"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Just Like Old Times

Andy tips his cap after leaving the game up 3-1 in the seventh (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)The Yankees won six pennants in Andy Pettitte’s first nine years with the team. They fell three outs short in 2004, Pettitte’s first year as a Houston Astro, but Pettitte claimed another flag with the ‘Stros in 2005. Last night, Andy Pettitte punched his ticket to his eighth and the Yankees’ fortieth World Series, exorcising the ghosts of the 2004 ALCS and 2002 and 2005 ALDS with a fine performance and a 5-2 Game Six victory over the Angels.

Pettitte made just one mistake all night, a hanging curveball that man Jeff Mathis hit for a double to lead off the third for the Angels. Mathis moved to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out Bobby Abreu single. It was the only run the Halos would get off Pettitte in his 6 1/3 innings of work. Pettitte got into a bit of a jam with two outs in the sixth when Torii Hunter singled and Vlad Guerrero doubled him to third, but Hunter’s single was a chopper that didn’t get beyond the infield grass and Guerrero’s double was a bloop to shallow right that Vlad golfed out of the dirt. Andy then fell behind Kendry Morales, 3-0, but got a Morales to chop a comebacker right at his beak for the final out of the inning.

In the meantime, the Yankees put up a three-spot on Angels starter Joe Saunders in the fourth. After Robinson Cano walked and the newly Swish-hawked Nick Swisher punched a single through the shortstop hole, Melky Cabrera bunted both runners up. Saunders then pitched around Derek Jeter, walking him on eight pitches, to get to slumping fellow lefty Johnny Damon. Damon got ahead 2-0, then punched the 2-1 pitch up the middle to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. After Mark Teixeira reached on an infield single deep in the shortstop hole that reloaded the bases, Saunders walked in a third run on five pitches to Alex Rodriguez. The last pitch to Rodriguez seemed to be a strike (Alex was seen saying as much to Mick Kelleher at first base), but one got the sense that Saunders got off easy given Rodriguez’s hot hitting in this postseason. Darren Oliver got Jorge Posada to hit into a double play to end the threat, but Pettitte and the Yankees had their lead.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Juan Rivera singled on Pettitte’s 99th pitch of the night. Joe Girardi then called on Joba Chamberlain to pitch to the righty Mathis. Mike Scioscia countered with switch-hitting Maicer Izturis, thus taking one of his hottest hitters out of the game. Given his struggles in this series, Chamberlain seemed like a dubious choice with a slim, two-run lead, but Joba got Izturis to hit a would-be double play ball to shortstop. The ball took a funny bounce on Derek Jeter, but rolled right to Cano standing on second base for a fielder’s choice. Joba then got Erick Aybar to ground out to Jeter on two pitches.

Just six outs from the World Series, Girardi didn’t mess around. He skipped right over the scuffling Phil Hughes and went straight to Mariano Rivera. Rivera was greeted by a Chone Figgins single that was later plated by a single by Guerrero, but the other three men he faced in the eighth grounded out to the right side of the infield.

Nursing a one-run lead, the Yankee bats added some insurance in the eighth, again initiated by a Cano lead-off walk, this time on four pitches from Ervin Santana. With Scott Kazmir on in relief, Nick Swisher attempted to bunt Cano to second, but second baseman Howie Kendrick dropped the throw at first base leaving men on first and second with none out. Cabrera then attempted to bunt both runners up, but Kazmir babied the throw which sailed over Kendrick allowing Cano to score and pinch-runner Brett Gardner to go to third. After an unproductive groundout by Jeter, who has been battling a cold, Damon worked a seven-pitch walk, and Mark Teixeira hit a sac fly to deep center to plate Gardner and set the score at 5-2. Jered Weaver then came on and walked Rodriguez on four pitches before striking out Posada on six.

