Lineup – When you have the ALCS MVP batting seventh in your lineup then you definitely get the edge in this category. Nelson Cruz has been hotter than the sun lately, while Michael Young, David Murphy, and Mike Napoli have supplied the consistency. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have Kinsler, Hamilton, and Andrus at the top of the lineup too. Read more…
The New York Yankees won their 27th World Series last night in game 6 by a score of 7-3 over the Phillies. Hideki Matsui won MVP honors, compiling a .615 batting average with 3 home runs and 8 rbi (6 of them coming in the clinching game 6). Not to be outshined, Andy Pettitte won his 18th career playoff game (most all-time). On three days rest and at the age of 37 Pettitte pitched a solid 5 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. The bullpen combination of Chamberlain (1 inning, 0 runs, 1 strike-out), Marte (2/3 inning, 0 runs, 2 big strikeouts of Utley and Howard), and Rivera (1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 strike-out) hurled 3 1/3 innings of shut-out baseball and held the Phillies to only 2 hits while striking out 4.
Although this was just another World Series Title for Yankees’ like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte, other guys like A-Rod, Matsui, Cano, C.C., and many more won their first World Series. You can’t help but feel like this 27th Title is different from the rest. Number 27 felt like more of a team effort. All season the Yankees looked more relaxed and comfortable with one another than ever before. Credit Brian Cashman for bringing in chemistry guys like A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher to change the Yankees from an uptight, pressing team the last 9 years, to a loose, never say die club with a great attitude.
With the end of the season comes the Yankees 27th World Series Title and some crucial questions and decisions for next year. Will Matsui and/or Damon come back? What will they do with guys like Xavier Nady and Chien Ming Wang? Ponder over those questions later on, but for now lets celebrate the New York Yankees’ 27th World Series Title.
The Yankees and Phillies are set to play game 1 of the 2009 World Series tonight (weather permitting). The Yankees throw out Cy Young Award Candidate C.C. Sabathia while the Phillies counter with an ace of their own in Cliff Lee. Game 1 should be pitchers duel, but you never know. Here are my predictions in terms of who has the edge in starting pitching, bullpen, lineup, and manager, and ultimately who I think will win the World Series.
I’m going to look past the first two starters on both team’s depth chart because I believe that Hamels and Lee are evenly matched against C.C. and A.J. Instead I’m going to look at each team’s third starter. I know Pedro is pitching game 2, but Hamels is #2 in the Phillies rotation not Pedro. So it comes down to familiar names, Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez. Both are big game playoff pitchers, but I have to give the edge to the Yankees. Pettitte holds the record for most postseason wins with 16 and he has pitched extremely well, not only in the playoffs thus far, but for the entire season. Pedro’s limited starts looked like they have been beneficial so far, but Pettitte has a more complete body of work this season. Slight edge to the Yankees.
Yankees get the edge in terms of which team has the better bullpen. The combination of Chamberlain, Hughes, and Rivera is one of if not the best in the majors. Sprinkle in Phil Coke and David Robertson and you have a strong, deep, reliable bullpen. This is not to say that the Phillies do not have a good bullpen, but Madson and Lidge are not consistent enough to be relied upon late in games. Plus Brad Lidge did blow two saves against the Yankees already this season.
I’m going to have to give a slight edge to the Yankees when it comes to who has a better lineup. Both teams are equal towards the top of their lineups as Victorino, Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Werth compare equally to Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, A-Rod, and Matsui. The Yankees edge comes with their depth towards the bottom half of their lineup. The combination of Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Cabrera are favorable over the Phillies’ Ibanez, Feliz, Ruiz, and whoever they put at DH, whether it be Stairs or Dobbs or Mayberry or Francisco. The Yankees have the best lineup in baseball, but by no means are the Phillies a distant second.
The edge when it comes to managers is definitely on the side of the Phillies’ Charlie Manuel. Manuel has a 20-11 career record in the postseason, a wealth of experience, and has a World Series ring which came last year. On the other hand Joe Giradi does not have a lot of playoff experience as this is his first postseason. Girardi also has a habit of micromanaging his pitching staff, especially the bullpen.
Yankees in 7.
The Yankees advanced to the World Series after a win last night in Game 6 of the ALCS. Andy Pettitte got his MLB playoff record 16th win with his solid 6 and 1/3 innings performance, allowing only 1 run on 7 hits. The Angels made 2 critical errors in the eighth which led to two more Yankee runs. That was more than enough for Rivera who recorded his 37th career playoff save. Now the Yankees play the Phillies in the World Series which starts on Wednesday. Game 1 will feature a pair of former Cleveland Indian teammates in C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee. This should be a great World Series as both teams have great lineups and good pitching. Look for my World Series preview, as for now I am excited for what should be a drama filled World Series.
The Angels punched their ticket to the ALCS with a 2 out ninth inning rally against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Sox entered the ninth inning with a two run lead, but the scrappy Angels put up three runs against the Red Sox’s all-star closer, capped off by a two run single by Vlad Guerrero. Brian Fuentes closed out the game and the Angels completed a very impressive sweep of the Red Sox.
The Yankees trailed late in the sixth inning, but A-Rod and Posada went back to back to put the Yankees in the lead for good. The Yanks added two more runs in the ninth inning and swept the Twins behind a solid pitching performance by Andy Pettitte and more base-running blunders by the Twins.
Yankees vs. Angels ALCS Prediction
Starters – Im going to give the slight edge to the Yankees. C.C. and A.J. are two powerful arms at the top of the rotation and Pettitte is an experienced and dependable third starter.
Bullpen – The Yankees definitely have the better bullpen in this series. Their combination of Hughes in the eighth and Mo in the ninth is one of the best in the majors. Plus Joba, Aceves, Coke, and Robertson are solid middle relievers who can come into the game in big situations and get out of jams.
Lineup – Again I have to give the edge to the Yankees. Their batting order is 9 deep. You can’t really pitch around anyone. The Yanks have power in almost every spot in their order, and with the emergence of A-Rod so far this postseason the Yankees look virtually unstoppable.
Manager – Here’s where I give the edge to the Angels. Mike Scocia has much more experience than Joe Girardi, plus Scocia has shown that he knows how to manage against the Yankees in the regular season and especially in the postseason.
Prediction – Despite giving the edge to the Yankees in three of the four categories, I do not think the Yanks will be any means roll over the Angels. This will be a tight, hard fought series, but in the end I think the Yankees will beat the Angels in seven games and advance to the World Series.