AJ Burnett was sensational as he kept the Phillies to one run in game 2 of the World Series last night in the Bronx. Pedro Martinez pitched well but was unable to hold the Yankees offense silent to a second night in a row. The Bombers took a while to score some runs but they got there eventually and came out with an important game 2 victory.
The “Who’s your daddy” chants throughout the stadium did not seem to take any effect on Pedro as he had the Yankees guessing early on. He and AJ Burnett seemed to match each other inning after inning. It was in the fourth inning when Mark Teixeira finally got to Pedro and took one for a ride to left field. In the sixth inning, Hideki Matsui took another Martinez pitch out to right field with a gold-like swing. Jorge Posada also pitched in with an RBI in the seventh after pinch hitting for Jose Molina. Last night did not show much offense, but the way Burnett pitched last night, it was enough.
The commentators for Fox’s World Series coverage continue to say that AJ Burnett’s curveball is the best in the game… if it is right. That’s the whole key. We have seen Burnett struggle a lot this season when he had a tough time getting his curveball and other key pitches to work. But last night his curveball truly was the best in the game as he made Phillies batters look in awe of the movement. And when they decided to try and hit it… they missed. Simple as that. Burnett also provided a solid 95 mph fastball that kept hitters honest. His two seemer seemed to be getting the best of the Phillies batters as well. It proved this early in the game when he got Shane Victorino to strike out looking at a two seemer that came right back over the inside part of the plate. Burnett’s sensational performance last night has kept the Yankees in this series.
These next three games on the road will be crucial for both teams. The Phillies have a great home record but the Yankees can’t be counted out for anything. The Yankees NEED to win a game on the road and hope to bring the series back to New York. If they can get the series back to New York and keep the Phillies at bay, then the Yankees will take this World Series and add the trophy to the other 26.
Game 3’s starters are Andy Pettitte, who was huge in the ALDS and ALCS for the Yankees, and Cole Hamels, last years NLCS MVP. This matchup, to me, is the most intriguing of the three big pitching matchups for this series. Pettitte has been pitching in the postseason since he put on his pinstripes it seems and has had a lot of success. Cole Hamels has only seen on playoff and has succeeded in it as well. Both are excellent pitchers with good stuff that can be tricky for opposing hitters to get to. They both have great minds for the game and can really help their respective teams. This game will hopefully have some more offense in an even friendlier offensive park than Yankee STadium (Citizen’s Bank Park) but the pitchers will both still have solid performances.
The phenomenon that was the Philadelphia bullpen seems to have been forgotten as the Phillies’ ‘pen closed out the NLCS against the Dodgers last night with a 10-4 victory. The Phillies, the defending world champions, went into the postseason with probably the most inconsistent bullpen of the eight playoff teams. Brad Lidge, who was about as solid a closer as there was last year, had struggled over the course of the regular season with blown saves, bad decision making and incosistency. This was a big worry as many skeptics came about believing the Phillies would fall due to their bullpen. Those skeptics have been silenced for the time being as the Phillies bullpen has been nearly flawless throughout this postseason.
Last night’s picture of Brad Lidge pumping his fist is reminiscent of last season’s fist pumping as he closed out the World Series. Well, with only one more series to win, we could well be seeing this again very soon. But then again, we can’t forget about the Yankees.
The Yanks are on the verge of clinching a trip to the world series. With their ALCS lead, the Yanks are one win away to making one step closer to their 27th World Championship in franchise history. With phenominal pitching, the most explosive offense in the league and a consistent and solid bullpen, the Yankees are definitely the team to beat. The Phillies are a fantastic group of baseball players with some outstanding athletes up and down their roster, but the Yankees really have a group of guys that can match up with the best teams in the history of the MLB. If the Yankees beat the Angels today in their game five of the ALCS, they will advance onto the World Series and will create a matchup that is definitely not worth missing. Here’s a look at how the Yanks and Phils will matchup assuming the Yankees defeat the Angels. (No offense to the Angels of any Angels fans out there but it certainly looks as if the Yankees are going to advance to the World Series).
The two leadoff batters are certainly two guys that can lead off a game with big hit, spark a rally, or make a key defensive play. Both veterans of the league, Jeter and Rollins will top off the top two lineups in baseball.
Jeter has been a number two hitter most of his career and isn’t your typical leadoff hitter. Now, I’m not saying it’s like a usual number four hitter batting leadoff but more like a number two guy batting first. Jeter is definitely capable of producing in the leadoff spot, I’m mean look at his stats from this year. Joe Girardi’s decision to move Johnny Damon to the second spot in the lineup and move Jeter up one has proven successful as they have put up some staggering numbers.
