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Running Blog for Game 6 of the 2009 World Series

Pedro Martinez

Andy Pettitte

Which old goat will get it done tonight in Game 6?

So the Yankees did what I expected them to do on Monday night: lose.

They have two games to win one and then they will get their 27th World Series. If they don’t, the Phillies will be the first repeat team since the Yankees in 1999-2000 and we’ll have to discuss which is worse: Losing an LCS after being up 3-0 or losing a World Series after being up 3-1.

Pedro Martinez is back on the hill tonight and ready for more “Daddy” chants. He was pretty great in Game 2, but A.J. Burnett was just a bit better. Tonight, he matches up with Andy Pettitte, who is throwing on three days rest. Both are 37, or as Pedro said yesterday, “old goats.

Follow along with this running blog of this game!

4:41 p.m. After some discussion by pundits that maybe the two teams should move respective sluggers, Ryan Howard and Mar Teixeira, down in the lineup. Smartly, they didn’t do that. Howard is batting fourth, Teixeira is in the three spot.

4:44 p.m. Shane Victorino will bat second, despite his injured index finger. Raul Ibanez is at DH while Ben Francisco is in left field. Nick Swisher is batting eighth for the Yankees. He didn’t play against Pedro in Game 2 and is just 0-for-2 against him in his career. Brett Gardner is in center field and will bat ninth.

4:49 p.m. Granted, I haven’t seen them all, but Mary J. Blige finally got the National Anthem right this series.

4:50 p.m. I think the Yankees are going to win this one tonight. I hate to be optimistic about them, but I think this will come down to the bullpens. Both starters will pitch very well through five. The Yankees will hold a slight lead into the sixth or seventh inning and I think they will blow it open late.

4:54 p.m. Yes, I have questions too about Pettitte pitching on three days rest, something he hasn’t done in the postseason in six years, but A.J. Burnett had very good numbers last year when pitching on three days and look how well that did him in week five. I just don’t know if that stat matters much.

Well, most stats don’t matter much.

4:55 p.m. In other news, Gus Johnson (aka, the most exciting announcer of all time) had to apologize yesterday after saying this during the Titans-Jaguars game this past Sunday.

Are you kidding me? People, stop being so sensitive.

4:57 p.m. We are underway with a fastball outside to Jimmy Rollins.

4:59 p.m. If I was Shane Victorino, I wouldn’t try too hard to do much. Put down bunts, use your speed.

5:00 p.m. Or chop balls off of home plate for base hits. That’ll work.

5:01 p.m. Chase Utley won’t be seeing any more fastballs down and in. And if there is a base open, I would definitely try to pitch around him until Howard shows up.

5:02 p.m. Perfect. Utley gets a fastball, but it’s a bit up in the zone and it completely handcuffs his swing and forces a double play. He will have to adjust to those pitches tonight.

5:03 p.m. That may have been the most uncomfortable swing Utley has taken in this entire postseason.

5:05 p.m. The Phillies can’t be overly desperate in this game. If Pedro struggles early, OK. Let him work through it. But they can’t afford to take him out in the fourth inning just because he may have given up a couple of runs.

5:07 p.m. Jeter hits one hard, but right at Francisco. Remember how the Yankees had a hard time hitting anything hard off of Pedro in Game 2, except for a couple of home runs.

5:10 p.m. This whole series, Teixeira has been chasing breaking balls in the dirt.

5:11 p.m. What a joke of a fly ball to the track. Teixeira hit that off-speed pitch off the end of the bat and it got within three feet of the right-field wall. I can’t wait for those fences to be pushed back.

5:13 p.m. Ryan Howard struck out twice and popped up in three at-bats against Pettitte in Game 3.

5:15 p.m. Hey, at least he didn’t strikeout. And he hit that ball somewhat hard, actually. You’ve got to look at any positive right now if you are Ryan Howard.

