Saturday night’s rain delay in cold and miserable weather reminded fans that the season and play offs extend too long in the year to make World Series games on the East coast pleasurable. Yankee fans who attended the game or stayed up to watch it on TV enjoyed the outcome as their team bested the Phillies with an 8 - 5 win. On nights like last night, the cold seems worse when your team falls and the Phillies fans had to feel the chill much worse than Yankee fans.
The star studded and expensive payroll laden Yankees were able to put away the game despite 2 home runs from Philly slugger Jayson Werth. Andy Pettitte, the cagey veteran continued to offer 6 good innings of work before he turned the game over to the manager and his bull pen. However, the real story in this game was the hit by Alex Rodriguez in the 4th inning against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. After walking Mark Teixeira, he faced Rodriguez who had no hits and 6 strike outs in the Series. He drilled a ball to the right field corner where the ball hit a TV camera as a replay would later show and bounced back onto the field. Initially called a ground ruled double, Teixeira went to 3rd and Rodriguez settled into second. However, he began to signal to the umpires that it was a home run. After the 1st replay review in World Series history, it was ruled a home run. Hamels pitching deteriorated from there.
One of the interesting aspects of the game of baseball is the ability or exceptional sensory perception of star athletes. Ted Williams was a great hitter and known to have the uncanny ability to read a pitch early in its delivery and adjust to it. Alex Rodriguez as well has these talents. While other players might have been satisfied with a double, he knew what he saw and that was the ball over the wall and hitting the TV camera. It made the difference.
The Phillies didn't lose because of the home run call. They lost because Hamels was ineffective and because their biggest gun continues to struggle at the plate. Slugger Ryan Howard has now struck out 9 out of 13 plate appearances. Until he starts performing like he did during the season, the team will have to rely on its pitching staff and hope to score enough runs to beat the Yankees who have to feel confident with their best pitcher toeing the rubber next. Lefty CC Sabathia will take the mound Sunday night against the Phillies Joe Blanton. Phillies Manager, Charlie Manuel, knows that this next game is the crucial one for his team.
For Phillies fans, they hope for a win and some decent weather. Baseball in November in the cold and rain is no fun.