Tag: Pedro Martinez

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.


Most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium makes his case for a new addition to Vizzini’s list

Vizzini is the guy in The Princess Bride who is best known for his list of classic blunders that’s headed up by never getting involved in a land war in Asia. With an assist to Grady Little, it may be time for him to add never letting Pedro Martinez stay in a playoff game to pitch to Hideki Matsui. In game six of the 2003 ALCS, Little left Martinez in to pitch to Matsui in the bottom of the eighth and the Red Sox were never able to recover. Last night, after being pulled from his previous start after 87 pitches with a two-hit shutout, Martinez’s 97th pitch of the game was delivered to Matsui and Matsui hit it out to right to put New York on top to stay at 2-1.

Despite the high pitch count, Pedro was throwing well at the time. He had just struck out the big bats of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez back-to-back. Starting with the at-bat against Matsui, though, he faced four more hitters in the game. Matsui homered, he got one out to end the sixth and the only two men he faced in the seventh got hits. Keeping Martinez in to face those four hitters cost the Phillies two runs in a game when they scored one. They got off that easy because of a missed call that gave them two outs on a play where they earned none.

AJ Burnett was fantastic in the game. The Phillies managed a run off of him in the second thanks to a two-out bloop double that was followed by a ground ball to third that should have been handled by A-Rod but went into left to put the Phils up 1-0. Martinez pitched well early as well, but Mark Teixeira connected for a solo home run in the fourth that tied the game at 1-1. With his pitch count near 100, Martinez stayed in to pitch to Matsui with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Matsui hit a 1-2 pitch just out to right. 2-1. Pedro came back to start the seventh against the miserable bottom of the Yankees order and couldn’t get anybody out. He faced two men in the inning and both singled, putting men on first and third with nobody out. Park came in to face Jorge Posada and Posada delivered an RBI-single that made it 3-1 with men on first and second and nobody out. Jeter tried to bunt and fouled out before the Phillies got out of the inning without any more damage, getting a double-play on a ball hit hard to Howard that the umps said he caught that he didn’t. Mariano Rivera came in and kept the Phils off the board for the last two innings of the game.

The Phillies took a ton of pitches in the game and got behind Burnett time after time. Some people seem to think it was the wrong approach. I don’t agree. I’m pretty sure it was the perfect approach — not because you want Burnett to throw a lot of pitches and you get to take a chance against the pen, but because Burnett will walk the whole world. He didn’t last night. He was great. But the approach was right for the Phillies, at least to start the game. I think you can argue that they should have started swinging earlier in the count in the middle innings when it was clear that Burnett was getting ahead time after time. I think they want to do it the same way the next time they see him, at least early in the game.

So the Phils leave New York with a split but also with a bad taste in the mouth. The things that stick out most in my mind from the two games aren’t Utley’s home runs or the clutch hit from Ibanez or even Lee’s heroics. It’s Pedro walking off the mound and pointing at the sky and the little smile on his face after he didn’t pitch well and the Phillies were losing. It’s the way that Lee caught Damon’s popup as if he playing in the World Series wasn’t quite enough for him and he needed to manufacture a little excitement. It especially bothers me because I haven’t seen either of those guys win the World Series wearing a Phillies’ uniform. The Phils have put together a fantastic run in the post-season over the past two seasons because they have elevated their play. They’ve played with an intensity that’s been pretty awesome to watch, but it’s just about the exact opposite of flipping out your glove to catch a popup. They have simply been better in the playoffs than they are in the regular season. It feels like this is the place where I should be saying that it’s not that I don’t want to see them having fun. The problem with that is it’s not true. I don’t want to see them having fun. Not during the game. Have fun after the game or before it on in August when you’re up by 8 1/2 games in the division. Right now you need to go back to work.

The Phillies and Yankees are tied at one game apiece in the World Series after the Yankees took game three in New York last night.

Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out eight.

