face Hideki Matsui as a Yankee again it may be more than I can bear. That’s pretty unlikely given that neither player is likely to play another game for the Yanks or Phils, but I still think we need to get somebody working on an early warning system of some kind right away.

Charlie Manuel takes a lot of criticism that he doesn’t deserve. He is a fantastic manager, perhaps the best in Phillies history. There may not be another person on the planet that could get more out of the Phillies teams of the past two seasons than he has. He made the worst decision I’ve seen in a long time last night, though. With two outs in the third inning of a must-win game, Hideki Matsui came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Yanks up 2-1. Pedro had nothing. Given enough time we’re going to forget how bad Pedro looked, but he had nothing. He was slinging 84 mile-an-hour fastballs over the plate. Matsui had homered off of him in each of his last two at-bats and reached base the two before that. Happ was ready to come into the game. And Manuel still let Martinez pitch to him. The Phillies were lucky that all Matsui did was smoke a two-run single.

I truly do not understand how you can look at that situation and believe that letting Pedro pitch to Matsui gives the Phillies their best chance to win that game. Yes, I know the Yankees outscored the Phillies 3-2 the rest of the way. Yes, I saw Matsui’s at-bat against Happ later in the game. Yes, I know it was the third inning. Yes, I saw him strike out A-Rod before Matsui came to the plate. No, it didn’t cost the Phillies the game. No, it’s not indefensible or unforgivable. It was still really, really a bad idea. The Phillies needed Manuel’s best move right then, not some sonnet to something Pedro did for the Boston Red Sox half a decade ago. How many at-bats in a row would Matsui have had to have homered against Pedro for Manuel to take him out of the game? I don’t know the answer, but I know that it’s more than two.

Matsui had an epic game, driving in six runs and hitting his third home run of the series.

Pedro started the bottom of the second by walking A-Rod. Matsui followed with a home run that put New York up 2-0. A one-out triple by Ruiz in the top of the third helped the Phillies get on the board at 2-1. In the bottom of the third the Yankees loaded the bases with one out on a single, a walk and it hit batter. Martinez struck out A-Rod for the second out, but Matsui followed with a two-run single that extended the New York lead to 4-1. Jeter started the fifth with a double off of Happ and came in to score on a single by Teixeira. 5-1. Rodriguez followed with a walk and Matsui delivered a two-run double to make it 7-1. Howard hit a two-run homer off of Pettitte in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-3, but that was how it ended.

The New York Yankees have won the World Series, beating the Phils 7-3 in game six last night to take the set four games to two.

Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Matsui. Martinez struck out five.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Matsui (DH/L) (6) Posada (C/S) (7) Cano (2B/L) (8) Swisher (RF/S) (9) Gardner (CF/L). Matsui up to fifth and Posada sixth.

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston, switch-hitter Ramiro Pena and lefty Eric Hinske.

He came out throwing slop. It worked in the first, though. Jeter got ahead 1-0 and flew to left for the first out. Damon struck out swinging 2-2 for the second. Teixeira flew to Werth in deep right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Martinez was really not throwing the ball hard. He threw 13 pitches in the inning.

A-Rod started the second and walked on four pitches. Matsui was next and first he hit one way out but foul, then he just missed a double down the first-base line, then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right. 2-0. Pedro struck out Posada 2-2 for the first out. Cano swung at the first pitch and lined to Utley. Swisher flew to shallow left on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

It didn’t look like Pedro was long for the game. After 24 pitches in the inning he was at 37.

He started the third down 2-1. He struck Gardner out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Jeter was next and lined a 1-1 pitch to center that was misjudged by Victorino. It fell just in front of him for a single. Damon waked on a 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second and Happ started to warm in the bullpen. Pedro’s first pitch to Teixeira hit him in the leg to load the bases. Martinez struck A-Rod out looking 1-2 for the second out. Matsui was next and Pedro stayed in to pitch to him. Pedro got ahead of him, but Matsui lined an 0-2 pitch into center for a two-run single. 4-1 with men on first and second. Posada flew to left 1-1 to set the Yankees down.

Simply an atrocious inning for Manuel. You just can’t let Pedro stay in to pitch to Matsui. After Matsui drives in two more runs you shouldn’t let him stay in to pitch to Posada. Victorino should have caught the ball Jeter hit and it would have changed the inning, although the Phillies may have been lucky as it was that Martinez just gave up four runs. Martinez was at 62 pitches after throwing 25 in the inning.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Cano flew to left. Swisher struck out swinging 3-2. Gardner smoked a line drive on a 1-1 pitch, but Utley snared it to end the inning.

15 and 77 for Pedro.

Durbin started the fifth. Jeter led off and drove a ball to left-center just out of the reach of Francisco. It bounced on the track and went over the fence for a ground-rule double. Hairston, who had taken over for Damon in left, bunted him to second with the first out. Teixeira singled to center and Jeter scored. 5-1. Durbin walked A-Rod on a 3-2 pitch that was way inside. It put two men on and Happ came in to pitch to Matsui. Matsui hit a 3-1 pitch off the wall in right for a two-run double. 7-1. Happ struck out Posada and Cano to leave Matsui stranded.

I never knew how slow Francisco was until watching him try to get to Jeter’s ball. That was in the air for a while. Finally get to see Happ versus Matsui and it doesn’t turn out that well.

