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2009 Fall Classic

The 105th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series.

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2009 Fall Classic Game by Game Wrap Up!

  • Nov 5, 2009
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GAME 1:
One game in and the 2009 World series between thePhiladelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees has become epic.  Last night in cold and rainy weather, the Phillies came out on top of the Yanks 6-1 as Phillies ace Cliff Leedominated the solid Yankees lineup.  Before the game started, the first and second ladies and baseball legend Yogi Berra helped an Iraq War vet through out the ceremonial first pitch, but very soon after that, the fight was on.  It was the battle between former teammates Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia, who both won Cy Youngs during their tours with the Cleveland Indians.  With both aces starting game one, this was sure to be nail bitter and a battle to see which team would go to their bullpen first.  However, Game 1 ended up being a one sided affair as the Phillies hit Sabathia early and hard.

In the very first inning of the game, The Phillies were able to load the bases against C.C. Sabithia, giving Phillies fans something to cheer for early on and while the Fightins weren't able to capitalize, they made Sabathia throw 25 pitches in the inning.  When Cliff Lee hit the mound at the bottom of the first, he was lights out, retiring the side.  When the third inning came around, and Chase Utley was at the plate, little did he know that he was going to have a history making night, hitting his first of two home runs in the game, tying Babe Ruth in 1928 for the only other man in baseball history to hit two home runs off of a lefty in one game in the World Series.  It was truly amazing to watch history be made like that.  With the Phillies playing both the long ball and short ball to get runs on the board, it was easy pickings as Cliff Lee continued to dominate the Yankees lineup.

In a night were Lee pitched a complete game victory with a 0.00 ERA with ten strikeouts, it's no wonder he made some of the plays that he did.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, Johnny Damon was at bat and hit a high pop up.  Waiting over the mound with his glove by his side was Cliff Lee who made the catch without even looking.  This was definitely one of the "Are you kidding me?" moments of the game as Cliff Lee looked like a god smiting down one of his disciples.  While this was hilarious to watch, if it had gone the other way and Lee had dropped the ball, it could have made him look really bad.  But, as if saying, 'that was no fluke',Robinson Cano hit a grounder up the middle, with Lee catching the pitch behind his back and throwing him out.  This was no fluke.

With an amazing game last night for any Phillies fan, the pace picks up as game two is scheduled for tonight as the Yankees hope for a bounce back after last nights mediocre performance.  Pedro Martinez, once they Yankees arch nemesis during his time with Boston, will get the call for the Phillies as A.J. Burnett will take the mound for the Yankees.  If the Phillies win tonight, they will take a 2-0 lead back home to Citizens Bank Parkfor three games with a chance to win under the lights of the City of Brotherly Love.

GAME 2:

While last nights game isn't the worst thing that could have happened to the Phillies, it was still a little disheartening to see Pedro Martinez have to lose yet another game against the Yankees.  What's worse is that it wasn't really his fault.  Sure Pedro gave up three runs, but he also went six innings with eight strikeouts and only two walks.  When it came time to back their pitcher up, the Phils bats couldn't come up with the big hits.  This isn't to say that A.J. Burnett isn't a good pitcher because he is, having gone seven last night, allowing only four hits with nine strikeouts and only two walks.  However, a familiar situation for the Phillies came up last night in game 2, they couldn't get the job in with runners in scoring position.  There were multiple times last night where the Phils could have taken the lead, but they just couldn't pull through.

For a while during this game, it seemed like both pitchers were going to have to hit the showers early not because they were giving up runs, but both teams were making the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches.  However once the game got into the early-middle innings, both pitchers were solid.  If it hadn't been for two solo home runs from Mark Teixeira in the fourth and  Hideki Matsui in the sixth, who knows how long this game would have gone on.  In the end though, it was the Phillies last night who shot themselves in the foot, letting A.J. Burnett get away with way to many first pitch strikes and leaving runners in scoring position.  During the bottom of the eighth last night, the Phillies had runners on first and second with only one out and Chase Utley hit into a double play.  While the call shouldn't have been a double play since Chase was actually safe at first, he still hit a bad ball and ended the inning.