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) Cano (2B/L) (7) Hairston (RF/R) (8) Cabrera (CF/S) (9) Molina (C/R). Molina catches Burnett with Posada on the bench. Hairston plays right with Swisher on the bench. Matsui and Cano move up a spot in the order. That lineup is a gift to the Phillies. Sure was nice of New York to take their good players out of the lineup and put their bad ones in instead. Taking Posada, who was among the best hitters in baseball against righties this year, out against a righty is particularly nice. Hairston had nice numbers against Martinez coming into the game, but it sure seems like the Yankees would have been better off with the lefty Hinske in right if Swisher wasn’t going to play.

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, lefties Brett Gardner and Eric Hinske and the switch-hitters Posada and Swisher.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 first, striking Jeter out swinging 3-2 for the first out, Damon swinging 1-2 for the second and getting Teixeira to pop to Rollins behind the mound to end the inning.

Big strike zone for Martinez in the first. Silliest call was a 1-1 pitch to Jeter that was pretty far outside and called a strike. Pedro threw 17 pitches in the inning.

Pedro started the second with a 1-0 lead. A-Rod struck out looking 1-2 for the first out. Matsui was next and he hit a 2-1 pitch past a diving Utley and into right for a single. Cano hit a ball into left-center on a 2-2 pitch, but Ibanez made a very nice diving play to take a hit away from him. Hairston flew to right to end the inning.

Great catch by Ibanez changed the inning. After a long 26-pitch inning Martinez was at 43 for the game after just two innings.

Cabrera flew to center to start the third. Molina followed and walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Jeter struck out looking 2-2 for the second out and Damon swung at the first pitch and flew to center.

Sixteen pitches in the inning, 59 for the game.

Teixeira led off of the fourth and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right-center to tie the game at 1-1. A-Rod flew to left 0-2 for the first out. Matsui drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch, but Cano flew to center and Hairston struck out looking 1-2.

After 16 pitches in the inning Martinez was at 75 for the game.

He struck Cabrera out swinging 1-2 for the first out of the inning. Molina grounded to short on an 0-1 pitch for the second out before Jeter came to the plate and lined his first pitch from Martinez into left for a double. Damon swung at the first pitch he saw, too, and popped to Howard to leave Jeter stranded.

Lots of action in the pen for the Phils as Martinez’s pitch count neared ninety. After throwing eight pitches in the inning he was at 83 for the game. Just two pitches for the Jeter and Damon at-bats.

Pedro struck out Teixeira swinging 2-2 for the first out in the sixth. A-Rod was next and he struck out swinging 1-2. Martinez stayed in to pitch to the lefty Matsui. He got ahead of him 0-2, but Matsui hit a low 1-2 pitch out to right to put New York up 2-1. Cano flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Another big hit for Matsui off of Pedro in the post-season. Martinez stays in to pitch to the lefty and it costs the Phils. A-Rod was 0-for-7 in the series with five strikeouts and a bad defensive play at this point. Sixteen pitches in the inning had Pedro at 99.

He came back to start the seventh and it cost the Phils. Hairston led off and got behind 0-2 but singled to right on a 1-2 pitch. Brett Gardner ran for him at first. Cabrera lined a single to right and Cabrera went to third. Posada hit for Molina and Park came in to pitch to him. Park got ahead of Posada, but Posada lined a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. Gardner scored to make it 3-1. Jeter was next and he tried to bunt but got behind 0-2. He bunted the next pitch foul for the first out. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Damon. Damon hit it hard to first. Howard threw wildly to second and wouldn’t have gotten any out on the play, but the ump at first ruled that Howard had caught the ball. He hadn’t, but Rollins tagged out Posada on second base to complete a double-play to end the inning.

Bottom of the order gets it done for the Yankees against Pedro as Manuel lets him start the seventh. Park flailed his arms about after the Posada hit, but I’m not sure if he was mad at someone or just the hit. Jeter trying to bunt is a poor idea, especially with two strikes. It helped the Phillies out a lot. They got three outs in the inning. Jeter gave them one he shouldn’t have and the other two came on a play where they wouldn’t have gotten any with the right call.

