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Matsui carries Yankees to World Series victory

Nov 5, 2009, 12:43 AM EDT

Whether it was the remnants of a weekend cold or simply not having the extra day of rest he’s often been accustomed to, Pedro Martinez showed up Wednesday with far from his best stuff. He still managed to hold his own against eight of the Yankees’ nine hitters in two times through the order. Unfortunately, he had no answer for Hideki Matsui’s hot bat.
Matsui had a two-run homer in the first, a two-run single in third and a two-run double off J.A. Happ in the fifth to drive in six runs as the Yankees won 7-3 and clinched their 27th World Series.
Andy Pettitte, working on three days’ rest, got the win by allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings in a gutsy performance. He walked five, but he largely stayed out of trouble until Ryan Howard homered in the sixth. Before that, Chase Utley, Howard and Raul Ibanez had been hitless against him for the series.
Martinez lasted only four innings, and he wouldn’t have made it that far if not for some poor at-bats from the bottom of the lineup. There was no way the Phillies could have scratched him before he took the mound, but they must have known from the start that he was going to struggle with his velocity clearly down from where it was in Game 2.
*****
That’s the story of the game, with a little Mariano Rivera mixed in. The story of the series should be the Phillies’ inability to put together rallies. Both teams had a two-run homer tonight. Both teams had two doubles. Both teams had exactly 10 singles+walks. Yet the Yankees scored seven runs and the Phillies three.
It was typical of the series. The Phillies had the higher OPS, yet they just couldn’t get multiple hits in a row. 10 of their 12 homers were solo shots. The Yankees were much better at hitting with men on base. Mark Teixeira had an awful series, but the rest of the top five was able to carry a bottom four that ended up doing little.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel never deviated from his plan at any point during the postseason. Cliff Lee didn’t start on three days’ rest during any of the first six months, so he wasn’t going to do it in October. Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz were red hot? It didn’t matter. They were going to keep hitting where they had in the regular season.
The Phillies needed to look for an edge or two in order to beat what was a superior Yankee team, but they just employed the same strategies that worked for them all year long. While it’s not the only reason they lost, the reluctance to adapt didn’t help matters.

  1. John - Nov 5, 2009 at 12:58 AM

    I just finished baking my humble pie and now I sit here eating it as I type. To all of you Yankee fans out there, whom I have riled up over the past week or so (you all know who you are), congratulations on your team winning their 27th World Series Pennant! Enjoy your celebration!
    Oh and Shely I won’t be needing to see that shrink of yours for I have an appointment with my own, his name is Jack Daniels. PHILLIES ARE OUT!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  2. Kevin - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:07 AM

    Another World Series over; another example of “Moneyball”. That is, those with the money shall play. Those without money, well, thanks for playing. And please do not give me the Tampa Bay/Florida excuse. Just stastisical anamolies. Baseball is broken and needs to be fixed. I am sure that everyone will be able to pick the most of the playoff teams next year just by looking at the team payroll. Call it sour grapes but I do not care. I would lay money that there are more people out there that agree with me. Of course the Snobbies from the East Coast would just ingore the arguements and just call me a crybaby. Oh well…….

  3. Kevin - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    Another World Series over; another example of “Moneyball”. That is, those with the money shall play. Those without money, well, thanks for playing. And please do not give me the Tampa Bay/Florida excuse. Just stastisical anamolies. Baseball is broken and needs to be fixed. I am sure that everyone will be able to pick the most of the playoff teams next year just by looking at the team payroll. Call it sour grapes but I do not care. I would lay money that there are more people out there that agree with me. Of course the Snobbies from the East Coast would just ingore the arguements and just call me a crybaby. Oh well…….

  4. Mac - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    Am I truly the FIRST Yankee fan to weigh in here? Well so be it!
    What an incredible Series. Yankee TEAMWORK won this Championship! After years of “stars” being the centerpiece of the Yankees’ teams, this year the whole roster repsonded to win all the marbles.
    I’ve been a proud Yankee fan since 1960, and have celebrated many times just as I did tonight. But, I have to believe this one was the sweetest – simply because this was a Yankee team that got out there and earned it, and had fun doing so. They looked just like the kids from Chula Vista, California after their LLWS victory.
    That’s what baseball is all about. Congratulations to the New York Yankees, 2009 World Champions!

  5. Frederick - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    Congratulations to the New York Yankees, 2009 World Champions!

