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Running Blog for Game 5 of the 2009 World Series

Can Cliff Lee do it again?

In the past couple of days, I’ve seen about two innings combined in the games 3 and 4 of the World Series. As a Yankees fan, I find this somewhat inexcusable, but I had no choice.

I got back from my trip to San Antonio late last night. During game 3, I was too busy watching Manu Ginobili slaughter a bat and “celebrating” Halloween. I got to see the first inning of game 4 before I had to get on my departure flight. But I have no regrets. It was a tremendous trip.

Now that I am back home in Long Beach, Calif., I thought I’d post another running blog. Thanks for following along!!

4:49 p.m. Nothing makes me feels more patriotic than hearing the Star-Spangled Banner sung by Alanis Morissette.

4:50 p.m. So much for my Phillies in 6 prediction. But as far as tonight goes, I feel very confident in saying that this series will go at least six games. With the Phillies in a must-win situation in front of their home fans and with Cliff Lee on the mound, I see Philadelphia winning this one easily.

4:51 p.m. A.J. Burnett has good numbers in his career on three days rest, but he hasn’t done that this season. And I just feel that this is the type of game that the Yankees will have that “Whatever” attitude.

4:56 p.m. Plus it doesn’t help that the Yankees are sending out a lineup with Jose Molina and Brett Gardner. And Nick Swisher is batting fifth.

4:59 p.m. We are underway with a fastball low from Lee to Jeter.

5:01 p.m. Damon gets a soft single off of Lee. That’s new. He is now 5-for-26 off of Lee.

5:03 p.m. In Philadelphia this season, Lee has allowed just 10 earned runs in 35.2 innings with a nifty 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (40 to 5). His WHIP is just 1.01. Of course, those numbers are just from the regular season.

5:06 p.m. Rodriguez continues to hit well with runners on base in this World Series, smacking a double into the corner to score Damon. 1-0, New York.

5:08 p.m. After a walk to Swisher, Cano hits a ball pretty well to left, but it is caught by Ibanez to end the inning. You know, I heard a lot today about there comes a time in a series when one team knows it is just better/not as good as the other team. In that first inning, the Yankees looked very confident.

5:11 p.m. I’m not going to say anything about Cliff Lee’s performance so far. What’s not to say that he couldn’t just be his shut-down self for the next 7-8 innings?

5:12 p.m. I’ll be watching to see if Burnett’s slider is as effective as it was in Game 2. That was some nasty stuff.

5:15 p.m. Jimmy Rollins hasn’t had a good World Series, but there’s a good start with a sharp single to center, even though the Yankees were playing him up the middle.

And now, with Rollins running, Victorino gets hit on his right hand and here comes the team’s best hitter in this series, by far: Chase Utley.

5:17 p.m. Utley again!! He now has five hits in this series, four of which are home runs and seven RBIs!!

5:20 p.m. Joe Buck said it before I could type it, but as the antithesis to Utley, Howard has been basically awful in this series. But he is one of many Phillies who aren’t producing in this series.

5:21 p.m. I won’t comment on Lee, but I will on Burnett: Is this going to be one of those starts where he just looks like a Triple-A pitcher. Looks like it so far. His off-speed stuff is not sharp right now.

5:26 p.m. That was a pretty aggressive first inning for Phillies as Rollins, Utley and Howard all swung at the first pitch. They have no choice but to be aggressive tonight.

5:28 p.m. I know it’s kind of a dead issue, but seeing Victorino get hurt reminded me: Seeing both teams get warned after Rodriguez got hit by a pitch in the first inning last night was absolutely ridiculous. It may not have been another bad call that you could group into the rest of the mistakes that the umpires have made this postseason, but it was certainly a horrible decision. What a pathetic way to handcuff a pitcher.

5:31 p.m. The only way Gardner is going to get on base against Lee is if he puts down a perfect bunt toward third base.

5:35 p.m. Is Cliff Lee really a different pitcher with the Phillies? McCarver might want to take a look at his 2008 season before saying something like that.

