Thursday, November 5, 2009

Old Guard Brings Home #27

17 players on the Yankees 25 man roster are first time World Series champions, but it was the "old timers" that helped bring home the New York Yankees' 27th championship, and first in nine years. Andy Pettitte jabbed and counter punched his way to his record 18 post-season win with 5-plus innings of work and Mariano Rivera came on to get the final five outs in the Yankees series clinching 7-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

But it was a first-timer that played a key role and took home the hardware as series MVP. Hideki Matsui, playing in what could be his last game as a Yankee tied a series record (also held by Yankee Bobby Richardson in 1960) with 6 RBI. His 2-run home run off Pedro Martinez gave the Yankees an early lead and increased the volume of the "Who's your daddy" chants from the crowd. Godzilla later added a 2-run double and a 2-run single to cap an amazing night.

Derek Jeter had three hits to finish the series with a .407 and scored twice. Though he went 0-3, it was Jorge Posada once again behind the plate for a big Pettitte performance. And though the native Texan didn't have his best stuff working on three days rest, he gave the Yankees just enough of what was needed.

Pettitte allowed just one run through the first five innings, getting Jimmy Rollins to hit into a key double play in the fifth before the Phillies' big bats came to the plate. He heard his name chanted throughout the night just as Paul O'Neill had in 2001. Pettitte finally exited, one batter after Ryan Howard finally hit a series home run, to a standing ovation.

Joba Chamberlain got the final out of the 6th before putting two aboard with two outs in the 7th. But unexpected World Series hero Damaso Marte struck out Chase Utley to end the inning and K'ed Howard to start the 8th. That's when skipper Joe Girardi went to his closer to finish out the night.

Rivera gave up a hit and a walk along the way, but after a long at-bat, induced Shane Victorino to bounce out to Robinson Cano for the 27th out. Rivera's teammates poured out of the dugout and bullpen to join in on the wild celebration taking place on the field.

Series Notes

Despite not starting the three games in Philadelphia and having only 14 plate appearances, Matsui finished with 3 HR and 8 RBI. Oh, and a .615 batting average.

It was the fifth championship for Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, and Posada. It was the second time around for Johnny Damon, Marte, Eric Hinske, and Jose Molina.

Pettitte also picked up the clinching victory in 1998. He's the first pitcher to get two winners since Bob Gibson accomplished the feat for the St. Louis Cardinals in '64 and '67. Rivera has picked up the final outs in four of the five championships the Yankees have won since 1996.

Joe Girardi joined fellow managers Joe Torre, Bob Lemon, Billy Martin, Ralph Houk, Casey Stengel, Bucky Harris, Joe McCarthy, and Miller Huggins in winning a World Series title with the Yankees. Girardi, who wore number 27 this year, announced today that he will wear number 28 next season as a new incentive to the team.

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