A.J. Burnett, Hideki Matsui Beat Phillies in World Series Game Two

October 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

All the bright spots and the warts have been exposed after two games in the 2009 World Series.

Mariano Rivera, perhaps the brightest of all stars, pitched a two-inning save to preserve a 3-1 Yankees victory over the Phillies on Thursday night in New York.

The World Series is now tied, at one win a piece.

Hideki Matsui hit the go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Yankees their first lead of the series, 2-1.

A.J. Burnett was masterful, giving up one run (should have been unearned) on four hits, nine strikeouts, and two walks in seven innings.

The series resumes Friday in Philadelphia, with evening games on three straight days in the City of Brotherly Love.

Either team could close the series out with a sweep in the next three games, but that is not likely to happen. However, the balance of power will be decided in the next three games.

Cole Hamels (10-11) faces Andy Pettitte (14-8) in an important Game Three battle. Pettitte has been terrific in the postseason, going 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA.

Hamels, meanwhile, has been a bit of an enigma during these playoffs. Last year’s NLCS and World Series MVP has been ordinary in the postseason.

Hamels is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. His strikeout/walk ratio is good, giving up two walks and notching 12 strikeouts. The most alarming stat is the 11 earned runs he has allowed in 14.2 innings.

The first game against the Rockies, Hamels must have had the birth of his first child on his mind.

Hamels was trailing 4-0, when after being told he would not bat in the bottom of the fifth, he then walked briskly to the dugout.

He was on the way to the hospital to see his son being born.

The Rockies won the game, 5-4, and Hamels took the loss.

Hamels won Game One of the NLCS but gave up four runs in eight hits and gave up two home runs. The Phillies won the game, 8-6.

Some say Hamels’ fastball is flat, but I think he lets errors and mistakes affect his pitching.

I think he needs to shut everything out and just pitch. It was no accident that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose Pedro Martinez to pitch in New York.

Martinez did not pitch badly, but Burnett was better.

On the Yankees’ side of the ball, the concern has to be for Alex Rodriguez.

After getting an RBI in eight straight playoff games, Rodriguez has yet to get a hit in the World Series.

He struck out three times in Game Two.

Out of the two, who is more likely to break out of his slump: Rodriguez or Hamels?

Rodriguez has to get a hit sooner or later, and Manuel will continue to pitch to him until he hits one out.

I think the Phillies will win two out of three at home.

That would give them a 3-2 lead heading into New York.

Not an easy task.

Especially if Rodriguez starts hitting.

Pettitte appears strong for Game Three. I’ll take the Yankees to win, 6-3, on Friday night.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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