With that, Rivera popped back out of the dugout and set the Angels down in order, wrapping up the pennant by striking out pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. with a fastball up and away.

the Yankees celebrate the pennant (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)There’s a sense that the Yankees are back in familiar territory, but while Pettitte will be playing in his eighth World Series, Jeter and Rivera their seventh, and Posada his sixth, this is a first for the vast majority of the team. Hideki Matsui was on the 2003 pennant winners, Jose Molina was on the 2002 Angels, Johnny Damon and Eric Hinske were on the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox, respectively, and Damaso Marte was on the 2005 White Sox, but for the other 16 men on the roster, including Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and even home grown Yankees Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera, this will be their first World Series.

One could see that difference in the celebrations. While Rivera and Posada shared a long, quiet embrace, Teixeira and Rodriguez acted like, well, like they had just won the American League pennant.

The Yankees have two days to celebrate and prepare for the arrival of the Phillies on Wednesday. With Pettitte having done his job, CC Sabathia will start Game One of the World Series in a stellar matchup against fellow lefty Cliff Lee. For the first time since 1996 the Yankees will be the challengers to the defending world champions. That’s fine by me. Feels like old times.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

Tags:  2009 Playoffs  ALCS

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1 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:25 am

What a performance by Andy P. And to think I was not that excited about him coming back this year!
Very interesting to see how all the pundits predict this one. The Yankees do seem the better team overall, but they did not play particualrly well in the first two rounds. In fact, they greatly benefited from the putrid fundamentals of both the Twins & Angels. (Can we FINALLY stop hearing the media bow down to those teams "playing the right way"?) Meanwhile, the Phillies looked very strong against the Dodgers..

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:28 am

[1] I'll have my preview on Wednesday, but the differences between these two teams are slight. Should be a hell of a Series.

3 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:29 am

[2] An early guess: a LOT comes down to which flaky lefty is better, AJ or Cole Hamels. I think both CC and Lee will pitch well in their starts.

4 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:30 am

A great, great win. Great to see Pettitte dealing, great to see Rivera doing what the Great Rivera does, great to see Mo and Posada embracing while the rest of the team went crazy. Seven down, four to go.

5 Hank Waddles   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:31 am

[3] Another edge could come if the series goes seven and CC pitches three times while Lee only goes twice.

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:33 am

[3] Which, I think, makes who wins the CC vs. Lee matchup(s) the key to the series.

7 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:41 am

gaudin for game 5 or joba?

i'm assuming cc will go games 1, 4 and 7. burnett will pitch games 2 and 6. andy will pitch game 3. unless you want to start andy on short rest for game 2 so that he can pitch game 6. i think that makes some sense, especially since the 2 best hitters on the phillies are lefties, but probably not worth pushing andy to be ready for game 2. i very much doubt you'd let everyone go on short rest (burnett for games 2 and 5, pettitte for 3 and 6), but i'd consider that also. in fact, i think i'd vote for that.

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:43 am

The guys at the WorldWideLeader are quick, predictions already up. So far all Yanks..Neyer has them winning in 5! Seeing as how he picked the Dodgers in 5, that kind of worries me!

Well, in any tight series, closers become even more important..and the Mo-Lidge battle is not close to being even (Last year's Lidge vs. Mo would have been great).

9 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:46 am

I am not sure if I think the differences are that slight. In the better league, the Yankees had an OPS+ of 119 to the Phillies 102. It's really on the pitching side where they are more similar, although I still give the Yankees edge. Over the long haul, I think the Yankees are clearly a better team, but in a short series, I do think the Phillies ability to match the Yankees power (and speed) makes the lineups similarly capable.

Because Pedro, Hamels and Blanton have to be considered more of a question mark, I think the Lee v. Sabathia matchup could be more crucial for the Phillies. Ultimately, I think the Yankees having 5 potential left handed starts could be the Yankees biggest edge. Even though both teams aren't really impacted by handedness, my impression is that good left pitching is more a threat to the Phillies lineup.

10 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:47 am

"At times we played good baseball. At times we shot ourselves in the foot," Scioscia said.


