Phillies take early control ….

When you’re only playing seven games at best, every game is important, with tonight’s Game 2 falling into the critical category for the Yankees. I don’t see them climbing out of two-game hole.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel tabbed Pedro Martinez over Cole Hamels for tonight, citing the former’s big-game presence and experience in New York and the later’s numbers pitching in Philly. In a duel of aces, Cliff Lee out-dealt CC Sabathia, and with the support of two Chase Utley homers, the Phillies gained early control of the series.

LEE: Accepts congratulations after whipping Yankees.

LEE: Accepts congratulations after whipping Yankees.

The victory put the Phillies, win or lose tonight, in position of not having to return to New York if they run the table at home. That’s doable.

Lee was magnificent last night while Sabathia was good enough to win, but also a bit rusty. Sabathia had his rest. Now, Yankees manager Joe Girardi must decide whether to pitch him in Game 5 on normal rest or Game 4 on short rest. Sabathia pitched well on short rest before, but how long before he’s gassed?

Meanwhile, the Phillies, who have a fourth starter, have the luxury of using Lee any manner they desire, and if they go short it would be for Game 7. Regarding starting pitching, the Phillies are deeper.

The Yankees’ vulnerability in the bullpen surfaced last night to the tune of four runs. Phil Hughes is not the answer. When given the opportunity, the Phillies went for the throat last night. The game could have been an even greater blowout had they taken advantage of several early chances against Sabathia.

The Yankees are dangerous when down, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them get to Martinez tonight. However, it also wouldn’t be a shock for Philadelphia to rough up AJ Burnett.

Yes, the Yankees can still win, but it means doing so on the road. They’ve won at Minnesota and Anaheim so far in the playoffs, but the Phillies are a clearly better team.

7 thoughts on “Phillies take early control ….

  1. Game 1 was hopefully a sign of things to come. I predicted yesterday that if the Phills won game 1, then they’d win it in 6 so I stand by that prediction. Smart move by Manuel to start Hamels at home where he pitches better. It reminds me of how Bobby V thought he knew so much more than anyone else and started both Kenny Rogers in 99 and Hampton in 2000 on the road when each were dominant at Shea those years.

    Regardless, Go Phills! J-Roll! Chase! Shane! My new heroes!!!!! lol. Either way, i’m going to be sick to my stomach after this series end and I have to watch either of these two teams celebrate a World Series victory.

  2. I c pedro going 5. if they leave him in after that they are asking for trouble.

    that means chan ho and company need to pitch half a game. can they do that for the series?

    I see Lee getting a CG ( imagine that? ) a real help for the Philadelphia pen.

  3. Steve (1): Sometimes you can try to be too smart and you box yourself in. Valentine thought he knew more than anybody else, and for the most part he probably did. But, he didn’t know everything. As a manager you always put your team in the best position possible to win. Rogers and Hampton at Shea would have been the way to go. …. Hamels is so much better this year at home than on the road that it made sense to hold him until Philly. … Martinez could get lit up tonight, but his experience at Yankee Stadium is a good enough argument.-JD

  4. dave (2): The magic number on Martinez when he was in his prime was 100 pitches. The Yankees liked to make him work up his pitch count. … If the Phillies can get six for those 100 pitches instead of five they should be in good shape. …. If the Phillies’ pen has to work four innings they could be in trouble. … That’s why the Phils need a big offensive night as much as they need Pedro.-JD

  5. The Phillie bullpen hasn’t pitched in over a week and they have tomorrow off. They can’t go 4 innings??????

  6. 6

    Is that a trick question?

    Because it takes the whole pen to pitch 2 innings with all the one batter pitchers teams keep these days.