Happ came back to start the sixth with the Phils down 7-3. He walked Swisher on a 3-2 pitch. Gardner tried to bunt but struck out looking 2-2. Park came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter hit a ground ball in between first and second. Howard fielded and threw to second to get Jeter, but the Phillies didn’t have a chance to turn two. Hairston flew to right on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Park was back to start the seventh. He struck Teixeira out swinging 2-2 for the first out. He got ahead of A-Rod, but Rodriguez hit a 1-2 pitch that dribbled through Rollins and Feliz and into left field for a single. Eyre came in to pitch to Matsui and struck him out trying to check his swing 1-2 as A-Rod stole second. Eyre walked Posada intentionally to pitch to Cano and struck Cano out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

Not a fan of walking Posada intentionally with two outs no matter how bad Cano is hitting. It worked out great, though.

Eyre was back to start the eighth. Swisher hit a slow ground ball to third that Feliz bare-handed. He made a nice throw to first to get Swisher for the first out. Gardner grounded to second for the second out and Madson came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter singled to right. Hairston popped to short to end the inning.

Great play by Feliz.

Lee was the only pitcher who made a start for the Phillies who threw to an ERA under six for the series.

Jeter was 11-for-27 with three doubles and a walk in the series. 407/429/519.

Damon 8-for-22 with two doubles. 364/440/455. You’re going to be okay offensively if the top two hitters in your lineup on-base .429 and .440.

Teixeira 3-for-22 with a double and a homer. 136/296/318.

Rodriguez 5-for-20 with three doubles and a home run. Three walks and was hit by pitches three times. 250/423/550.

Posada 5-for-19 with a double. 263/318/316.

Swisher 2-for-15 with a double and a home run. 133/316/400.

Cabrera 2-for-13. 154/154/154.

Matsui 8-for-13 with a double, three home runs and eight RBI. 615/643/1.385. He led the team with eight RBI.

Gardner 0-for-10 with four strikeouts.

Molina 0-for-2.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andy Pettitte 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) Francisco (LF/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). Victorino stays in center despite being hit on the right hand by a pitch trying to bunt in game five. Ibanez is the DH with Francisco in left. Against the lefty Sabathia in the first DH-game of the series, Francisco hit seventh and Feliz hit eighth.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righty Eric Bruntlett.

Rollins led off the game and took ball one before hitting a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Jeter made a nice play to throw him out. Victorino chopped an 0-2 pitch slowly down the third base line. Pettitte fielded but didn’t have a play. Utley grounded into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Just eight pitches in the inning for Pettitte.

Howard got ahead 2-0 to start the second, but grounded to first. Werth drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Ibanez swung at the first pitch and popped up to shallow right. Werth went to second when Pettitte delivered a 2-1 pitch to Feliz that was in the dirt and got away from Posada. Ahead in the count 3-1, Feliz fouled out to the catcher.

Of the five Phillies hitters who had made an out in the game, four of them were ahead in the count when they did it. Ibanez swung at the first pitch for his out. Sixteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 24 after two innings.

Francisco led off the third with the Phillies down 2-0. He grounded to third on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drove a 3-1 pitch into left-center and off the wall. The ball took an odd bounce off the ball and away from Gardner, allowing Ruiz to go to third with a triple. Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch to right for the second out. Ruiz tagged and scored to cut the New York lead to 2-1. Victorino swung at the first pitch and flew to right.

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 37.

The Phillies were down 4-1 when they hit in the top of the fourth. Jerry Hariston was in left for Damon, who had left with a leg problem. Utley struck out swinging 2-2. Howard lined to second on an 0-1 pitch. Werth walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibanez swung and missed 2-0, but Posada just didn’t catch the ball and it let Werth go to second. Ibanez drew a walk to put men on first and second. Feliz got ahead 2-0, then took a 2-1 pitch that had a ton of the plate before grounding to third 3-2 to end the frame.

After 25 pitches in the inning, Pettitte was at 62.

Francisco started the fifth and struck out looking 0-2. Ruiz walked on a 3-1 pitch. Rollins was next and he grounded a 2-2 pitch to third. The Yankees turned two to set the Phils down.

Pettitte was at 75 pitches for the game after throwing 13 in the game.

The Phillies were losing 7-1 when they hit in the sixth. Victorino grounded to short for the first out, but Utley followed with a walk. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to left. It cut the New York lead to 7-3. Werth was next and struck out looking 1-2. Ibanez hit an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner for a double. Righty Joba Chamberlain came in to pitch to Feliz and got Feliz on a ground ball to third to leave Ibanez stranded.

Chamberlain started the seventh still up 7-3. Francisco struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Ruiz was next and he singled into center on a 2-2 pitch. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to second and Cano threw to Jeter to force Ruiz for the second out with Rollins safe at first. Rollins stole second as the count went 2-0 on Victorino, just barely beating the throw by Posada. Victorino walked on four pitches and lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Utley with two outs and two on. Marte threw strike one and strike two. Utley tried to check his swing 0-2 but didn’t and Marte was out of the inning.

Marte looked fantastic, getting ahead with a pitch on the outside corner that was probably a ball and then throwing a pretty breaking pitch to get ahead 0-2. Not a good time to steal a base.

Marte was back to start the eighth and struck Howard out on three pitches for the first out. The righty Rivera came in to pitch to Werth and struck him out 2-2 for the second. Ibanez was next and got behind 0-2, but had a great at-bat that ended when he hit a 2-2 pitch over the head of Gardner for a double. Feliz fouled out to Posada to leave Ibanez stranded.

Great outing for Marte, striking out Utley and Howard back-to-back.