  6. Cru11 - Nov 5, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    “Phillies manager Charlie Manuel never deviated from his plan at any point during the postseason. Cliff Lee didn’t start on three days’ rest during any of the first six months, so he wasn’t going to do it in October.”
    These 2 sentences baffle me something awful. I dont care what Cliff Lee did during th regular season!! It is the POSTSEASON, Charlie! If your best pitcher, needs to go out on 3 days rest and pitch to win a game that could be a turning point in the WORLD SERIES then thats what needs to be done. I dont want to hear all this hogwash about regular season routine etc etc. This is postseason baseball and that means win at all costs.
    P.S. Congrats, Yanks. Well played series. Cheers.

  7. Yasunori Yokoi - Nov 5, 2009 at 6:40 AM

    Congratulations to the New York Yankees, 2009 World Champions !
    Not only me but also all of the big fun of Matsui in Japan and US
    friends rooting for Matsui since he joind the Yankees in 2003.
    We are very proud of Hideki Matsui of the Yankees and do hope Yankees will renew the contract with him for more more years to come.

  8. Bree - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    No, Kevin. I agree with you. And, John, “Mark my words”; I have an appointment with Jim Beam. Almost from the start last night, I had an ominous feeling about the game’s outcome. I am so disappointed; now we’ll be hearing ad nauseum about Aroid’s “redemption”. Yuck!! Goodbye, Phillies fans; see you next season.

  9. Mystic7 - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:45 AM

    Hey Mac, fellow Yankee fan from 1961 here. How great would it have been if Mo could have gone 3 up 3 down in the 9th, getting Rollins for the final out. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to settle for winning it all. Yeahhhhh!!!!!
    And Kevin, you know where you can stick it. I’m sure you didn’t cart out that old “moneyball” excuse these past 9 years when everybody EXCEPT the Yankees seemed to make it to the Series.

  10. Shely - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    You don’t know just how happy this makes me feel. You are a winner finally. I was worried at first, as a guy I know thought he saw you with a sharp instrument in your hands. Lucky he was wrong. You know, if Jack doesn’t help enough, there is always Oprah. she can probably talk you down. Oh wait, forget that. She will probably cause you to pick up that sharp instrument again. She has that affect on most of us. Hey, there is next year anyway.
    Shely

  11. dre - Nov 5, 2009 at 8:24 AM

    We all knew the excuses would start for why the best team this year won. The Yankees won simply because they came up big when it mattered and never gave up. Congratulations to 2009 champions.
    You can blame payroll, the dh, the umpires, the games aired on east coast primetime, the moon wasn’t full every night so Philly players couldn’t see the ball, whetever you want. The Yankees have had the highest payroll for the last decade and won zero championships before last night. You should petition your team’s management to reinvest in your team like the Steinbrenner’s do. George and sons put out a quality team every year because that’s what the fans want instead of pocketing all the profit.
    John – who’s going to win next year? We all want to hear it. I enjoyed your comments.
    See you all next year……..

  12. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 5, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    I just finished baking my humble pie and now I sit here eating it as I type. To all of you Yankee fans out there, whom I have riled up over the past week or so (you all know who you are), congratulations on your team winning their 27th World Series Pennant! Enjoy your celebration!

    Takes a big man to come back and face the music. +1 to you sir.

  13. wreckanize - Nov 5, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    That is an issue MLB needs to address. You cannot fault the Yankees in any way. They are playing by the rules. Phils gave it a shot, but we all knew this would happen before the season started. World Champs! I don’t care what reason you have for them winning. Money? Boo hoo, spend more. “AROID” He just beat you without them. They pounded your team and closed it out with the greatest closer of all time.

  14. Frank - Nov 5, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    You don’t like that money buys championships? Too bad. That’s the way the world works. I suppose you’d prefer a system where players do not have the right to put their talents on the open market? Baseball is great because it’s a microcosm of America. You know why the Yankees have money to spend on players? Because their fans are loyal and rabid and give them the money to spend on high caliber players. Are the fans in New York expected to give their money to underwrite a rich but inept dilletante owner in Pittsburgh? Give me a break. The NFL sucks. The NBA sucks. Why? Because their maarket terms are depressed by salary cap necessitating that even the best players change teams regularly. What other team has a strong core of 4 homegrown players like Jeter, Mariano, Pettitte and Posada that date back to 1996? You say we bought this championship but it’s those life long Yankees who were right in the thick of it. I didn’t see anyone complaining about the Brewers renting Sabathia for last year’s playoffs. If you don’t like your team and your owner’s don’t really care about baseball or winning then do something about it but don’t whine at us for doing things the right way when there are so many teams out there doing them the wrong way.