Madson started the eighth with the Phils still down 3-1. He hit Teixeira on the leg, but struck A-Rod out looking at pitch out of the strike zone 1-2 for the first out. Matsui got ahead 2-0 but struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Cano hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single, moving Teixeira to second. Gardner was next and he struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning and leave both runners stranded.

Jeter is 4-for-8 with two doubles so far. Matsui 3-for-6 with a homer. Posada 2-for-5. A-Rod 0-for-8 with six strikeouts. Cabrera, Cano, Teixeira and Damon are a combined 4-for-28 with the big home run by Teixeira. The Yankees have two walks in the first two games, one by Matsui and one by Molina.

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 (LF/L) (7) Stairs (DH/L) (8) Feliz (3B/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). Stairs at DH against the righty with Ibanez back in left field and Francisco on the bench. Four lefties between the 3-4-5-6 spots in the order.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs and Bako and righties Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco. Dobbs was on the roster but not available. He has the flu.

Burnett looked very good in the first. Rollins flew to left on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Victorino struck out looking 1-2. Utley got ahead 3-1 and flew to left.

Burnett threw strike one to all three hitters in the inning. All three took. He threw 12 pitches in the inning.

Howard started the second and struck out trying to check his swing 1-2. Werth grounded to third on a 3-2 pitch. Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch down the left field line. It dropped on the line and went into the stands for a ground-rule double. Stairs was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch hard to third. It went under A-Rod’s glove for a single. Ibanez scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Feliz struck out swinging 1-2 to end the frame.

Burnett had gotten ahead of all eight Phillies hitters 0-1. Two lefties in a row hit with hits to the left side of the infield. You won’t see Matt Stairs with a lot of hits to left. A-Rod should have made the play on his ball. Burnett threw 25 pitches in the inning and was up to 37 for the game.

He didn’t get ahead of Ruiz to start the third, cause Ruiz swung at the first pitch and grounded out to short. Rollins was next and he drew a walk. He was running as Victorino dribbled a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Burnett threw to first for the second out. Utley was next and took three straight balls before the Yankees put him on intentionally. With two outs and men on first and second, Howard took ball one too but struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Utley was the first Phillies hitter to get ahead in the count on the first pitch. Twenty-four pitches for Burnett in the inning and 61 for the game.

Werth led off the fourth and singled to right. Ibanez got behind 0-2 and checked his swing as the count went 1-2. Molina threw to first and Werth was picked off for the second out. Ibanez struck out swinging for the second out. Stairs swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Huge play by Molina helps the Yankees work around the leadoff single. If you’re going to get four hits and two walks in seven innings off of Burnett you don’t want to give away outs on the bases. It got the crowd, which had been sleepy all night, back in the game, too. The Yankees scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the inning when Teixeira led off with a home run. Twelve pitches had Burnett up to 73.

Feliz started the fifth with the score tied at 1-1. He swung at the first pitch and flew to right. Ruiz was next and he ripped a 1-2 pitch into left and off the wall for a double. Rollins struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Victorino swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and popped to third, leaving Ruiz stranded.

Burnett was up to 86 pitches for the game after throwing 13 in the inning. Two outs in the frame on the first pitch.

Utley led off the sixth and grounded softly to first 2-1 for the first out. Howard struck out looking 2-2 for the second out. Werth flew to center on an 0-1 pitch for the third out.

Third strikeout in three at-bats for Howard. Burnett threw 11 pitches in the inning and had thrown 97 in the game.

The Phils started the seventh down 2-1. Ibanez struck out looking 1-2. Stairs struck out looking 0-2. Burnett got ahead of Feliz and Feliz hit a 1-2 pitch softly to short for the third out.

Eight in a row for Burnett. After 11 pitches in the inning he was at 108 for the game.

Righty Mariano Rivera started the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead. Ruiz grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Rollins was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch. Victorino dribbled an 0-1 pitch into right field for a single, sending Rollins to second. With the count full on Utley the runners were not running with the pitch. Utley hit a hard ground ball to second and the Yankees turned the double-play with the help of a strong throw from Jeter that just nipped Utley.

