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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. BillyG - Nov 5, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    Thanks to the Yankees and Phillies for a great series.
    A special thanks to Boston for Damon and Ruth.
    Maybe the Phillies could give up Utley or Lee ;)

  2. jaymen - Nov 6, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    While some Phillies fans are being classy about their loss, others are whining about the Yankee payroll…funny thing is, they didn’t mind it when their Phillies beat the Rays, who had a payroll half of what the Phillies had. Did the Phillies buy their title last year too? Oh the hypocrisy of some Phillies fans!
    And then there’s Rollins, who couldn’t be a more classless jerk.
    He trash talked the Yankess, despite the fact the Yanks had 10 more season wins, more homeruns and play in the toughest division in baseball, the Al East. Could you imagine Jeter trash talking his opponent? Nope, it would never happen. Jeter outclassed Rollins both on and off the field. Like a punk kid, Rollins let his mouth run amock and it came back to haunt him, and even after he was proven wrong, he still couldn’t muster up the maturity or class to congradulate the clearly better team, the New York Yankees. Nope, like a punk kid, Rollins is still talking smack he can’t back up.
    Shame, I used to like Rollins too.

  3. Just a Yankee Fan - Nov 8, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    What is it with some Phillies fans? My wife and I were sitting at a bar waiting for a table for dinner last night and overheard two Philly fans next to us bashing both the Yanks (bought series, etc) and Phillies (manager, Howard’s slump, Hamels etc) What a bunch of cry babies and poor losers. Get over it!
    I was born in Chicago as a Sox fan, but after living in the NYC area for the past 25+ years, have grown to both admire and cheer for the Bronx Bombers. I understand the love/hate relationship such a successful franchise can generate, but true baseball fans should appreciate ownership and a TEAM that put winning ahead of everything. Letting Torre go, which was disappointing to manner, is just one example how far the Steinbrenner’s will go to seek the winning formulae.

  4. jim - Nov 8, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    could not agree more . Over my life theYanks have had their ups and yes their downs. Money has helped but is has also hurt(seek.Igowa).Teamwork made this team, like those of the 90’s and70’s.Just wish Andy had styaed so there could have been more when he was away.

  5. Kanisha Supnet - Jan 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the latest stuff you post.

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