The Phillies are still NL Champions for 2009 despite World
Around the water cooler yesterday, talk centered around how the Phillies would win Game 6 and force a 7th game in New York on Thursday. Most of my associates thought the Phillies would win big on this night, with the momentum that had gathered in Game 5’s win. The Yankees won big instead, winning 7-3 mainly by two hits by someone who didn’t figure to be the center of attraction in this series, Yankee DH, Hideki Matsui. Matsui drove in 6 runs on the night and this was the back breaker for the Phillies as they couldn’t recover from the runs that he put on the board for the Yankees early in the game. Matsui did come into last night’s game with the best batting average for the Yankees, he was a blistering .556 in 9 AB’s with 2 HR and 2 RBI prior to the start of last night’s game.
The Phillies just could not answer offensively on the night, Jimmy Rollins had a sacrifice fly to bring in Carlos Ruiz who tripled off the left center field wall early in the game, and Ryan Howard finally hit a homerun in the sixth inning for a 2 run blast in the too little, too late attempt to get back into this game. Pedro Martinez did a good job in his start, he did give up the hits and 4 RBI to Matsui but other than that, he had the Yankees number for this start.
Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, is not one to interfere with the game in pitching around any player, he’s been that way all of his career. Joe Torre pitched around Puljols in the Dodgers vs. Cardinals and it worked for him, but Manuel just doesn’t do this and either did Yankee manager, Joe Girardi for the most part.
The Series was lost by the Phillies because they couldn’t get their offense going. It’s been a problem they’ve had all season long at times. The combination of Feliz, Rollins, Utley, Francisco and Werth together had 0 hits in Game 6 and you’re just not going to win ballgames this way. It almost seemed like they were playing a game that wasn’t do or die and they came up empty.
An interesting note is that Yankee Stadium was not a complete sellout on last night’s World Series win. The stadium was 96 percent full according to the box score. It’s the Yankees 27th overall win of a World Series in history. Remember though, many years ago, there was a lot fewer teams in the MLB and you just won your division and that put you into the World Series. The playoffs didn’t always work the way they do now.
The short offseason begins for the Phillies now. Much more on this series in future blog posts right here on FightinPhillies.com! Thanks to everyone who read the blog all season long and during the playoffs.