5:36 p.m. Jon Gruden is wearing a Joker mask on the Monday Night Football broadcast. What??? NO CHUCKY MASK???

I’ll follow the football game a little bit as well, but I expect the Saints to win by plenty.

5:40 p.m. Man, this strike zone is VERY tight right now.

5:43 p.m. I have no doubt that Shane Victorino will continue in this game, but that is going to swell up and certainly affect his performance in the field and at the plate. How much is something to watch.

5:45 p.m. The home plate umpire did appeal to third, but it wasn’t like he did that immediately as he said.

5:46 p.m. Watching Shane there, however, made me cringe. Looks like both center fielders for this series could be gone for the duration soon.

5:50 p.m. Michael Turner scores on a 13-yard run and the Falcons take a 7-0 lead on New Orleans in the first four minutes. Michael Turner: fantasy disappointment.

5:52 p.m. I’m waiting for this baseball game to be tied going into the bottom of the ninth and then decided by a walk-off home run by Victorino. It’ll be just like Kirk Gibson, without the pinch-hitting aspect.

And the fact that it’s just a finger injury.

5:53 p.m. Nice take-out slide by Damon, but now Teixeira is just 1-for-16 in this World Series.

5:55 p.m. You can see that Utley touched second base with the inside of his left foot on that force out. There’s no controversy there. It was actually a good call by an umpire. Stunning, I know.

5:57 p.m. I don’t know if I have said it before on here, but “2012” looks like a really bad version of “The Day After Tomorrow.” Like, Razzie-bad.

5:58 p.m. And of that list, only Duke Snider didn’t take performance-enhancing drugs. But I’m sure he would have if they were around in that time.

6:00 p.m. Of course, like almost every other player in this era, the verdict on Chase Utley and the use of performance-enhancing drugs is to be determined. That’s just a sign of the times.

6:02 p.m. The Yankees probably should just walk Utley for the rest of the series until someone else in this lineup shows that they want to hit in this series.

6:05 p.m. Wow, Ryan Howard couldn’t have asked for that 3-1 pitch to be in a better location.

6:06 p.m. Since I can here it over the PA, I’ll just say this: Really, if “Your sex is on fire”, wouldn’t that be a pretty good sign of gonorrhea?

6:08 p.m. Werth just tried to hit that ball to Allentown.

6:09 p.m. Instead, he’ll settle for a well-hit single up the middle to score Utley. It was another bad breaking ball by Burnett. That pitch hasn’t been there for him all night after he was dominant with it in Game 2.

6:10 p.m. “5:21 p.m. I won’t comment on Lee, but I will on Burnett: Is this going to be one of those starts where he just looks like a Triple-A pitcher. Looks like it so far. His off-speed stuff is not sharp right now.”

It certainly was one of those starts. Ibanez crushes a fastball to right to bring in Howard. 5-1 Phillies and Burnett is done after just 2+ innings. And he still is accountable for two runners.

6:12 p.m. David Robertson now in for Burnett. Other than Rivera, Robertson has been the reliever that I would trust the most out of that pen in this postseason.

6:14 p.m. Here are something to consider: Let’s say the Phillies break it open right here and get up about 8-1 or 9-1, etc. Do you let Lee pitch a couple more innings and then take him out so that there is a possibility that he could start Game 7 at near 100 percent?

6:22 p.m. Like I said early in this blog, I thought the Phillies would win this one fairly easy because they have to be aggressive and the Yankees know that they will have won two out of three in Philly and will head back home up 3-2 in the series. They have that “Whatever” type attitude.

But it’s hard to watch of your a Yankees fan because 2004 is always in the back of your mind.

6:25 p.m. Nice job by David Robertson to keep this game somewhat close and keep Buck and McCarver paying attention to this game.

6:29 p.m. We are rolling right along as we head to the bottom of the fourth. The pace of this game should pick up as both teams go through the motions and understand that this one is about over.