  15. DiPietro - Nov 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    John,
    I’ve been a Yankee’s fan all my life and, on this particular team, I’ve always admired Matsui. But, if it makes you feel any better than “Dr. Jack” is already making you feel, I personally think that Utley should have been given the series MVP award. Without him, and Lee, the Phillies would have been gone in 4, I think. But his performance was off the charts, and I think that he was clearly more valuable over the course of the series than Matsui was!

  16. Omega - Nov 5, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    First off congratulations to Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees for winning the 2009 World Series.
    Thank you to the Phillies for one of the best WS in recent memory. It was a treat for this baseball fan to watch the two top teams play six great games. I wish they could play a few more just for fun.
    I badmouthed Matsui yesterday, and I apologize for that, incredible job with the bat last night and a well deserved MVP award. I agree with DiPietro, Utley could have easily as won it too.
    Their win last night made me fell a little old. I remember Girardi coming up as a rookie with my Cubs in 1989.
    I can’t wait for pitchers and catchers to report now…is it February yet?

  17. Mode - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Props to you John for showing up today. After a while, I had fun reading all your comments.
    Here’s to a rematch in 2010…
    Hopefully with the same result.

  18. John - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    Challenge accepted Mode… providing the Phillies are up to it of course. PHILLIES ARE OUT!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  19. Old Gator - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    Phillies in nine! MARK MY WORDS!!!
    (I also wrote this on the “27th Championship” thread, so consider this a message from your Department of Redundancy Department).
    Anyway, couldn’t resist a chance to pull your chain a little, but I also want to acknowledge the graciousness of your apologia. I strongly doubt if anyone else on here will exhibit the same grace under fire.

  20. Old Gator - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    I’ve mentioned a few times on these blogs that the Shoji Temple bazaar in Tokyo had as many Hideki Matsui bobblehead dolls for sale as votive offerings for the temple. I strongly suspect that at the moment when Matsui-san was declared winner of the series MVP, all the bobbleheads began bobbling on their own. Karma at work.
    I am delighted that Matsui-san finally won his American championship; I know that has been his dream – and happier still that he can take home the series MVP trophy as well. What a way to cap a great, great career.

  21. Robert - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Teamwork wins championships, not money, if course if the Yankees
    lost people would be saying money can’t buy championships. If
    you look at the core group from the other W.S. Jeter, Pettitte, Riveria, Posada and you much as while include Giradi. They had
    the experience and calmness, to beat a great Philly’s team. Damon
    also had won a W.S. and had key hits. I happy for Arod, he came up
    huge through the post season, and Matsui was Godzilla, and sure hope
    they sign Matsui and Damon next year, whatever shortcomings they have
    as players, they more makeup with, with clutch hitting and baserunning. You can’t teach clutch, either a player has it or he doesn’t.

  22. TF in Tampa - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    If you remember in one of your replies to me yesterday, you negelected to finish your posts with “PHILLIES IN 7!!! MARK MY WORDS!!! and you said that I hope I didn’t Jinx the Phills by leaving it out? Do you think its your fault they lost?
    FYI: Craig Calcaterra was looking for you on the ‘Random Observations from Game 6′ blog. Ck it out.

  23. John - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Old Gator, I guess I deserved that but now that I’ve had a night to think sleep on it I am going to lay all of the blame directly at the feet of that damned defective crystal ball which I purchased last week. Earlier today I tried to return it to the gypsy I bought it from and ask for a refund but low and behold she was gone as was the rest of her camp. Go figure! ;-)
    TF, I do remember that and I have been trying all night and today to convince myself that I didn’t jinx them… it was that damn crystal ball I tell ya! PHILLIES ARE OUT!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  24. tired of sore losers - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    To all you sore losers out there my sincere sympathy. Yankees won fair and square, no freebies, no bad calls. They fought as hard as the Twins, Angels and the Phillies, and the Yanks outlasted them. And if you read between the lines, the big money players did not dominate, they were shutdown. So it is true that big money don’t buy championships. But everybody pitched in to make something happen in the clutch where it counts. It’s chemistry, not money that wins championships. Yankees win, bwa-ha ha ha ha

  25. Yankee Clipper - Nov 5, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    Hey Kevin, the Yanks won because they WANT to win. Sorry that they don’t have an owner whose sole purpose is to make a profit at the expense of putting a competitive team on the field. The Yankees are passionate about winning and the result is World Series Championship #27…And call me an “East Coast snob”, but yes, you are a crybaby and sound like a petulant child.

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