5:18 p.m. It started in high school and it still carries over somewhat to today, but I always wear my caps low to copy that Andy Pettitte look. There is something so cool and intimidating about it.

5:21 p.m. A bad job of blocking puts Werth at second on a wild pitch.

5:22 p.m. So much for Pettitte staying away from his cutter against right-handed batters. He cuts Feliz right there (well, not literally) and gets a foul pop to end the inning. Maybe he just won’t use it AS MUCH on three days rest.

5:24 p.m. I guess those Levi’s commercials are supposed to raise interest by being kind of indecipherable, but those spots are horrible.

5:25 p.m. Early on, home plate umpire Joe West is squeezing Pedro on the strike zone just a bit. That sounds a little weird.

5:28 p.m. If Pedro had his normal fastball, Matsui probably would have kept that ball fair. Instead, he was a little out in front of an 86 MPH fastball.

5:31 p.m. Matsui is VERY CLOSE to connecting off of Pedro.

5:32 p.m. With the swings Matsui has taken in this at-bat, I think that Rodriguez will certainly run.

5:35 p.m. You could see that coming. Fastball, 89 MPH. It was a little faster than the one that Matsui hooked foul on the first pitch and he kept this one fair. 2-0 Yankees.

5:36 p.m. Pedro is living dangerously. That 1-2 pitch that Posada fouled off was right down the middle. But he gets the strikeout on a high slider.

5:39 p.m. After 13 pitches in the first inning, Pedro throws 24 in the second. He threw 107 pitches in Game 2.

5:43 p.m. Eight years ago today, Luis Gonzalez hit a cutter from Mariano Rivera into shallow center field in the seventh game of a World Series and my right middle was changed forever. Hopefully, I don’t have to re-live that in this series.

5:45 p.m. Ruiz triples to left-center field. Gardner kept chasing the ball like it was a small infant on a tricycle for the first time, but regardless …

5:47 p.m. Rollins does his job, gets the ball into the air and deep enough for Ruiz to score. 2-1, Yankees.

5:48 p.m. Another weak hack by Victorino moves us into the bottom of the third.

5:49 p.m. It’s a shame that this series could either end tonight or have one game left. This series has allowed me to not think about more original content for this blog. I don’t know what I’ll do after it’s done.

5:51 p.m. As with Victorino, Gardner should just bunt to get on base. It’s his highest-percentage play.

His strength is not swinging at fastballs on eye level.

5:54 p.m. It’s a good, but tough call by a playoff umpire! Jeter lines one to center, right at Shane Victorino. He doesn’t judge it well and starts back on the ball before coming in. He puts his glove down, but he short hops the ball. It was a tough call, but second base umpire Jeff Nelson got it right, ruling it a hit.

And in Victorino’s defense, a line drive right at you is the toughest ball to judge for any outfielder.

5:56 p.m. It is still weird not to hear Harry Kalas on NFL Films shows. His replacement just doesn’t match up. A tall order sure, but you can’t replace that voice. Of course, John Facenda has a legendary voice, too.

5:58 p.m. I don’t know … that 2-2 check swing looked MIGHTY close.

5:59 p.m. Ball four was another close pitch, but one that was clearly outside. It wasn’t as debatable as other balls tonight.

6:00 p.m. Teixeira thanks Pedro for hitting him in the right thigh. He is not doing a thing in this series. Right now, he will take an HBP to load the bases.

6:01 p.m. Rodriguez and Matsui with the bases loaded. This could get ugly right here.

6:01 p.m. I said earlier that I wouldn’t take Martinez out in the early innings just because he gave up a couple of runs. But four or five is more than a couple and he doesn’t have his full velocity tonight.

6:02 p.m. A-Rod will hit a home run here … if FOX shows Kate Hudson.

6:04 p.m. No Kate Hudson, so Rodriguez Ks looking. McCarver was correct as Pedro goes back to the first pitch of the at-bat to get Rodriguez with a slider right on the corner. OK, so slightly off the corner.

