• November 1st @ The Phillies

    Posted by on November 2nd, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Many will want to talk about A-Rod driving in the tie-breaking run during the 9th inning of this game. And, he deserves credit for getting that hit. But, to me, without question, the hero of this one is Johnny Damon. First, Damon had big hits in the 1st and 5th innings. But, more importantly, that At Bat of his in the 9th inning and what followed was just incredible.

    Yanks and Phils tied, top of the 9th, no one on, with two outs, and Damon comes to the plate. Phil Coke and Phil Hughes are warming up in the bullpen. I’m already thinking about writing this one up as a terrible loss for the Yankees – maybe a loss that costs them the entire series in the long run. Within three pitches, Damon finds himself in the hole with a 1-2 count. He fouls off the next pitch. Then, he takes two balls. Now, it’s a full count. Next, Damon spoils a pitch foul. And, then he does it again. Finally, Damon singles to left field and the Yankees have a runner on first albeit with two outs.

    After that clutch, thrilling, and winning At Bat, Johnny Damon steals second base and then, on the same play, he steals third base because the Phillies have the shift on (for Mark Teixiera, batting) and Brad Lidge forgets to cover third base.

    And, that set it up – after Teixiera was hit by a pitch – for A-Rod’s hit.

    Johnny Damon’s effort in the top of the 9th inning of this game should go down in World Series history…because it was so important to the Yankees winning this game.

    I’ll have more on this game at a later time – because I feel that Damon deserves the spotlight, alone, in this game entry.

    Sure, there’s other things to discuss from this one – such as pitchers throwing at A-Rod and the gutty effort by CC Sabathia in this game. And, yeah, there’s the Joba-thing. But, again, for now, this one’s for you Johnny Damon. And, you’ve earned it.

    As far as the Yankees…hey, you’re up three games to one now in this series. Do us all in Yankeeland a favor, and, GET IT DONE ON MONDAY.

    Yes, it’s going to be hard – facing Cliff Lee on full rest and throwing A.J. Burnett, on short-rest, and on the road. But, just find a way to get it done, in Game Five, and DO NOT LET THE PHILLIES BACK INTO THIS THING. They’re down, and, please, let’s keep them there and finish this off, now, quickly…OK?

    Comments on November 1st @ The Phillies

    1. nawlins yankee
      November 2nd, 2009 | 12:25 am

      I have to give the spotlight to A-Rod tonight. Damon’s at-bat was enormous, as was the stolen bases. But it would have meant nothing if they couldn’t get the big hit. If A-rod failed and Coke lost the game, he would have been the goat. It’s only fair that he be considered the hero.

    2. Evan3457
      November 2nd, 2009 | 12:26 am

      I can’t argue with anything here. (dammit! ;) )

      Thank you, Messrs. Damon and Rodriguez, especially Mr. Damon. You may have just saved the season.

      Well, I now have a “psychological middle” – I have a ticket for Game 7. So either the Yanks wrap up a title in the next two games, or I get to see the first World Series Game 7 in Yankee Stadium…

      …in 52 years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive, and is thus a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    3. November 2nd, 2009 | 12:36 am

      @ Evan3457:
      I’ve got tickets for Game 7 as well. And, without any question, whatsoever, I’ll be more than happy to use them as bookmarks, coasters, or even to scrape dog poop off my shoe, if it means, in exchange, the Yankees win this World Series in six games or less.

      Too many wacky things can happen in a Game 7. Why leave it up to that?

      Besides, and this is true, I played that “You’ll never know when this can happen again – for some people, it never happens, etc.” card, when the Yankees made the World Series in 1996, with my wife, to make sure she understood why the world had to stop that October and everything had to be focused on the World Series. And, then, after that, she was quick to remind me of that claim/excuse when they made the Series again in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003…

      Hey, for all we know, there could be a Game 7 in 2010? So, again, I’ll gladly pass on a Game 7 in-person experience for a ring in the hand…

    4. November 2nd, 2009 | 12:41 am

      @ nawlins yankee:
      Without Damon reaching and stealing, then A-Rod has nothing to drive in, and he’s not seeing 92 MPH fastballs in that spot either. As far as the goat, without Damon’s AB, that has to be Joba. How coud it possibly be A-Rod?

    5. Tresh Fan
      November 2nd, 2009 | 1:11 am

      Damon gets the star tonight. His AB clearly frustrated Lidge. And his “Eddie Collins” (see 1917 World Series) forced Lidge into a position where he felt he couldn’t through his best pitch—the slider—lest the ball get away from Ruiz and Damon score. Lidge was a total wreck after that.

    6. November 2nd, 2009 | 3:35 am

      @Steve Lombardi: You wrote: “As far as the goat, without Damon’s AB, that has to be Joba. How coud it possibly be A-Rod?”

      That would be the reasonable, rational interpretation. But nawlins yankee is right that A-Rod would have been the goat if he hadn’t gotten a hit, and the Yankees had lost. Heck, the media was handwringing about his strikeouts in Game 2, a game the Yankees won!

      All that being said, I would say that A-Rod had his quintessential October moment, but Damon’s play is also something people will talk about 20 years from now (how’s that for splitting the difference!)

      I was at Yankee Stadium watching the game tonight, and the fans went nuts over both moments. And as I was headed home, I thought to myself – I wonder if such a Damon two-steal effort has ever happened in a playoff game before. Hmmm, maybe Steve Lombardi would know that answer!