Mariano in the ninth with a four-run lead. Stairs hit for Francisco and lined to third. Ruiz drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was inside. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch deep to right, but Swisher took it at the track for the second out. Ruiz took second as the count went 1-2 on Victorino. Victorino grounded to second 3-2 to end the season.

Four great at-bats from the Phillies in the ninth. Just like you would expect. Stairs hit a moon shot to the upper deck but foul before he smoked a line drive right at Jeter. Ruiz worked a walk. Rollins just missed. Victorino got in an early 1-2 hole, but battled all the way and ran hard to first when he grounded out on the tenth pitch of his at-bat.

Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game and went 5-for-23 with five walks and two RBI in the series. 217/345/217. The Phillies did not win in either five or six games.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk last night and 4-for-22 with a double and three walks in the series.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 6-for-21 with a double, five home runs and four walks. 286/400/1.048. He led the team with eight RBI. Just a monster series for Utley.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer last night. 4-for-23 with two doubles, a home run and two walks in the series. He struck out 13 times in 23 at-bats. 174/240/391.

Werth 0-for-2 with two walks in game six. 5-for-19 with five walks and two home runs in the series. 263/417/579.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. 7-for-23 with four doubles and a homer in the series. 304/333/609. His seven hits led the Phillies. He also struck out nine times in 23 at-bats.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 4-for-23 with a double and a home run. 174/174/348.

Francisco was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-7 with a walk in the series. 000/125/000. I still think it was a great acquisition for the Phils, but he had a miserable post-season.

Ruiz was 2-for-2 with a triple and two walks. 6-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs in the series. He also walked five times. 333/478/722.

Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and 1-for-8 with an RBI in the series.

Bruntlett did not play last night but was 0-for-1 in the series.

No game today. Aprilish.


Rate changes

Through five games of the World Series, the Yankees have outscored the Phillies by a run, 25-24.

Here’s how the Yankees pitching for the World Series so far compares to their pitching in the regular season:


NYY, All pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.91 1.30 7.77 3.89 8.80 2.05
Reg Season 4.26 1.35 8.60 3.56 7.82 1.12

New York overall has allowed 24 runs in five games in the World Series, or 4.8 runs per game. During the regular season they allowed about 4.65 run per game.

Overall they are allowing fewer hits and striking out batters more regularly, but walking more and allowing a lot more home runs. They’ve allowed about 90% of their hits per nine innings in the World Series that they did in the regular season and gotten 112% of the strikeouts. 109% of the walks, though, and the Phillies have hit ten home runs in five games. The rate of home runs allowed by the Yankees pitchers overall has been nearly twice what it was in the regular season (182%).

Here’s what the Yankees starters have done compared to the regular season:


NYY, Starting pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 5.02 1.36 7.53 4.71 9.42 1.88
Reg Season 4.48 1.41 9.06 3.62 7.48 1.05

The Yankees got a good start from Sabathia in game one, a great start from Burnett in game two and a pretty good start from Sabathia in game four. Burnett got bombed in game five and Sabathia allowed three runs over 6 2/3 in game four.

The hits are way down for the group and the strikeouts up, but they are allowing more walks and have given up six home runs in 28 2/3 innings. That puts their rate of allowing home runs well above their rate for the year.

Here’s the New York relievers:


NYY, Relief pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.70 1.17 8.22 2.35 7.63 2.35
Reg Season 3.91 1.25 7.78 3.46 8.44 1.26

More hits, fewer strikeouts and a lot more home runs for the New York bullpen in the World Series. Their walk rate is way down. New York relievers have thrown 11 1/3 innings in the past three games without walking a Phillies batter.

The Phillies have allowed 25 runs in five games of the World Series, or five runs per game. During the regular season they allowed 709 runs in 162 games, or about 4.38 runs per game.

Here’s what their pitchers overall have done in the series:


PHI, all pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.91 1.23 8.39 2.66 9.20 1.02
Reg Season 4.16 1.35 9.14 3.02 7.13 1.17

The Phillies have allowed more runs per game in the World Series than in the regular season, but oddly their pitchers have allowed fewer hits, walks and home runs per nine innings and struck out more batters. That either means they’ve been real unlucky or there’s a whole lot of stuff going on that’s not reflected in those numbers.

There are definitely some things going on that aren’t reflected in those numbers. One is that the Phillies, who led all teams in both leagues in hitting batters, have turned things up in the post-season. They’ve hit five batters in five games, hitting A-Rod three times and Teixeira twice. Maybe that’s a coincidence and maybe it isn’t — either way their rate of hitting batters per nine innings is at 1.02 per nine innings for the World Series and was at .46 per nine in the regular season. Again, no team in either league hit more batters during the regular season than the Phillies.

More doubles is another thing that isn’t reflected in the numbers above. The Phils allowed 1.83 doubles per nine innings in the regular season and have allowed 2.05 doubles per nine in the World Series despite the fact that their rate of allowing hits is way down overall. Ten of the Yankees’ 41 hits in the World Series have been doubles. That’s about 24.4%. During the regular season, about 20.0% of hits allowed by the Phillies went for doubles.

Here’s the starters:


PHI, Starting pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 4.73 1.18 8.07 2.51 8.63 0.84
Reg Season 4.29 1.34 9.54 2.48 6.87 1.34

Fewer hits, more strikeouts and fewer home runs allowed by the starters for the Phillies in the series. The walks are about the same. Keeping the Yankees in the yard may be the biggest accomplishment — they’ve allowed three home runs in 32 1/3 innings. Martinez allowed two of those in game two and A-Rod homered off of Hamels in game three.

