Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees
Game One: Wednesday, Oct. 28 7:57 ET. Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia
Game Two: Thursday, Oct. 29 7:57 ET. Pedro Martinez vs. AJ Burnett
Citizens Bank Park
Game Three: Saturday, Oct. 31 7:57 ET. Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels
Game Four: Sunday, Nov. 1 8:20 ET. TBD vs. TBD
Game Five*: Monday, Nov. 2 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD
Game Six*: Wednesday, Nov. 4 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD
Game Seven*: Thursday, Nov 5 7:57 ET. TBD vs. TBD
* If necessary
Gerry Davis (crew chief), Joe West, Dana DeMuth, Brian Gorman, Mike Everitt, Jeff Nelson
Phillies – In: Brett Myers. Out: Miguel Cairo
Yankees – In: Eric Hinske, Brian Bruney. Out: Freddy Guzman, Francisco Cervelli
Lee will take the ball in Game One
Yankee hitters vs. Lee, Martinez, and Hamels – .269/.327/.444
Philly hitters vs. Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte – .249/.281/.417
At 7:57 ET tonight, the Phillies and the Yankees will officially begin the 2009 World Series or “The worst case scenario for New York Mets fans.”
Not only do the Mets suffer one of their worst seasons in franchise history, but now they have to watch their hated division rival and hated cross-town rival in the World Series. Talk about a punch to the gut.
Don’t worry Mets fans, you will get through it. As a New York Jets fan, I went through something similar a couple of years ago when the New England Patriots played the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
I rooted for the Giants in that game. I decided there was no way I could ever root for the Patriots under any circumstances. I am getting a sense that most Mets fans are feeling the same way towards the Phillies.
Now let’s talk about the two teams that matter–the Phillies and the Yankees. This will be the first time perhaps since 1999 that the two best teams in baseball are playing each other for the championship.
I have thought long and hard about this series and which direction I want to go. For me, this series comes down to a couple of things.
1. Will the Phillies look like a deer in headlights like the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did? Let’s be realistic here–the Yankees beat both teams because both teams turned into the Kansas City Royals.
It’s not like the Yankees bludgeoned both teams.
The Yankees will always capitalize on errors and bad baserunning. Their lineup is too good not to.
If the Phillies make the same errors and baserunning mistakes the Twins and Angels did–they will lose this series.
2. Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park Scott Eyre, and Ryan Madson vs. Phil Hughes, Domaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain, and David Robertson. This series will be determined mainly by the under-belly of the bullpen–not by the closers.
I laugh when people say the Yankees have the advantage in the pen because of Mariano Rivera. Isn’t that the case with every game of every series the Yankees play in?
Saying the Yankees have an advantage because of Rivera, is like saying the Bulls had an advantage at shooting guard with Michael Jordan. It’s a given.
It’s going to be how the pitchers before Rivera fair that will determine the outcome of the game. In particular, Marte.
Girardi was going to Marte over Phil Coke in the ALCS in late inning situations vs. a left-handed batter. With the way Girardi overmanages, Marte is going to be asked at some point during this series to get Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Raul Ibanez out.
Does any Yankee fan feel confident with first and second and one out in the seventh and Girardi calls on Marte to pitch to Utley and Howard?
Pedro will go in Game Two
3. Can Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels step up? If the Phillies are going to win this series, then one of these guys is going to have to step up. Martinez pitched better than anyone expected in Game Two of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now Martinez is expected to win against the Yankees in Game Two of the World Series. I have my doubts about this move.
Why open up a hornet’s nest by starting Martinez in the Bronx with all his prior history with the Yankees? Martinez is a National League pitcher at this point in his career. Let him start in Game Three or Four against a National League lineup with the pitcher hitting.
If Martinez doesn’t pitch well in Game Two, then the Phillies are going to need Hamels to wake up in Game Three. There is no evidence to suggest that he can.
His fastball is flat, his curveball has no break to it, and his body language on the mound stinks. That’s a recipe for disaster against the Yankees.
4. Will the layoff hurt the Phillies? We saw a long layoff hurt the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007. The Phillies haven’t played since the 21st.
I think for the Phillies, the layoff won’t matter. Remember, they had a long layoff last year going into the World Series and that didn’t affect them at all.
5. Will Girardi Girardi overmange the Yankees out of a World Series title? If Girardi was overmanaging in an American League game, what is going to happen in those three games in Philadelphia? It might get ugly.
Girardi has been bailed out by Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees’ overall talent. What happens when the Yankees don’t bail him out?
I have picked against the Phillies all postseason. I have picked the Yankees all postseason. Everything in me is leaning towards picking the Yankees.
They have the better pitching and they will catch a break someone. The inevitable bad call that favors the Yankees will happen somewhere during the series
I’ll keep my trend going.
Yankees in Six
MVP – Mark Teixeira
Also, for those of you in the New York/Long Island area, I will be on AM 1240 WGBB this Sunday night on Sports Talk Live with Frankie The Sports Guy at 10:30 PM ET.
We’ll be talking about the World Series and some other things that are going on in baseball.