11 Dimelo   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:56 am

This just all feels good, I still can't sleep. From Gardner to A-Rod, from Tomko to Jeter, we have seen a bunch of players, a bunch of games, and a lot of drama in these playoffs and, more frequently, this entire season.

We are fortunate to have so much stability in our lives to enjoy this, right? Some hyperbole here, yes, definitely, unequivocally, BUT......we managed chaos in our own lives to make sure we tracked our team, to make sure we caught as many pitches, to make sure we understood every stat, every managerial move, et al. All for this, all for this feeling, all for finishing off this last scene, all for....THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

I can't wait till Wednesday. Let's go New York Yankees!!!

12 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 26, 2009 4:05 am

Kruk just predicted the Phillies, because, as he claims, "the Yankees just haven't seen a line-up like [as powerful as] the Phillies. Really? Hmmm, let me see if I can think back Uh, how about the Angels? Average: Angels 1st, Phillies 23rd. OBP: Angels 3rd, Phillies 14th. Jeez that guy is a dunce sometimes....or most of the time.

13 jjmerlock   ~  Oct 26, 2009 5:24 am

Andy was off the hook tonight. The sixth was still terrifying (again), but it's ridiculous how big he came up for the Yanks. And that ball A Rod hit back up the middle? Damn that thing had mad hibachi on it, it was sizzling so loud.

14 RIYank   ~  Oct 26, 2009 6:33 am

Very happy game, only a few tense moments. I'll browse the1876 comments in the previous thread now.

Thanks be to Mo.

15 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 6:52 am

[12] To be fair, if he is talking about *power*, the Phillies led the NL in slugging % and OPS+, and they hit 224 HRs (only 20 or so fewer than the Yankees) despite having a pitcher in the lineup most nights.

[9] Thought the Phillies led their league with a 102 OPS+. OPS+ is adjusted to the ML average, so it does not account for pitchers batting in the NL...or am I wrong?

[7] I thought about that. If you go with CC on short rest (3 starts) and AJ on regular rest (2 starts), then you need a fourth starter, or at least that's the way I would lean.

16 Biscuit Pants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 8:03 am

[12] And the Phils surely haven't faced an offense like the Bombers. This series, like the last two is going to come down to pitching and defense, IMHO.

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:01 am

The Phils are thinking Pedro for Game 2. Hardly a vote of confidence in Hamels -- and when was the last time the defending champions started mid-season acquistions in the first two games of the World Series?

18 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:06 am

My morning glory thought is that New Yankee Stadium rose up last night. We had a lot of the breaks go our way, and the ghosts infected Kazmir, making him throw to first like a seven year old. But: smash to Swisher, caught. Smash that ate up Jeter rolls to Cano. Cano holding runner is RIGHT in front of a single through the middle. Pettitte knocks down a hard comebacker (play of the game? Turning point?) for an out. I think there were one or two more.

Another random thought: anyone else in baseball hit that golfball that Vlad singled on?

Less random: OK Jazz is right ... there's something really fine about Pettitte being at the heart of this. And I'll repeat what I said last night, somewhere in 1800-1900 posts ... I've never seen the pitcher/catcher alone to celebrate quite like that before. It touched me a lot, given who they were.

The Phillies are not the Phillies of spring or even overall numbers. If Cliff Lee has shaken off the frustrations of pitching for Cleveland and now has a terrifically powerful lineup, he is a serious difference maker, or at the least an equalizer to CC. Since we really DO need a fourth starter (Andy cannot go on 3 days. No can do.) they have a major edge there since we do not have one. Amazing, in a way, but there it is. A rain out at any point in first three gamest changes this, to our advantage.

If we have any idea of Molina/AJ, then it HAS to be in NY, since we can't lose both Posada AND Matsui in the same game. It would feel too self-destructive. It does work out, though, if AJ is set for 2 and 6. So Girardi still has that option.

19 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:26 am



20 rbj   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:30 am

Not gonna worry about the Serious yet, just gonna revel in the win.

And I'm glad they ended it last nigh, not so much that it gives the team two days of rest as it gives me two days of rest.

