About Last Night …. Yankees imposing their will.

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.

Bearing down on title 27

Bearing down on title 27

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.

13 thoughts on “About Last Night …. Yankees imposing their will.

  1. Watching the Phills make me feel that the Mets aren’t really that far off from competing with them again. If the Mets can sign a big bat and get a return to better form from Pelfrey/Maine/Perez, they will be in good shape to compete. I have to believe as much as Pelfrey going backwards was a big blow to the Mets, Cole Hamels going backwards for the Phills is even a bigger blow to them because they were considering him to be a Cy Young candidate, #1 starter. It looks like he has no confidence.

  2. 1. I don’t see where you can make that statement from. The Phils offense is much more pwerful and just as fast at the top of the order. Their starters are better and deeper. Their middle relief is better. th eonly spot where the Mets match up is closer and KRod was no star this year. Add a power bat and the Mets still don’t equal the Phils offensively. And you make the assumption the Phils sleep on their laurels which they haven’t done since Gillick and his trainee Amaro Jr took over. You can book it the Phils will have a new closer next year.

  3. (2) Harry: Just going back to the pitching aspect mainly. If Hamels doesn’t bounce back to top form, then he is no better than a middle of the rotation starter, leaving the #1’s Lee/Santana clearcut, and the middle guys: Blanton/Hamels/Haap/Pelfrey/Maine/Perez which I feel is very comparable. With Hamels having a poor second half of season and playoffs, the staffs get much closer ONLY IF, Pelfrey/Maine/Perez bounce back. If Hamels next year reverts to CY Young form, then all bets are off.
    Is the Phillies middle relief that much better? I’m not too sure about that. Add a power bat then the lineups become very comparable IMO. If the Mets can add Bay or Holliday then the OF of Bay/Holliday, Beltran, and Francouer matches up to Ibanez (who has looked slow,) Victorino, and Werth. The Mets miss a big power bat at 1b and 2b, but if Wright can get back to 30 homer form which I fully expect him to, then that doesn’t matter much. Obviously in 2007/2008 both teams matched up well. With a return to health and form in 2010, they should match up well too.

  4. Steve; I appreciate your love for OP, but any rotation with him in it, is worse than any other rotation. He compares only with some Nat pitchers, and unlike OP, they are young and have upside.
    The Phils middle relief is much better than the Mets. It was their main area of injury and are still better, and their set up man is certainly better than the nothings that Jerry kept force feeding like Stokes and Green and do you really want to keep a 9 million dollar Putz who has been hurt for 2 years. Haap beats any Met pitcher other than Santana and so does Blanton. Unlike all our choices, if nothing else he is steady and healthy every year. Their offense had a down year for Utley and Howard (at least HR wise) and Rollins had the worst tyear of his career and they still won easily.
    With all your ifs you might as well root for the lottery first prize because your chances are just as good.

  5. Harry, we’ll see…what can I say? With some health and a power bat and a return to form of the staff I think they can compete with the Phills. Still alot of work that needs to be done regardless. By the way, nice post about Manuel on one of the other threads. Dead on accurate. I can’t believe he is still the manager.

  6. How many Mets pitchers would have gotten Utley/Howard/Werth out like Sabathia did in the fifth with runners on first and second with no outs? How many Mets pitchers would have settled down and pitched well after early problems like Andy Pettitte in Game 4? Plus get the game-tying base hit.
    How many Mets relievers can be a Mariano Rivera who has a 0.63 era and a .175 BA in 11 games in this post season?

  7. 5. Yes, we’ll see, but they came up short when healthy two years in a row, and the Phils are stronger now then they were in 07 and 08 and the Mets are weaker.

  8. The Met pitchers don’t have it.

    We have Johan ( who was hurt again this year ) and not much else.

    We hope that Maine is over his injuries so he can be a 500 pitcher for us. Ollie is a 12 million dollar waste and Pelfrey doesn’t trust himself.

    Do we think David will hit 30 hr’s this year? That we will replace Delgado’s bat? That Murphy can hit 280 and hit 25 doubles and get double digits in hr’s this year? That we can get a catcher who can call a good game and block balls? That Jose and Beltran give us good, healthy years?

    That we can sign one of the premiere offensive OF’s out there to play LF for us? That we can get a setup man? That we won’t burn out our pen again while our pitchers implode after 5?

  9. The greate Manuel, in size and managerial ability, made a point in his presser today about Cole Hamels and hopefully it applies to Pelfrey as well. He was asked about Hamels bad year and he said it was the first time he faced adversity in his life and then he listed a bunch of great pitchers who had a great spurt early in their careers and then struggled for a year or two and then became great. Pelfreys’ great spurt was only a half a year but maybe if he had a guy who boosted his confidence there would still be hope for big Pelf.

  10. (10) Admittedly, I didn’t watch last night’s game, but I read your comments suggesting that Charlie left Lidge in too long. What was your take on the Damon double-steal? Again, I didn’t see it, but, based on what I’ve read, it would appear that Charlie goofed in implementing an overshift with a basestealer on first. If accurate, I have to wonder whether Charlie is partially responsible for last night’s loss. It doesn’t sound like he had a good ninth inning.

  11. 12. They did have the third baseman way too far from third base. Charlie looked like Jerry, but I’d take his bad day over Jerry’s hideous season.
    The point had to do with virtually all modern day managers, not just the Manuels. They all refuse to take out the closer regardless of his pithcing that day.

  12. (12) I read that Lidge was seemingly in control until the Damon AB — that Damon really worked the count before singling to left. And then there was the double-steal which, according to one report, seemed to rattle Lidge, as he proceeded to hit Texeira.

    When do you think Charlie should have lifted him — after the double-steal? After the HBP?

    Again, I wasn’t watching, so I have no sense for the exact moment when it was clear that Lidge didn’t have it. But I do remember with Armando Benitez there seemed to be a threshold — roughly at the 18th to 20th pitch of the inning — after which Benitez became useless. Did you sense something similar with Lidge?