Exeunt Phillies

Congratulations to the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees. It was a great, hard-fought series and they deserve their success, no matter how much money they spent on C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixiera, and A.J. Burnett. In the end, it was money well spent.

Congratulations to the 2009 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, who were two World Series victories away from being the first National League team to win back-to-back World Series since the Big Red Machine in 1975-76. It was a hell of a run, and while the dream has poofed for 2009, 2010 is not out of the question.

Game Six was not a thriller. It was hardly dramatic. The Phillies were 3-to-1 underdogs after Hideki Matsui’s two-run home run in the second inning. They were 5-to-1 underdogs when Matsui got his third and fourth RBI’s on a single in the third inning. Matsui made it 49-to-1 on a two-run double in the fifth. Ryan Howard’s two-run home run in the sixth only bumped the Phillies from 3% to win to 7%.

Andy Pettitte, as in Game 3, was not sharp. He had spotty control, walking five while pitching five and two-thirds innings, but induced two gut-punching double plays off of the bats of Chase Utley in the first and Jimmy Rollins in the fifth.

Pedro Martinez, meanwhile, did not have his stuff at all. Contrary to what the FOX broadcasters were saying, his fastball velocity was similar to that on October 29 in Game Two. The difference was that his fastball in Game Two was getting nearly two more inches of horizontal break and more than a half-inch more of vertical break. Simply put, his fastballs tonight were flat(ter).

Martinez’s pitch selection in Game Six was similar to Game Two:

The difference, however, was that in Two, the Yankees got their hits (three singles, a double, and two home runs) on four curve balls and two change-ups. In Six, the Yankees got their three hits (two singles and a home run) all on fastballs.

Martinez wasn’t locating his breaking pitches effectively. Here’s a look at where his change-ups ended up:

  • 35 total change-ups
  • 16 taken for balls (46%)
  • 8 fouled off (23%)
  • 7 taken for called strikes (20%)
  • 2 hit for outs (6%)
  • 2 swung at and missed (6%)

And the sliders:

  • 12 total sliders
  • 4 taken for balls (33%)
  • 3 swung at and missed (25%)
  • 2 hit for outs (17%)
  • 2 taken for strikes (17%)
  • 1 fouled off (8%)

As you can see in the above charts, very rarely did Pedro throw his off-speed pitches below the knees and when he did, the Yankees rarely offered at them. In fact, of the ten change-ups thrown below the knees, only once was it swung at; and none of Pedro’s sliders were southbound. Most of the breaking pitches the Yankees offered at were belt-high or higher, where those pitches are least efficient.

Taking advantage of Pedro Martinez, as he did in Game Two, was Hideki Matsui. In his two plate appearances against the future Hall of Famer, Matsui drove in four runs on a home run and a single. Matsui would add two more RBI — making it six total — against Chad Durbin, tying Bobby Richardson’s single-game World Series record for RBI, set in 1960.

In the World Series, Matsui had 8 hits in 13 at-bats (.615), including three home runs and a double. He led his team in HR and RBI and tied for the lead in hits — a no-brainer choice for World Series MVP even though he only started three games and never took the field.

On the other side of record-breaking, Ryan Howard broke the all-time record for strikeouts in the World Series when he struck out for the 13th time against Damaso Marte in the eighth inning. Chase Utley, a candidate for World Series MVP until Matsui broke out, remained tied with Reggie Jackson for most home runs in the World Series with five.

Mariano Rivera, he of 39 career post-season saves (13 of which have come in the World Series), entered with one out in the eighth inning and recorded the remaining five outs to clinch the championship for the Yankees, their 27th championship in franchise history.

The Phillies have no reason to hang their heads, as they put together the most impressive two-year run in the franchise’s long history, and they are still primed for another run next year. Pedro Martinez, Scott Eyre, Matt Stairs, Chan Ho Park and Brett Myers are all free agents. Martinez, Eyre, and Stairs may hang up their spikes. There are three significant arbitration cases to be dealt with (Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, and Carlos Ruiz) as well, so the upcoming off-season will be another critical test for GM Ruben Amaro, who is going into his second year handling the business end of things for the Phillies.

For the Yankee-fan view of things, head over to It’s About the Money.

Game graph above courtesy FanGraphs.

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17 comments

  1. John

    November 05, 2009 01:20 AM

    I grew up a Yankees fan, so tonight’s victory feels like a long time coming. However, I very much have come to respect and like the Phillies this year. They are a talented team. They played hard, and I always felt on edge with them at bat, no matter what the Yankee lead.