When a pitcher like A.J. Burnett can take his team into the seventh inning with a two run lead, setting up a two inning save for closer Mariano Rivera, you know you've had a good game.  Rivera will probably go down as being the best closer in baseball and he showed the Yankee crowd last night yet again why that is.  Even after he got himself into a jam where the Phillies had the potential to tie the game or even take the lead, he was able to fight right back and have Chase Utley, who was Wednesday's hero, swing at a bad pitch.  Finally in the ninth, after a strikeout to Ryan Howard, his fourth of the night, a line out from Jayson Werth, and a double from Raul Ibanez, Rivera was able to shut the door on the Fightins' with a strikeout to DH Matt Stairs, giving the Yankees a 3-1 win.

With the World Series all tied up at one a piece, the Bronx Bombers head to the City of Brotherly Love today where they will play game 3 on Halloween night.  Citizens Bank Park is unfamiliar ground to the Yankees as they have yet to meet some of the rowdiest fans in baseball.  On Saturday night, Andy Pettitte will get the call for the Yankees, having a 2-0 record and a 2.37 ERA as he takes on former staff ace of the Phillies Cole Hamels.  Like his regular season, Cole has had a shaky postseason, with a 1-1 record and a 6.75 ERA, enough to make any Phillies fan nervous.  The Phillies have a big advantage going into game 3 tomorrow night though and that's their fans and The Bank.  When the Phils are at home, boy do they like to hit and when they do, the crowd goes crazy.  Philadelphia has a chance to win it at home like last year if they win the next three games, but they have a tough Yankee team to beat.  As my friend Dean would say, "Welcome to Philly!"

GAME 3:

After an hour and twenty minute rain delay on Halloween night, it was finally game time and the Phillies started off with a bang with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second.  It's difficult and confusing to watch your starting pitcher have an amazing four innings and then completely choke, followed by a mental break down.  Cole Hamels struggled all year with his head just not being in the game.  When his misfortunes carried over into the postseason, rumors were ignited that Hamels would not be given a World Series start.  But there he was on Halloween night and he looked like he finally got his stuff back.  Then Hamels started throwing his curveball.  The 25 year old is known to have a decent fastball and a devastating change up, a pitch he was using  all night to gets guys out.  His curveball and his lack of focus was what lost this game as he was booed off the field after he left the game in the top of the fifth.

While Cole was a big factor in the Phillies loss on Saturday night, there was a controversial homerun call in top of the fourth when A-Rod hit a "double" off the camera in left center.  Apparently the camera had been discussed prior to the start of the game, yet it hadn't been moved by first pitch and the umpires all agreed if the camera hadn't been there, the ball would have been a homerun, giving the Yankees a one run deficit.  Homerun or not, the hits didn't stop there as pitcher Andy Pettitte hit a single to bring Nick Swisher home, followed by a double from Johnny Damon to bring both Pettitte and Derek Jeter home in the fifth, giving the Yankees a 5-3 lead.  It got worse for the Phillies in the sixth when Nick Swisher, who's bat had been silent throughout the postseason, went yard to bring the Yankees lead to 6-3.

If you know the Phillies, you know they don't go down without a fight.  In the bottom of the sixth, Jayson Werth came to the plate with one homer in the game already and with one swing of the bat, he cut the Yankees lead to two, adding another homerun to his amazing postseason.  Unfortunately, the rest of the Phillies lineup couldn't get anything else going and the game went into the top of the seventh.  Not happy with what they had, the Yankees drove in yet another run off the bat of veteran catcher Jorge Posada and then a solo shot from Hideki Matsui in the top of the eighth, giving the Yankees and commanding 8-4 lead.  In the bottom of the ninth with some life still left in the Fightin Phils, Carlos Ruiz hit a blast to left center cutting the Yankees lead to three.  Like clockwork though, Mariano Rivera came in to shut the door and get the final two out and the win for the Yankees.  