6:32 p.m. I think I am going through the motions on this post, too. It’s hard to eat dinner, watch baseball and talk about my trip to San Antonio with family at the same time as writing this blog.

6:37 p.m. Frankly, the Monday Night Football game is much more entertaining right now.

6:38 p.m. Ryan Howard continues to strike out all over the place in this series and we will move onto the fifth.

6:41 p.m. I’m a bit surprised to see Posada in the game, but it is ONLY a five-run game in the fifth.

6:45 p.m. It’s a good thing I just ate a Philly cheesesteak or else that feature on barbecue would have made me hungry.

6:48 p.m. Jeter gets another hit in this series to put runners on the corners with one out. But when Damon grounds out to Howard, why was Howard so concerned with the runner headed to second? If he had looked home first, he would have had Hinske out at the plate easily. Instead, it’s 6-2.

6:50 p.m. But Mark Teixeira continues to be wretched in this series. Bottom fifth …

6:52 p.m. I saw all the times that Posada and Sabathia talked to each other during the inning in Game 4, all in an effort to get Philly’s offense out of rhythm. I don’t know if that works when you are down 6-2.

6:54 p.m. Another catch like that and the Yankees are going to be down two center fielder. What a play!

6:55 p.m. Easy inning for Aceves. My father just had a brilliant idea: If the Yankees score a run in each inning through the ninth, it’ll be a tie game. Uh, thanks, dad.

6:58 p.m. The best mascot in sports is no mascot. Seriously, all mascots are pointless unless it’s a live animal. The Phillie Phanatic doesn’t stand a chance against Ralphie the buffalo at Colorado or Mike the tiger at LSU.

7:02 p.m. I thought that ball was hit much better than it actually carried. Somewhat unusual for this park.

7:03 p.m. Andy Pettitte on three days rest? It’s just something that makes me a little uneasy as a Yankees fan.

7:06 p.m. In other news, the Saints just picked off Matt Ryan and returned it for a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining in the half. So instead of going into the break down by seven, the Falcons now trail 28-14. It was 14-14 about 30 seconds ago.

7:12 p.m. Another hit for Jimmy Rollins, third time on base. Good sight for Phillies fans. He really needs to get going, especially with Victorino hurting.

7:15 p.m. As I expected, the pace of this game is picking up. Seventh inning …

7:20 p.m. I’ve seen a lot of players put their hand up for time a lot later than that and they still get it. But, it’s all at the umpire’s discretion.

7:25 p.m. Vrooooooom!!! Bottom seven …

7:27 p.m. I wish I had more to say, but I think we all know how this one is going to end. Cliff Lee has thing on cruise control.

7:28 p.m. Showing a clip of the 1950 World Series just gives time for Tim McCarver to wax poetic. Ugh!

7:30 p.m. No one on, no one out? I’d still walk Chase Utley.

7:33 p.m. Hahahaha! Un-be-lievable. Chase Utley has become superhuman in this series. Tying Reggie Jackson for World Series home runs? You know you are doing something right.

7:35 p.m. Hopefully the Yankees don’t get stupid on Wednesday and try to pitch to Utley because Pettitte is a left-hander. There is no stopping him right now.

7:39 p.m. Ibanez seems to be waking up, too. He has a couple of hits tonight after a bad first four games to this series. But this latest hit was a no-doubt shot off the second deck facade.

7:41 p.m. Again, there is no one pitching well out of that Yankees bullpen other than Robertson and, of course, Rivera.

7:42 p.m. Meanwhile, a 68-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White makes my fantasy team happy and brings the Falcons back to within seven of the Saints, 28-21 with 12 minutes left in the third. Although, White clearly committed pass interference on the play.

7:43 p.m. And no one is pitching worse out of that bullpen now that Phil Hughes. I believe the towel has been waved.

Hey, he got a strikeout!! What an accomplishment.

The broadcasters were talking earlier about how Cole Hamels needs the offseason to regroup. I think Hughes does, too. He is just done.