6:05 p.m. Pedro just might want to stay away from fastballs inside to Matsui, you know?

6:07 p.m. That’s not a bad pitch by Pedro. He had to throw something outside. But Matsui is seeing him really well. And Matsui is making himself some nice free-agent money right now, because this is probably his last game as a Yankee.

6:09 p.m. The Yankees steal the momentum and get that run back, plus one. 4-1, top fourth.

6:11 p.m. Utley, Howard and Werth due up for the Phillies. They have to score a run here with this part of the lineup. At least the Yankees will face Utley with no one on base.

6:12 p.m. Jerry Hairston Jr. is now in left field. I was wondering what took Damon so long to get from second to home with two outs on that single by Matsui. Now we know: strained calf. Interesting development, considering that Damon was having a very good World Series.

6:15 p.m. Pettitte gets away with throwing not a good slider down and in to Utley on 1-1. On 2-2, he throws another fastball, but it was the same pitch that forced him to ground into a double play in the first inning. He gets Utley to K on a better slider down.

6:18 p.m. Yes, Ibanez hit 34 home runs, but just 14 after the All-Star break and the postseason combined. He is a different player.

6:20 p.m. Man, that strike zone is the size of a pea.

6:21 p.m. And yet, that 2-0 pitch was a ball. Go figure.

6:23 p.m. Pettitte gets out of that one unscathed, somehow. His slider looks really good right now. Even if they aren’t chasing them, it’s very close.

6:26 p.m. At this point, Yankees fans have to start thinking: nine outs until Mariano.

6:28 p.m. Robinson Cano is another player who is really struggling in this series, but he did hit some balls hard on Monday. And he hit that one well, too. But Francisco tracks it down.

6:30 p.m. Hmmm, an officer of the Navy drinking alcohol. That’s different.

6:33 p.m. A rather quick inning by the Yankees. Pedro has thrown 77 pitches through four innings.

6:37 p.m. I’m not really sure what Ben Francisco was looking for there.

6:40 p.m. Anyone notice that Carlos Ruiz is having the best series of any Phillies hitter not named Utley or Werth?

6:41 p.m. Six outs away from Mariano. Nice pitch by Pettitte.

6:42 p.m. Can someone tell me how the movie Avatar is going to revolutionize film-making, as I have heard some say? I thank you in advance.

6:43 p.m. I mean it looks good, but I don’t see how it’s going to blow my mind. Whatever.

6:44 p.m. No matter what happens here, this is Pedro’s last inning.

6:45 p.m. Apparently, I got ahead of myself. Martinez is out, Chad Durbin is in.

6:46 p.m. Jeter greets Durbin with a ground-rule double to left-center field. Ben Francisco is certainly not in left field for defensive purposes.

6:47 p.m. Hairston puts down a perfect bunt to move Jeter to third and now an important run is on the doorstep for Teixeira and/or Rodriguez.

6:49 p.m. Teixeira rips a single into center to drive in Jeter. Like Howard, you still have to respect him, but you can’t pitch around him in that situation. You have to see if he can beat you. And that was a nice pitch by Durbin. Just a better swing by Teixeira.

6:52 p.m. Happ in after Rodriguez walks to put two on with one out. The good news for the Phillies here? Matsui isn’t facing Pedro.

6:55 p.m. .636? Cha-ching!!

6:57 p.m. J.A. Happ will be up there in the Rookie of the Year voting, but I don’t think he can beat out Chris Coghlan.

6:58 p.m. Matsui rocks one off the wall in right-center. Two more runs score. Six RBIs tonight. Eight in this series. He is 8-for-12 in this series. Can you say MVP?

And $$$$. I don’t even know how to say that.

7:02 p.m. Robinson Cano’s struggles continue, but it’s now 7-1 Yankees in the top of the sixth. It’s obvious, but the Phillies must score here. They need some sort of response.

7:04 p.m. Oh, boy. The Christmas commercials are starting. I have such little money as is!!