Utley was safe at first, but the Phils got their share of calls in the game. Not sending the runners on the 3-2 count cost the Phillies the chance to bring Howard to the plate as the go-ahead run. I’m okay with not running, cause I think you want to stay out of the strike-out-throw-out double-play that ends the inning, too.

Rivera was back for the ninth and struck Howard out looking 0-2 on a ball that wasn’t in the strike zone for the first out. Werth hit a soft liner to second 2-2 for the second out. Ibanez doubled to left-center on a 1-1 pitch, bringing Stairs to the plate as the tying run. Rivera struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-2 with two walks in the game. 1-for-6 with three walks in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-8 with a walk so far.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk last night and 2-for-7 with two walks and two home runs in the series.

Howard was 0-for-4 and struck out four times. He’s 2-for-9 with two doubles in the first two games.

Ibanez 2-for-4 with two doubles in the game. The Phils had just three extra-base hits last night — two doubles by Ibanez and one by Ruiz. He also made a very nice diving catch in left. Ibanez is 3-for-8 in the series.

Werth was 1-for-4 last night and is 2-for-6 with two walks in the series. He made an awful mistake in last night’s game, getting picked off of first base.

Stairs was 1-for-4 with an RBI in his only action in the series.

Feliz was 0-for-3 in the game and is 0-for-7 so far.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a double in the game and 2-for-7 with two doubles in the series.

Mariano threw 39 pitches in the game, but there’s an off day today with game three on Saturday.


Take two

Pedro Martinez faces righty AJ Burnett tonight in game two of the World Series.

Burnett went 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.40 ratio in 33 starts for the Yankees this season. The righty was much better against lefties than he was against righties. Lefties hit just 217/310/343 against him while righties hit a much better 282/366/450. Lefties did walk a little more often against him. He walked about 11% of the lefties he faced and about 10.6% of the righties. The on-base percentage is so much better for righties cause they got so many more hits.

He walked too many batters, both right and left-handed. That’s how his ratio is 1.40 when he allowed 193 hits in 207 innings. Overall he walked about 4.22 batters per nine innings. Among the 11 Phillies pitchers who started more than one game for the team this season the pitcher with the worst rate of walks per nine innings was Park. He walked 3.56 per nine for the year.

Burnett gave up 97 walks this year, which led the American League. He led it by a lot. Matt Garza and Ricky Romero tied for second and they each walked 79.

He has made three starts in the post-season this year, throwing to a 4.42 ERA with a 1.31 ratio. In 18 1/3 innings he has walked ten. In game two of the ALDS he held the Twins to a single run over six innings but walked five. In game two of the ALCS he held the Angels to two runs over 6 1/3. His most recent start was game five of the ALCS and he was hit hard, allowing six runs over six innings.

He made a start against the Phils on May 22 of this year and allowed five runs over six innings as the Phillies rolled to a 7-3 win in Philadelphia. Werth, Rollins and Ruiz all homered off of him in that game.

Rollins is the Phillie who has seen Burnett the most in the regular season over his career. 11-for-43 with three doubles and a home run (256/340/395). Victorino 1-for-6. Utley 6-for-21 with a triple and a homer (286/348/542). Howard 2-for-12 with two home runs. Werth 1-for-7 with a homer. Ibanez 4-for-15 with a double. Feliz 2-for-15. Ruiz 3-for-3 with a home run. Stairs is 3-for-11 with two home runs against him.

Martinez made nine starts for the Phillies this season, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio over 44 2/3 innings. He gave up seven home runs — that rate would have him giving up about 31 over 200 innings. Opponents slugged .472 against him for the season.

He didn’t walk much of anyone. His walk rate of 1.61 batters per nine innings was the best of any Phillies pitcher other than Lee.

He was fantastic in his start in game two of the NLDS against the Dodgers, allowing two singles over seven shutout innings. That is the only start he has made since September 30. He had a pitch limit of about 90 pitches in the NLCS and was pulled having thrown just 87.

