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.
Chase Utley hit two home runs. Big whoop! These two teams are the two most powerful offenses in the MLB and all that really happened was one guy hit a couple homers. Very disappointing.
The Phils took game one simply because of the lack of offensive production from the Yankees offense. The Phils got their two runs from Chase Utley who took CC Sabathia out of the park on a few bad pitches by CC. It is a tough game one loss for Yankees fans because who knows if we will be able to take a game in Philly. The home field advantage will be very important in this series and the fact that we already lost a game at home might come back to bite us in the butt.
Honestly, I was very disappointed at the lack of excitement in this series so far. CC really didn’t pitch all that badly but the couple mistakes he made hurt him. Other than that, he and Cliff Lee were phenominal and I’m not taking anything away from them. The offenses in this series are really what is making this series really exciting. Hopefully it gets a little more exciting.
Game two is going to be Pedro Martinez’s return to Yankee STadium. Will we here the “Who’s your daddy” chant or will we get a lot of boos in Pedro’s direction? who knows but it will be really interesting to see the fans’ reaction to his return. The Yankees will rely on AJ Burnett to go out there and pitch just as well as CC did last night, maybe without the homers though. The offense really needs to wake up too. I guess they thought they had already finished the season or something because there was no sign of it last night.
Well, before I get to the Yankees-Red Sox recap, I’ve got to let my thoughts be heard on a few other things that happened yesterday around the MLB.
Most baseball fans know Chase Utley. The second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s got that good defensive record, a strange power source from a second baseman, and a great mind for the game. Yeah, him. But he wasn’t playing in Sunday’s matchup between the Phils and Mets. Eric Bruntlett filled in for him and made his presence known in an unusual way. In a game that had so many unusual scenarios, Bruntlett made a play that only one other person has done before. But that was just the end of everything that happened yesterday.
The Phils scored six runs in the top of the first off of Oliver Perez. But Perez didn’t make it out of the first inning. He was facing Pedro Martinez, who was making his return to NY after being cut by the Mets this past off-season. Pedro had a 3-0 count and manager Jerry Manuel came out to pull Perez. An unusual happening. A pitcher getting pulled in the middle of an at bat. Strange.
Well, the Mets eventually got out of the inning. Then they had a little fun of their own. To lead off the bottom half of the inning, Angel Pagan hit a shot to the left center gap that sent Shane Victorino running to the wall. The ball got wedged under the wall and Victorino thought he could get away with calling it as a double. But the umps didn’t think it that way. The umps didn’t make the call and the left fielder picked it up and threw it in. This whole time, Pagan had been running the bases and wound up with an inside the park homer. The ball was wedged underneath the wall but it wasn’t so badly wedged that it would take some work to get it out and that it should have been a double. The umps made the right call. Strange.
Later in the game, Jeff Francoeur, the Mets’ right fielder, made a great sliding catch to rob Eric Bruntlett of all people of a base hit. At first the umps called Bruntlett safe as he went on to third as Francoeur was unaware of the call. Then the umps met and reversed the call after both Francoeur and Jerry Manuel argued the call. It was another crazy moment that was obviously a catch when the replay showed it. Strange.
Now, the biggest highlight of the game was Bruntlett’s play in the bottom of the ninth which ended the game. With runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur (there seems to be a recurring theme of players being involved in multiple strange plays) stepped up to the plate. He hit a liner with a full count up the middle. With the runners in motion, Bruntlett had been moving to cover second base. The ball was hit right to him on a line. He snagged it, tagged second base, and tagged David Murphy who was on first at the start of the play. An unnasissted triple play to end the game, the first in the NL history, second in MLB history. Strange.
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OK so back to the Yankees-Red Sox game. Last night, the aces of the two clubs faced off in the rubber match of the series. It was set to be a great pitcher’s duel, as was Beckett’s and Burnett’s not to long ago. And it was a really good game. The Yankees opened up the game with two runs early. The first was on a Derek Jeter solo shot and the second on Hideki Matsui’s first shot of the night which was also a solo shot. The Yankees scored two more runs on the Red Sox in the third inning, neither on homers. Then, Robinson Cano homered in the fourth, and A-Rod homered in the fifth to drive in two more. Matsui hit the final Yankee homer in the eighth which was another solo shot. A home run barrage, as Yankees.com puts it, lit up the sky in Boston as the Yanks rolled to an 8-4 victory. Sweet Sweet Victory.
The Red Sox did score four runs but CC kept them at bay most of the night. The Yankees did jump on top early and that was a big advantage for them as the game went on. The Red Sox tied the score in the second but the Yankees went back ahead and never looked back. The Sox didn’t leave the yard once in the game, surprisingly. The lack of the long ball in a game dominated by the long ball is probably what did the Red Sox in.
