Vatz On Game One—It’s Judgement Day For The Mercenaries

What a game!  A great pitching duel through seven innings then the Phillies took down the problematic Yankee bullpen.  Philadelphia wins a huge Game 1 and now the ball is in their court.

-Player of the Game: Cliff Lee, no question.  Pitching a complete game with no earned runs against one of the toughest lineups in baseball is incredible.  He constantly threw the 90s fastball and kept switching locations to throw off the batters.  10 strikeouts with six hits and no walks, and the best part, the powerful 3-4 duo of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 0-for-8 with five strikeouts.  The 2-9 of the Yankees lineup had just three hits.  The complete game gives the Phillies a major edge into game two since their bullpen was not needed.

-C.C. Sabathia pitched well, but the Phillies lineup deserves much credit for wearing him down.  They were not swinging at every pitch and constantly had at-bats with at least four pitches so that he was worn out by the time he left.  Sabathia had only one major mistake that cost him dear: in the 6th against the lefty Chase Utley with an 0-2 count he threw a low-and-away fastball, the same pitch and location hit for a home run by Utley previously, was hit out again.  Fatigue can cause mistakes.

-The tiring of Sabathia led to his removal and the subsequent beating on the Yankee bullpen.  Obviously Joe Girardi wanted to save Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain, but the Yankees should be worried if they have situations where they need the bullpen in the middle innings.  With A.J. Burnett’s postseason performance thus far, they could be in trouble.

-The Phillies still need to focus for Game 2 with Pedro Martinez on the mound for them, the Yankees are well aware of what he can do and will be ready.  But their lineup is suited well for a righty pitcher like Burnett, and if they can swipe another game in New York, then the series will not return to the Big Apple.

-Give credit to the umpires today.  The home plate umpire was a little shaky, but he was on both sides and for the most part was good on balls and strikes.  The main play of question was Jimmy Rollins catch and subsequent double play, which the crew got right.  No game is called perfectly, but this game they did well.

Blog from Dave Vatz—09 Terrapin Graduate

Bruce- Lee was virtually unhittable. It’s great to see the Mercenaries one upped by a free agent. Judgement Day for the Pinstripers—Lose on Thursday and you can stick a fork in them. Pedro would love it!!!!! How in the world did the O’s ever sweep the Phillies?

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