Tom Seaver Fan Club

From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.

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November 17, 2009

Detroit Tigers 2009 Off-season game plan

by @ 11:38 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

Positions filled: 1B(More on him later)…. 3B(Great glove, power, leader)… CF(huge hole vs. lefties but otherwise solid)… Top 3 rotation(young as well)…. RF($18 million for a singles hitter, have fun moving that contract!)… LF-DH(Good bat who cannot be counted on in th field)

Question Marks: How the hell do you spend almost a 100 million on a roster and have about 15 holes? … Closer… Set-up man… 2B… SS… a corner OF slot….How does this team respond to a complete and total gas job in September…  Who the hell decided to sign stiffs like Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis long term? …. How does GM Dave Dombrowski have a job?

Improve from within/Rookies: The good news is this club has talent at two spots of need(middle infield and pitching,particularily relievers) that appear to be close to major league ready. 2B Scott Sizemore, was in all star while splitting time between Double and Triple A. Sizemore injured his ankle in the offseason but should be ready for spring training.  Short stops Cale Iorg and Triple A stud Brent Dlugbach are not far away either. Reliever Ryan Perry saw time with the parent club and appears ready for a full major league season. Starters Casey Crosby and Alfredo Figaro also could contribute in 2010.  C Alex Avilla is also a candidate to break camp with the club.


Budget: Oh, Boy… In a word, wow. Not good, awful. In a cash strapped Midwest, this team might have the worst collection of bad contracts since Bernie Madoff.  Team has over 100 million due to studs such  as Willis, Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and OF Carlos Guillen. Guillen is a good offensive player but cannot stay healthy when playing the field. Bonderman cannot stay healthy and has never developed a 2nd pitch. Robertson is a decent 4-5 starter who makes 10 million! Memo TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS WITH KIDS- KICK THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE AND TEACH THEM TO THROW LEFT HANDED!!! DO IT NOW!!!  Willis? To quote my late, great grand father, If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Simply put, the reason you have seen some good players names linked to trades(CF Curtis Granderson, SP Edwin Jackson) is the club’s perilous financial situation. They need to clear some contracts and just have too much money tied up in players that are not even worth 10% of their salary.

Maglio Mistake: To follow up on my above paragraph, the Tigers foolishly allowed RF Maglio Ordonez enough at bats to kick in his $18 salary for the 2010 season. Ordonez, who was a great player and is a huge fan favorite, has lost power(30 homers in the last 2 campaigns)  and is a poor outfielder with bad knees. This might be the worst contract in all of baseball. You want so more bad  news? He is also owed 15 million in 2011. I am in the wrong line of work!

Off-Season priorities:

1- The Bullpen- A team strength in 2009 with closer Fernando Rodney and set-up man Brandon Lyon both having huge seasons in walk years. The Tigers will be hard pressed to sign either with their money situation. They have some internal candidates and might chase some free agent bargains as well.

2- 2B- Club mainstay Placido Polando is also a free agent and will more than likely get offers that surpass what the Tigers can afford. A good candidate to have played his last game in a Detroit uniform.

3- SS- Defensive wiz Adam Everett was a solid player here but the Tigers should look for a stop gap veteran type to bridge the gap until either Iorg or Dlugach is ready.

What I would do:

1- Trade 1B Miguel Cabrera- and No, I have not been drinking or taken any drugs tonight. (Not so sure about Miggy though) This guy is a stats sheet but name me one big hit he has gotten to make a difference. Educated Tigers fans will tell you Brandon Inge is their top clutch hitter. Besides that, the guy goes out and gets tanked during the biggest series of the season, goes home and scares the jelly beans out of his poor wife. The cops come over and he is taken away to the drunk tank. Dombrowski is summoned to pick him up at the jail. Does this sound like someone you would want as your franchise player? For valuable prizes, name me a championship club that has won with a player this irresponsible. I am waiting……

Trade him for a bag of balls, I have no use for people you cannot count on.