Jimmy Rollins on the other hand is your typical leadoff guy. A guy that can get on base, run and score runs with ease. That’s what you generally think of in a leadoff guy. Not that Jeter can’t do that but Rollins fits the profile better due to the way the Phillies offense runs. Rollins came up with a big hit late in game 4 against the Dodgers where he drove in the winning run from first to pu the Phils up 3-1 in the series. J-Rol is clearly a great guy to start off your lineup with.
Johnny Damon, as I stated already, was moved down to the second spot in the lineup by Joe Girardi at the beginning of the season. The main reason for this was to let Jeter do his magic with his bat and let Damon, who can hit for power, hit in a more key spot with guys on base. Now, again, this swop can go either way but it has obviously worked out the way it is currently. Damon can hit for power, drive some guys in, and can still run better than most people think he can. Watch out for Damon, you don’t really want to underestimate him.
“The Flyin’ Hawaiin” Shane Victorino has been a solid force at the second spot in the Phillies lineup for years now. The switch hitter can hit well from both sides of the plate, can generate some power (as shown last night when he hit a bomb to left field) and can really run. This guy can really carry a team with his speed because with the guys following him in the lineup, he will most likely get to score some runs. With his speed, he can easily get into scoring position to make it easier on the guys following him.
To me, this is the most intriguing matchup of any of the players on either roster. Mark Teixeira can field, hit and has a great smile. Chase Utley, exactly the same. Both guys can hit, field and are just a great presence on their respective squads. I can’t really compare them any further, they are just so similar.
Two guys with a lot of power and good gloves at their respective positions fill up the middle of the lineup. Ryan Howard is a powerful guy that probably doesn’t think anything other than homer when coming up to the plate. Alex Rodriguez has had a great career and his play this postseason has been a sight for sore eyes. He has been phenominal. Rodriguez may have a better glove than Howard, but Howard is the next power hitting phenomenon that will hit the MLB. Rodriguez went under that category when he came up with the Mariners and now the likes of Howard, Prince Fielder and Pablo Sandoval fit that list. These two will most certainly fill a very very important role in this series.
I honestly have to give the advantage to the Phillies and Jayson Werth in this matchup. Nothing against the long time Yankee but the fact that Jayson Werth can consistently hit for a lot of power and has driven in more runs than Posada, Werth has the advantage. Posada has been such a key to the Yankees for so long. A great pitch caller who has always called great games for Yankee pitchers. He has had his great offensive games and he has had his tough ones, just like every baseball player ever to live. This matchup right now goes to Werth but just wait and see, Posada will still play a key part in this sereis.
Again, Ibanez and Matsui are a great matchup of players in the lineup. Ibanez can still play the outfield whereas Matsui has had a bad knee keeping him from playing the field. This isn’t all that big of a deal since we have had plenty of guys fill in with quality games and very successful seasons. His bat is still going and he may be getting old, but he still has plenty in his tank to put in his two cents for this series.
Ibanez has surprised everyone in the league this year with his outstanding outbreak in offensive production. He opened the season with some great power but over the season it has decreased in power. He still has a lot of power and can go off any tme which makes him so dangerous. Both these guys can go off on you and can really hurt an opposing pitcher. Watch out Phillies and Yankees pitching.
Alright, sorry I couldn’t finish today but I’ll get the rest of my matchup analysis tomorrow. Stay tuned.
The Yankees took a tough loss at the hands of the Angels yesterday afternoon after they forced extra innings on a Jorge Posada homer. The Yankees were unable to hold the Angels scoreless and on a bomb to left field, Jeff Mathis walked off with the double. The Angels avoided a sweep which would’ve kept the Yankees undefeated in the playoffs. It also would have avoided extreme embarrasement on their part to have been swept. This win will be a boost for the Angels who will play again today against a CC Sabathia who was about as dominant as there is when he pitched in the opener of the ALCS. His opponent on the mound for the Angels will be Scott Kazmir, another tough competitor and a worthy opponent.
The Yankees hit four homers yesterday accounting for all of their runs, but the lack of runs in extras cost them. Jeter, A-Rod, Posada and Johnny Damon all went deep but other than that, the offense was pretty quiet. The offense will need to wake up today to help Sabathia through a tough start on three days rest.
The decision by Joe Girardi yesterday to put in Alfredo Aceves can be supported by the fact that he is a right handed pitcher and the batter he came in to face, Jeff Mathis, was also a righty. It was a tough break and Girardi is getting a lot of negative comments from everywhere. Hopefully it won’t affect the game plan for today.
If the Yankees can win today, they will be in very good position to win the series in the next game at Yankee Stadium. If they don’t, they still have the home field advantage to use in order to win this series. It is unlikely the Angels will be able to pull off a win in New York so it is most likely that the Yankees will at the least, need to use the home field advantage to good use. They should be able to close it out wherever they are. They are such a solid team that as long as they don’t make any errors, mentally and on the field, they should beat the Angels and move on to the World Series in pursuit of their 27th world championship.
