Results tagged ‘ Johnny Damon ’

Who's On Third?

Brad Lidge and Pedro Feliz said they did not know who should have covered third base.

Johnny Damon said he expected Lidge there.

Jimmy Rollins said he forgot to tell Lidge it was him.

Charlie Manuel discussed the play that set in motion the killer 7-4 loss last night to the Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series. Damon stole second base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and wisely ran to third with nobody covering the base as the Phillies had deployed a defensive shift toward right field for Mark Teixeira.

“Every year we go to Spring Training and when we go over our fundamentals and bunt plays and things like that, we might spend five minutes on that at the most,” Manuel said. “We might talk about it two times. That’s the first time I’ve seen that play happen against us since I’ve been here. That plays comes up sometimes. Damon was heads up. I said there was a miscommunication. If you’re going to play the game the right way … that’s kind of an instinct play. That’s where you’ve got to be heads up in the game.

“You’ve got to know where you’ve got your defense set and who’s going to cover third. Most of the time that’s the pitcher. But I’ll be very honest with you, if we’re going to go over it, if we’re going to discuss it every day, for me, (Carlos) Ruiz is going to cover third because he’s faster than Lidge and he’s a better fielder and things like that. He would be the guy that I would say, ‘Go cover third base.’”

Some have wondered if Rollins could have taken the throw from Ruiz at second, but he was positioned too far away from the bag. Feliz made the correct play by fielding the throw at second.

“But the big thing in the inning was A-Rod’s hit,” Manuel said.

Manuel pointed that Damon already was in scoring position because he stole second. He would have scored anyway on A-Rod’s double to left field.

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A Killer Loss Puts Phillies on the Brink

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Unless the Phillies win three consecutive games against the New York Yankees, Game 4 of the 2009 World Series will be remembered as one of the most gut-wrenching losses in team history. I’m guessing it’s somewhere between Game 6 of the 1993 World Series and Black Friday (Game 3 of the 1977 NLCS).

The Phillies never had a lead, but they tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Pedro Feliz hit a solo home run to left field. They had two outs in the top of the ninth when Johnny Damon came back from a 1-2 count against Brad Lidge in a nine-pitch at-bat to single to left field.

Then the unbelievable happened. Damon stole second with Mark Teixeira at the plate. The Phillies enacted a defensive shift for Teixeira, which meant Feliz took the throw at second with Jimmy Rollins backing him up. Damon noticed nobody covering third and took off. He reached third easily.

“I just went off instinct and fortunately it worked out,” Damon said.

“To be honest, that’s not really something you go over a lot,” said Lidge, asked who should have been covering third. “I don’t know who is supposed to cover third on that. It was kind of a weird play where no one ends up being there and it becomes a foot race and he’s faster than I am. It’s kind of an unusual play. You’re kind of out of sorts and then all of a sudden there’s just nobody at the bag.”

“That’s a play, we never got anybody to say, ‘OK, you’ve got to go there, you’ve got to go here,’” Feliz said. “I got the bag at that time and J-Roll was backing me up and nobody was on the other side. He saw that and took off for third.”

Rollins said it was his fault.

“I make sure the pitcher knows that he knows on a steal he has to cover third,” Rollins said. “At that time I didn’t really mention anything to Brad, so when he made the pitch in his mind it was just a regular steal. But with the way the defense is set up it’s my job he makes sure he knows to go to third. I’m the captain of the infield. That’s my job. I did it before when Chan Ho (Park) was pitching and I just didn’t do it that time.”

We know what happened next. Lidge hit Teixeira with a pitch. Alex Rodriguez doubled to score Damon to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Jorge Posada singled to score Teixeira and Rodriguez to make it 7-4.

More later. My head hurts. I’m sure yours does too.

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Who's Your Daddy?

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It’s the Yankees vs. Pedro Martinez in Game 2.

Who’s your daddy? We’ll find out.

Here is what the Yankees had to say about Martinez facing his nemesis:

Johnny Damon

“Five years ago, Pedro and I accomplished something awesome. We get to face each other in the World Series. Only one of us is going to be the winner, and hopefully it’s me. I’m sure it’s going to be crazy, but our fans are going to be behind our team so they’d like to rattle Pedro. But I think Pedro has said it time and time before that a kid coming from where he grew up in the Dominican Republic, he’s able to have the world focus on him. He’s definitely come a long way since he started playing baseball.”

Does he think Pedro will thrive in this situation? “Let’s hope not. Pedro knows how to handle himself. Pedro was the best pitcher in this league for many years. He knows what it takes to be in the spotlight. He’s thrived in the spotlight before. Our job is to try to beat him. The way he pitched against the Dodgers, he looked pretty special. That’s not what we want to say.”

Does he think the ‘Who’s your daddy?’ chants bothered him? “I don’t think so. I think Pedro knows how to be dominating out there. He knows how to rise to the occasion. He feeds off of it.”

Jorge Posada

“Hopefully, we get to him like we did with the Red Sox.”

Derek Jeter

“Is he pitching Game 2? He’s always enjoyed playing here and pitching here. He’s had success here, too. I’m sure he’s looking forward to it. He’s always been a challenge for us, whether it was Boston or the Mets. He enjoys being in the spotlight and pitching in these games and he’s always been tough and I’m sure he’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”

What comes to mind when thinking about facing Pedro? (Laughs) “A lot of things come to mind. Some things I can’t say. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy when we were facing Boston all those years, he’s a guy that you looked forward to facing. You didn’t want to do it, but you looked forward to facing him because he was a challenge. Pedro is going to go down as one of the best pitchers to ever play this game. What he did, especially for the Red Sox all those years, we had a lot of battles with him. You always look forward to that challenge, even though it’s a tough challenge.”

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