By Greg Brozowski, WSOE Sports
Here’s all the info you need to know about Game 5 of the 2009 World Series where the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Yankees, 8-6.
From the word go, it seemed as though both teams were ready to put up a big night offensively. Cliff Lee took the mound for the Phillies after his unbelievable pitching performance in Game 1 of the series and looked to continue his success. Philly needed Lee to step up again for his team, as they had not won a game since he had pitched and were facing elimination in the series. In his first start, Lee had not given up a run but in the very first inning, Alex Rodriguez, the hottest hitter for the Yankees drove in his 18th RBI of this postseason (a Yankee record, the previous one being held by both Bernie Williams and Scott Brosius with 16) to give New York a quick 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the first, Philly responded quick off of starter A.J. Burnett, who was pitching on only three days rest. After a Jimmy Rollins single and a Burnett pitch getting away from him and hitting Shane Victorino in the process, Chase Utley, the Phillies biggest offensive weapon in the Fall Classic, hit a three run homer to put the his team up 3-1.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Phillies were ready to increase their lead even further. After Utley walked and stole second and Ryan Howard walked, Jayson Werth came up and drove in Utley on a single. The next batter, Raul Ibanez, then singled also and scored Howard from second. That marked the end of night for Burnett who had one of his classic starts where he inexplicably imploded. Dave Robertson came in to relieve for the Yankees. With Carlos Ruiz at the plate, he grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Werth in the process (the run was accounted to Burnett though). With his night now completely in the books, here is Burnett’s dismal line: 2+ IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, and 2 K. Phillies now lead 6-1.
In the top of the fifth, the Yankees condensed the lead when Eric Hinske (who pinch hit for Robertson and got on with a walk, then got to third on a Derek Jeter single) scored on a Johnny Damon groundout to get the score to 6-2 Philadelphia.
After two scoreless innings of relief by Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke came in to pitch for the Yankees in the bottom of the 7th. The first batter Coke faced, Utley, takes him deep for his second homer of the game, this one a solo shot. This home run is so important because it tied the Phills second baseman with Reggie Jackson for the most home runs hit in a single World Series with 5. After retiring Howard and Werth, Ibanez hits another long ball off of Coke to increase the lead to 8-2. Phil Hughes then came on to get the final out of the inning for New York but the game looked over for the Yankees.
The Yankees hit Lee the hardest they had done so the entire series in the top of the 8th when both Damon and Teixeira singled and doubled respectively. A-Rod then came up big again for the Yanks, as he hit a ball to deep left that went off the glove of Ibanez for a double, scoring both base runners. After this hit, Phillies manager Charlie Manual took out Lee for Chan Ho Park. Nick Swisher than advanced Rodriguez to third on a groundout to second and Robinson Cano drove in A-Rod with a sacrifice fly to center. All of a sudden, the Yankees were back in the game, only down 8-5.
In the top of the ninth, Charlie Manual decided to put in reliever Ryan Madson rather than closer Brad Lidge despite the fact that it was a save situation. This was probably due to the fact that Lidge had given up the game-winning run in Game 4 of the series the night before. Jorge Posada leads off the frame with a double to start the Yankees off right. Then Hideki Matsui comes in to pinch hit for Phil Hughes and lines a single to center, putting Posada at third with no outs. The Phillies fans start to panic as they realize that the tying run at the plate is one of the greatest clutch players of all time, Derek Jeter. But, Madson throws Jeter a tough pitch and he bounces into a crushing double play that completely kills the Yankees rally. Posada does score on the play though to make it an 8-6 game. Next up is Game 4 hero Johnny Damon who nearly mimics his 9th inning at bat from the night before, making Madson throw many pitches before singling. With the tying run at the plate again in Teixeira, Madson comes up big and strikes out the regular season AL home run leader and seals Game 5 for the Phillies, sending the World Series back to the Bronx for Game 6. The Yankees now lead 3-2 and can still wrap up their 27th World Title Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Game 5 Personal Notes
Many people think that the reason A.J. Burnett pitched so poorly in Game 5 was because he was pitching on short rest and that manager Joe Girardi should have thrown the fresh arm of Chad Gaudin. I completely disagree. Girardi made the right move as the three-man rotation has helped the Yankees tremendously in this postseason. Gaudin, meanwhile, has only pitched one inning of work since early September. Burnett is the Yankees number two pitcher and if you are going to lose, you need to lose with your best guy on the mound. The one pitching move I wish Girardi had not made was putting Coke in the ballgame as his two homers he gave up in the 7th were the difference in the final score of the game. I understand the move as he had the lefty-lefty advantage against Utley and Howard, but I would have rather seen Hughes start the inning so he could have gotten some work to fix his stuff, which has been pretty much terrible this entire postseason. It was technically garbage time at that point in the game and when Hughes was in to pitch later that inning, he got out the one man he faced.
The Phillies may feel like they have a good chance to win this series still but I am a little unsure. The only two games they have won were started by Lee and then have lost all other efforts by Pedro Martinez, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and Brad Lidge (who blew it after the game was tied in Blanton’s start). Lee wasn’t even that dominant in last night’s effort to be completely honest but he did enough to keep the Phillies in position to win. But now he cannot pitch the rest of the series despite for a possible relief appearance in a possible Game 7. Someone from this Phillies staff is going to need to step up, starting with Game 6 starter, Martinez, if the Phillies want to defend their championship title.
The fact that Charlie Manual did not use closer Brad Lidge in the save opportunity in the top of the 9th during Game 5 shows that after his Game 4 performance, he no longer trusts his inconsistent closer to save games anymore. Even if this series goes to Game 7, know that you WILL NOT see Brad Lidge pitch again unless extreme circumstances call for it.
Game 6 Prediction
In Game 6, we will see Andy Pettite, the man with the most victories in postseason history in all of baseball history, go on three-days rest for the Yankees the Phillies will hope Pedro Martinez can prolong their season to one more game. The Yankees will receive an extra boost from coming back home to the Bronx and having their reliable pitcher on the mound leading the charge. Look for the Yankees hitters to try and draw out long at bats against Pedro, who does not have the same stamina he used to, so they can try and get to the Phillies bullpen. The Yankees will be wishing that they get six or seven strong innings from Pettite. Closer Mariano Rivera, who has not pitched since Saturday (where he only threw 5 pitches) will have his workload determined by Pettite’s outcome. If the Yankees are in position to win after seven innings, know that Mariano WILL pitch two innings of relief to go for the save or lock up the win, like he did in Game 2. The question is if in a close game, if Pettite can only throw six innings, will Rivera come in for a three inning save? The Yankees bullpen, like the Phillies has been shaky this postseason and the only reliable reliever between the two teams is Rivera. I see Rivera going two innings of relief for the save, as the Yankees will win 5-3. The World Series title, after nine years of being gone, will be back in the Bronx for the 27th time in the Yankees hollowed history.