Lee was amazing for the Phils in game one. In the other four starts for the series, the starters have combined to throw to a 6.57 ERA with a 1.37 ratio.

And the relievers:


PHI, Relief pitchers
  ERA Ratio H/9
BB/9 SO/9 HR/9
WS 5.40 1.37 9.26 3.09 10.80 1.54
Reg Season 3.91 1.38 8.36 4.08 7.63 0.84

That’s just ugly. Hits way up and the rate of allowing home runs has nearly doubled. Walks are down a little and strikeouts are up.

The Phillies won two games. They didn’t need the pen in game one as Lee threw a complete game. Park and Madson got the job done in game five. They lost game two mostly because they couldn’t hit Burnett and maybe a little cause Pedro wasn’t great. Hamels made it hard to win in game three. Game four, when Lidge got hit hard in the ninth, was the only game where the pen really cost the Phils.

I would be stunned if Shane Victorino does not start tonight. The injury to his hand seems likely to be a factor. We’ll see how well he can hit and throw, but I’m guessing the answer is not as well as he could before he got his hand smashed.

This says that Blanton is available to pitch in relief tonight. I assume both Blanton and Happ could give the Phillies several innings tonight and Pedro will get a quick hook if he’s not pitching well.


Live at five

The Yankees went down fighting in game five and the Phillies lived to fight another day. Just barely, though. The Phils took an 8-2 lead into the top of the eighth, but things got real close real fast. The Yankees scored three in the top of the eighth and brought the tying run to the plate twice in the ninth inning. Ryan Madson came through both times, though, getting Derek Jeter to ground into a huge double-play the first time and striking out Mark Teixeira to end the game the second.

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run off of Lee in the first on an RBI-double by A-Rod. The Phillies jumped ahead in the bottom of the first, though, as Rollins and Victorino both reached ahead of Utley and Utley blasted a three-run homer to put the Phils up 3-1. The Phils chased New York starter AJ Burnett in the bottom of the third. Utley and Howard started the inning with walks and the Phillies wound up scoring three times in the inning to extend their lead to 6-1. Lee walked pinch-hitter Eric Hinske with one out in the top of the fifth and Jeter followed with a single that moved him to third. Hinske would come in to score on a ground ball by Damon to cut the Phillies lead to 6-2. Utley and Ibanez both hit solo homers off of lefty Phil Coke in the seventh to extend the lead to 8-2. Lee came back to start the eighth and gave up single, double, two-run double to the first three men he faced. It made the score 8-4 with a man on second and Park took over. He set three in a row down, but the second was a sac fly that brought A-Rod in from third and made it 8-5. Lidge had thrown 30 pitches in a miserable outing in game four, so it was Madson on in the ninth to try to protect the three-run lead. A double and a single put men on first and third and brought Jeter to the plate as the tying run. Madson got Jeter to hit into a double-play as Posada scored to make it 8-6. Damon followed with a single that brought Teixeira to the plate as the tying run. Madson got him, though, striking him out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the game.

It sure seems like the bullpen blew up in the game for the Phillies. But it wasn’t that bad, really. A lot of it was Lee and he has clearly done enough already. I think we just have game four stuck in our minds. Pitching for the second time in two days, Park faced three men and got three outs. Throwing a day after he threw 20 pitches, Madson gave up a run on three hits but got the huge double-play and the huge strikeout when he needed it.

They are still pretty scary. Especially given that we’re sure to see them a lot in game six. I think Manuel will still use Lidge in big situations in the series.

But the Phillies are still alive. They are going to need a ton of runs to keep winning, though. They are going to need everyone in the lineup — not just signs of life but a river of life. There were some signs last night. Ibanez and Howard came into last night’s game without a walk or a homer. Howard walked twice and Ibanez blasted a long homer. As miserable as the series has been for Howard, he still may be the single most explosive player in the series for either team. Let’s hope he doesn’t wait too much longer, though, cause the Phils have put themselves in a pretty big hole.

I’m pretty sure that Hamels starts game seven if there is one. Enough has been made of his misspeak. If you don’t think Hamels wants to compete and wants to win, I disagree. You don’t get this good and this far without wanting both. Saying what you mean isn’t a requirement.

The Phillies trail the Yankees three games to two in the World Series after winning game five last night 8-6.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out three. He pitched a lot better than his line, taking an 8-2 lead into an eighth inning that he started having thrown 103 pitches.

That may be the end of the ’09 post-season for Lee. It’s a shame that the eighth inning last night blew up his line, cause it’s going to mean that his numbers, while still amazing, won’t quite reflect just how much he contributed. We’ll just have to remember. In five post-season starts this year Lee has gone 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and an 0.82 ratio. In five starts he threw 40 1/3 innings. That’s more than eight runs per game. There’s a chance his efforts may still make him a champion. Whether they do or not, he may have to wait till he’s a free agent in 2011, but I think they made him a whole lot of money.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Swisher (RF/S) (6) Cano (2B/L) (7) Gardner (CF/L) (8) Molina (C/R). Molina in the lineup to catch Burnett with Posada on the bench. Gardner takes over in center for Cabrera, who has a hamstring injury and has been replaced by Ramiro Pena. To take Posada out of the lineup for Molina is a poor idea even if Burnett doesn’t allow six runs in two innings.