21 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:42 am

I haven't purchased playoff gear since 2004, but I'm going to the Yankee store later to pick up some hat for my dad, and my sons. Those pennant winning caps look pretty sharp, and even though my boys were around in 2003, this is the first World Series they'll remember, so why not have a fresh cap for the occasion?

[18] Posada's not going to be benched for Molina, and I wouldnt worry too much about Andy being ready on short rest for a Game 6 at the Stadium.

22 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:44 am

Good game last night. The Angels were such a mess in the 8th inning! Sheesh.

Props To Pettitte, he did a great job, and Girardi had his Goldilocks moment with taking the starter out at the right time. I imagine some people had doubts about his choice of reliever, but I had no problem with it.

Posada was really frustrating and I'd say that was the only part of the game that bugged me. I didn't mind Rivera giving up the run, and didn't that inning typify how weird baseball is sometimes? Figgins gets a hit on a weak flare, then because he's on second, Hunter smashes an otherwise-certain single up the middle that ends up a ground-out to the second baseman.

It's pretty amazing to watch Rodriguez right now. It really looks like he's achieved a greater level of discipline at the plate; when he swings, it's almost always at a pitch he has a chance to drive. I love the hits and the home runs, but every time I see him lay off pitches low and away, my heart sings.

23 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:45 am

One other thing - the home plate ump provided some grist for the "MLB and networks want Yankees to advance" mill.

24 Joel   ~  Oct 26, 2009 9:56 am

Angels hex? No. The Halos are just a different team without Shields, K-Rod (and back in the day, Percival) at the back of their bullpen. This is an epic seven gamer if the Angels get out of the Bronx 1-1. Fuentes coughed up one game and almost coughed up a second without even giving up a hit.

And...Thank you Joe Girardi for going for the jugular and bringing Mo in for 6 outs. Those are the same 6 outs that would have given the Yanks 4-1 series victory over the Red Sox in 2004.

25 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:01 am

Thinking starters through, if it is - and it has to be - CC/AJ/Andy, it is AJ rested in game 6 after CC on short in 4 (to leave him the option of short in Game 7) and pick a 4th starter in Game 5. Unless we go with AJ AND Andy on short in 5 and 6 which does not feel smart, to me, with an iffy bullpen. This means Andy only starts Game 3 and is in relief later. We CAN use our 4th starter in 4, CC rested in 5, AJ rested in 6, and Andy rested for 7. I think CC is so solid on 3 days, track record, he starts the 4th, but some of it turns on the wins and losses at that point.

[21] Why so sure Po plays Game 2 in NY when we do have Matsui? Why would Girardi decide now he was wrong twice? What changes now? Maybe, maybe if it is not Hamels (lefty) in Game 2.

26 Rich   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:10 am

I don't think too many other media types will pick the Yankees in five, so I think it's worth quoting Ken Davidoff:

I'd be surprised if this went longer than five games. I just think the Yankees' hitters should annihilate the Phillies' pitchers. Look at Cliff Lee's career numbers against the Yankees. I know, I know - small sample sizes. But you can certainly say that none of the group of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira will enter Game 1 concerned about how they're going to hit Lee.

IMO, the series will be more difficult than that.

27 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:15 am

Eric Hinske for the World Series 2009 Roster!

28 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:17 am

Hinske is in because pinch hitting matters more in NL parks.

29 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:19 am

I really wanna see Sabathia park one in the bleachers in Philly.

30 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:25 am

[25] I think in his last start AJ showed us - not that Girardi was wrong -but that it doesn't matter so much who he pitches to - so why bench Posada who's a more versatile hitter than Hideki?

But you might be right. Girardi might stick with the AJ- Molina battery, and keep Hideki's bat for Game 2. I wouldn't complain either way.

31 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:25 am

[27] So who's out--Cervelli or Guzman?

32 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:27 am

[30] My beef with the AJ-Posada battery---besides the fact that I don't believe it "works," because I don't think it really matters who he pitches to---is that the move all but necessitates carrying a third catcher, which weakens the bench.