2- Sign SS Orlando Cabrera- The good Cabrera. He will not command big money and is perfect for 1 or 2 seasons here. Another bonus? He could lead off and you could move Granderson down the order, where he belongs. This helps your line-up in 2 spots.

3- Sign a veteran 1B- A Russell Branyan or Adam Laroche type. around 8-10 million a year. This team has too many holes to carry a 20+ million plus player at First base. Jorge Cantu also makes sense.

4- Sign one veteran RP— To either close or help bridge the gap to Perry. Besides Rodney and Lyon, LH Billy Wagner and Michigan native J.J. Putz would be solid signings.

5- Sign a strong defensive oriented OF- This club plays in the Baseball equivalent of the Grand Canyon, yet continues to play corner OFs who could not catch a cold. It is amazing Granderson has not blown out both hamstrings! I would look at a Coco Crisp type to at least platoon in the OF or spell Ordonez in RF(bad knees) and Guillen(He will be hurt by May if he plays 130 games in the OF).


Prognosis: This team will be around .500 in 2010.(75-85 wins in a bad division) However, they have several bad contracts coming off the books in 2011 and should be set up to contend for the Division in 2011 and beyond. Some excellent young talent on the way and an owner who has spent in the past could combine to make the Tigers a strong contender for years to come.

Boston Red Sox 2009 Off-season game plan

by @ 10:42 am. Filed under 2009 Mets

Positions filled: 2B(All star candidate)…Top 2 starters(Among the 15 in the American League)… C(Starter and back up)… 1B(Elite glove and bat)…. Closer(among the top 5 in the game)…. CF(Tremendous talent who is still developing)… Very good farm system…. Solid set up unit in the pen…RF(Not an ideal guy but someone who is consistent) … Very stable organization

Question Marks: Age  and health of respected veterans at 3B(Mike Lowell) and DH(David Ortiz)…. Can this club afford to lose stud LF Jason Bay’s bat…. Can Clay Bucholz be counted on as the #3 man after a strong final 2 months… Where do veteran starters Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka stand…. Does this team commit to closer Jonathan Papelbon long term…. Do the Sox have enough bats to compete with the Yankees… Who plays SS

Improve from within: This team has some options internally ranging from SS Jed Lowrie, who has major health issues to newly acquired OF Jeremy Hermida. The club appears set to redo their everyday line-up at several spots with Bay, Lowell and  Ortiz all candidates to be replaced by younger and more athletic players. Several young pitchers led by flame thrower Daniel Bard, a closer in waiting, and Michael Bowden can also be difference makers.

Budget: Sox have over 92 million dollars tied up in 12 players and will more than likely to be around 140 million in salary when the 201- campaign starts. Important to note the payroll has decreased the past 2 seasons.  The team should spend on a LF, SS and another starter.

Off-season priorities:

1- LF- Whether it be Bay or Matt Holliday, this team needs a big bat in left. The Sox cannot afford to lose out on both after screwing up the Mark Teixeira negotations last season. A 30 homer, 120 rbi stick is needed here, Both of these guys fit the bill.

2- SS- The club did not pick up Alex Gonzalez option(all stick, no bat) and cannot go into 2010 depending on the injury prone Lowrie. The free agent market has some decent names , among them ex Sox Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Tejada. This might be an area where the Sox look to trade. Sox management really blew it in 2005 when they did not extend Cabrera, who is a winning player.

3- SP- Ideally, the club would like to add another top 3 starter to help Beckett and Lester. Club has been linked to  John Lackey on the free agent market as well as Roy Hallday and Felix Hernandez via Trade Obvious that the Sox covet another front line starter.  Look  for GM Theo Epstein to also sign a reclamation project type, ala Brad Penny and John Smoltz.