The Yankees had five players on their bench to start the game, righty Jerry Hairston, switch-hitters Posada and Pena and lefties Hideki Matsui and Eric Hinske.

Jeter led off the game and grounded to Utley on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Damon dumped a 1-1 pitch in front of Victorino for a single. Teixeira got ahead 3-0, but flew to right for the second out. Rodriguez hit a 1-1 pitch into the right field corner for a double that scored Damon and put New York up 1-0. Swisher walked on four pitches to put men on first and second. Cano flew to left on a 1-0 pitch to end the frame.

Didn’t look like the same Lee in the first. Jeter’s ball was up the middle and took a nice play by Utley to get an out. A-Rod smoked the ball. Swisher and Teixeira both got ahead 3-0. Lee threw 20 pitches in the inning.

He started the second up 3-1 and didn’t have much trouble with the bottom of the order. Gardner grounded to first 1-2 for the first out. Molina grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch. Burnett struck out looking 2-2 to set the Yankees down.

Lee threw 14 pitches in the inning and had thrown 34 for the game.

Jeter grounded to third 2-2 for the first out of the third. Damon walked on five pitches. Teixeira hit a ground ball to third and Feliz threw to second to force Damon for the second out, but the Phils could only get one. A-Rod flew to center on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Fifty pitches in the game for Lee after throwing 16 in the inning.

Swisher lined a 2-1 pitch to third for the first out of the fourth. Cano grounded to second and Gardner grounded to short.

Lee was up to 62 after throwing 12 pitches in the inning.

With Burnett out of the game, Posada hit for Molina to start the fifth and grounded to second 1-2 for the first out. Lefty Eric Hinske hit for the pitcher David Robertson next and Hinske drew a walk on five pitches. Jeter followed with a single to right that moved Hinske to third. Damon was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch slowly to first. Howard took it and when he started towards the bag Hinske took off for homer and scored to make it 6-2 with two outs and Jeter on second. Teixeira flew to right for the third out.

14 and 76 for Lee. Nice base-running by Hinske, both to go first to third and to delay and then score on the ground out to first.

A-Rod flew to right to start the first out in the sixth. Swisher flew to center for the second. Cano singled to center 1-0, but was left stranded when Gardner struck out looking 1-2.

Lee was at 91 after 15 pitches in the inning.

Posada struck out looking 0-2 after trying to call time out but not getting it earlier in the count to start the seventh. Jerry Hairston hit for the pitcher Alfredo Aceves and he flew to center on a 3-1 pitch for the second out. Jeter lined softly to Utley 1-2 to end the frame.

Twelve pitches in the inning had Lee at 103.

He was up 8-2 when he started the eighth. Francisco was playing center with Victorino on the bench. Damon led off and reached on an infield single. Teixeira was next and he blasted a double to left that moved Damon to third. A-Rod was next and he hit Lee’s first pitch hard into left-center. Ibanez made a diving effort but had the ball go off of his glove for a two-run double that made it 8-4. Park came in to pitch to Swisher having thrown 14 pitches the day before. Swisher grounded to second 2-2 for the first out, moving Rodriguez to third. Park stayed in to pitch to Cano. Cano hit a fly ball to shallow center 0-1 that Francisco took for the second out. Rodriguez tagged and scored to make it 8-5 with two outs. Francisco made a weak throw that wasn’t close to getting A-Rod on a ball that wasn’t hit deep. Gardner popped to Rollins on a 2-1 pitch to set the Yankees down.

Miserable inning for Manuel. Victorino was pleading to stay in the game. Francisco probably would have made the catch on A-Rod’s ball off the glove of Ibanez in left if he had taken over in left with Victorino in center. Francisco’s throw home was terrible. Victorino with a healthy hand would have made a much stronger throw — who knows after being hit. He also left Park in to face Cano as the batter that could have made the score 8-6. The Phillies didn’t use any of their three lefties in the pen in the game.

Madson started the ninth having thrown 20 pitches the day before. Posada led off and hit a 3-1 pitch off the top of the wall in right for a double. Lefty Hideki Matsui hit for the pitcher Phil Hughes. Matsui singled to left on a 2-1 pitch, sending Posada to third. Jeter got ahead in the count 2-0, but grounded a 2-1 pitch to short and the Phillies turned a double-play. Posada scored to make it 8-6 and it brought up Damon with two outs and the bases empty. Madson got ahead of Damon 0-2, but Damon singled into center on a 2-2 pitch to bring the tying run to the plate again. The game was delayed briefly for a ceremony to honor Damon’s 2,000th hit in this World Series. He was presented with some tupperware and a $50 gift certificate to Home Depot. Damon took second as the count went 0-2 on Teixeira. Teixeira struck out swinging 1-2 to end the game.

Park threw 11 pitches in the game and Madson threw 24. Both have thrown two days in a row, but both seem like they will surely be available in game six after an off-day today. Lee threw 112 pitches in game five and there’s no way you will see him in game six.

The so-called “official” stats suggest that Damon is only 8-for-21 in the series. He’s 5-for-his-last-9. Matsui is 5-for-9 in the series. Jeter 8-for-22. Posada 5-for-16. A-Rod just 4-for-18 but with six RBI to lead the team. Teixeira is just 2-for-19. Cano, Swisher and Cabrera are a combined 7-for-43.

