• Matthews: Phils Match Up Well With Yank$

    Posted by on October 26th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    Via Wallace Matthews -

    The Yankees have spent $1,187,333,651 on ballplayers since 2003, the last time they made it to the World Series. That’s one billion, one hundred eighty-seven million, three hundred thirty-three thousand and six hundred fifty-one dollars, if you’re scoring at home.

    The number jumps to $1,425,549,383 – almost enough to pay a Goldman Sachs CEO his bonus – if you go back to 2000, the last time they actually won a world championship.

    That’s a lot of money, a lot of time, an eclectic and ever-changing collection of a handful of great players and far too many frauds, failures and goldbricks who have passed through the Yankees clubhouse since the last time they earned a parade down Broadway.

    Finally, the Yankees seem to have found the right combination of players to get them back to where they believe they rightfully belong every year, although in last night’s 5-2 win that finally vanquished the stubborn but underpowered Angels, it was a member of their original cast, Andy Pettitte, and a soon-to-be castoff, Johnny Damon, who ultimately brought them there.

    Plus, the Angels were willful participants in their own failure with their nightly baserunning follies, another episode of which was presented last night when Vlad Guerrero somehow managed to get himself doubled off first base on a routine pop fly to right in the second inning.

    The $201-million Yankees – down slightly from the $209-million version that failed to make the postseason in 2008 – did precisely what they were supposed to do against teams like those, no more and perhaps even a bit less.

    But the Philadelphia Phillies, the defending world champions who are ready and rested after finishing off the Dodgers on Wednesday, are a different story altogether.

    Unlike the Twins and Angels, who are National League-type teams trying to keep up in the high-powered American League, the Phillies are the exact opposite.

    They hit nearly as many home runs as the Yankees, scored just a handful fewer runs, and play in a ballpark just as homer-friendly to them as the new Yankee Stadium is to the Yankees.

    Most importantly this time of year, with the exception of Rivera, for whom they have no equivalent (but then, who does?) the Phillies’ pitching staff can match the Yankees, arm for arm.

    The Yankees have CC Sabathia? The Phillies have Cliff Lee. A.J. Burnett equals Joe Blanton. And though the Yankees are still stuck for a reliable fourth starter, the Phillies have J.A. Happ, a 12-game winner with a 2.93 ERA. And of course, there’s Pedro – shame on you if you ask Pedro Who? – who in the midst of the 2004 Yankees collapse against the Red Sox sat in the press room at the old Stadium and mused about the good old days sitting under a mango tree in the Dominican Republic.

    You think he might want to put a little hurt on his old tormentors?

    No, this is not going to be easy, even with Sabathia starting Game 1 on full rest and Alex Rodriguez still seemingly unaware that it is indeed October.

    The Yankees spent nearly as much money on this ballclub as they did on the ballpark it plays in just to get back to the World Series.

    Now, what kind of price will they have to pay to win it?

    Me? This World Series will come down to what happens in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees play extremely well at home. But, the Phillies have played well on the road this season. So, if the Phils can split the first two games of this series and then turn it into a situation where it then becomes a “best 3 of 5″ with Philadelphia then having the home field advantage…well…things could get sweaty for New York.

    The key to this series…assuming that Sabathia and Pettitte do what they normally do…could be A.J. Burnett (for the Yankees). What happens in his starts could make or break the Fall Classic for the Yankees.

    Do you agree? And, if you do, does it scare you that Burnett could be the key player in this World Series?

    Comments on Matthews: Phils Match Up Well With Yank$

    1. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 9:26 am

      The key to this series…assuming that Sabathia and Pettitte do what they normally do…could be A.J. Burnett (for the Yankees). What happens in his starts could make or break the Fall Classic for the Yankees.
      —————
      Ah, how times have changed. Once upon a time, while I was clamoring for the Yankees to sign Pettitte, everyone was unsure about what he could bring to the table. Now it’s all about him “doing what he normally does”.

    2. cr1
      October 26th, 2009 | 9:37 am

      It’s even scarier than the notion that anybody wastes time reading Wally Matthews.

    3. clintfsu813
      October 26th, 2009 | 9:55 am

      I definitely see Sada catching AJ. That AJ/Molina crap was hopefully put to bed in Game 5. The Phils have played good on the road this post season..but so have we. Clinched in Minny, won 1 in Anaheim, and came close in the other 2. Philly doesnt scare me. Pleeeeeeeease let Pedro pitch in Game 2.

    4. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 10:07 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      Pleeeeeeeease let Pedro pitch in Game 2.

      I got my Who’s your Daddy shirt ready.

    5. yagottagotomo1
      October 26th, 2009 | 10:38 am

      The Yankees, if I remember correctly, have fared pretty well against Lee and Blanton, and we know that they are Pedro’s daddies. Looking at the teams, I see the Yankees having a slight edge offensively and a larger edge in the bullpen. With the starters, I think the key to the series might be Hamels.

    6. HarleyP
      October 26th, 2009 | 11:14 am

      Geesh. There’s an original approach to Matthew’s first WS piece. It’s all about the cash.

      Wallace Matthews. He knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

    7. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 11:54 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      if I remember correctly, have fared pretty well against Lee

      Lee pitched well against us this year, however.

    8. October 26th, 2009 | 12:12 pm

      @ Corey: FWIW, I’ve always been pro-pettitte

    9. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 12:39 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Corey: FWIW, I’ve always been pro-pettitte

      You’re right, you were there with me.

    10. Evan3457
      October 26th, 2009 | 12:51 pm

      Yanks used to hit Lee hard. Then he changed his style and became another David Wells, more or less. They havn’t hit him well the last two seasons.

      Last 3 starts vs. Yanks…2008: 0 ER in 7 IP with a W….2009: 1 ER in 6 IP with a W (1st game at the new YS), and 3 ER in 6 IP with an L.

    11. Evan3457
      October 26th, 2009 | 12:52 pm

      cr1 wrote:

      It’s even scarier than the notion that anybody wastes time reading Wally Matthews.

      Don’t you mean Wally “Crapbird” Matthews? Because it seems the only purpose of his columns is to crap on whatever catches eye.

    12. October 26th, 2009 | 8:40 pm

      After Game 5, Wallace penned this gem.

      http://tinyurl.com/yj299o4

      I think that clearly states my thoughts on Mr. Matthews.

    13. October 29th, 2009 | 12:24 am

      [...] from Sabathia and not have it hurt their chances in this World Series. And, for sure, it now puts a ton of pressure on A.J. Burnett in Game Two. And, he has to do better than he did in Game Five of the [...]

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