Now, if Girardi had the balls to carry just Molina and Posada, and be willing to gamble on taking Molina out for Po mid-game with no BUC, then it would bother me less.

33 Rich   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:30 am

[31] Guzman

I think Cano is about to go on a major hot streak.

34 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:30 am

[31] Guzman.

[26] Davidoff seems to forget that Lee was a totally different pitcher prior to 2008.

35 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:30 am

if it hasn't already been said, please allow me to be the first....

WHOSE YOUR DADDY?!? (clap-clap, clap-clap-clap)

WHOSE YOUR DADDY?!? (clap-clap, clap-clap-clap)

36 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:37 am

[30] How did one start prove that? Over the largest sample size we have - the regular season - it's been proven that Burnett pitches better when Molina is behind the plate. It doesn't mean he's going to throw shut-outs every time, just that the odds are better he'll do significantly better.

That being said, the balance really changes in an NL park. I don't think they can afford to to have Molina and the pitcher in the lineup.

Speaking of which, it seems like Girardi may have learned his lesson but I feel like he may regress given the temptation to demonstrate his baseball genius when they're @ Phillies. Does anyone else fear the Moves of Girardi in the NL park?

37 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:39 am

I think these teams are dead-even in terms of offense, so we need to take a look at the pitching.

lets say, just for argument's sake, its a 4-man rotation. That means we're looking at: CC/AJ/Andy/Gaudin vs Lee/Pedro/Hamels/Blanton.

I give CC a slight edge over Lee, although thats a hell of a matchup.

You never know what you're gonna get with AJ, but I can't get past the fact that we hit Pedro well when he was the greatest pitcher on Earth so I gotta think we'll be able to do something with him as a diminished 37 year old.

Hamels has the chance to be more dynamic than Andy, but he's shown you nothing since the playoffs last year...if he makes any mistakes the Yankee lineup can crush him.

Blanton/Gaudin is a pick 'em, I give Blanton the edge because of his experience. Although I'm still pretty surprised Haap isn't getting that start.

Bullpens, both can turn any game into a tension convention. Lidge seems to be coming on as of late, but even if he's at his full powers Mo is still the undisputed champ.

as for managers, everyone loves to bitch about Girardi...but its not like Manuel was exactly thought of as being a latter-day John McGraw before last year either.

38 ed   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:41 am

Great day for America! Life is full of joy! Every day is a gift, every moment precious. THE YANKEES WIN THE PENNANT!

Four to go.

39 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:49 am

My nickel bet: if it is Pedro in Game 2 we are more likely to see Po, if it is Hamels, more likely Molina. I do agree that the Molina strategy just about requires carrying Cervelli which is a negative. Call him a plucky mascot. I like Hinske in there for NL parks, especially that one. With Guzman gone, Gardy will never start, which is okay if Nick can turn it around just a bit. He made two huge plays in right last night, got a (lucky) hit, laid down a superb bunt.

Raging ... you really think Gaudin is a toss-up to Blanton? Hope so.

Hawk, if I have it right, AJ is in NY both times, and so we do NOT sit Matsui and Posada, both if Girardi uses Molina. I still agree with using Molina in that case, given the AJ start numbers and the reality (said before) that this is three at-bats max, and maybe just 2.

40 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:55 am

[39] I mean Blanton is better, but thats a game where I could see both starters being out in the 4th inning. So which one is "better" really? It's not like the Yanks have never seen Blanton before and would be dazzled by his junk (wow that sounds bad)

41 Rich   ~  Oct 26, 2009 10:58 am

Could Gaudin even pitch more than 4 innings at this point?

42 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:00 am

[39] If that's the case with AJ only pitching in NY, that's a relief. I haven't looked at the schedule but I understand they will need a fourth starter, so I guess that makes sense.

43 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:00 am

I'll amend my little half-assed head to head and say Blanton is better, but you're really picking between the mumps and the measles at that point I think.

