The Road To World Series, No. 27: Yankees-Phillies World Series Preview

October 27, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

After seven months of baseball played, we are now finally down to two teams that will square off for the richest prize in the sport.

The Yankees won the American League Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Angels and have advanced to the 2009 World Series. They will now take on the Philadelphia Phillies, who are the defending World Series Champions as well as the National League Champions.

Both teams had very different roads to get to the World Series.

For the Yankees, they easily disposed of the Minnesota Twins three games to none in an ALDS sweep.

After the Twins, they had a hard-fought series with the Angels, and on Sunday eliminated them from the ALCS, four games to two.

For the Phillies, they rebounded early to defeat the Colorado Rockies three games to one in the NLCS.

After Colorado, it was practically deja-vu, as the Phillies easily defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to one in the NLCS, a re-match of the 2008 NLCS where the Phillies eliminated the Dodgers four to one.

So after eight teams started their journeys in October; the Red Sox, Twins, Angels, Dodgers, Cardinals and Rockies all tried their best but eventually fell and now only two remain, the Yankees and the Phillies.

These teams are no strangers to each other in 2009. They played one series during the season’s interleague play. Here is how that one series went:

May 22: Phillies won 7-3

May 23: Yankees won 5-4

May 24: Phillies won 4-3

The Yankees were going into this series with a nine-game winning streak and in the first game, the Phillies really got to pitcher A.J. Burnett, started by a leadoff home run from Jimmy Rollins. Burnett was outpitched by Brett Myers, who isn’t even on the postseason roster for Philadelphia. Burnett pitched six innings, allowed eight hits, five runs, walked two and struck out seven in the loss.

The second game was the featured game on FOX and saw J.A. Happ and Andy Pettitte in a pitching duel. The Phillies had a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning, but Brad Lidge blew his third save in the ninth inning when Alex Rodriguez hit a tying two-run home run to make it 4-4. Melky Cabrera hit a walk-off hit to win the game 5-4 for the Yankees.

The third game was the featured matchup between Cole Hamels and CC Sabathia. Hamels pitched six innings, allowed eight hits, two runs, walked none, and struck out five. Sabathia pitched eight innings, allowed nine hits, three runs, walked none, and struck out four.

It was 3-2 in the ninth for the Phillies when Lidge blew his second consecutive save after Cabrera hit a single up the middle to tie the game 3-3. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Carlos Ruiz hit the go-ahead double off Brett Tomko, which won the game 4-3 for the Phillies.

The series was won by the Phillies two games to one, but it was also five months ago and a lot has changed since then, so really, this series back in May was a mere glimpse of what could happen.

In fact, the last time these two teams played each other in a World Series was all the way back in 1950, where the Yankees swept the series 4-0. So it’s really hard to tell how these two teams will play against each other, because other than a couple of meetings in interleague, there really is no major history.

Both teams will be sending up very good and solid offensive lineups to the plate. The projected lineups for each team are:


SS—Derek Jeter

LF—Johnny Damon

1B—Mark Teixeira

3B—Alex Rodriguez

C—Jorge Posada

DH—Hideki Matsui

2B—Robinson Cano

RF—Nick Swisher

CF—Melky Cabrera



SS—Jimmy Rollins

CF—Shane Victorino

2B—Chase Utley

1B—Ryan Howard

RF—Jayson Werth

LF—Raul Ibanez

3B—Pedro Feliz

C—Carlos Ruiz

DH—Matt Stairs


The Yankees will still have Jose Molina for when Burnett pitches because of their success in the postseason. Brett Gardner and Jerry Hairston, Jr. will be on the bench for a defensive replacement and for speed on the bases if and when needed.

Don’t be surprised if Eric Hinske gets put on the roster to add some power off the bench. In the games that will be played at Citizens Bank Park, the Yankees will not have a designated hitter, so Matsui will be on the bench and pinch-hit in those games.

For the Phillies, they have another catcher in Paul Bako, but it’s mostly been Ruiz behind the plate. They also have pinch hitters like Ben Francisco, former Yankee infielder Miguel Cairo, Eric Bruntlett, and Greg Dobbs who can be put into situations for Philadelphia.

Since the Phillies play most of their games without the designated hitter, in the games on the road, they will have to add a guy like Stairs to start, but then they will have the pitcher hitting in the games at home.

Let us also take a look at the pitching staffs for each team as well.

Yankees Starting Rotation

LHP—CC Sabathia

RHP—A.J. Burnett

LHP—Andy Pettitte


RHP—Chad Gaudin

RHP—Alfredo Aceves

LHP—Damaso Marte

RHP—David Robertson

LHP—Phil Coke

RHP—Joba Chamberlain

RHP—Phil Hughes

RHP—Mariano Rivera


Phillies Starting Rotation

LHP—Cliff Lee

LHP—Cole Hamels

RHP—Joe Blanton

RHP—Pedro Martinez


LHP—J.A. Happ

LHP—Antonio Bastardo

RHP—Chad Durbin

LHP—Scott Eyre

RHP—Chan Ho Park

RHP—Ryan Madson

RHP—Brad Lidge


The Yankees are still expected to go with a three-man rotation like they have throughout this postseason. Sabathia, the 2009 ALCS MVP, is 3-0 in the playoffs and is expected to be available to pitch in three of the games. Pettitte is 2-0 and Burnett is 1-0 and have all given the Yankees quality innings. If there needs to be a fourth starter, it would be Chad Guadin, but he’s only pitched one inning in the playoffs.

The Yankees’ bullpen was iffy in the Angels series. Chamberlain struggled at times, but in Game Six of the ALCS he ended up getting a hold and pitched fine. Hughes, however, has struggled in the entire 2009 postseason and must step up if he wants to keep his set-up role.

The Phillies are expected to go with a normal four-man rotation and have Happ in the bullpen, which so far has worked. Lee is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.74 and has been dominant for the Phillies in October, while Hamels, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP, has not been. His ERA has towered near 7.00 and he has been hit hard.

The Phillies bullpen has had its ups and downs, but for the most part, has done enough to win in the National League. Lidge, who blew 11 saves in the regular season, is 3-for-3 in saves so far.



These really are the two best teams representing each league in the World Series. They both have great offenses with solid starting pitching. Both aces, Sabathia and Lee, have been unhittable so far, but Burnett and Pettitte have been a little better than Blanton, Hamels, and Martinez.

What these games will come down to is the bullpen situations. The Yankees bullpen was great in 2009, but has been a little shaky this past week, while the Phillies bullpen was awful in 2009 and has been up and down in October. When it comes down to the ninth inning, which closer do you trust more in Rivera or Lidge?

Most will say Rivera, which is the better choice, because he’s almost impossible to hit in the playoffs, while Lidge has history of losing games in the playoffs.

These games could be home run hitting contests, since both Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park are very home run friendly, but if it comes down to pitching, which in likely it could, then it can favor the Yankees.

But the biggest thing is the home field advantage for the Yankees. So far this postseason, they are 5-0 at home and visitors have had trouble closing games out on them, especially the Angels in the ALCS.

The Yankees don’t ever give up in their home park and it can play to their advantage. The Phillies have three games at home, and like in the ALCS, all the Yankees have to do is just win one of those games. They are 2-2 on the road and the Phillies have used Citizens Bank Park to their advantage as they are 4-1 in the playoffs there.

But all the Yankees need is one win there and they have four games at home, which increases their chances of winning.

In the 2009 World Series, I am picking the Yankees to dethrone the Phillies four games to two, knock off the defending champions and win their 27th World Series Championship.

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  1. Norman on July 31st, 2014 1:43 am



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