Results tagged ‘ World Series ’

A Few Offseason Questions

Thumbnail image for werth 1012.jpgI’ve been away for a few days, so I haven’t blogged since last week. My apologies.

I’ve gotten plenty of questions about the Phillies’ offseason since their season ended. I’ll try to answer some of those questions the best I can.

Question: Are the Phillies going to resign Jayson Werth?
Answer: No, I don’t think they will. Somebody is going to give Werth a big contract. I don’t think he’ll get the seven-year, $120 million contract Matt Holliday got from the Cardinals, but he’ll get paid. The only way I see Werth returning is if the market simply isn’t there for him and he surpisingly accepts salary arbitration from the Phillies (Kevin Millwood surprised the Phillies when he accepted salary arbitration in 2003) or the Phillies get him at a team-friendly price. I don’t see either scenario happening.

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Little Red Machine Can't Repeat

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Jimmy Rollins said in Philadelphia last month when the Phillies clinched their third consecutive National League East championship that he wanted to wear Harry Kalas‘ jacket and shoes during another parade down Broad Street. He said in Denver when the Phillies clinched the NL Division Series that he hoped the Phillies could be known as the Little Red Machine, referring to the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, the last team to win consecutive World Series.

Neither came true when the Yankees beat the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series last night, 7-3.

A few things from the clubhouse before the Ny-Quil kicks in and I pass out:

  • Pedro Martinez left the ballpark almost immediately after the game. A few reporters got him before he jumped on an elevator, which would have been fine except an obnoxious and perhaps drunk Yankees fan stood next to him and harrassed him. No security jumped in. Martinez indicated he was sick during his start. He left before he could be asked about his future. Rich Dubee said he thinks Martinez could pitch effectively through an entire season. We’ll see what his future is with the Phillies, but I tend to think another team will offer him more money than the Phillies would be willing to commit.
  • Brett Myers and Scott Eyre both said they would like to be back. Both are free agents. Eyre, who is considering retirement, said he would play only for the Phillies. Myers, who could be a starter or reliever elsewhere, said he likes both roles.
  • Asked how he felt about his performance, Ryan Howard said, “I feel cool. I feel cool. I think the only thing you can do now is go home and relax and come back for Spring Training.”
  • “Are they better than we are? For this series they were,” Charlie Manuel said of the Yankees. “They’ve got the trophy. We don’t. We gave it up, but we’re going to get it back.”
  • Manuel, on if he considered replacing Martinez with J.A. Happ to face Hideki Matsui in the third inning: “Pedro, he knows how to pitch. He’s got experience. I had to let him face that guy. We can go down 4-1 and we can definitely rebound there. But I had to let him – it wasn’t the time for me to take him out.”

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Game 6 Lineup

Here is the Phillies’ lineup for Game 6 of the World Series:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Jayson Werth, RF
  6. Raul Ibanez, DH
  7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
  8. Ben Francisco, LF
  9. Carlos Ruiz, C

Of course, Pedro Martinez is on the mound.

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Charlie Manuel said Victorino (bruised right index finger) told him he can throw and hit, but he will be monitored closely. … Manuel said everybody is available to pitch tonight, other than Cliff Lee. I suspect we won’t see Cole Hamels, but Manuel didn’t rule out the possibility. … Feliz is hitting seventh because he went 1-for-3 with a double against Andy Pettitte in Game 3.

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A Few More Words Before Game 6

Thumbnail image for 3-2comebackschart.jpgCharlie Manuel sounded like a man who is leaning toward Cole Hamels in Game 7, if the World Series gets that far.

“I think when we sit down and measure out everything and we talk it over … that more than likely might be exactly what we’re going to do,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, like I told Hamels last night, I’m going to think about everything. We’ll sit down and I’ll come up with who’s going to pitch. But right now, we’re going to play tomorrow’s game. We don’t look back and we don’t look ahead.”

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Pedro Martinez entertained again during his press conference. Asked about Red Sox fans rooting for the Phillies in the World Series, he said, “I know that they don’t like the Yankees to win, not even in Nintendo games.”

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Manuel said Shane Victorino is day-to-day after brusing his right index finger in Game 5 last night. He also said Joe Blanton, who started Game 4, is available to pitch in relief.

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The chart to the left shows the teams that have overcome 3-2 deficits to win a World Series. Only six of those 18 teams had to win two consecutive games on the road like the Phillies do: the 1926 Cardinals, 1934 Cardinals, 1952 Yankees, 1958 Yankees, 1968 Tigers and 1979 Pirates.

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The Phillies are 2-4 in elimination games in World Series history.

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Since 1982, teams with a 3-2 lead are just 5-8 in Game 6.

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It's Pedro vs. Pettitte in Game 6

Yankees manager Joe Girardi just announced that left-hander Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 6 of the World Series tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte will be pitching on short rest.

Girardi said after Game 5 last night that he would ask Pettitte how he felt before he made a decision. He said the conversation went something like this:

“How do you feel?”

“Great.”

Pettitte is 4-6 with a 4.16 ERA on short rest in his career, although he has not pitched on short rest since 2006 with Houston. It could be risky.

“We’re still very comfortable doing it,” Girardi said.

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Myers and Hamels: No Confrontation


Thumbnail image for myers speaks.jpgCole Hamels
and Brett Myers are friends.

