Top 10 Notes About Game One of the Phillies-Yankees World Series

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

10) Writing a notes column on a game and night like this is downright tricky. Do you refuse to write the lede ahead of time, knowing that baseball has no clock and if it turns, you will blame yourself for the jinx? Or do you wallow in the good fortune and trust that the man who has taken you this far, all the while looking like he’s working against minor leaguers in Florida in March, will just close it out, and have a little freaking faith?

The answer, of course, is the former, because you are a Philly Fan, and Philly Fan has seen much that has been unfortunate. But the temptation was immense, and the Man Crush on Cliff Lee has reached Can’t Be Believed levels. The man’s making Schilling ’93 and Hamels ’08 look like batting practice.

9) Here’s the problem with baseball in a nutshell. Tonight, we had two pitchers who had a minimum of baserunners and worked quickly. The game didn’t ever get out of hand, and the offense was mostly contained to a few innings. One team never changed its starting pitcher. And yet, at the start of the eighth inning, we were still more than 2:20 into the game, which is to say, what it should take to play nine, not seven — and the whole thing didn’t wrap until 3:30.

Don’t blame the players; blame the networks, for just jamming in tons of extra ads — nearly twice as many as a normal game. If there’s a short term gain to be made from long term damage, MLB will always, always make that trade.

8) With one out in the sixth, Lee caught a pop up from Johnny Damon with less interest than you might show in scratching your nose. The next hitter (Mark Teixiera, who usually involves a little more worry from the pitcher) then dribbled out to Utley at second to close the inning. With one out in the seventh, he got Jorge Posada to tap out to the mound, and tagged him on the ass. With nobody on in the eighth, he retired Robinson Cano on a comebacker behind his back.

Has a starting pitcher ever been this good and seemed more bored?

(Oh, and postgame, he’s just standing on the field shrugging, whereas most guys are running for the showers and putting ice on their shoulders. I’m pretty sure he’s going to go celebrate with a nap.)

7) Is anyone else shocked at the sight of back to back nights with baseball games? C’mon, MLB — why so much so soon? We need more off days!

6) I’m not normally a fan of sacrifice bunts, but when you are trying to stretch out the pitch count of a #1 starter, and have a first pitch (not so much) hitter like Pedro Feliz at the plate… well, let’s just say a fast inning wasn’t helpful in the seventh. The bottom of the lineup is going to have to be better than that if the Fightin’s are going to win this series. (But then again, since the Yankees insist on their 7th inning hootenanny, maybe a fast inning actually kept Lee on pace.)

5) With Utley’s two bombs to right and Rollins nearly getting there in the eighth, the thought comes to mind… just how much does this Phillies team enjoy Yankee Stadium? The power is mostly left-handed, and the porch to right is short. Kinda helpful, really.

4) Why do advertisers not realize that high frequency ads during closely watched sporting events drive the audience insane and hurt their brand? I’m looking at you, DirecTV. And you do this every damn year.

3) A very long eighth inning could have ended with real deflation and worry that Lee would have rested too long… but instead, Raul Ibanez bounced a 2-strike single through the hole to right, and suddenly the 2-0 lead was doubled, and Yankee Fan seemed to make for the subway. Just huge, and took things out of the realm of a bloop and a blast. The extra two runs in the ninth were helpful, too.

2) The Phillies really need to stop throwing the ball into the dugout on double play balls. That’s something like the third time this postseason, and it ended the shutout.

1) Lee, on his 118th pitch of the night, struck out Alex Rodriguez, and I’m pretty much assuming that there weren’t enough fans left in the stands to boo him. Fox then had him throwing 99 to Posada, which is of course an error, but hey, it’s Fox — they’re prone to hyperbole. Lee then bent Posada into the ground for the closing strikeout, and my heavens, what a performance. Just complete and utter domination.

Oh, and there was actually some debate on Twitter as to whether Lee should have been allowed to pitch the ninth, given his pitch count. He had the first 10 Ks and 0 walk game in a World Series since, gulp, 1903. Yeah, I’m thinking he deserved to finish.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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