The Phillies lineup against righty AJ Burnett 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 were down 1-0 when Rollins led off the bottom of the first. Rollins hit a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Victorino was bunting, but Burnett’s first pitch to him was right at him and drilled him hard on the right hand. Utley swung at the first pitch and blasted it way out to right to put the Phillies up 3-1. Howard drew a walk, but Werth struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Ibanez was next and hit a ball hard, but Teixeira made a great diving play to take a hit away from him. Teixeira threw to first to force Howard for the second out, but Ibanez beat the relay to keep the inning alive. Feliz grounded to short 0-1 to end the inning.

Much different approach to Burnett in this game. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Feliz were all swinging first pitch. Utley hit a big home run on the first pitch of his at-bat. Howard drew his first walk of the series. Ibanez smoked the ball he hit. Burnett threw 23 pitches in the inning.

First home run of the series for the Phils with a runner on base.

Ruiz got ahead 3-0 to start the second but struck out swinging 3-2 for the first out. Lee swung at the first pitch and grounded to first. Rollins walked on five pitches. Victorino swung at the first pitch and popped out to short. He screamed and shook his right hand, the one that had been drilled in the first, after hitting the ball.

Second time Rollins had been on base in two at-bats.

After 13 pitches in the inning, Burnett was at 36 for the game.

Utley walked on a 3-1 pitch to start the third. He stole second as the count went 1-1 on Howard — Molina didn’t make a good throw, but Utley still would have been out if Jeter had been able to handle the short-hop on the throw. Howard walked to put men on first and second. Werth ripped a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Utley scored and it was 4-1 with men on first and second. Ibanez hit a 3-1 pitch into right for a single. Howard scored and it was 5-1 with men on first and third. That was it for Burnett. Righty David Robertson came in to pitch Feliz. Feliz got ahead 2-0, but fouled out to Teixeira for the first out. Ruiz got behind 0-2 but managed to make contact, hitting a ground ball to short. Jeter got an out at second, but Werth scored and it was 6-1. Lee singled into right, moving Ruiz to second. Rollins struck out looking 1-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Nice job by Ruiz to bring the runner in from third with one out after getting way behind in the count.

Robertson set the Phillies down 1-2-3 in the fourth. Victorino grounded to second. Utley grounded to short and Howard struck out swinging 2-2.

They were up 6-2 when they hit in the fifth. Righty Alfredo Aceves was on to pitch for New York and he set the Phils down in order. Werth smashed a ball to left-center field that Gardner caught as he crashed into the wall for the first out. Ibanez grounded to first for the second and Feliz grounded to short.

Aceves was back for the sixth. Ruiz flew to right and Lee struck out swinging before Rollins singled to center. He went to second on a wild pitch before Victorino grounded to short to leave him stranded.

Third time Rollins had been on base in the game.

Lefty Phil Coke started the seventh for the Yankees. Utley led off and homered to right on a 3-2 pitch to put the Phils up 7-2. Howard struck out trying to check his swing 1-2 for the first out. Coke stayed in to pitch to Werth and Werth flew to center 2-0 for the second out. Ibanez blasted a 2-1 pitch out to right. 8-2. Coke was done. Phil Hughes came in to pitch to Feliz. Feliz struck out on three pitches to end the inning.

Utley’s homer gave him five home runs for the series, which tied him for the record with Reggie Jackson. Jackson hit five in 1977. When Howard followed with a strikeout it was his twelfth of the series, which also tied him for the record. The Phils lefties fared pretty well against Coke.

Hughes was back to start the eighth with the Phillies lead cut to 8-5. Ruiz led off with a single and Stairs hit for Park. Stairs hit into a double-play on a 2-2 pitch to clear the bases. Rollins grounded to second.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. The single to start the first after the Yankees pulled ahead in the top of the inning set the tone. He’s 5-for-19 with five walks and a .417 on-base percentage for the series.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a brutal hit by pitch when he tried to bunt in the first inning. He’s 3-for-18 with two walks in the series. He says his hand is okay and he expects to start in game six. I don’t know how okay he could be after that, but hopefully the effects are minimal by Tuesday. The thoughts of Victorino out of the game, especially in a DH game against a lefty are kind of scary. With the players on the roster right now I think it would have meant Francisco in center and Bruntlett as DH (although I think Mayberry may have taken Victorino’s roster spot if Victorino couldn’t play).

Utley went 2-for-3 in the game with two home runs, a walk and four RBI. In the last two games he’s 4-for-7 with three home runs, a double and six RBI. 6-for-16 with a double, five home runs and three walks so far.

Howard was 0-for-2 with two walks in the game. 3-for-19 with two doubles and 12 strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-10 with six strikeouts.

Werth was 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game. 5-for-17 with two homers in the series.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the game. Teixeira also took a hit away from him in the first on a ball he hit hard. He’s 5-for-20 with two doubles and a home run in the series.

Feliz 0-for-4 with a strikeout last night after a huge game in game four. 4-for-19 with a double and a home run in the series. Ibanez and Feliz have combined not to walk in 39 at-bats.

Ruiz was 1-for-4 with an RBI last night. 4-for-16 with two doubles and a home run in the set. He’s also walked three times.

Despite the early exit by Burnett, Robertson was the only pitcher to throw more than 20 pitches out of the Yankees bullpen. He threw 27. I think who the Yankees didn’t use in the blowout, most noticeably Rivera and Marte, might say a lot about who they have confidence in. I don’t think you’re going to see much of Coke against the Phillies lefties in game six if things are close.

No game today. Pedro and Pettitte tomorrow night.


Lidge shows Hamels a thing or two about wanting the season to end by making sure the top of the ninth goes on and on and on

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.