It's hard enough to lose a game, but to have your teams former ace have a mental breakdown afterwards is embarrassing.  Instead of taking the loss and coming out the next day fighting strong, Cole Hamles went on air and said, "I can't wait for it to end.  "It's been mentally draining.  At year's end, you just can't wait for a fresh start."  This isn't the first time Cole Hamels has complained during the 09 postseason, telling the media that it was not fair that the Phillies had to play during the day in the NLDS.  He also had a childish moment on the mound, raising his hands in the air after Chase Utley made a bad throw.  What kind of message does that send to your team?  That you don't want to play anymore?  If I was the Phillies, I wouldn't have any confidence left and it almost showed in game four last night as the Phillies are now behind three games to one after another tough loss to the Yankees.  Shame on you Coles Hamels, shame on you.

GAME 4:

Last night was a hard one to watch.  During the beginning of the postseason, the only subject the sports nation could talk about was the lack of Phillies pitching and that sooner or later, it would catch up with them.  Last night, it did.  Going backwards, the Phillies, who played a very tight game all night, came back and tied it in the bottom of the eighth with a solo shot from Pedro Feliz.  Then came Brad Lidge.  While Lidge had what can only be called a terrible regular season, he has been dominant during the postseason with three saves and a win under his belt.  However, the nightmare came back and with two outs, the Yankees made a ninth inning game winning rally.  

Lidge was looking good with a pop up and strikeout to Derek Jeter, and it was looking as if the Phillies would take the game into the bottom of the ninth with the game all knotted up.  Then Johnny Damon became the Phillies worst nightmare with a single.  While pitching to Mark Teixeira, Damon stole second and with a defensive shift on for Tex, there was no one covering third giving Damon the double steal gift wrapped.  After Lidge hit Teixeira with a pitch, A-Rod, who has been the man of the hour all Series long for the Bronx Bombers, doubled to left giving the Yankees the lead.   A-Rod would later say, "There's no question -- I've never had a bigger hit."  Jorge Posada would later come to the plate, scoring Tex and Rodriguez to seal the deal against the Phillies, giving them a 3-1 series lead with only one more win needed to clinch.

The Yankees got off to a hot start in the top of the first with Mark Teixeira scoring Jeter and Posada scoring Damon, giving them a quick 2-0 lead against Phillies starter Joe Blanton.  However in the bottom of the first with CC Sabathia on the mound for the Yanks yet again, the game didn't remain scoreless for long as Chase Utley, who has had Sabathia's number all series long, doubled in a run to make it a 2-1 game.  Then in the bottom of the fourth, Pedro Feliz came through for the Phils with a single, driving in Ryan Howard to tie the game up.  Of course the Yankees got upset with this and followed that up with two more runs to make it a 4-2 ball game.  Chase Utley wasn't done beating up CC Sabathia though.  In the bottom of the seventh, Utley hit a solo shot off the big man, his third against Sabathia in the World Series to cut the deficit to one.  Then came Pedro Feliz's homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie it up, but it all went downhill from there.

Tonight the Phillies will be playing in a must win game.  If they can't pull through, the Yankees will be the new World Champions of baseball.  The Phils will send ace Cliff Lee to the mound on full rest, who shut the Yankees down in game one, pitching a complete game.  He'll go up against AJ Burnett who pitched against Pedro Martinez in game two.  While the Phillies have a good chance of winning this one, they're going to have to play their asses off to make a comeback and bring the series back to New York.  They don't call em' the Fightin Phils for nothing.  Bring the rain Phillies, bring the rain!

GAME 5:

It was an anxious night for Phillies fans under the lights of Citizens Bank Park as the Fightin Phils faced elimination, something Joe Buck would remind us of all throughout the game.  If anyone could get us back into this series though, it was Cliff Lee and that's exactly what he did last night.  While his command wasn't as good as it was in game one, Lee was still hitting his spots and didn't let himself get frustrated on the mound.  Lee also had help from someone named Chase Utley, who last night tied another hitting record with another hitting legend.  On top of another pitching gem from Lee and record tying night from Chase Utley, the Phillies played as a team, letting it be known there was no way they would be eliminated at home.  Now the series heads back to the Bronx as Pedro Martinez will get a chance to take the Yankees out one more time and hopefully force a game 7.