44 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:06 am

[43] I think it's a close matchup, but both pitchers are better than you're giving them credit for. That said, Rich's concern in [41] is legit.

45 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:08 am

[37] These teams are really not even close to dead even in offense. The Yankees are much better...in fact, the Yankees had one of their best offensive teams of all time in terms of OPS+ (119). By comparison, the Phillies were a very average 102. The Phillies are top heavy, so they can match the Yankees best, but depth is where the Yankees are much better. Of course, the Yankees haven't been very deep in the playoffs, but if things play to form, the Yankees have a much better offense.

46 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:09 am

[41] A game featuring 6 innings of Gaudin and Aceves wouldn't be awful...the only reticence I would I have is both have pitched so infrequently.

47 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:13 am

my comment is awaiting moderation? what in the hell does that mean?

48 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:14 am

[36] after watching AJ's last meltdown you're still pointing to the larger sample size? Not me, I throw the regular season sample out the window, and don't hesitate to pair Burnett with Posada, over a short series or a long season.

Regardless of their statistical similaritIes behind the plate,I still believe Molina is a slightly better defensive catcher than Po, which is the ONLY reason I wouldn't complain too much if he gets the Game 2 start.

49 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:15 am

[44] I know I'm probably selling them short, Blanton pitched well in the LA game but the Dodgers lineup is NOT the Yankees lineup obviously. I just feel like either one of those guys gives you 5 IP, 3 ER you'd probably take it. But we shall see, thats baseball Suzyn.

[45] The Yankees also play in a more offensive league, they're a legitimately great offense...no doubt about it. But I don't think the Phillies have any real pushovers in that lineup.

50 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:31 am

[49] Being in a more offensive league doesn't impact OPS+ because it is a relative stat. If anything, it is harder to be better at something in a league in which more teams are also capable. The OPS+ gulf between the two is actually wider when you account for league. I am not suggesting that the likes of Howard, Werth, Rollins, Utley and Ibanez are not dangerous, just that over a large enough sample, the Phillies lineup doesn't even compare to the Yankees. The World Series is not a large sample, of course, so naturally, anything can happen.

51 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:33 am

[47] in the postseason, pettitte has pitched on short rest 5 times. in game 5 of the 1996 alcs, he gave up 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 bb and 3 ks in 8 innings. in game 5 of the 1996 world series, he gave up 0 runs, 5 hits, 3 bbs and 4 ks in 8.1 innings. in game 5 of the 1997 alds, he gave up 4 runs, 6 hits, 0 bbs and 2 ks in 6.2 innings. and in game 5 of the 2000 alds, he gave up 5 runs, 10 hits, 2 bbs and 4 ks in 3.2 innings. in game 2 of the 2003 world series, he gave up 1 (unearned) run, 6 hits, 1 bb and 7 ks in 8.2 innings.

52 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:34 am

OK, what gives, I just posted too sizable responses to William that seem to have been 134'd.

53 rufuswashere   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:37 am

Anyone at the game last night? How did the new stadium "perform"? Was it loud in that crazy way that the old one was? (see: Tino's Grand Slam in 1998 World Series, Boggs' bases-loaded walk in 1996, Justice 3-run shot in 2000 ALCS ...)

Certainly seemed jumping from the TV coverage, but you never know unless you're there.

54 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:40 am

[52] 35.1 ip, 11 er, 30 hits, 7 bbs, 20 ks

3-1, 2.80 era, 1.05 whip, 2.86 k/bb

55 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:40 am

[50][45] But William, isn't OPS+ adjusted relative to the ML, not to each league? If so, then NL teams are punished (statistically) because their pitchers bat. The Phillies led the NL in OPS+, so their 102 is perhaps "batter" than first appears v. the Yankees 119 OPS+.

The OPS+ gulf between the two is actually wider when you account for league.

The opposite, I think. The Yankees 119 OPS+ is at first glance 117% as good as (17% better than) the Phillies 102 OPS+. However, the Phillies 102 OPS+ is 108% of the NL league average of 94. The Yankees 119 OPS+ is 120% of the AL average of 99. In other words, the Yankees are about 12% "more better" than the AL than the Phils are against the NL, or a bit closer gap than if the two OPS+ states are compared directly.

