It took nine years, which admittedly is nothing by the standards of this Cubs fan (they haven’t even REACHED the World Series in my PARENTS’ lifetimes, and both are nearing 60). But that’s an eternity for Yankees fans. Last night, their “wait” ended when the Yankees clinched their 27th championship with a 7-3 win over the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series.
Hideki Matsui won MVP honors after getting three hits and six RBIs in the clincher. I wish he would have ditched the translator when he got the MVP trophy and for once sounded human. But he had a truly incredible night and is a class act.
Andy Pettitte started on three days’ rest and got the win – his third series clincher in this year’s playoffs. Mariano Rivera got the final five outs. Pettitte, Rivera, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter – the core remaining from the group that won four titles from 1996-2000 – got their fifth titles. And Alex Rodriguez, who finally had a very good postseason (albeit with a mediocre World Series), got the first title of his 15-year career.
I’m no Yankees fan. But I do have ties to the organization from covering the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate – the Trenton Thunder – from 2005 to 2007. Congratulations to Dave Eiland (pitching coach from 2005-06), Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke and everyone else in the organization who I had the pleasure of working with. I’m happy for those guys.
Only 3 1/2 months until pitchers and catchers report and we start the long slog known as baseball season all over again.
The Yankees’ millions may not have been able to buy them reliable middle relief. But they have the vastly superior closer, and it was enough to put them on the brink of their 27th championship with a 7-4 victory last night in Game 4 of the World Series.
After Joba Chamberlain flushed a win for C.C. Sabathia in the bottom of the eighth, Johnny Damon worked out a two-out single in the top of the ninth after a lengthy at-bat against Brad Lidge, who had blown away the first two hitters of the inning. Damon stole second, then alertly took third when Jimmy Rollins tried to bait him to run when Lidge wasn’t covering third base. Damon then scored two batters later when Alex Rodriguez doubled to left. Jorge Posada tacked on two more insurance runs with a base hit, and Rivera needed only 8 pitches in the bottom of the ninth to get the save.
It will be up to Cliff Lee, so dominant this postseason, to keep the Phillies alive in Game 5 tomorrow night. But even if he does so, the Phillies are toast. Game 6 would be a rematch between Pedro Martinez and Andy Pettitte (albeit with the latter on short rest) and Game 7 would be Sabathia against either the struggling Cole Hamels (who said following Game 3 that he can’t wait for the season to end) or J.A. Happ, who has started once in the last month.
It’s just a matter of time until the Yankees parade down the Canyon of Heroes and A-Rod never has to hear about his postseason failures again.
You know your starting pitcher is having a lousy night when he gives up an RBI single to a pitcher from the American League, one who can probably count the number of at-bats he’s had all season on one hand.
Yup, Cole Hamels didn’t have it yet again last night. After starting off well, he got torched for five runs in the fourth and fifth innings as the Yankees regained home field advantage in the World Series with a rain-marred 8-5 win in Game 3 last night at Citizens Bank Park.
Included in that aforementioned carnage were home runs by Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui, Pettitte’s RBI single and clutch hits by Jorge Posada. Pettitte threw 51 pitches in the first two innings, giving up three runs. But he was great over his final four innings to get the win.