The 2009 World Series has come and gone, and the Yankees hoisted the trophy for the 27th time, by far the most in MLB history. The series didn’t start out the way they had hoped, losing Game 1 to the Phillies’ ace, Cliff Lee. Lee was brilliant in Game 1, allowing 1 run (0 earned). The best team in the MLB at home didn’t let that Game 1 loss get them down. They won the next 3 (1 in NY and 2 in Philly) games and didn’t look back from their. In game 5 they faced Lee and lost again, but the game was hardly a must win for the Yankees.
Then came game 6 back in NY against their nemesis from Boston, Pedro Martinez, who was pitching on normal rest for the first time in a month. They jumped off to a quick lead and never looked back. The World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui, crushed the baseball driving in 6 RBIs (2-run HR, 2-run double, 2-run single) in the game.
This win was huge for the Yankees- it was their first season in the new stadium and they spent tons of money on key players in the off-season. Without C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher, the Yankees don’t win the World Series this year. It was also huge because Joe Girardi failed to take the Yankees to the playoffs last season and was under intense pressure to win this year.
If the Yankees did not win the World Series this year, Girardi would have been questioned for what ended up being a brilliant strategy. The strategy?… to go with a 3 man rotation throughout the entire playoffs and World Series. Generally a team doesn’t have success with this strategy, the last time a team won the World Series with a 3-man rotation was the 1991 Twins.
The Phillies and Phillies’ fans should not put their heads down, they were in the World Series for the 2nd time in as many years. It is not an easy task to make the World Series two years in a row and the fact that they won once is an accomplishment. This year, they lost to a better team, it didn’t help that the NLCS MVP, Ryan Howard, set the World Series’ record with 13Ks and was virtually non-existent in the World Series. Chase Utley did his best to pick up the slack, tying the World Series record with 5 home-runs, but the Phillies were ultimately over matched against the Yankees.
The Yankees have three big questions to answer going into the off-season: 1) Sign or let Johnny Damon go?, 2) Sign or let Hideki Matsui go?, 3) Who will they get to fill in the back end of the rotation?
Congratulations Yankees on winning the 2009 World Series.