• October 28th Vs. The Phillies

    Posted by on October 28th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    Well, at least the Yankees avoided being shutout in Game One of a World Series for the first time in their history (covering 40 World Series).

    Funny, for some reason, this didn’t feel like a World Series game. Maybe it was the damp conditions with all the mist and the lack of crispness in the air? Then again, I didn’t sense a lot of enthusiasm resonating from the Yankees starting line-up as they were being announced during the pre-game either.

    Sure, you had Yogi and the big flag before the game, etc. But, it felt more like “just another game” watching this one – more so than feeling the electricity of “The Fall Classic.”

    Heck, even during the 1976 World Series, where the Yankees got waxed by the Reds, at least it felt like the World Series during those games. Here? Well, not so much…at least to me.

    Speaking of lack of emotion, that Cliff Lee is one cool cucumber…more so than I ever knew. Talk about not being rattled! And, those plays he made…the “ho-hum” grab on the Johnny Damon pop-up in the 6th inning and the Robinson Cano come-backer in the 8th inning that he caught behind his back…they were right out of the family “for-fun” backyard whiffle ball game. You just don’t see guys being that “chill” during a World Series game that often, do you?

    Will the Yankees bats wake up tomorrow? They better snap out of it…and, if they don’t, this just might end up being more like the 1976 World Series…in terms of the end result.

    CC Sabathia was not clicking early in the game. Yet, despite throwing 58 pitches over the first three innings, he went seven inning and kept the game close. Two fat pitches to Chase Utley were the only thing to hurt him. And, on the whole, I think most would be happy with seven innings and two runs from Sabathia – every time. It’s really a sin for the Yankees to lose a game when they get this kind of result from Big CC.

    Without question, the Yankees cannot afford to lose a well pitched game 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 ALCS.

    Moving on…is it now safe to say that the bloom is off Phil Hughes as a relief pitcher? At the least, it’s probably safe to say it when it comes to this post-season. (Shame on Hughes, too, for barking at the umpire after being removed from the game. That’s not taking ownership of his own lack of good performance.) And, Brian Bruney? Hey, I told you so!

    Now, for some miscellaneous observations…

    So much talk about the “Spike Curve” in this game. Really, guys, is it any different from the “Knuckle Curve”? Let’s not go crazy over something that’s been around for a while now…

    Thank goodness the umpires, after huddling up, got the call correct on that Cano liner-DP to Jimmy Rollins in the 5th inning. Imagine the fallout from that had the men in blue screwed up another call this post-season?

    FOX mentioned that it’s 108 miles from Yankeeland to Phillie-town. Pretty cool – considering there are 108 stitches on a baseball as well.

    Also cool: Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia pitched in the first regular season game ever at the new Yankee Stadium and they faced each other in the first World Series game at the new Stadium – both happening in the same year. What are the odds on that?

    Lots of empty blue seats to be seen on the monarchy-side of the moat from the seventh inning on in this one. Guess the bandwagoners had seen enough?

    Speaking of the Stadium crowd, it was funny to hear the field mikes, during the 7th inning stretch, pick up fans yelling “Hats off!” Some things never change at the Stadium…no matter which one it is.

    Lastly, I saw where the Phillies are hanging Harry Kalas’ sports jacket in the dugout. Made me wonder…when the time comes…will the Yankees players hang Big Stein’s blue blazer and turtle-neck in the Yankees dugout? Somehow, I don’t think that’s happening…unless Randy Levine and Lonn Trost can figure out a way to place some advertising on it.

    Comments on October 28th Vs. The Phillies

    1. Tresh Fan
      October 29th, 2009 | 12:32 am

      A word of caution: If the Yankees middle relief doesn’t shape up and soon, this could be a very short series.

      The Phillies went through this game with a rather noticeable swagger. And on a few occassions I noticed Charlie Manuel look into the dugout camera and laugh. They have yet to be seriously challenged in this post season.

    2. ken
      October 29th, 2009 | 8:11 am

      I am really sick of seeing Joe Gym overmanage the middle relief. Too much matchup and not enough instinct. The uncertainty of who’s role is what is causing problems. Sure, Hughes has to throw strikes but these guys have not been allowed to get into a rhythm with predictable roles.

      Didn’t matter for this game but no one out there is pitching with confidence.

    3. JeremyM
      October 29th, 2009 | 8:45 am

      There’s no such thing as a predictable role in the bullpen, other than the closer spot, the LOOGY, and I guess now things are trending to the “8th inning guy!!!!!!!” Guys in the pen need to be ready to be called on at basically any point during the game.