They hang out at home and on the road. Hamels occasionally drives Myers to the ballpark. They planned to have dinner tonight with their wives in New York.

“He’s my buddy,” Myers said today.

Myers, Hamels and a Phillies official disputed a Yahoo! Sports report that he and Hamels had a “tense confrontation” in the Phillies clubhouse following Game 5 of the World Series. Two media members (here and here) were witnesses and disputed the report.

“The bottom line is nothing happened and nothing ever will happen between us,” Myers said.

“People don’t understand how easy-going both of us are and what good friends both of us are,” Hamels said. “I didn’t even know this had turned into a big deal until about 10 minutes ago. I actually had called Brett this morning to see if he could take me to the field.”

Here is what happened, according to Myers, Hamels and Phillies director of baseball communications Greg Casterioto.

Casterioto asked Myers if he had seen Hamels, who had requested a meeting with Charlie Manuel.

“He quit,” Myers cracked.

That is a common response from Myers and others in the Phillies clubhouse when somebody asks where somebody is. A few minutes later as Hamels and Casterioto stood in front of Hamels’ locker, Myers walked past and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit?”

Hamels replied with an expletive, which took Myers off guard.

“When you say, ‘Manny being Manny,’ or something like that, well, Brett was being Brett,” Manuel said. “Brett likes to throw that jab at you, and sometimes it doesn’t matter who’s around, and I think people when they hear that sometimes, they don’t know how to take it. I think that’s what happened. I think that was just actually Brett playing around, messing with him.”

Hamels probably is sensitive to the word “quit” these days after he told reporters following Game 3 of the World Series that he couldn’t wait for the season to end. Myers said he was unaware of Hamels’ comments following Game 3, although the comments were widespread and had upset some players inside the Phillies clubhouse.

Casterioto walked Hamels away from Myers, but not because he said he worried about the incident escalating. He said he needed to bring Hamels into Manuel’s office. Myers pulled Hamels aside to apologize.

“I apologized for really bad timing,” Myers said. “I also told him that he was talking to the master of people taking things out of context, so he shouldn’t worry what people think or write. I told him that if we get to Game 7 and he gets to pitch and he dominates, nobody will give a crap about what he said.”

Myers said he has talked with teammates about Hamels’ comments.

“I know Cole,” he said. “He didn’t mean what he said. I know him. I talk with him about stuff. I probably know him better than most guys on the team. What he said? That’s not him. I know he didn’t mean it that way.”

Manuel sounded like he would have Hamels pitch Game 7, if the World Series gets that far, but he would not commit. He also said he liked what he heard from Hamels when they met for about 15 minutes in his office.

“I know Hamels,” Manuel said. “I’ve been a Hamels guy ever since I seen him pitch in (Single A) Lakewood. I never, ever — I want you to listen to this — I never, ever questioned his mental toughness because he’s just as tough as anybody on our team. And I mean that. That part I’ve never, ever doubted. There’s definitely no quit in him, and I know he shows emotions at times, and he’s had like a freakish year and he’s going through a bad time, but at the same time he’ll get through it, and he’ll be the pitcher that you saw last year. That pitcher that you’ve been seeing for the last couple years, that’s who Hamels is. He is a gamer and he’s a fighter.”

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Hamels in Game 7? Got to Win Game 6 First.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hamels 0604.jpgIf the Phillies win Game 6, who pitches Game 7?

I think it is going to be Cole Hamels, but with a very short leash.

Hamels talked at length last night about his comments after Game 3 that he couldn’t wait for the season to end. It was a terrible thing to say, but his comments also were taken out of context. He initially was asked if he would like to pitch Game 7, considering how things fell apart for him. He said he would. He said he wanted redemption, and that he hoped everybody would have faith in him that he could do the job. Then Hamels got asked what he would think if he did not get a chance to pitch again this season. That is when he said he couldn’t wait for the season to end. Like I said, a terrible choice of words, but he wasn’t saying, “Gee, I can’t wait to book a trip to Mexico.”

Hamels said he spoke with Charlie Manuel before Game 5 to explain himself.

“I didn’t even know what I said or put out there,” Hamels said. “It was not what I was thinking. Sometimes you talk and you try to be as honest as possible and connect to people and you say things you didn’t really mean. I would never be here if I ever quit on anything. If I was ever too tired not to go through with any decision I would not be standing here.

“I think Charlie knows me. I think he’s managed me for quite a few years. I think the only doubt it left in people’s minds is the fans. That hurts because I love the city of Philadelphia. I play as hard as I possibly can. … I wasn’t able to sleep for the past couple nights because of that. … I’ll never ever quit. I want to play this game until somebody takes it away from me.”

A report last night that Brett Myers and Hamels had a heated exchange has been refuted by a Phillies official and a media member present when it happened. (Myers couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.) Myers walked past Hamels and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit?” An important note: Myers and Hamels are friends. It seems to be a case of a bad joke at a bad time because when Hamels responded with an expletive, some took this as the two sniping at each other other.

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Utley and Lee: Keeping Phillies Alive

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Well, the Phillies have forced a Game 6.

Pedro vs. Pettitte on Wednesday, unless the Yankees don’t like the idea of pitching Pettitte on short rest.

I’ll have more later, but I’m wiped …

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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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