One last thing: how about that throw from Melky Cabrera on the walk off hit by Mathis? He was at the foot of the wall and he bombed a pretty accurate throw to just the right of home plate. Did I mention it was pretty much right on target. It was a crazy good throw. I knew he had a great arm, but he just launched it from the wall and it came closer than I though it would be to getting Howie Kendrick out at home. Wow.
After a come from behind win at home against the Angels, the Yankees are headed to California to play two in the California sun. The way the Yankees have played the first two games in NY, it will be tough to stop them, even when the Angels are at home.
In this first game in Aneheim, the Yanks are living up to their nickname, “the Bronk Bombers.” The Bomers continue to dominate this postseason as solo shots from Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon have put the Yankees up 3-1 over the Los Angelses Angels of Aneheim going into the sixth inning. A lead off home run by the captain Derek Jeter ultimately wrote the script for this one as Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon have both put souvenirs of their own into the stands. With Andy Pettitte rolling on the mound, the Yankees look to be on pace for another win.
The first shot from Derek Jeter was certainly a shot that was a no doubter off the bat. The same for Rodriguez’s shot which was an even bigger bomb. Rodriguez almost hit another one that just missed as it stopped at the warning track. Johnny Damon’s was more of a line drive that went a couple of rows into the right field stands just past the pole. The Yankees just started teeing off on Jered Weaver who had a really tough fifth inning. Jorge Posada got a hold of one and roped it into the outfield for a single. Weaver has been pulled and the Angels are looking to the bullpen to stop the Yankee offense. Good luck. The Yankees look really confident and will be tough to stop at this point in the game.
CC Sabathia is set to go tomorrow on three days rest and it will be really interesting to see if the Yankees can close out the series with a sweep, assuming they win today to go up 3-0 in the series. The Yankees have done everything right this postseason: they have pitched, they have hit, and they have been opportunistic taking advantage of some key mistakes by the Angels team. Today, Torri Hunter made a big baserunning mistake as he was picked off by Andy Pettitte and his great move trying to steal second. This Yankees team sure looks like a World Series caliber team. Maybe even better.
C’mon Jorge. It goes like this. Uno… dos… tres… so on. How can you not think this was hilarious. I mean, Yankee fans as well as everyone else around the MLB community should get a kick out of this. And I figured that after being away from this blog for a week or so I should start back up with something simple and funny. This is the perfect thing.
The Yankees are still rolling with the division lead over the Red Sox which is now up to 6.5 games if you were wondering. Last night, they played the second game of a three game series against the O’s at Camden Yards and there were plenty of exciting moments, and strange ones as well.
The Bombers are the Bombers. You have to expect them to hit a lot of homers. Not only while they are at homer friendly Yankee Stadium, but also while they are on the road. I mean, they are just a really talented and powerful team that hits a lot of homers. Get over it haters.
Robby Cano hit one in the second inning. Jorge Posada hit one in the third and then hit another one in the fifth. A two homer night wasn’t the only thing that got Posada recognized though. More on that in a second. Nick Swisher and Eric Hinske both went yard in the seventh. So there is your list of homers on the night and as always, a very impressive performance by the Bombers.
So, Posada had a great game offensively against the O’s yesterday. But I don’t think he remembered how to count. Twice, Posada got the counts messed up and the home plate umpire had to remind him of what was going on.
At one point, HP ump Angel Hernandez had to remind Posada that he had just looked at ball four and was awarded a walk. This was a few seconds after Posada looked at the pitch and as he was getting ready for another. The pitcher would’ve loved to get another chance but the umpire was alert and gave Posada the heads up. The second time he messed up the count. He thought he had struck out. When he started walking back to the dugout, Hernandez, as well as guys in the dugout were telling him it was only two strikes. It was great. Hysterical.
Both Derek Jeter and A-Rod were filmed by the camera men at the game laughing about the incident and Johnny Damon was also in there somewhere too. It was really funny and all his teammates were getting a kick out of it. What I really don’t get is how Posada, being a catcher, messed up two different counts in one game. It is really strange and it doesn’t happen often.
So remember Jorge. Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro.
Strasburg is signed, the Yanks were kept scoreless by their former comrad, and the Cards continue to dominate the Dodgers, MLB’s best team. Here we go…
Yesterday I talked about the whole Strasburg situation. Well, he’s finally signed; it took until 11:58 Monday night to get it done. Another Scott Boras guy, Strasburg was drafted number one by the Nats and is expected to be the start of a reformation in the nation’s capital.
Here’s a comment I got on my post from yesterday by Julia from Julia’s Rants:
“Dillon- Jacoby Ellsbury has to be near the top of your list as well. Many a wall wear scares from him. And Strasburg? Sadly another case of his devil of an agent trying to extort money from teams.”