      Well, there’s no doubt that the Phillies have an incredible “swagger.” So let’s see how they react to getting punched in the mouth- if the Yanks can’t handle Pedro, they have no business even being here, and it’s up to AJ to step it up. It was clear that the Yankees weren’t going to sweep this series, so there’s no need to panic, even as bad as certain aspects looked last night.

    4. JeremyM
      October 29th, 2009 | 8:48 am

      By the way I think the umps blew it by even needing a conference on that play in the first place. The fact that they signaled Matsui was out on the force at second threw off the entire rhythm of that play, although Matsui was likely going to be doubled off either way.

    5. Corey
      October 29th, 2009 | 9:13 am

      ken wrote:

      I am really sick of seeing Joe Gym overmanage the middle relief. Too much matchup and not enough instinct.

      Huh? You’d have rather left Hughes in there to be annihilated? The dude looked exactly like how he was when he was starting in 2008.

    6. Corey
      October 29th, 2009 | 9:15 am

      JeremyM wrote:

      By the way I think the umps blew it by even needing a conference on that play in the first place. The fact that they signaled Matsui was out on the force at second threw off the entire rhythm of that play, although Matsui was likely going to be doubled off either way.

      How dumb is Cano to think he would be the one who was safe? lol

    7. YankCrank
      October 29th, 2009 | 9:24 am

      Will the Yankees bats wake up tomorrow?
      ——

      I wouldn’t say the Yankees bats were sleeping at all. Lee threw a game unlike we’ve seen all year. There isn’t a team on the planet that could have hit him last night. Complete game, 10 Ks, a ball caught behind his back…everything went his way last night. Yankee bats weren’t asleep, they were rendered useless.

      Last night was fun to watch CC because he clearly didn’t have “it.” But he battled and only gave up 2 runs through 7 innings. It reminded me of old Clemens starts when he just didn’t have it but battled for a win. We have a special pitcher on our hands for the next 6 years.

      Also, Tresh makes a fantastic point. Our pen needs to be better than that if we even want to win one game this series. We had no hope once Hughes came in and walked the first two batters. Not what we needed, Phil.

      Yesterday is done, we’re down 0-1 and today is a new day. Let’s put this one behind us and focus on splitting the first two games. I think we need to, honestly. I’d prefer not to go play in Philly down 0-2.

    8. Corey
      October 29th, 2009 | 9:25 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      There isn’t a team on the planet that could have hit him last night.

      Agreed, that’s the best I’ve ever seen him.

    9. Tresh Fan
      October 29th, 2009 | 9:34 am

      Looks like things will get “ugly” when the Series shifts to Philadelphia:

      CorbisSurvey: Philly Has the Least Attractive People
      For the third year in a row, residents and visitors have voted Philadelphia the city with the least attractive people, according to a survey by Travel + Leisure.

      But that’s not all; the City of Brotherly Love also ranked as the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldy by 60,000 respondents who ranked 30 cities in several categories ranging from food to nightlife to culture. On the bright side, the beauty of the museums and art galleries was enough to boost Philly to the third spot in the Historical Sites/Monuments category.

      Rounding out the bottom three in the area of unattractiveness are Cleveland and St. Louis, while Miami, San Diego and Charleston, SC are home to the most beautiful people, the survey found.

    10. ken
      October 29th, 2009 | 12:07 pm

      Corey wrote:

      ken wrote:
      I am really sick of seeing Joe Gym overmanage the middle relief. Too much matchup and not enough instinct.
      Huh? You’d have rather left Hughes in there to be annihilated? The dude looked exactly like how he was when he was starting in 2008.

      No but why not bring in Joba to finish the inning. Forget lefty/righty matchups. Marte has not earned the role that Girardi has given him. And the guys who have earned that role are getting bypassed. You can’t use 5 or 6 pitchers in 2 innings. Live or die with what brought you here.

      Rob Dibble made just this point on MLB/XM.

    11. Corey
      October 29th, 2009 | 12:14 pm

      ken wrote:

      Marte has not earned the role that Girardi has given him

      Marte did his job though.

    12. Corey
      October 29th, 2009 | 12:23 pm

      ken wrote:

      Live or die with what brought you here.

      Hughes couldn’t find the plate, you’d rather die with that then try to catch someone else who might be having a good night? I dunno about that.

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