7:07 p.m. I remember Pettitte pitching that Game 4 against the Padres in 1998. Why? Because I was there!

OK, enough shameless bragging …

7:08 p.m. Right as I ask my dad whether he thinks Pettitte will retire after this season, the crowd starts a “Andy Pettitte” chant.

7:09 p.m. Utley owns the inside, lower quarter of the plate. Owwwwwwwns.

7:11 p.m. Ryan Howard hits his first home run since the LCS and it’s now 7-3. That ball looked to be a fly out off the bat, but I forgot about how freaking strong Howard is. That’s a pure muscle job.

7:15 p.m. Werth strikes out looking, but Ibanez follows with a double into the right-field corner to end Pettitte’s night. On three days rest and against that lineup, he certainly did his job well enough. Joba Chamberlain in.

7:17 p.m. In his last 4.1 innings this postseason, Chamberlain has allowed five hits and two earned runs. One of them was a home run hit by Pedro Feliz, who is at bat.

7:20 p.m. Feliz grounds out to end the inning. Three outs until Rivera.

7:22 p.m. In between commercial breaks, I am watching my Los Angeles Lakers face the Houston Rockets. It’s tied at 67-67 late in the third. The Rockets would probably be leading if they would play UCF stud Jermaine Taylor.

7:28 p.m. I love how McCarver calls that a good fastball down the middle of the plate. It’s only a good fastball if the batter doesn’t swing at it. If he gets a hit off of it, that fastball is said to have bad location.

Happ out for Chan Ho Park.

7:31 p.m. I don’t know what is slower right now: The pace of this game or my Internet.

7:32 p.m. Which reminds me … good pace to this game! Bottom sixth and we are more than 2 1/2 hours deep.

7:37 p.m. Top seventh. Francisco, Ruiz, Rollins. This needs to be a six- or seven batter inning for Phily. They can’t afford to get into the eighth down by four. At most, it has to be two. I can’t conceive them getting more than that off of Rivera.

7:39 p.m. On that 0-2 pitch by Chamberlain: “Juuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside. Tried to hit the corner and missed.”

7:41 p.m. The Yankees will probably try again to work Joba Chamberlain back into the rotation, but I still think he has more value at this point in the game.

7:42 p.m. Carlos Ruiz is killing the ball.

Maiming it.

7:43 p.m. Close play with the throw by Posada, but that’s a good call at second.

7:45 p.m. Nice. A four-pitch walk to a guy with a bum right hand to bring up a player who is arguably just as hot in this series as Carlos Ruiz.

OK, so he’s been a little better than that.

7:47 p.m. No fastballs down and in!

7:48 p.m. The Yankees do not want to see Phil Hughes on the mound at any point in this game. Or at least, I don’t.

7:54 p.m. Great job by Marte. Fastball outside, curveball on the inside and then a fastball outside again. Again, no fastballs inside and down and that’s exactly Marte did.

7:55 p.m. Now, on the other hand, there is NO WAY that is a swing by Utley. Brian Gorman, your umpire privileges have been revoked.

7:55 p.m. Zero outs to Rivera …?

7:56 p.m. Looks like it. Or maybe Marte will pitch to Howard.

7:57 p.m. Either pitcher would be a non-debatable call because that cutter of Rivera’s is devastating to lefties.

7:59 p.m. In the regular season (I know, but just go with me here …), Rivera pitched one more inning against lefties than righties. His opponents’ batting average is .182. Against righties, it’s .211.

8:00 p.m. Park out for Eyre as he tries to figure how to get Matsui out.

8:04 p.m. Risky pitch by Eyre there on 1-1. Fastball, a little down and over the middle of the plate. Risky only because Matsui is at the plate. If that’s Teixeira, then it’s fine, probably.

8:06 p.m. Rodriguez steals second as Matsui strikes out on another questionable check-swing call.

8:07 p.m. Yankees fans are hoping that Spike Lee will have to get a new hat after tonight.