He has faced some of the Yankees a lot during the regular season over his career. Jeter is 22-for-86 with three doubles and three home runs against him (256/347/395). Damon 5-for-25 with two walks (200/259/200). Teixeira 1-for-6 with a double. Rodriguez 16-for-56 with two doubles and a home run (291/350/382). Posada 11-for-60 with four home runs and a memorable post-season head-pointing incident (183/290/450). Matsui 4-for-28 with a homer (143/200/250). Cano 0-for-12. Swisher 0-for-2. Cabrera 1-for-5 with a walk.


Pitch account

Here’s the number of runs allowed by the Phils and Yankees for 2009 and how that compares with the other teams in the leagues they played in and with all 30 MLB teams combined:

  Runs allowed RA/G League
Rank
MLB Rank
NYY 753 4.65 6 14
PHI 709 4.38 6 7

Neither the Phillies or the Yankees were exceptionally good at preventing runs. Five of the 14 AL teams allowed fewer runs than the Yankees and five of the 16 teams in the NL allowed fewer runs than the Phillies.

By OPS, both teams fared better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters:

  R OPS against League MLB L OPS against League MLB
NYY .742 6 15 .724 1 3
PHI .769 12 23 .735 4 7

By OPS against by opposing batters, the Yankees were better against left-handed batters than every team in the AL and also better than every team in the NL except for the Dodgers and Giants. Left-handed batters didn’t do a lot against lefty CC Sabathia — they hit just 198/250/310 against him for the season. They fared better against his left-handed rotation-mate Andy Pettitte. Lefties hit 282/321/409 against Pettitte. The New York bullpen had a lot of luck against left-handed batters. Righties Mariano Rivera and Alfredo Aceves were both very good against lefties. They hit 182/328/273 against Rivera and 212/255/305 against Aceves. Lefties also didn’t do much against lefty relievers Phil Coke and Damaso Marte. They hit just 195/218/366 against Coke. Marte missed about a hundred games this season and faced just 28 left-handed batters. The 28 he did face, though, went 3-for-25 with two walks (120/214/280).

Coke did give up a bunch of home runs, though, ten for the year in just 60 innings. Lefties can hit under .200 against them all they want, but I refuse to fear Coke and Marte in this series. If you’re new to the Phillies, the middle of the Phillies order goes Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez 3-4-5-6, which is three good left-handed hitters split up by Werth, who was among the best hitters in baseball this season against left-handed pitching. Among the 132 players in the leagues combined who got at least 150 plate appearances against lefties, Werth’s 1.080 OPS was third best.

The Phillies pitchers, meanwhile, weren’t good at all against right-handed hitting while A-Rod, Teixeira and Posada all hammered righties.

Pitching in the National League, the starters for the Phillies pitched to a better ERA and ratio than the Yankees starters:

 
Starters
  ERA League MLB Ratio League MLB
NYY 4.48 5 13 1.41 5 19
PHI 4.29 7 9 1.34 6 8

For NL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.30 and the average ratio was 1.37. So the Phils starters had an ERA that was almost the same as the starting pitchers in their league and a ratio that was a little better.

For AL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.62 and the average ratio was 1.41. So the ERA for the Yankees starting pitchers was better than the league average while their ratio was about the same.

Neither team has outstanding pitching. Sabathia was clearly the best starter for the Yankees on the season and he went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. Cliff Lee went 14-13 between the Phillies and Indians, throwing to a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio.

The Yankees’ bullpen was much better than the bullpen for the Phillies:

 
Relievers
  ERA League MLB Ratio League MLB
NYY 3.91 5 13 1.25 1 1
PHI 3.91 9 14 1.38 8 15

Yankees’ relievers allowed 7.78 hits per nine innings. Of the 30 teams in MLB, that rate was second-best. They also walked just 3.48 batters per nine, which was third-best of 30. What they did do was give up a whole lot of home runs. They allowed 72 in 515 innings, which is 1.26 homers per nine or 30th of the 30 MLB teams for relief pitchers.

A big part of the problem for the Yankees this year in the bullpen home run department was that Sergio Mitre, Brett Tomko, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Michael Dunn and Anthony Claggett combined to allow 27 homers in 117 innings. You don’t want to be holding your breath waiting to see those guys in this series. Chances are good you could see Phil Coke, Chad Gaudin and Damaso Marte, though — those guys combined to allow 16 home runs in 84 1/3 innings in relief.

