They have the money and they have the star galaxy, but the Yankees are showing grit and resiliency. They are winning this World Series, with a 27th title within their grasp, despite Mark Teixeira not hitting; despite CC Sabathia not winning a game (all right, that’s semantics because he’s pitched very well); and despite Alex Rodriguez’s miserable start.
Many thought, myself included, this would go seven. Two potent offenses and aces on both teams, how could it not? The Yankees can wrap it up in five games tonight.
Rodriguez got the game winning hit last night, but wasn’t the game really won on Johnny Damon’s hustle when he stole two bases on one play? With the Phillies in a shift against Teixeira, who only has one hit in the Series, they neglected to cover third. That was closer Brad Lidge’s responsibility.
Rattled, Lidge hit Teixeira and Rodriguez delivered.
“There’s no question I’ve never had a bigger hit,” Rodriguez said.
It really is amazing how the momentum of the Series shifted so suddenly. It didn’t take much, either. After losing the first game, the Yankees were behind in Game 2 when Hideki Matsui tied it with a homer. You knew then the Series was going to be tied.
Down in Game 3, Andy Pettitte’s hit off a Cole Hamels curveball, tied that game and set up a big inning. The Series was now slipping away. Then, there was Damon’s play last night, after which you know what would happen next, and now the Yankees are 27 outs away from their 27th title.
That the Yankees came back last night after the Phillies tied the game in the eighth tells you what you need to know about them.
Like them or hate them, and there’s no middle ground, you must respect them. And, fear them.