Another great game in the World Series with Game 2 going to New York. Another pitching duel with A.J. Burnett defeating “the most influential player that ever stepped into Yankee Stadium.” Series tied, off to I-95 to Philadelphia.
-Player of the Game: A.J. Burnett. He had a very shaky start, throwing over 60 pitches after three innings, but buckled down with great breaking balls and a high-powered fastball and threw a gem; in seven innings allowed one run and struck out nine with just four hits and two walks. The sixth inning was the key, going 1-2-3 against Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth through the third time in the lineup; the third time Ryan Howard had been struck out in the game.
-It is always interesting seeing the gambles managers will take in the World Series. Both managers took a big gamble in the game, one paid off, the other did not. Charlie Manuel’s decision to go with Pedro Martinez into the 7th inning down 2-1 after 99 pitches was a big gamble, especially with a fresh bullpen that did not pitch yesterday. The Phillies paid for it dearly, with Pedro allowing two hits to the 7-8 hitters then Jorge Posada getting the insurance run off Chan Ho Park, which changed everything strategy-wise for the Phillies into the final two innings. But Joe Girardi’s gamble to go with Mariano Rivera for two innings paid off despite a close eighth inning with 23 pitches thrown plus going into the heart of the order. But Girardi went with his best player in a must-win game, and got the reward in the end. (Bruce—Stupid move by Manuel. Pedro has a history of 90 pitches and that’s it. The Phillies were lucky they got out of the inning only down 3-1)
-The crowd was quite disappointing tonight. For a World Series game, Yankees Stadium was very quiet until the Yankees were building momentum in the later innings. Sure the Yankees were struggling in Game 1 and took a while to get going against Pedro, but this is the World Series, and the Yankees have the home-field advantage, the crowd needs to be more into the game.
-It is hard to be real judgmental about the umpire crew tonight. There were two questionable calls towards first base umpire Brian Gorman, but both were very fast and very few if any umpires would have gotten those calls completely correct. I was a little more disappointed in home plate umpire Jeff Nelson’s strike zone, which got larger as the game went on, but at least it got bigger for both sides.
-I don’t believe Game 3 is a must-win for either team, but the Yankees could be in trouble if they are down 2-1 against Cliff Lee in Game 4. (Bruce——I disagree— Dave it is crucial for the Mercenaries.)
Blog from Dave Vatz—09 terrapin Graduate
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