From pretty early on in last night's game, it was pretty clear that Cliff Lee didn't have full command of his pitches.  This is in no way saying he didn't pitch a spectacle because he did, it was just a little bit more of a grind for him.  Early on, Lee was throwing a lot of pitches in the dirt and gave up a run in the first inning with an A-Rod double.  After serving up a twenty pitch first, he left it to the offense of the Phillies to get the run back which is exactly what they did... and then some.  Jimmy Rolling quickly hit a single off of Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett and then things got a little scary.  Shane Victorino came up to bunt and Burnett's pitch looked like it hit Shane in the middle and ring fingers of his throwing hand, something that would be a factor for the rest of the game.  With no one out and Rollins and Victorino on first and second, Chase Utley came to the plate and off the first pitch fastball from Burnett, blasted a three run homer to right, giving the Phillies a two run advantage early on.  Once again, Utley's night was only just beginning. 

A.J. Burnett didn't get a chance to prove himself as he has been called the Jekyll and Hyde of baseball and only made it through the first two plus innings.  Before Burnett had left the game, he gave up two more runs off the bats of Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez who drove in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard respectively.  The bottom of the third would see one more run come in for the Phillies off the bat of Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz, giving the Fightins' a commanding 6-1 lead over the Yankees.  In the top of the fifth, the Yankees would score again, but Cliff Lee remained dominant as the Phils had their eyes set on Yankee Stadium.  Then came Chase Utley again in the bottom of the seventh.  Phil Coke came into the game as the Yankees reliever.  Chase Utley welcomed him to Philly with his second homerun of the night, tying Reggie Jackson for having the most homeruns in a single World Series with five.  The welcoming party wasn't over yet as Raul Ibanez also hit a solo shot off of Coke, making sure he got the welcome message.

The Yankees decided to make this game another heart pounder though as A-Rod doubled in Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the eighth, continuing his dominant hitting in the World Series.  Cliff Lee would be taken out after another amazing pitching performance, making way for reliever Chan Ho Park, who would only give up one more run to Robinson Cano, who sac flied A-Rod home.  It was now a save situation for the Phillies and Charlie Manuel made the right call.  Instead of pitching Brad Lidge for the save who was responsible for Sunday's blown game, Manuel gave him a day to rest and brought in Ryan Madson.  In true Phillies fashion, the game became to close for comfort as Madson gave up one more run before closing this game out and forcing a game six.

It can be really disheartening to listen to a broadcaster say all night that the team you're rooting for is up for elimination, but as Phillies fans, we stood tall and cheered as the Fightin Phils knocked down the naysayers and won game 5 of the World Series.  While the Phillies have a tough road ahead as the Series goes back to Yankee stadium, this is a team that never backs down and is very capable of winning two more in a row.  On Wednesday night the Phillies will pitch Pedro Martinez one more time as he tries to get the Phillies to game 7.  He will face long time foe and veteran Andy Pettitte who like Burnett, will only be pitching with three days rest.  This game will be a battle of wits and seasoning as these two have played in games just like these over the past decade and a half.  Go Phillies Go!

GAME 6:

With all the talk surrounding a possible game 7 of the World Series where winner takes all, a lot of people were convinced it was going to happen.  Before game 6 even started, MLB Network broadcasters were talking possible pitching match-ups as if game 7 was a forgone conclusion.  What everyone was forgetting was that when the Yankees want to win, they shut the door.  If anyone didn't want a game 7, it was the Bombers because they knew if it came to that, it was, no pun intended, anybodies ball game.  So the Yankees did exactly what they're known for, and that was to shut the door on any hopes the Phillies had of a repeat and took the pennant.