In the end, I'm not sure that team OPS+ is all that useful a stat when comparing teams who play in different leagues with different rules (i.e., pitchers bat).

56 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:41 am

[53] did it tell you that your comment is awaiting moderation? that's what mine says in 47. does anyone else see 47? are my numbers all screwed up now?

57 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:41 am

[54] boggs' walk was in atlanta

58 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:43 am

[50] William, your last comment underscores why large trend discussions are somewhat beside the point. I agree: short series is too random (why I hatehate 5 game series, always have). We go deeper than Philly into the batting order with good hitters, but the top 5/6 for them are really good. Weird things happen at the bottom of batting orders, and we all know it (a defensively oriented catcher for Anaheim? Five doubles? Doyle/Dent? Are there people here who REMEMBER Brian Doyle?)

Basically Philadelphia has the horses on the mound and at the plate to be very very strong. So do we. I am very happy we won the All-Star game, by the way. Kazmir was the winning pitcher, wasn't he? I want Burnett to have every tool/asset he can get in Game 2, first WS. I lean Molina. Not that Girardi's called to ask.

59 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:44 am

[56] Nope...mine don't even appear. I submitted the first one, and it disappeared. I tried to resubmit and was told that I had sent a duplicate comment. I changed the second one slightly, submitted, and it disappeared.

When I posted at [52] on mine ([53] on yours since you are awaiting moderation), it showed up fine, as did my comment at [55].


60 Start Spreading the News   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:44 am

Plus AL pitchers seem to love pitching in the NL these days. Just ask Smoltz and Penny. So our pitchers who have had to face offenses like the Angels, Red Sox and Tampa should not find the Phillies intimidating.

61 rufuswashere   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:50 am

[57] My bad! Sorry, getting old (as my kids keep reminding me).

Ok, from 1995, how about the Mattingly or Leyritz home runs in game 2 ALDS?

62 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:51 am

WHAT THE FUCK??? i've tried 4 times now to post links to aj's and andy's splits on 3 days' rest. for whatever reason, wordpress does not want me to do it, no matter what form i post it in. basically, aj only has 4 starts but has been great (4-0, 2.33 era, 1.07 whip, 2.4 k/bb); andy has 14 starts and has been average but better than gaudin (4-6, 4.15 era, 1.43 whip, 1.82 k/bb). but andy's numbers don't include the postseason ones i posted.

63 monkeypants   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:55 am

[62] How many links did you try to post? I have found that wordpress lets you include one link. More than one kicks your post into moderationland.

64 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:56 am

[63?] ah, that would be the problem then.
andy's splits: http://tiny.cc/ftAcI

65 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 11:57 am
66 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 26, 2009 12:07 pm

[53] And OPS+ is still a flawed statistic because it still values OBP and SLG equally.

In any case, there's a huge golf between the Yanks and the Phillies, just like there was between the Yanks and Angels - Yanks' 3rd order W-L was 101-61, Philly's was but 86-76. That 15-game difference looms as large as the 14 game difference with LAA (87-75) and the 18 game difference with the Twins (83-79).

So I'll say Yanks in 5, but if it goes 6 games and they get to clinch at home, I won't mind too much. ;)

67 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 12:20 pm

[55] OPS+ isn't really relative to one league or the other, but what other batters have done in comparable conditions. In other words, the league average OBP and SLG used as a baseline will be different for players on different teams (because park factors are taken into account). So, a team in the AL is being compared to a more difficult environment.

The reason the gulf is wider is because the Yankees are 19% better than what the average team would have performed under the same conditions (i.e., number of games in the same ballparks). If you accept that the American League has better competition, than an OPS+ derived playing mostly AL teams will be stronger.

Or, think of it this way...if a little league team was 100% better than its competition, you wouldn't also think it was better than a professional team that is only 1% better than its competition.