Store this away: I would bet you a beverage of your choice the Sox sign SP Rich Harden to a deal heavy on incentives. Another name to consider at SS? How about Mets SS Jose Reyes, who had leg issues in 09. The  Mets do not have a great farm system but have middle infielders at high A and AA. If the Mets do not start out well and are not contending by May 2010, they might move Reyes.

What I would do:

1- Sign Jason Bay-5 years/75 -80 million…. I covered this guy with the Pirates and he is a damn good player and better guy. Loves Boston and fits in. Not that sold on Holiday, who struggled in the AL. Wach my Mets sign him!

2- Trade Mike Lowell, Move Kevin Youkilis to 3B and trade for Padres 1b Adrian Gonzalez- With or without a big bat in LF, the Sox need another top power source. Gonzalez, who plays for the witness protection program known as the San Diego Padres, would hit 45 homers in Boston. He has a great glove and would be the Mayor of Boston! Love Mike Lowell but he can be moved for pennies on the dollar if the Sox do not take much back. This club ate Julio Lugo’s deal last season, so I know they will be able to do this. Teams like St. Louis Cardinals or Philadelphia Phillies could use him. Phillies almost signed him after 2007.

3- Trade for Roy Halladay- What I am about to say will give all of my Boston friends a heart attack… The Yankees have chips in play to make this deal—- P Phil Hughes, OF Austin Jackson, maybe even 2B Robinson Cano…GM Theo Epstein must do everything in his power to prevent this. If he allows this guy to go to the Bronx, god help him.( I would have fired him for Teixeira last season BTW)


Prognosis: This is a solid team that will add 5-6 new faces in 2010. I like everything about them except one thing- they are in a division with the New York Yankees. This team spends but cries poor and victim when ever someone gets more from another team.(Teixeira, Johnny Damon,etc) Yet, when they win the bid for Dice K by over 20 million, that is ok.?  Need 2 bats to contend in the tough AL.



November 11, 2009

Thanks 2 all Veterans on November 11th

by @ 10:50 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

Special note of thanks to all who have served currently and in the past. Special day for me( My Birthday) and I am also retired Army. In these times, take a moment to thank all who defend us and give clowns like me the right to say what we feel. Hats off, Troops!

NY Mets 2009 Off-season game plan

by @ 10:42 am. Filed under 2009 Mets

Positions filled: 3B, SS(Health issues), 2B(Potential trade bait), RF, CF, #1 starter(coming off surgery), #4-5 type starters(Need top end types to help Santana), Closer, top lefty set up man(One of the best in the game and vital in this division packed with Lefty threats)

Question Marks:

1- 1B- Can Daniel Murphy be an every day ML 1B with his limited power?

2- #2 starter-Will Mike Pelfrey ever become as good as Mets management thinks he will? Or is he a bottom of the rotation starter.?

3- Health of stars- Is CF Carlos Beltran done after battling knee issues? Will SS Jose Reyes return from his leg injuries?

4- Wright was Wrong- The franchise, 3B David Wright, had a tough season with so many of his teammates missing extended time. He completely lost his power and was not the same player after a August beaning. The Mets can sign Babe Ruth, if Wright is not right, this team goes nowhere.

Improve from Within: The number one thing this team can do to win more games is stay healthy. Reyes is a huge difference maker. Beltran is among the top talents in the  game, their is very little Carlos cannot do. I think Murphy is a player and should be given a shot to win 1B full time. Having a Jeff Francoeur in RF for a full season can only help.


Rookies: One of the hidden tragedies from the 2009 campaign were the injuries to young talents such as SP Jonathan Niese and OF Fernando Martinez.  The team did not get a long look at either and that stunk. C Josh Thole looked solid in September but it might be too much to ask this youngster to open the season as a #1 back stop.

Budget: Team has approx. 30 million dollars coming off payroll with the contracts of Delgado, JJ Putz and Wagner being the highest numbers. Look for GM Omar Minaya to spend around that dollar amount.