Hamels comes up petite

Things looked really good for the Phillies for the first two innings of game three last night. The Phils were up 3-0 after two and pounding away at Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. Pettitte had thrown 51 pitches for a Yankee team that had three games in three days and a bullpen just about everyone agreed needed to be avoided. Hamels had allowed one base-runner on a hit batter. The game changed in the middle innings, though. Pettitte snapped to life and started mowing down the Phillies hitters. Hamels didn’t make it out of the top of the fifth, which ended with New York up to stay at 5-3.

Werth put the Phillies up 1-0 with a homer off of Pettitte in the second. After Ibanez struck out, four straight Phillies reached and it helped the Phils score two more runs to go up 3-0. A-Rod hit a two-run homer off of Hamels in the fourth and Hamels didn’t make it out of the fifth as New York added three more to go up 5-3. A Nick Swisher home run in the sixth off of Happ made it 6-3 before Werth homered again to get the Phils within two at 6-4. In the seventh, Johnny Damon walked, stole a base and scored on a single by Posada off of Durbin to make it 7-4. Hideki Matsui delivered a pinch-hit homer off of Myers in the eighth to make it 8-4. Ruiz hit a home run off of Phil Hughes in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-5, which is how it ended.

Hamels was not the only left-handed player who struggled for the Phillies last night. Far from it. Utley, Howard and Ibanez combined to go 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts. In the last two games Howard is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts and Utley is 0-for-7 with a walk.

The Phils trail the Yankees two games to one in the World Series after dropping game three 8-5.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three. It was his second straight start in the post-season in which he was unable to complete five innings.

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). Matsui on the bench as the teams play the first non-DH game of the series.

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, which started around 9:15 after a delay of about an hour and twenty minutes. Hamels got him to ground back to the mound on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Damon grounded to short 1-2 for the second out. Teixeira struck out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

Impressive start for Hamels, who threw 13 pitches and 11 strikes in the inning.

He hit A-Rod with the first pitch of the second. Posada was next and hit what probably should have been a double-play ball to Feliz, but Feliz juggled and the Phillies could only get one out at second base. Cano struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Swisher flew to Werth in shallow right-center to set the Yankees down.

After throwing nine pitches in the inning, Hamels had thrown 22 in the game. Seventeen strikes.

He started the third with a 3-0 lead and set the Yankees down in order. Cabrera grounded to third, Pettitte grounded to second and Jeter flew to right.

Thirteen pitches had Hamels at 35.

Damon started the fourth and flew to right 0-1 for the first out. Hamels got ahead of Teixeira 1-2, but Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch that looked like it was a strike. It put a man on first for Rodriguez. A-Rod drove an 0-1 pitch to right that hit off of a camera on the top of the right field fence that hung over a little onto the field. He looked like he had a double that moved Teixeira to third, but the umps looked at the replay and ruled it was a home run. 3-2. Very close, but they probably got it right. Posada grounded to short and Cano fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.

The walk of Teixeira on what was probably strike three costs the Phillies a run. Fourteen pitches had Hamels at 49.

He didn’t make it out of the fifth. Swisher got behind 0-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch down the left-field line for a double. Cabrera struck out swinging 0-2 for the first out, but Pettitte swung at the first pitch and dumped a ball in front of Victorino for a single. Swisher scored and it was 3-3. Jeter was next and he hit a ball into center to almost the same place. Victorino made a sliding effort but didn’t come up with the ball and Jeter had a single that put men on first and second with one out. Damon was next and he split the gap in right-center for a double that cleared the bases and made it 5-3. Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch that was way outside and that was it for Hamels. Happ came in and got A-Rod to line to center on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Posada got ahead 3-0 but popped to Utley to set New York down.

Nice job by Happ. Posada may have done him a favor, cause Happ looked like he would have been happy to walk Posada and go after the lefty Cano behind him.

Happ came back for the sixth. Cano grounded to second for the first out. Swisher was next and Happ got ahead of him 1-2, but Swisher hit the 2-2 pitch out to left to make it 6-3. Cabrera flew to left for the second out and Happ struck Pettitte out swinging 2-2 for the third.

A double and a home run in the last two innings for Swisher. Second time the Phillies pitcher got way ahead of him and didn’t put him away.

Durbin started the seventh with the Phils down 6-4. Jeter flew to right for the first out, but Damon followed and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch after getting behind 1-2. Damon was running on the 3-2 pitch to Teixeira. Teixeira struck out swinging for the second out, but Damon was safe a second. Durbin hit A-Rod with a 2-2 pitch, putting men on first and second. Posada singled into left on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Damon to make it 7-4. Durbin stayed in to pitch to the lefty Cano and struck him out swinging 1-2 to set New York down.

Second time the Phillies hit A-Rod in the game. I was surprised it was Durbin and not Park in the seventh. I was expecting Park-Madson-Lidge seven-eight-nine. I thought the Phillies should have brought Eyre in to pitch to Cano, but it worked out well.

It wasn’t Madson in the eighth, either. Myers started the eighth and got Swisher to fly to left on a 2-0 pitch for the first out. Cabrera struck out swinging for the second. Lefty Hideki Matsui hit for the pitcher Joba Chamberlain and homered to left 2-2 to make it 8-4. Jeter struck out swinging to end the frame.

Again I was surprised not to see the Phillies bring in a lefty to pitch to Matsui. Not sure what they were saving them for, but apparently it wasn’t Matsui pinch-hitting.