Game 6 was actually supposed to be a legendary match up between veteran pitchers Pedro Martinez and Andy Pettitte.  Two pitchers who have a lot of history with one another finally getting to pitch against each other in the World Series.  Both Pettitte and Martinez have been around for almost the same amount of time with Pedro being 38 and Pettitte being 37.  Their records are also very similar as Pedro has 219 wins and 100 losses with a career 2.93 ERA and Pettite with 229 wins to 135 losses with a career 3.91 ERA.  The best part?  Pettitte and Pedro have played each other six times prior to game 6, both with three wins and three losses against each other.  Legendary right?  The game didn't quite turn out like that as Pedro was hit pretty hard.  At first, it looked as if it could be a pitchers dual with the first inning and a half scoreless.  Then Hideki Matsui, who had Pedro's number all Series long, came to the plate with one man on.  With what turned out to be a very long dual between the two, Matsui blasted a deep two run shot to right, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead that they would never let up.  Pedro would pitch through the fourth, but would be hit for two more runs off the bat of Matsui yet again, the man who in a couple of more hours would be awarded the World Series MVP.

Last night's game could have easily been a blowout.  At one point the Yankees were up 7-1 with almost no chance of a Phillies come back after Mark Teixeira would drive in a run, followed by Matsui driving in two more, setting a World Series RBI record.  However Ryan Howard, who was having a terrible Series, would come to the plate with one man on and blast a two run homer the opposite way to left, brining the deficit down to only four.  Unfortunately that is where the score would stay, deadlocked at 7-3 as Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera shut the door on the Phils championship dreams.  The biggest problem the Phillies had was their affinity for taking pitches that could have gone deep or driven in a couple of runs.  Plain and simple, the Fightins just weren't aggressive enough at the plate, where as the Yankees would swing at the first good pitch they saw.  As hard as it is to say it, the Yankees were just the better team. 

The Yankees know how to shut the door. Andy Pettitte found a way to do it on only three days rest and the New York hitters didn't let him down.  While it gets a little old after a while seeing the Yankees win the World Series a couple of time every decade, its got to be exciting for guys on that team who have yet to get a ring.  A-Rod, one of the best players in baseball, finally gets his ring after a long season of steroid allegations and hop surgery.  But for the "four amigos", Posada, Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera, it was ring number 5 and they acted like it.  Not taking anything away from their accomplishments, but when you win that many rings, they have to be saying, "been there, done that" and that was the look on their faces last night.  For some like Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, it was a different story, finally getting to prove himself after last years subpar performance.  While the Yankees are just beginning their celebrations, the Phillies season is over, but this is a team that does keep on fighting and for the next couple of years, has a strong opportunity to come back to the Fall Classic.  Congratulations to the the New York Yankees.  Until next year... 
 
 
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November 05, 2009
Not quite the classics of 2001 and 2002 but an entertaining series nonetheless. 2004 - 2008 were series to put you to sleep and not even worth ordering the DVDs. I am sure that the Phillies will be back and if the American League can come up with a worthy opponnent next year perhaps we will have another great one.
 
November 05, 2009
Thanks, Julian!  You're awesome for compiling this for an end of the series wrap up.  Sorry about your Phillies' loss though!
November 05, 2009
Thanks! Ya, it was a little rough last night, but I kind of prepared myself for it so i wouldn't be to upset. There's always next year!
 
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Julian Brown ()
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Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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The 2009 World Series
will be the 105th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series. The best-of-seven playoff will be played between the Philadelphia Phillies, champions of the National League (NL), and the New York Yankees, champions of the American League (AL). The Phillies are seeking to become the first team to repeat as World Series champions since the Yankees did so from 1998–2000, while the Yankees are seeking to extend their major-league record with a 27th World Series championship. The two franchises previously met in the 1950 World Series in which the Yankees swept the Phillies four games to none. This World Series is being nicknamed the "Turnpike Series", because there are many Yankees and Phillies fans in New Jersey, with North Jersey being Yankees territory, and South Jersey preferring the Phillies. It has also been nicknamed the "Liberty Series" by Major League Baseball, based on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and the Statue of Liberty in New York.

This will be the fifth Series played between teams from New York and Philadelphia. The Giants and Athletics faced each other in 1905, 1911 and 1913 in addition to the Yankees–Phillies matchup in 1950.

This will be the fourth consecutive time that the Phillies will face a team from the AL East in the World Series. They faced the Baltimore Orioles in 1983, the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. The Yankees faced a NL East opponent in three of...
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