Off season priorities:

1- Power Hitter— Either at 1B or LF, FA market has 2 big bucks RFs available. I think the Mets target one and trade for a SP, then sign a bargain basement type to fill the rotation.

2- Starting pitcher- 2 Top 3 starters, innings eaters who induce ground balls and have a good health history.

3- Veteran C- With Thole close and Omir Santos on the  team, they could use a veteran stop gap type. Decent market for these types with names ranging from Pudge Rodriquez to Bengie Molina.

4- LH hitting 1B- To ease the burden on Murphy at 1B and give the Mets insurance if he fails. A key here is the Mets top position prospect, Ike Davis, plays 1st.

5- Bullpen help- Must acquire or sign a 8th inning guy to get to K Rod and also another lefty to help Pedro Feliciano.

6- Super Utility guy- This was suppose to be Alex Cora, but he shockingly got hurt.(LOL) A Mark DeRosa type who can hit and play 4-5 spots effectively is a good thing to have in the NL.


Unanswered Question from 2009: The Citi-Field effect. The Mets hit a major league low 95 homers in the opening season of their new park. How much was the team, ball park or injuries? Beltran and Delgado missed major time and Wright hit an amazingly low 10 homers! In my opinion, the park did have an effect but I saw elite power hitters such as Arizona’s Mark Reynolds, Cardinals Albert Pujols and the Phillies tandem of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley hit tremendous shots. Is this park the new Yankee Stadium? No but great ones will hit no matter where they play. Mike Piazza played 95% of his career at two pitchers parks(Dodger Stadium and Shea Stadium), how did he do? I do believe this club should move more towards defense and speed as well as fly ball type pitchers while using Citi as a weapon, not an excuse. Having Beltran and Reyes back for the 2010 improves these areas immediately. 2 to 3 other moves with gloves and speed in mind would also be welcomed.

What I would  do:

1- Sign Matt Holliday– They need an elite big bat and with the Yankees success, they need to show fans they are serious to compete for your entertainment dollar. He also fits this team very well. A good fall back option? Ex Met Mike Cameron.

2- Trade Luis Castillo, sign Orlando Hudson– See the end of my Unanswered questions from 2009 for this explanation. Castillo might have been the Mets MVP in 2009 but he is slow in the field and has some value now. Moving him would clear his bad contract and allow them to sign an upgrade in Hudson.

3- Sign two of these 4 starting pitchers-Jon Garland, Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro and Randy Wolf. I would prefer Garland and Wolf, a righty & lefty combo who eat innings and rack up quality starts. This team needs reliable starters to back Santana and any combo of these 3 would make sense.

4- The Kids!- I would play Murphy at 1B full time, try to trade for a Jorge Cantu type(stole this from Matthew Cerrone  Metsblog.com). I really liked Bobby Parnell when he was in the pen, mostly in a 7th inning role,lets keep him there! I would also avoid long term contracts for anyone who plays 1B(Ike Davis) and C(Josh Thole) where the Mets have 2 stud prospects close to contributing.

5-  Sign Bengie Molina or Yorvit Torrealba- Very good bat for a catcher and a veteran receiver. Yorvit is more of an all-around player who has a bad history with the Mets(signed 3 yr deal, then Mets backed off,claiming he failed a physical).

6- Help Pedro! I would sign or trade for  another LH set up man to help poor Feliciano out of the pen.

Should be a busy and fun offseason!(What a joke, I don’t have an off-season!)

Be sure to follow the moves at mets.com as well as two sites I read religiously- Matthew Cerrone’s Metsblog and Jon Heyman, a key contributor to both MLB Network and WFAN, at si.com




November 5, 2009

Mets let Putz walk, 1 less free agent OF on the Market

by @ 9:17 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

According to the NY Post, The Mets will not pick up set up man JJ Putz option for the 2010 campaign. The Mets now must pay a 1 million dollar buyout instead of the 9.1 million option. Putz, who battled arm injuries most of the season, is another big number contract(1B Carlos Delgado, RP Billy Wagner and OF Gary Sheffield(who the Tigers paid) come to mind) NY has removed from their payroll. Putz agent did not rule out a return to NY under a different contract number but the talented fireman will not lack offers.