68 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 26, 2009 12:25 pm

[58] I am not suggesting that the Phillies wont be competitive...just that the Yankees have the better team. While that doesn't mitigate the dangers of the small sample, it is still better to have that as an advantage (because ultimately have better players, and more of them, should increase your chances of things breaking your way).

[66] It is flawed in that respect, but what stat isn't? Besides, the Phillies OPS+ is inflated by their SLG%*, so if you adjusted OPS to boost OBP, the Yankees would look even better.

*The Phillies OBP was below the Mets and Nats.

69 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 26, 2009 12:36 pm

[68] There are flaws, and then there are FLAWS. OPS and OPS+ are FLAWED - equating OBP with SLG is a huge, huge error.

No one stat is perfect, but there are many, many stats that are far better at showing a team's actual offense than OPS+.

And FWIW, as I show in [66], I too believe the Yanks have the better team - the far better team, in fact.

70 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 26, 2009 12:47 pm

[69] And along those lines:

2009 Yanks EqA: .286 (led MLB)
2009 Phillies EqA: .272

That 14-point difference is rather large; greater, in fact, than the difference between Philly and SD (.260 EqA). Note that SD had an exactly league-average offense (IIRC, .260 EqA is league average).

If we look at EqR:

Yanks: 909.3 (led MLB)
Phillies: 824.6

The 84.7 run difference is essentially the difference between Philly and the Mets (737 EqR).

Unfortunately I can't find team RARP totals (RARP is essentially VORP, but unlike VORP - which I believe remains "broken" - RARP does not equate OBP with SLG) - but my guess is they'd also show a healthy gap between the Yanks and the Phillies.

71 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 1:13 pm

[48] after watching AJ’s last meltdown you’re still pointing to the larger sample size?

I don't see how you can not. I agree the post season is a different beast but after all, even during the post season, Burnett turned in two excellent performances alongside that meltdown (which to me wasn't much of a meltdown since the flow was stanched after the four run first inning, and the runs allowed after that were on Posada's watch and shouldn't have happened at all, but that's another story).

In fact, if you think about it, even this post season, Burnett gave up 7 runs in 13 or so innings pitching to Molina and 2 in 2 innings pitching to Posada, and though I wouldn't extrapolate and make decisions based on that, you'd have to still give the advantage to Molina. (I'm not positive of the numbers but I think that's about right)

But the point is, just because he throws a stinker or semi-stinker to Molina doesn't mean you throw out all the data you've complied before it. You're trying to maximize Burnett's performance, not ensure that he pitches a shut out every time.

72 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Oct 26, 2009 1:53 pm

I'm not even calling AJ's game a semi-stinker. I call it stanching the bleeding, going 5 shut out after a lousy start, giving the team a chance to win - which they could have done. For me, he's been fine.

The 3 day rest thing for Pettitte surely (surely!) has to note how old he was when he did those. We've all been calling him a 90-100 pitch guy on four days rest. AJ is a different matter. Big guy, strong, still young(ish). He COULD go Monday in Philly in Game 5 on 3 days, but then Pettitte is set for Game 6 at home Wednesday on 3 as well. I don't like it, myself. I don't think we can dodge our 4th starter, unless it rains - which it might well do, and that would be (to my mind) an advantage for us.

73 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:05 pm

[72] The 3 day rest thing for Pettitte surely (surely!) has to note how old he was when he did those.

Yeah I would not push it with Andy in this regard for that reason - he's kind of old.

74 51cq24   ~  Oct 26, 2009 2:47 pm

pitching on 3 days' rest is not going to kill anyone or ruin anyone's career. the question is, who would you rather have, pettitte on 3 days' rest or gaudin on a billion? yes, those starts by andy were mostly years ago (his most recent was in 2006). but we're talking about one game. i think he can handle it. and if he can't, you still have gaudin backing him up.

75 The Hawk   ~  Oct 26, 2009 5:35 pm

[74] LOL no-one's worried about killing anyone, it's a matter of performance.

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