Among the guys who look likely to be pitching out of the pen for the Yankees, Aceves (1.00), Coke (1.50), Gaudin (2.45) and Marte (2.03) all allowed at least one home run per nine innings while pitching in relief this season.

The Philadelphia pen, meanwhile, was worse overall but gave up a lot more hits and walks but fewer homers. 8.36 hits per nine innings was eleventh-best among the 30 teams and 4.08 walks per nine was just 22nd-best. They did a better job of keeping the ball in the yard, though, giving up just 46 homers in 492 relief innings for a rate of 0.84 per nine innings that was ninth-best among teams in either league.

Pedro will start game two for the Phillies with Hamels starting game three. The linked article also mentions the possibility that Lee will pitch game four. Hope that works, but I would have liked to have seen the Phillies go with a four-man rotation that went Lee, Blanton, Martinez, Hamels. This way does allow Blanton to pitch out of the pen and the Phils could sure use some help in the pen. If he doesn’t pitch in relief he could start game four. I would much rather they just put their relievers like Condrey or Walker on the roster and let the starters start, though. Happ makes a lot more sense out of the pen to me than Blanton.

This suggests that Bastardo and Myers could be on the roster for the World Series. Myers makes more sense to me than Bastardo to be the third lefty in the pen.


The best offense that money can rent

The Yankees can hit. The Phillies can hit too, but there’s little question that the Bronx Bombers were the better offense of the two this year and the best-hitting team in baseball during the regular season.

Here’s the runs scored for the Phillies and Yankees for the season and how that ranked compared to the other teams in their leagues and in both leagues:

  Runs R/G League
Rank
MLB Rank
NYY 915 5.65 1 1
PHI 820 5.06 1 4

New York was one of three AL teams to score more runs than the Phillies this year, along with the Red Sox and Angels.

The American and National Leagues don’t play by the same rules, of course, and the more DH means more runs. While the Yankees and Phils led their respective leagues in runs scored, the Yankees outscored the average AL team by a little more than the Phillies outscored the average team in the NL. The average AL team scored 781 runs this year. New York scored 915, which is 117.2% of 781. The Phillies scored 820 runs compared to 718 for the average NL team. 820 is 114.2% of 718.

The Yankees have eight players who played regularly in 2009 (400 PA or more) with an OPS+ of 120 or better. Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Damon, Swisher and Matsui. The only player on their team with 400 of more plate appearances with an OPS+ for the season under 100 is Melky Cabrera (Cabrera hit 274/336/416 with an OPS+ of 97). The Phillies had four players with 400 plate appearances or more with an OPS+ of 120 or better — Howard, Utley, Ibanez and Werth. Their two least productive offensive players who played regularly, Rollins and Feliz, were both worse than Cabrera offensively. Rollins’ OPS+ for the year was 85 and Feliz’s was 80.

By OPS, the Yankees were the best-hitting team in baseball against both right and left-handed pitchers in ’09:

  OPS v R League MLB OPS v L League MLB
NYY .837 1 1 .846 1 1
PHI .779 2 5 .787 2 7

The Phillies were really good theirownselves. The Rockies were better against right-handed pitching by OPS and the Brewers were better against lefties. But the Phils were very good.

The Yankees were better than very good. They hit 282/360/476 against right-handed pitching. By OPS, the second-best team in baseball against right-handed pitching was the Red Sox and they hit 268/349/454. Among the 342 players in either league who got 150 plate appearances against righties, Rodriguez, Teixeira and Posada were all in the top 30 by OPS.

The margin was similar against lefties. New York hit 286/365/480 against lefties. Again Boston was second, this time with a 274/359/453 line. Jeter and Teixeira were in the top 30 by OPS of the 132 players with 150 plate appearances against lefties.

This article says that Raul Ibanez will continue to play despite a small muscle tear near his abdomen.

Todd Zolecki suggests that Hamels or Martinez will probably start game two. I am hoping for Blanton in game two.


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