Thursday, November 5, 2009

World Series Goes to Yanks; Matsui MVP

Well it took longer than you would expect from a team spending $200 million every season, but the Yankees finally got back to the promised land, defeating the defending champion Phillies in six games for title number 27.

It wasn't quite the exciting seven game nail biting World Series that people were hoping for. I'm sure some wanted that seventh game and I'm sure they would have preferred that the Yankees have to work a little harder to put the Phillies away in Game 6, but that's just how it goes.

The Yankees were the superior team on paper compared to the Phillies. Sure the Phillies could go blow for blow with the Yankees in terms of bats, but the Phillies had no where near the pitching depth the Yankees did. Cliff Lee could match or beat anything the Yankees threw out, but after that they didn't have much. Perhaps in a different season when Cole Hamels is in a groove they may have fought harder, but they literally had no answer in the rotation or the bullpen for the Yankee bats.

The Yankees on the other hand had multiple starters who matched up well against the Phillies. CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were the left-handers who could hold down the Phillies lefty-heavy lineup (except for Chase Utley) and the enigma that is A.J. Burnett showed that he can shine for at least one big game when the Yankees needed him most. Beyond the starters the Yankees always had Mariano Rivera waiting to close out ball games and despite their early postseason ineffectiveness, the bullpen was better in the World Series.

Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Dave Robertson and Alfredo Aceves combined to pitch 10 innings and only allow one run. Marte, in particular, was huge for the Yankees. After he disappeared for most of the season due to injury he came back with a vengence in the playoffs to neutralize Utley and Ryan Howard late in ball games.

With that in came down to pitching and in Game 6 the Yankees showed why it wasn't a good idea to start Pedro Martinez in Yankee Stadium. Well, actually Hideki Matsui showed why it wasn't a good idea to throw Pedro in Yankee Stadium. The lefty pounded Martinez, hitting yet another home run and then a bases loaded RBI single. He would add another two-run hit when he doubled off of J.A. Happ to finish the scoring for the Yankees.

Matsui's massive Game 6 performance grabbed him MVP honors and if it is his final game with the Yankees then it belongs in the Yankees Classics archives. Matsui has been huge in his career for the Yankees and in particular the postseason.

It seems the off season will cost the Yankees either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui and in all likelihood the Yankees will choose the player who can still run and play some defense. That would leave Matsui on the outside looking in.

Speaking of Damon, I'm sure everyone knows that he won the 2004 World Series with the Red Sox, but can you name the player on that 2004 team who was last player to win a title with the Red Sox and the Yankees? Dan can't answer since he knows already. Bonus question: There is one other player on the Yankee roster this season who also has the distinction of playing on both a Red Sox and Yankee world championship team. Let's see who can name him.

Enough trivia. It has taken 15 games over an excurciating 29 days, but the World Series has finally come and gone and for the first time in nine years the Yankees have walked away with a championship. It's sweet to have that feeling again.


Joey said...

Ramiro Mendoza and ???

Dan said...

Mendoza barely counts. Damon had very meaningful contributions to both teams.

Joey said...

I didn't say he was meaningful. I said he was there.

Peter said...

He was just about as meaningful as Eric Hinske, the third amigo to hold a ring for both the sox and the yanks.