By Ricky Santana
November 5, 2009
When it came down to it the Yankees proved to be too much for the defending 2008 world series champion Phillies. What else could you ask for in a world series matchup other then the two best teams in both leagues are facing each other? Two former Cy young winners and teammates squaring off against each other, and the two most potent lineups in all of baseball? If there was anything this World Series lacked it was the offense of the Phils, they were nowhere to be found.
The Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, who had been scrutinized all season used a questionable but effective 3 man rotation going into the postseason that included their ace C.C. Sabathia who they payed the big bucks for in the offseason, AJ Burnett, and Yankee great and Mr. Postseason himself Andy Pettitte. This was a rotation that seemed to work well as having such a comfortable lead in the American League East nearing the end of the season Girardi used it to his advantage by resting his starters and not using them much heading into the postseason.
Foto: AP/David J. Phillip
What also benefitted the Yankees and this trio of starters was that they only needed to pitch 6 solid quality innings where they could keep their team in it, because once the 7th inning came along it was a 3 headed lights out bullpen going from their fire-baller and a man who has experience in the pen Joba Chamberlain, to their 8th inning man Phil Hughes who earned that spot toward the end of the year and in the 9th of course Mariano Rivera who was clearly lights out in every way possible.
Credit goes where credit is due and the main reason why this series went to six games – on the Phillies’ end – was because of two players, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley.
Clearly getting Lee before the trade deadline proved to be a tremendous move for the Phillies because he was their Cole Hamels of this year – Hamels being the pitcher who won NLCS and World Series MVP last year when being nearly untouchable throughout their postseason run last year – only problem is he can only start every 5 days. It'd be different if he could pitch every night because if anything he was the only Phillies pitcher who was able to contain the Yankee hitters in his starts.
Only Bobby Richardson, who ironically was on a Yankees team, is the only player in history to win M.V.P. honors on the losing team in the world series and tonight history could have repeated itself because Chase Utley carried his squad throughout this series. Sure he didn't bat .500 or drive in every run on base, but single handedly he drove in the necessary runs to extend the series to 6 games where it went and in the process put himself in great company with Mr. October Reggie Jackson as the only men to ever hit 5 HRs in a World Series.
In a series where many had Philadelphia winning because of their bats, Utley did not disappoint by hitting against both righties and lefties with ease, and not to mention belting 2 homeruns in the first game against Yankees ace and probable Cy Young C.C. Sabathia.
The Yankees might have not put up impressive stats but they got the big hits when they mattered most, and they succeeded because not only did they do the little things that mattered most like bunting and moving the runners over but they capitalized on Philliesmistakes by getting runs in early in the game, and putting the shaky pitching staff of the Phillies on their heels.
All in all it was a great way to end what was a successful first season at the new Yankee Stadium which promises to have many great memories like its predecessor.