8:08 p.m. Maybe he hasn’t been quite as bad, but Cano is giving Teixeira a run for his money for ability to suck in this series.

8:09 p.m. That was predictable. Have a nice offseason, Robinson!

8:13 p.m. OK, I guess we are stuck with Marte for one more batter.

8:14 p.m. But since it’s going to be relevant … Rivera’s postseason pitching record is obviously pretty nuts. Here is a game log.

8:17 p.m. And yet, the one thing I remember out of all those excellent numbers from Rivera is the one loss.

8:19 p.m. Chase Utley has the Pat Riley look, eternally.

8:20 p.m. I said in a blog earlier in this series that bringing Rivera into the game in the eighth is stupid. I forget my exact words, but I have gently backed away from that thinking.

8:23 p.m. Wow, that ball really carried as Ibanez lunges for that one and drives it to deep center for a double. Brett Gardner must have thought he was playing softball.

8:25 p.m. Feliz fouls out to Posada and the Phillies are down to their last three outs.

8:26 p.m. I think now would be a good time to say that if the Yankees win this game, I may not fully finish this blog. Meaning, when the third out is recorded, you may not hear a word out of me on here. I’ll be too busy … “celebrating.”

8:29 p.m. Mariano Rivera has never given up more than two runs in any of his 87 postseason appearances and he has only done that twice.

8:30 p.m. WHAT A PLAY BY FELIZ! Swisher isn’t a particularly fast runner, but that is incredible.

8:31 p.m. I forgot about Rivera’s candidacy for series MVP, but I’m still going with Matsui.

8:32 p.m. Brett Gardner goes 0-for-10 in this World Series. Still, he’s not in the talk with Teixeira and Cano.

Eyre out, Madson in. Nice pace!!

8:34 p.m. By the way, The Lakers came back and beat the Rockets by one in overtime. It’s only four games in, but this certainly doesn’t look like a team that some predicted to go 19-1 to start the season. The defense isn’t there yet.

8:37 p.m. I thought Derek Jeter was going to the Yankees’ last at-bat of 2009. But now it’s Hairston, so this will probably be the last at-bat of the year. And then Teixeira is on deck, so that will DEFINITELY be the last at-bat for them this year.

8:38 p.m. Top nine. Here we go!

8:40 p.m. Thinking back to 2000, the last time the Yankees won a World Series, I remember sitting in a recliner, doing high school French homework. And when Bernie Williams caught that last out, I was excited, but it was somewhat subdued because to me, I had gotten so used to the Yankees winning the World Series. It was just a natural way of life.

8:41 p.m. That’s probably why it was so crushing to watch them lose in 2001. So crushing that my right middle knuckle became deformed and I was inconsolable for about an hour.

8:42 p.m. … one out …

8:42 p.m. And now? I don’t feel as nervous as I ever did in the late ’90s or early 2000s. But I think that’s because I have learned to be non-biased when I need to be (thanks, college sports writing). So I detach myself from the situation.

8:44 p.m. But don’t get me wrong. I want this, desperately. My knuckle will still remain, but this will at least make that memory fade a little bit.

8:45 p.m. So after Stairs absolutely crushes a foul ball, he lines out and Ruiz then works a full-count walk. You would think that players like Rollins and Victorino would bat right-handed against Rivera’s cutter.

8:46 p.m. Rollins hits it just on the hands a bit and flies out to the track. Two out.

8:47 p.m. So, uh, I’m gonna go now … I’ll be back soon … THANKS FOR READING!

8:49 p.m. Victorino is going a great job of making this linger.

8:51 p.m. CHAMPIONS.

I’ll be back.

2:16 a.m. And I am back. Please read my next post for a World Series wrap up.

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  1. Murph Crank
    November 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Matsui World Series MVP?

    • spokes310
      November 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

      Definitely.

      Definitely.

  2. November 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

    HE’S GOT RUNNING FROM THE COPS SPEED!

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