OF Bobby Abreu, who had a great comeback season for the Los Angeles Angels, has agreed to a 2 yr/19 million dollar deal to stay in California. Keep those numbers and terms in mind. The Mets major need is a big bat and two of the them( Matt Holliday and Jason Bay) are free agents outfielders.

November 4, 2009

World Series Game 6 recap

by @ 10:52 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

DH Hideki Matsui’s huge night(3 hits that produced 6 rbi) was more than enough as the New York Yankees won their record 27 World Championship ,defeating The Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Wednesday night in the Bronx. Matsui’s 2 run homer in the 2nd inning set the tone and was the start of a record setting night. The pro’s pro, LH SP Andy Pettitte, was outstanding on 3 days rest for the Yankees, throwing into the 6th(5 and 2 thirds) while allowing 4 hits and 3 runs. He walked 5 and K-ed 3.  Matsui’s 6 rbi tied Yankees 2B Bobby Richardson’s single game mark set in the 1960 Series. NY wins the series 4 games to 2 ending the Phillies reign as World Champions, marking the 6th time the Yankees have defeated the defending champ in the series.

Game Notes:

1- Too Late, Ryan! Phillies slugging 1B Ryan Howard’s 2 run homer dented Pettitte but it was a case of too little, too late for the NL RBI leader. He set a World series record with his 13 Ks and looked awful at times at the plate. In the big man’s defense, The Yankees staff is littered with lefties and his numbers(.207,6 homers, 33 rbi,.654 OPS vs. Southpaws compared to .320,39,108,1.088 vs. righties) did not forecast a strong series.

2- Free Godzilla! – Matsui, who is a tremendous offensive player, is a free agent in 2010. However, he has bad knees and is very limited in the field. Yankees would be smart to lock him up but have options. Veteran C Jorge Posada cannot catch every day and his bat is vital to their success. LF Johnny Damon is also a free agent and arguably the clubs  top prospect on the plays CF.(Stud minor leaguer Austin Jackson) In my opinion, they  keep Damon and let Matsui walk to an AL team.(Seattle?)

3- MVP Joke- Matsui had a huge game but I could name 3 Yankees- Damon, SS Derek Jeter and 3B Alex Rodriquez who are far more deserving of the honor. Damon is constantly in the middle of everything that happens offensively, he has great at bats and rarely makes mistakes. Jeter is Jeter(Hit .423 in the series), guy shows up and battles, a complete and total pain in the ass to pitch to. These two are a nightmare and back to back, they should be illegal! A Rod stepped up huge and had maybe the biggest hit of the series, a momentum swinging two run homer vs. Cole Hamels in game 3. Matsui was great Wednesday, but he did not start in 3 of the 6 games played. Awful job by MLB.


4- Small Company-The Yankees became the first team to lead the majors in runs and homers to win the World Series since the incredible 1984 Detroit Tigers club. That home grown squad that featured SS Alan Trammell, 2B Lou Whitaker, C Lance Parrish and RF Kirk Gibson, started out the season on an amazing 35-5 run. The club Tigers never looked back ,  winning the ’84 World Series over the San Diego Padres.

November 3, 2009

2009 MLB Post season award winners

by @ 10:18 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

With a day off for the World Series, I thought it would  be a good time to announce my votes for the 2009 Major League regular season awards.

MVP

American League: C Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

National League:  1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

CY Young

(more…)

November 2, 2009

Thumb surgery for Francoeur

by @ 10:33 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

Mets RF Jeff Francoeur had the long awaited surgery on his left thumb Monday. The in season trade acquisition tore the collateral ligament in the thumb while making a catch on August 23rd. He played with the injury thru the final 6 weeks of the season, displaying toughness for a team that had little to play for. The surgery was performed by Gary Lourie in Atlanta. Francoeur should be ready to start Spring Training, according to reports.