7:47 p.m. There is no problem with taking Victorino out here. Get him rested up and get as much treatment on that hand as possible.

7:50 p.m. Of course, Teixeira gets a hit NOW, when the situation of the game is fairly predictable.  …

7:51 p.m. But Rodriguez comes through against with runners in scoring position. He crushes a double to left-center, off of Ibanez’s glove, scoring both runs, and Lee’s night is over. 8-4.

7:53 p.m. OK, so Cliff Lee wasn’t as good as Game 1, but he got into the eighth inning and he pitched fine. Now can this bullpen get six outs? I don’t think we will see any of Brad Lidge tonight, regardless.

7:54 p.m. It’s nice to see some fight in the Yankees. It keeps changing, but the person who is deserving the most of the blame right now is Phil Coke. He did a nice job getting those lefties out.

Well, out of the yard, at least.

7:59 p.m. There is no way Rodriguez should have been able to score on that play, but Francisco didn’t get himself lined up and really, I think he thought that Rodriguez wouldn’t tag on a ball that shallow. He got caught a bit off guard and made a bad throw. 8-5.

8:01 p.m. A three-hour game. A three-hour game.

Good pace.

8:02 p.m. Yankees score a few and we now head to the bottom of the eighth with a save situation possible. That’s something I thought would be impossible about an hour ago.

8:06 p.m. End of the third quarter: Saints 28, Falcons 21, but the Falcons are driving.

8:08 p.m. Matt Stairs plays in two hockey leagues in Bangor, Maine? That makes my friend Padrick happy, I’m sure.

8:10 p.m. As was foreshadowed at the end of that inning, I expect to see Ryan Madson in the ninth.

8:14 p.m. Get on your feet, Phillies fans! This is the last home game for you this year.

8:15 p.m. Roddy White ties the game at 28-28 for the Falcons. Man, I am switching over to that AS SOON as this is done.

8:16 p.m. But apparently, this one isn’t done yet. Posada doubles off the top of the wall to start the inning, here is Matsui pinch-hitting and Jeter is on deck.

Brett Myers warming up. Brad Lidge is a spectator.

8:18 p.m. Matsui singles the other way and there on runners on the corners with Jeter.

And Roddy White’s touchdown is under review. He might not have caught it. I jumped the gun a bit. I was too excited for my fantasy team.

8:19 p.m. Roddy White did not catch it. Whaaa, whaaa.

Ryan Madson is definitely this team’s second-best closer, but he has had a lot of struggles this year, too.

Lidge is finally warming. So is Scott Eyre, probably for Damon and Teixeira.

Business is picking up.

8:21 p.m. Jeter grounds into a huge double play and now it’s a lot easier to breathe if you are in Philadelphia. Two outs, 8-6.

8:23 p.m. Damon keeps the game going again with a single up the middle after falling into an 0-2 count.

Mark Teixeira up as the tying run. Uh, this game is over.

8:26 p.m. Teixeira continues to challenge Ryan Howard for worst World Series by a first baseman as he strikes out to end the game. Phillies win, 8-6!

8:28 p.m. So, the Phillies do what they need to do: win. It turned into a struggle as the Yankees kept fighting, but we’ll go to a sixth game, either way.

8:29 p.m. Andy Pettitte on three days rest versus Pedro Martinez. Or JA Happ? How about Steve Carlton. Either way, there will be a lot of discussion about the starting pitchers in the next 48 hours.

8:30 p.m. Which first baseman gets off the mat first, Howard or Teixeira. Both have been flat-out horrible in this series. I have a feeling that the winning team in Game 6 is going to get a solid contribution from their respective slugger.

8:32 p.m. Everyone will want to talk about a potential Game 7, but let’s just deal with Wednesday first.

With that being said, I’ll probably do another one of these on Wednesday, so please come back. And thanks for visiting tonight!  Now, go to ESPN! We have a hell of a football game going on. Good night!

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