    7. MJ
      November 2nd, 2009 | 6:52 am

      With apologies to:

      -CC Sabathia gutting it out on short rest when he had absolutely no command of his pitches, still giving the team 6.2 workmanlike innings;
      -Derek Jeter getting a couple of hits, scoring the game’s first run and converting all of his defensive chances without incident;
      -Damaso Marte coming in right after the Phillies pull to within 4-3 late in the game and getting Ryan Howard out, continuing his surprisingly sparkling October;
      -Mariano Rivera getting 3 outs on 8 pitches and looking more dominating tonight than he has since the ALCS; or
      -Alex Rodriguez forgetting a couple of cruddy AB’s earlier in the game and overall in the World Series thus far, seeing Lidge’s offering and pulling a solid line drive double to drive in the game’s winning run;

      Johnny Damon gets all the credit in the world tonight. He was on base multiple times, scored multiple runs and battled Lidge when he was down to the Yanks’ final strike of the 9th inning. Those steals were tremendous as well.

      True, Damon had a poor night in the field and showed yet again how his arm is weaker than a wet noodle, his AB in the 9th was AWESOME. Good for him. Frankly, that AB has a DVD-like quality to it in that if the Yanks do go on to win the ’09 WS, that AB will be prominently featured on the video. I hope to be able to plunk down the money for the DVD in a few weeks…

      Finally, a question: why the shift for Teixeira? He’s not a true pull hitter like Giambi/Big Papi and he’s slumping so badly that it’s doubtful he’d make solid pull contact against Lidge. If he HAD gotten a hit, I could’ve seen it being a little dunker to the opposite field. I don’t get why the Phils put on such an extreme shift with 2 outs and a man on.

      Anyway, hats off to CC, Jeter, Marte, Mo, A-Rod and Damon. Those boys have put the team just 27 outs away from #27. That’s the closest we’ve been to the World Series since Game 6 of 2001. Here’s hoping the Yanks take care of business sooner rather than later.

    8. Evan3457
      November 2nd, 2009 | 7:59 am

      Well, closest since Game 7 of 2001. I would say 3 outs from winning it all is closer than 27.

      But that’s just me.

    9. clintfsu813
      November 2nd, 2009 | 7:59 am

      I like to think I gave you the idea to apologize ;)

    10. #15
      November 2nd, 2009 | 9:02 am

      Jorge deserves a shout-out too. He maintained concentration at the plate when it might have been easy to get caught up in the excitement after A-Rod’s hit. His single to drive in the last two not only provided a nice cushion, it took stress off Mo and knocked any remaining gas out of the Phils. Ledge needs to be on a suicide watch. He’s done for the series. One more. Just one more.

    11. Corey
      November 2nd, 2009 | 9:10 am

      Hey lisa, how was Yankee Stadium? I was thinking about going, but I was also fearful of them saying the lower sections are full and denying my entrance.

    12. Corey
      November 2nd, 2009 | 9:22 am

      Isn’t it amazing how good Marte has been in the playoffs? At the beginning of October, if someone came up to you and said Marte would be the best non-Mo reliever out of the pen, you would have called him crazy, right?

    13. MJ
      November 2nd, 2009 | 9:50 am

      @ Evan3457:
      True. I meant more along the lines of first time we’ve been in a WS clinching scenario since ’01.

      @ clintfsu813:
      HAHAHA, exactly!

      @ Corey:
      It never ceases to amaze me. This is the same Marte that has been objectively TERRIBLE since he came to New York on 7/26/08. Who is this guy? Not that I’m complaining. I won’t hold my breath and expect the same level of success for the next two years on his contract but if he can still be this kind of Cinderella just a little while longer — just long enough for the Yanks to win one more game — I’ll be just fine with that. Then we can truly say that something good came out of that Nady trade.

    14. November 2nd, 2009 | 9:52 am

      Corey, it was fine – I was worried the same thing as you, but they had enough room for everybody. Very intense, excited crowd – much louder than I’ve heard at Stadium games!

    15. Molon Labe
      November 2nd, 2009 | 10:27 am

      Into the belly of the beast….

      We made the trip up (from NC) to catch Game #3 at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. The stadium is a gem, and the majority of the fans we encountered were delightful.

      The long rain delay gave the natives a chance to imbibe a bit, and several became increasingly hostile. The “Yankees Suck!” and “You Took Steroids” chants were to be expected, but the roving gangs of drunk punks forming a ring around us and shouting “A**HOLE!” was uncalled for. On one trip to the rest room, one of the thugs swung a bag at me, striking me in the shoulder/neck/back of head. The Mrs. wouldn’t stay in the “Ladies” room to wash her hands due to the expletive-laced verbal assaults unleased upon her in there; not to worry, she had hand sanitizer.

      Spike Lee and his buddy (an imposing bodyguard) was seated only a few seats over (row 10, behind the 1st base coach), and he took some abuse while just sitting there politely; I believe that his harassers were ejected.

      In the Philly sports blogs this morning, there’s a report of a gang of punks (trying to) urinate on a Yankees fan last night. Shameful.

      The “Standing Room Only” tickets may be a part of the problem. The riffraff can get in (comparatively) cheaply, then rove around looking for ways to amuse their feeble brains.

    16. November 2nd, 2009 | 6:43 pm

      @ Molon Labe:
      Must have been cool to be there!

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