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World Series Game 5 Recap

by @ 9:30 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

Philadelphia  Phillies star 2B Chase Utley homered twice leading the defending World Champions over the New York Yankees 8-6 Monday night at Citizens Bank Park in Pennsylvania. The win helps keep the Phillies alive and narrows the Bronx Bmbers lead to 3-2.  After Alex Rodriquez doubled home a run for the Yankees in the 1st, Utley homered with 2 on to make it 3–1 in the bottom of the frame. The Phillies chased Yankees starter A.J. Burnett with a 3 run inning in the 3rd. Utley and LF Raul Ibanez homered vs the NY relief corps in the 7th. The Yankees rallied in the 8th via another clutch hit from Rodriquez(2 run double) that chased Phillies ace Cliff Lee. NY scored another run in the frame and a single run in the 9th vs. Ryan Madson. However, Madson induced a double play from Yankees captain Derek Jeter and struck out power hitting 1B Mark Teixeira to end the game. The series resumes Wednesday in NY with the Yankees still one win away from clinching their 27th World Champion.

Game Notes:

1- Record setter- Utley now has tied Reggie Jackson for the most home runs in 1 World Series after his 5th homer tonight. Mr. October hit 5 in 6 games in 1977 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, including 3 in the decisive game 6. On 3 pitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2- Pulled Yankees- Regular CF Melky Cabrera is out for the remainder of the series with a hamstring injury. Brett Gardner, an upgrade defensively and on the bases, will start in his spot. Backup middle infielder Ramiro Pena took Cabrera’s roster spot on an  emergency basis.

3- Hurt Hawaiian- Phillies lead off man and CF Shane Victorino was hit attempting to bunt in the 1st but stayed in the game until the 7th. His finger swelled up and he was pulled.

4- Clutch-Rod- Rodriquez set a Yankees single post season record with his 18th rbi in the game. Not bad for a guy many(This blogger included! ) doubted.

5- Missing Mark- Teixeira went 1 for 5 and is now 2 for 19(.105) in the series. Not good for a man who led the AL in both homers and rbi.

World Series game 4 recap

by @ 10:38 am. Filed under 2009 Mets

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriquez clutch hit broke a 4-4 tie, helping New York defeat the host Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Sunday night. The win gives the AL Champions a 3-1 series lead and they can clinch their 27th World Championship Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. After the defending world champions rallied twice to tie the game, Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who has had a tough season, allowed 3 runs in the 9th. NY scored 2 runs in the 1st on 2 outs(ground out, sacrifice fly) with the Phillies then scoring single runs in the 1st(2b Chase Utley rbi double) and 4th(3B Pedro Feliz run scoring single). Utley hit his 3rd homer of the series(all vs. Yankees ace CC Sabathia) in the 7th and Feliz crushed a Joba Chamberlain offering in the 8th to tie the score at 4.

Game Notes:

1- Told you so! When I looked over both teams I saw a fairly even match-up except in one area– closer. This reigned its ugly head Sunday night and killed the home team as the struggling Lidge lost the game and Yankees stud closer Mariano Rivera nailed it down. HUGE edge to the boys from the Bronx here.

2- Johnny Drama- Only the idiots who run the Boston Red Sox cannot see what a great offensive player this guy is. He is in the middle of everything positive the Yankees do offensively, while his at bat and base running in the 9th set the game winning rally in motion. A tremendous clutch player who is a winner and will make a ton of cash in this off-season. Red Sox fans, you should enjoy that 4.5 million a year GM Theo Epstein saved by not signing Damon and 1B Mark Teixeira.(BTW the #2 and #3 hitters on the best offense in recent memory) This is the same dope who is paying JD Drew and Dice K around 22+ million a year! Enjoy the off-season with that guy having money to spend!

