Tag: Johnny Damon

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.

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.

Play like a dynasty

It’s a little late for any of us to ask the Phillies to play like champions. They’ve been doing that for a while now — they are champions and nothing can ever take that away from this core of outstanding players. But the World Series starts tonight and with it the chance for the Phils to become something more. For this team that has passed every test over the last two years, the challenge in front of them now feels a little like some kind of monstrous mythical beast willed into being just to face them. The New York Yankees. The name just about says it all. But not quite. They are a mighty team with mighty talent, a mighty payroll, 103 wins, home field advantage and baseball history on their side. There isn’t much of a question that the Yankees have been the best team in baseball this year. The good news for the Phillies is that the year isn’t over yet, though, and if you’ve been waiting for someone to help us see just how good the Phils are you won’t have to wait much longer.

Cliff Lee faces CC Sabathia tonight in game one of the World Series.

Sabathia went 19-8 in 34 starts for the Yankees this year, throwing to a 3.37 ERA and a 1.15 ratio over 230 innings. He didn’t allow a lot of hits or home runs and he was fantastic against lefties. They hit 198/198/310 against him.

He was tied for the American League lead in wins, fourth in innings pitched, fourth in ERA and fourth in ratio.

Third in fewest hits allowed per nine innings in the AL, fourth in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings. Not quite as good at preventing walks. This year he walked 2.62 batters per nine innings. He walked about 7.4% of the right-handed batters he faced and about 6.0% of the lefties. 2.62 walks per inning isn’t a bad walk rate at all — it’s just not as good as his rates of preventing hits and home runs. There were 22 players who pitched for the Phillies this year. Fifteen of them had a walk rate that was worse than that. There were also 22 pitchers who pitched for the Yankees and 17 of them had a walk rate that was worse than Sabathia’s.

He’s had four straight years in which he’s thrown at least 190 innings with an ERA under 3.40 and a ratio under 1.20.

Sabathia made one start in the ALDS against the Twins and two starts in the ALCS against the Angels. Between the three games he pitched 22 innings, going 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA and an 0.75 ratio. He’s allowed three walks, one home run and struck out 20.

He’s pitching very well.

The Phillies faced him in game two of the 2008 NLDS when he was pitching for the Brewers. Milwaukee jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run off of Myers in the top of the first, but the Phils scored five times off of Sabathia in the bottom of the second. Victorino hit a grand slam off of him in the inning and the Phils rolled to a 5-2 win behind seven strong innings from Myers.

Sabathia faced the Phillies on May 24 of this year and allowed three runs over eight innings. The Yankees tied the game at 3-3 with a run off of Lidge in the ninth, but the Phils got an RBI-double from Ruiz off of Tomko in the top of the eleventh and won 4-3.

Ibanez is the Phillie with the most regular season at-bats against Sabathia for his career. He’s 11-for-40 with five extra-base hits and ten strikeouts (275/326/525). Rollins 4-for-11 with two doubles and a triple. Victorino 3-for-7 with three singles, but he had the biggest hit of the game against Sabathia in game two of the NLDS last year. Utley 0-for-3. Howard 3-for-7 with a double. The Phils could sure use Werth tonight, he’s 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against Sabathia for his career. Feliz 0-for-6 with two strikeouts. Ruiz 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Ruiz has had a fantastic post-season so far. I’d be trying to start lefties against the Phils, too, but when you do it gives them a big weapon at the bottom of the lineup. Ruiz hit 293/370/524 against lefties this season.

Lee went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. He doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.

He started games one and four against the Rockies in the NLDS and was fantastic twice. In 16 1/3 innings he pitched to a 1.10 ERA with an 0.86 ratio.

He was also great in his start in game three of the NLCS against the Dodgers. He allowed three singles over eight shutout innings in the game. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out ten.

In his three starts combined for this post-season he has thrown 24 1/3 innings with an 0.74 ERA and an 0.70 ratio.

He made two starts against the Yankees this year, both of which came while he was with Cleveland. On April 16 he allowed a run on seven hits and three walks over six innings as the Indians topped the Yankees 10-1. Posada hit a home run off of him in that game and Swisher had a double. On May 29 he allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings and the Yankees won the game 3-1. Posada doubled off of Lee in that game.

The Yankees have seen Lee a lot given how long he pitched in the AL. Jeter 11-for-27 (407/467/519). Posada 6-for-21 with two doubles and two home runs (286/273/667). Cano 4-for-18 with four singles (222/263/222). A-Rod 5-for-15 with two home runs and four walks (333/450/733). Swisher 6-for-18 with two doubles (333/458/444). Teixeira 9-for-23 with four doubles and a home run (391/462/696). Cabrera 3-for-11 with a home run. Damon 2-for-22 (091/130/091).

Here are the World Series rosters.

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