So, the Yankees win. This seems only fair—they were the best team in baseball this year. As something of a curmudgeon, as all baseball fans are, I find it something of a relief when the best team makes it through three short series and wins. They won tonight because they had more patient at-bats against a vulnerable starter—Pedro didn’t have anything left in the tank, and they watched and fouled off pitches and waited for mistakes. Everytime the a Phillie worked a walk against Pettitte, the next guy swung at a pitcher’s pitch.
Seeing Happ being the first guy up in the bullpen—though not the first guy out of it, and I wonder if it might have been a closer game if that’d been different—it looks like some combination of Hamels, Lee and Blanton would have thrown Game 7.
Nitpicking: In the bottom of the fifth, Jeter doubles to lead off. Score is 4-1 Yankees at this point. Jerry Hairston, in for the injured Damon, is up. Tim McCarver tells us to look for a bunt here. “But that’s incredibly stupid, Tim,” I think to myself. “What’s the difference between a runner on second with nobody out and a runner on third with one out in this situation?” In fact, if you use look at the game’s play-to-play win expectancy numbers, the latter situation is slightly less desirable, so better to take your chances, in the middle innings with a three-run lead. We know this because, of course, Hairston immediately bunted Jeter over to third. “Well, I guess having Jeter on third brings the infield in, making a groundball hit more likely,” I think, just before Teixeira strokes a line drive double to right. The lesson, as always, is that bunting is for slack-jawed idiots. People like Clarence Thomas, who think that the dishwasher is “a miracle.” Don’t bunt.
Series MVP Hideki Matsui gets it for being a Pedro killer in Games 2 and 6; in the three games in the NL park—when the series was, basically, won—he went 2-3 as a pinch-hitter. Impressive, even if the homer made a 7-4 game 8-4, and the other RBI hit came in a ninth-inning rally that fell short. His wife must be so proud, whatever bunker she’s currently sequestered in.
During a lull in the seventh inning, the Fox crew put together a montage of the celebrities in attendance. In order: Jimmy Fallon, Kurt Russell (presumably with Kate Hudson, but not pictured), Donald Trump whispering in Regis Philbin’s ear, Rudy Guliani, and lastly Spike Lee, just in time to prevent all my faith in humanity from dissipating into vapor.
Just 15 weeks until pitchers and catchers report, guys.