Madson pitched the ninth. Damon grounded to short for the first out and Teixeira flew to center for the second. A-Rod walked on a 3-1 pitch to put a man on for Posada, but Posada flew to center 3-2 to set New York down.

Happ, Durbin, Myers and Madson combined to allow three runs in 4 2/3 innings on three hits and two walks. The Phillies didn’t use Eyre or Bastardo in the game and let Durbin pitch to Cano and Myers pitch to Matsui. It seems like Manuel must have gone with Durbin and Myers in the seventh and eighth because of three games in three days. Down by just two runs in the seventh seems like a strange time to go to something other than your primary options, though.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andy Pettitte 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.

Rollins swung at the first pitch to start the bottom of the first and hit a ball that went off the glove of Rodriguez at third and into left field for a single. Victorino was next and he popped a 1-2 pitch to third for the first out. Rollins stole second as the count went 3-1 on Utley, but Utley struck out swinging for the second out. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 to leave Rollins stranded.

Like Burnett, Pettitte walks a lot of hitters. In a change from game two, however, the Phillies were very aggressive early in the count against Pettitte after taking time after time against Burnett. Rollins, Victorino and Utley all swung at the first pitch. Pettitte threw twenty pitches in the inning.

Werth started the second and got ahead 3-0 before he hit a 3-2 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 1-0. Feliz was next and he hit a 1-0 pitch high off the wall in right for a double. Ruiz walked 3-1. Hamels bunted the first pitch from Pettitte and his bunt was beautiful on the third base side of the mound. The Yankees couldn’t get an out and Hamels had a single that loaded the bases. Rollins walked 3-1 and Feliz scored to make it 2-0. Victorino swung at two bad pitches to get down 0-2, but hit Pettitte’s next pitch to left deep enough for Ruiz to tag and score and make it 3-0 with two down and men on first and second. Utley struck out looking 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Great to see Feliz pound a double high off the wall. Pettitte made a bad pitch to Victorino 0-2 after Victorino looked awful trying to be aggressive early in the count. Nice job by Ruiz and Rollins to take the walks when the plan was clearly to go after Pettitte early in the count. Long inning for Pettitte. Thirty-one pitches had him at 51 after just two innings.

Big strikeout for Utley with two men on to end the inning. The Phillies lefties, Utley, Howard and Ibanez, were a combined 0-for-4 with four strikeouts at this point. Rollins, Victorino, Werth, Feliz and Ruiz were 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two walks and three RBI.

Pettitte set the Phils down in order in the third. Howard struck out swinging 0-2. Werth got ahead 3-1 but flew to right for the second out. Ibanez flew to center on the first pitch of his at-bat.

A nine-pitch inning had Pettitte at 60.

Feliz started the fourth with the Phils up 3-2. He hit a ground ball to third, but A-Rod’s throw pulled Teixeira off bag for an error. Ruiz hit a 2-0 pitch in the hole between short and third. Jeter threw to second to force Feliz for the first out. Hamels bunted Ruiz to second for the second out. Rollins got ahead 2-1 but flew to right to leave Ruiz stranded.

Twelve pitches had Pettitte at 72.

Down 5-3 in the fifth the Phils went in order again. Victorino flew to Cabrera. Utley grounded to first with Pettitte covering. Howard popped to short 1-0 to end the inning.

Eleven pitches for Pettitte and 83 for the game. He threw 51 in innings one and two and 32 in innings three, four and five. The only batter to reach for the Phillies in innings three, four and five was Feliz. He reached on A-Rod’s error.

It was 6-3 when the Phillies hit in the sixth. Werth led off and homered again, smashing a 1-1 pitch out to left to make it 6-4. Ibanez struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch that wasn’t in the strike zone. Feliz struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that wasn’t in the strike zone. Ruiz drew a walk and Bruntlett hit for Happ and flew to right.

Bruntlett is a miserable second-best option as a righty off the bench, but I agree with Manuel it was too early for Francisco. With Ibanez’s strikeout Utley, Ibanez and Howard were 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in the game.

21 and 104 for Pettitte.

The Phils were down 7-4 when they hit in the seventh. Righty Joba Chamberlain was on in relief of Pettitte and set them down in order. Rollins flew to left-center on a 1-0 pitch. Victorino got ahead 2-1 and grounded to second. Utley lined a 1-1 pitch to center to end the inning.

Lefty Damaso Marte came on to start the eighth with an 8-4 lead. Gardner was in center with Cabrera in right and Swisher out of the game. The Phillies went in order. Howard struck out again, swinging 0-2. Werth got to face the lefty but struck out looking 2-2. Ibanez lined an 0-2 pitch to third.

Righty Phil Hughes started the ninth with an 8-4 lead. Feliz grounded to third on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch from Hughes out to left-center to make it 8-5. Stairs hit for Madson. Righty Mariano Rivera took over for Hughes and got Stairs to ground to second 0-2. Rollins popped a 1-0 pitch to third to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Victorino 0-for-3 with an RBI.

Utley 0-for-4 and struck out twice.

Howard 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. 2-3-4 in the lineup were 0-for-11 in the game.

Werth was 2-for-4 with two home runs. Sure would be nifty to get someone on base for one of those, but this was not the game for that.

Ibanez 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Feliz 1-for-4 with a double.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with two walks and a home run.

Stairs 0-for-1.

Bruntlett 0-for-1.

Game four is tonight with Joe Blanton scheduled to meet lefty CC Sabathia.


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