  2. Chris H.

    November 05, 2009 01:23 AM

    I’m a Yankees fan, but the Phillies are a classy organization. They’re my favorite NL club and I hope to see them again in next year’s World Series.

  3. Andrew

    November 05, 2009 01:26 AM

    I am a huge Yankee fan and tonight I am on top of the world, but i would just like to say that this phillies team is still very good and i expect to see them back again next year especially with a full year of lee and a energized hamels. I stumbled across this blog thanks to rob neyer and i just wanted to thank you for your unbiased and informative insight on the phillies it was a great read through the whole series. Thank you once again. And good luck next year Philly, i know you will great once again

  4. Tim

    November 05, 2009 01:27 AM

    You may want to rework this statement:

    “Congratulations to the 2009 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, who came within two World Series victories from repeating as champions for the first time since the Big Red Machine in 1975-76.”

    It should read:

    “Congratulations to the 2009 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, who was the first National League team to come within two World Series victories from repeating as champions since the Big Red Machine in 1975-76.”

    The first statement reads as if no other team has done this since the Reds, when we all know the Yankees did it a decade ago (actually a threepeat). But I guess making it to the World Series two years in a row is kinda cool.

  5. Tim

    November 05, 2009 01:30 AM

    PS

    The Phillies are a great team, I got nervous in every game, most recently in tonight’s game right before Utley struck out on the check swing. The only place they need to improve is in the closer position.

  6. e

    November 05, 2009 02:36 AM

    Howard Needs to be platooned… ASAP

  7. Nero

    November 05, 2009 02:52 AM

    I am a Yankee fan but also stumbled upon this site through an ESPN link. You are doing a great job providing great, unbiased insight on both teams. Keep up the great work. Btw, kudos to the Phillies who proved they are a great team and showed a lot of grit and determination even when down. Pedro was the only player who I could hate on their team for his obvious history with the Yankees. I couldn’t even be mad with Rollins despite his predictions and claims of having solved Mariano Rivera. Again, I really love your work and please keep it up. I can’t say that for many other sites.

  8. Anonymous

    November 05, 2009 03:11 AM

    Another Yanks fan here. Great job by the Phils as their achievements this season are nothing to laugh at. You guys have a great team that plays hard all the time. I actually like this site (contrary to the Angels sites which were incredibly biased like Halosheaven). Keep up the good work guys.

  9. jeremy

    November 05, 2009 03:41 AM

    tip of the cap to the phils from another yankees fan. i told my wife tonight that during the series with the diamondbacks, marlins and many series with the red sox, i couldn’t stand the opposing teams players and could not understand how we lost to them. not so with the phils. great players, great personalities and a great team. round 2 next year!

  10. ESFjellin

    November 05, 2009 08:44 AM

    “Howard Needs to be platooned… ASAP” – Really? You want to platoon a guy who hits 45 HRs and 141 RBIs? Yeah, good luck.

    As for Lidge and Hamels, they will bounce back. They will not replace Lidge unless he has a huge meltdown next year. Realisticcly you should expect 4-6 BS from Lidge. This year he was just making them up from his perfect ’08 season.

    Hamels will rebound as well. Think about it, this was a test from the Baseball Gods. They were so good in ’08 that you knew a drop in production was coming and when it did, it would hurt. If thier 2010 stats are in between what they did in ’08 and ’09 they win the WS next year.

  11. DaveinNJ

    November 05, 2009 10:42 AM

    As much as i dont like Philly teams like the Eagles,Sixers and Flyers i do respect the Phils. Maybe its because they play in another league then my Yanks and that they beat up on the crosstown rival Mutts every year.

  12. Paco

    November 05, 2009 11:15 AM

    I believe the Mets have a winning record against the Phils the last three years. Not saying they’re a better team, just that the sentence “they beat up on the crosstown rival Mutts every year,” is factually incorrect.

    Thanks.

  13. bryan booher

    November 06, 2009 10:10 PM

    i hated to see the phills lose to the yankees becouse you guys know how to win the right way bulid your team not buy a w.s win you will be back next year

  14. bryan booher

    November 06, 2009 10:15 PM

    i have been on this yankees blog it is called it’s a bouhgt the money stupid you can get to it by goring to espn.com it is by jason the yankees fan are a bunch of hommers and they know phillies fans are a great fan base and have class not like the yankees fans

  15. bryan booher

    November 07, 2009 12:11 AM

    oh yes the no playoff making mets for the last 3 years when wilL N.Y fans learn that they braggin g abought buying and w.s win and speending the most money they my be the begest city in the free world but they are the worst fans ever to live the rest of baseball does not need the yankees they need baseball so they can talk all they want but we all know what they are as fans phills in 2010. p.s yankees suck

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