November 5, 2009 |
Joe Torre caused quite a stir in 2006 when he dropped Alex Rodriguez to the eighth spot in the New York Yankees' lineup. The Yankees were facing playoff elimination and Rodriguez had one hit in 11 postseason at-bats that year, but the relationship between Torre and Rodriguez was never the same thereafter. Ryan Howard batted .158 through the first five games of the World Series, with 12 strikeouts in 19 at-bats. Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said he gave no thought to dropping Howard from the cleanup spot for Game 6. "What kind of message do I send to Howard, after three or four years he's been in the big leagues, all of a sudden on a big, important game in the World Series, I drop him?"
November 3, 2009 |
The Phillies are taking the World Series back to New York, but they may be missing their starting center fielder when they get there. Shane Victorino was hit on the hand while trying to bunt an A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning Monday and eventually had to leave the game because of severe swelling. "He had X-rays, and it's not broken," said Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel . "But as the game went on, his finger kept swelling. He couldn't grip the ball and couldn't grip the bat."
October 31, 2009 |
With the World Series tied at a game apiece as it moves from New York to Philadelphia for Game 3 tonight, the Phillies are counting on a couple of factors to give them the home-field advantage. For starters, the loss of the designated hitter in the National League ballpark will cost the Yankees one of their big bats. And the vocal Philadelphia crowd has unnerved opponents before, helping the Phillies win 11 of their last 12 postseason games at home. "Our club is not necessarily built to come into this ballpark," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said before his team's workout Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
October 30, 2009 |
Good thing the New York Yankees won, or this could have been the defining image of the Game 2 of the World Series: The Yankees' pulling their team off the field while the umpires discuss whether they messed up again. Fortunately for Bud Selig, the defining image was this: When a ball would have loaded the bases, when a hit could have tied the score, when a home run could have lost the game, Mariano Rivera came through again. Or, at least the way the Philadelphia Phillies saw it, the umpires messed up again.
October 26, 2009 |
They celebrated with Nick Adenhart in victory, dousing his No. 34 jersey in champagne and beer after clinching the division title in September and holding it aloft as they left the Fenway Park field after beating the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs. Sunday night, the Angels cried with Adenhart in defeat, holding close to their teammate, the 22-year-old pitcher who was killed in an April 9 automobile crash just hours after throwing six shutout innings the night before.
October 21, 2009 |
It looks like the Freeway Series is now a Freeway Pipe Dream. That is, unless you are talking about the interstate between New York and Philadelphia. Monday night, in Game 4 of their best-of-seven National League Championship Series, the Dodgers went dramatically. Tuesday night, in Game 4 of their best-of-seven American League Championship Series, the Angels just went. Comebacks from 3-1 are not impossible, just highly improbable. That's especially true if the third loss is devastating, as it was in the Dodgers' collapse in the ninth.