3- Clueless Joe- Bad,Bad job bringing in Chamberlain in the 8th by Yankees skipper Joe Girardi. The flame thrower did not pitch many games in relief(1 regular season relief appearance, 9 in the post-season) and is put in a 1 run game? Bad managing. Regardless of the win, starting Sabathia on 3 days rest was a mistake. As Mike Francesca is saying on WFAN now, the Yankees should start Chad Gaudin vs Phillies ace Cliff Lee Monday, not A.J. Burnett on 3 days rest. The Yankees have 3 chances to win a game. With this move, Girardi is set to toss 4 pitchers in a row on short rest, a recipe for disaster.

4-  The Chase- Glad to see the world see what a player the Phillies 2B Chase Utley is. As someone who makes a living covering the NY Mets, I see this guy almost 20 times a year. Easily the best 2B in the game and among the top 10 talents in all of the game.

November 1, 2009

World Series game 3 review

by @ 3:20 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

The powerful offense of the AL Champion New York Yankees was on full display Saturday night.  The Yankees rallied from an early 3-0 deficit , capturing  vital game 3 over  the  defending Word Champion Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 at Citizens Bank Park in Pennsylvania . After erupting for 6 runs in the 4th-5th & 6th innings, the Yankees led 6-3 and never looked back.  Yankees star 3B Alex Rodriquez came out of his slump in a big way, hitting a huge momentum changing homer in the 4th with a runner on. RF Nick Swisher and regular DH Hideki Matsui(Pinch hit in htis game)  added bombs for the AL Champs.  Underrated Phillies RF Jayson Werth connected twice and now is now one homer shy of the ML single season postseason homer record of 8. LH Andy Pettitte added an rbi to help his own cause while earning the win with 6 innings of gritty pitching.

Game Notes:

1- The series? The winner of tonight’s game 4 takes this series. Just my opinion but that is how I feel. Hard to see Philadelphia winning 3 games in a row vs. that offense, the Yankees have too many power bats to hold them off for a sustained period of time.(See tonight’s game) The Phillies need Joe Blanton, who has talent, to step up and keep the home crowd int he game early. I have never been sold on CC Sabathia and do not think he is a clutch, big spot pitcher.

2– Paging Mr. Howard! The Phillies star 1B Ryan Howard(45 homers, 141 rbi) and NLCS MVP is now 2 for 13 with 9 strikeouts in the series. If he does not come out of this funk, Philadelphia has no shot.

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3- Its the scouting, stupid!  Hint to all fans of teams who are not in this series. Money is great, drafting-player development is vital but you can find players off other teams rosters as well. The Phillies picked up Werth off the scrap heap while their spark plug CF Shane Victorino was a rule 5 draft pick-up.  Not bad for 2 starting OFs on the 2 time defending NL Champions.

4- Shot ace? Phillies star LH Cole Hamels does not look healthy and has had an off year(10-11,4.32 era ). Have to wonder if he is hurt or just worn down after his stellar 08 campaign(14-10,3.09 regular season, 4-0, 1.80 in 5 post season starts).

5- Got it right! Nice to see the use of replay working and helping the umpires. Look, they have a tough job and it is not easy. But lets not mince words here, they have been both awful and embarrassing this season. Rodriquez’ homer hit a camera in right and bounced into the field of play. The play was initially called a double but changed after video review. Rare that I say this but good job, MLB!

6- Win the battle, lose the war? The object of any 7 game series is to win 4 games. The Yankees have now won 2. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, who makes Dick Cheney resemble Crusty the Clown at times, is making a questionable decision starting Sabathia on 3 days rest. He is trying to take a 3-1 lead here but if he starts someone else(Chad Gaudin is the most frequently mentioned alternative) he would have his 3 best starters set up on normal rest to pitch games 5,6 and 7. I think this is  mistake and could blow up in his face FAST.


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