Thoughts on Game 3- Fear the Yankee offense
If Game 3 proved anything, it is that you need to be on your game all nine innings to defeat the Yankees lineup. The Phillies looked like they had control, a three-run lead including Andy Pettitte walking in a run and Cole Hamels going three-hitless innings, but the Yankee lineup blasted their way to eight runs in five innings to defeat the Phillies. This is one of those games that the losing team can lose all hope in the rest of the Series, and the Phillies are now in real danger.
–Cole Hamels may be good with World Series experience, but Andy Pettitte’s experience and veteran status trumped that tonight. Pettitte was in deep trouble, allowing a pitcher bunt single then walking in a run in a 3-run inning for Philadelphia, but he buckled down and handled the lineup enough to win. Four runs in six innings is not optimal, but with the Yankees lineup it is enough. On the other side, the young Hamels may have been the killer last year, but his frustration cost him tonight. Losing his cool with the umpires plus allowing everything to fall apart cost him.
–Joe Girardi deserves a lot of credit tonight, and it is mainly based on two things. The first was putting in Mariano Rivera when he did. With the lead 8-4 against the bottom of the Phillies lineup, it is a good idea to save your best reliever when you need him most, but when the score was 8-5 with one out into the ninth hitter, Girardi did not wait until things got out of hand, he brought in Rivera with only two outs to go before the top of the lineup commenced. Perfect timing. The rest of his bullpen was handled correctly, and it was probably a pleasant surprise to Girardi that Damaso Marte struck out Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. The second is the attitude of the Yankees. It just seems like they are very calm and collected despite the pressure of the World Series. Derek Jeter is joking about Pettitte’s hitting, Joba Chamberlain is not showboating, and they are staying focused in tough situations. Maybe it isn’t anything Girardi is doing, but the team seems very calm.
–Bottom line for the Phillies, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard may have four extra base hits among them, but combined they are 4-for-24. Ryan Howard is 2-for-13, including nine strikeouts. The 1-4 of the Phillies lineup is 8-for-45, averaging .178. If they cannot perform, the Phillies will not win this series, period.
–The umpiring crew was fine tonight, and instant replay got Alex Rodriguez’s home run correct. The call was right in the end, which is all that matters.
–Game 4 now becomes a must-win for the Phillies, as they put Joe Blanton on the mound against three-day rested C.C. Sabathia. I’m surprised that the Phillies don’t at least try Cliff Lee on three-days rest, if only because you could squeeze him into Game 7 if necessary. But nonetheless, Phillies need to win on Sunday, or it is over.
Blog from Dave Vatz–09 Terrapin Graduate
Bruce—Cliff Lee has never pitched on 3 days rest. Sabathia is 4-2 and Burnette is 4-0 and Pettitte is pettite. Match goes to the Mercenaries despite Tex’s near no show.
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