CC finished the game with eight strikeouts as all his stuff was dominant. Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera were successful out of the ‘pen as they finished the game off. Beckett finished with five K’s on the night, not bad. He also gave up all five homers though. Not good.
So let’s take a look back at the series that was. Game One:
The Yankees score 20 runs against Brad Penny and the REd Sox. Another terrible outing for Penny who would later be pulled from the starting rotation to make room for Wakefield who is coming back soon. Another home run happy game sent many bombs flying through the Boston sky. The Red Sox had their fair share of runs too. They just weren’t able to make up for what the pitching let up. Too bad. They scored 11 runs.
The Red Sox stole the Yankees’ thunder for game two as they burst out with another 14 runs compared to the
Yankees’ Nick Swisher’s single run. Swish hit a solo shot to left to score the only run for the Yanks on the day. A very disappointing loss for the Yanks and a touche to the REd Sox was all that was in me for Saturday.
Then came game three which I just talked about. A very exciting series that was truly a back and forth one. Great to watch and I’m sure, as always, it was great to play in for both teams. No fights broke out which was good for the teams. I don’t think either could afford losing anyone right now, especially the Red Sox who are in the Wild Card race and don’t have that big of a lead anymore. It was a clean series that was fun to watch as a fan. Especially since the Yankees won.
Hey everyone. I’m back from my unexpected leave of absence. Now, when someone takes a leave of absence from whatever, there are usually some pretty good reasons for taking a break. Sometimes work or other activities get in the way and their schedules are too cramped up for whatever they are taking a break from. Now, my excuse… a fried computer. My computer basically exploded and we had to get a new one. My parents took like a week to get it too so I was unable to keep up with anything I did daily on the internet. I couldn’t keep up with this blog. Now with my fantasy teams. Nothing. But now I’m back and I’m ready to discuss what was probably the craziest moment from this week. And we all know I’m all about the crazy.
The Red Sox and Tigers opened up a four game series on Monday night, the day that my computer fried. So, it was set to be a good one. The Sox had just been swept by the Yankees, much to my liking, and the Tigers are still in the race for the top spot in the AL Central. You wouldn’t really expect fireworks in an out of division game like this. But of course, it’s the Red Sox and they have had their fair share of fights, in division and out.
Now, this was the most recent brawl that the Red Sox were involved in. This one was between the Sox and Rays, or should I say, Coco Crisp and James Shields. Shields threw a fastball that clunked Coco in the right thigh. After the pitch, it seemed as though Coco was just going to go down to first but then all of a sudden he charged the mound, ready to get it on. Shields threw a punch and wiffed as Coco dodged it and caught Shields in the back of the head as other Rays’ players came over to defend Shields and take Coco off him. Then the benches cleared and you know the rest. This is the memorable pic from that fight.
Now, how can you forget the Red Sox Yankees brawls from the past. Here’s the most famous one in which A-Rod and Varitek went at it after Rodriguez was hit by a pitch. A-Rod and Varitek exchanged words as Rodriguez was walking down to first. Then, with a gesture of his hands, A-Rod taunted Varitek who then threw his glove into Rodriguez’s face and it was on. Here’s that famous pic.
Then there was the other famous fight in which Pedro Martinez threw Don Zimmer to the ground. That was really a crazy one. I remember watching it with my dad and I was like, whoa, I can’t believe Pedro did that to an old man like Zimmer. Here’s that pic.
Just face it world. The Red Sox are fight prone. They have been involved in some of the most memorable fights in recent history. They have all been caused by pitchers throwing at batters. They have all been between in division rivalries. And they have all been crazy adventures to watch. Just get over it Red Sox Nation. Your team is a fighting team. Now, that’s not totally a bad thing. I mean if you get thrown at then you should be angry. But charging the mound and throwing punches shouldn’t be how it ends.
When Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch from Rick Porcello, Youk was fired up. He had reason to be. Only one batter earlier had Porcello thrown at Victor Martinez. But the pitch missed Martinez inside and Martinez himself was a little fired up. He didn’t charge the mound though. When the next batter Youkilis got hit, he knew he had been thrown at. He charged the mound and him and Porcello tumbled to the ground as the rest of the two teams charged out from the dugouts and their positions in the field. It was crazy. Here’s that memorable pic.
Youkilis was FRIED with a five game suspension. Porcello, a five gamer as well. It was indeed a crazy fight and the sparks were once again started by a pitcher throwing at a batter.
Now, here’s a fun fact. The four brawls that I mentioned in this post all took place at Fenway Park. Intersting. Maybe the Red Sox just like getting the fans behind them by getting in a brawl. I don’t know but it’s a thought.
Until next time…