Julia put it right on the money. Boras has the reputation of extorting money from teams trying to sign his clients. He definitely gets his clients money but he is not like much by other players, teams, and fans because of how he does it. For the Nationals, they are probably ecstatic that they were able to sign Strasburg. Boras took it down to the last minute until Strasburg told him to get it done because of his wanting to play. It’s done now and you can expect to see Strasburg in the nation’s capital next spring.
Hey, Yankee fans! Remember this guy. Yeah. It’s Brett Tomko. He kind of played for us this year until we released him in July because he wasn’t performing to the level of success that we needed him to. Yeah, him. Well, he’s on the Athletics now and he just shut us out yesterday. What a shame.
The Yankees were held to seven hits and were walked twice. Tomko was definitely on his game for the first five innings of the game before he was taken out. And even after he was relieved, the Yankees were still baffled by the Athletics’ pitching. They just couldn’t get it done. After Tomko came out, they only got two more hits. That’s terrible. How could this happen against the A’s of all teams? Well, at least we can say AJ Burnett and Derek Jeter had really really good games.
Burnett went a complete game (8 innings) of STELLAR work. He only allowed six hits, one less than the Yankees had as a team. He struck out five and walked two. Not a bad performance. In fact, it’s a very good performance. This would be the kind of performance we would assume came in a Yankee victory. But unfortunately the Yankee bats were held quiet. But not Derek Jeter.
Jeter went 3-4 with three singles. He didn’t do much more than that but at least he was able to have some success agaisnt the Oakland pitching. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher both hit doubles, their only hits of the game. Jorge Posada and Ramiro Pena both hit singles as well. The Yankees still have a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the AL East.
Chris Carpenter was dealing last night against the Dodgers. He went eight innings of work giving up only five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He only gave up two runs on the game which is a good sign as for his run control goes. The offense also helped out. It took until the end of the game to pull ahead but it happened eventually and Carpenter was still on the mound to record the win. Pujols homered in the fourth to tie the game at one apiece. Then in the seventh, Rick Ankiel sent a bomb to deep right center to go ahead 3-2. The Cards kept the lead with Trevor Miller and Ryan Franklin who combined to pitch the ninth. The Dodgers seem to have no answer for the Cards this season. They could be a deadly foe for the Dodgers in the playoffs as the Cards may have the top of the Central division come the end of the season. Who knows, maybe the Cards will out play the MLB’s best team.
C’mon. You can’t not be thinking sweep right now. The Yankees have totally dominated this series, giving the Red Sox nothing. Nothing at all. The pitching has been STELLAR, the offense has been great, the bullpen (probably the biggest reason we lost so many games to the Sox earlier in the season) has been good as well, and the momentum of the Yankees has left the Red Sox in the dirt. As I said a few days ago, I don’t think the Yankees know how to lose.
CC started the game going the first half of the game without giving up a hit. Obviously everyone was thinking about the possibility of a no-no and, well… who couldn’t? CC ended up only giving up two hits, and two walks in his 7.2 innings of work. He racked up nine K’s, excellent work. He had a nasty slider that got a few guys out and made them look really foolish. The bullpen kept up the consistency that was far from anywhere near New York at the beginning of the season and Phil Hughes and Nate Robertson combined to go the rest of the game only giving up two hits and no walks (both hits credited to Robertson).
Such a sight to see. The Yankees beating up on the Red Sox. Just like it ought to be. Well, to all you Red Sox fans out there. Here’s something positive that you can take out of all this. You’re only 5.5 games out of first. At least you can say that you are in better position than the Orioles to make a run. The O’s are 22.5 games back. That’s a pretty good thing, right?
The offense last night was clearly good enough to get past the Red Sox, considering CC pitched his heart out. Well, in pretty much any other game, five runs is a good afternoon for a team that has their pitchers pitch relatively well. Derek Jeter helped out that cause late in the game with a two run homer to right. Of course it would be to right. Where else does anyone hit a home run to in Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira went 1-3 with an RBI and two walks. Robby Cano went 3-4 and scored a run. Jose Molina, filling in for Jorge Posada, went 1-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. The offense was definitely there yesterday and it was great to see another butt-kicking of the Red Sox handed out by the Yankees.
Tonight, the final game in the series has everyone thinking sweep. Right now, the way the series has gone so far, it looks like a no brainer. The Yankees have everything going right. The pitching, the offense, the defense. Everything is running smoothly. Tonight, Andy Pettitte and Jon Lester go at it and it’s a pretty good matchup. Both guys are second of the rotation guys. Both have good stuff and could easily be the top man in any rotation. They have their ups and downs. They will definitely put on a show but I still have my money on the Yankees sweeping the Sox. I said earlier before this series started that I thought the Yankees would win three out of four. But now I am totally thinking sweep.