November 2009

Back to New York…

Enough said…

 

Advantage, Yankees!…

Wow, what a Sports weekend!…

 

Al Bello/Getty Images

 

It started with a thrilling college football game on Saturday as the University of Iowa Hawkeyes overcame the Indiana Hoosiers, 42-24.  The Hawks had trailed at one point, 21-7.  However, due to some great defensive plays by the Iowa defense and the play of QB Ricky Stanzi, the Hawkeyes improved their record to 9-0.  Iowa Is currently 4th in the BCS Standings, and this has been the greatest Hawkeye season of my life. 

 

Charlie Neibergall/AP 

 

Saturday night, the Yankees gained the advantage in the World Series with an 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.  In the early stages of the game, it appeared that it would be short night for Andy Pettitte.  I saw two games in the 2001 World Series in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and one included Game 6 which saw Pettitte get blasted in a 15-2 defeat.  I had concerns that I was seeing a repeat performance, however, Andy showed that he has learned a few things since then and he held firm with the ‘bend but don’t break’ mantra.

 

 

 

I thought Andy’s game-tying single in the 5th was the key hit of the game.  Andy definitely showed that the three years spent in Houston was well worth the time as he was able to gain experience hitting at the major league level. 

 

Chris McGrath/Getty Images 

 

I was surprised that the Yankees were able to get to Cole Hamels.  Hamels was last year’s MVP, and I had expected a performance commensurate with the Game 1 start of Cliff Lee.  Fortunately, the Yankees were able to capture the victory as well as the momentum in the Series.  They had lost home field advantage while at Yankee Stadium with the Game 1 loss.  However, they’ve ensured that for Philly to have a chance, the series would have to return to Yankee Stadium.  So much for Jimmy Rollins prediction that the Phillies would win this one in five games…

 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

Sunday, saw Brett Favre make his first return to Lambeau Field as a visitor.  Favre looked tremendous as he threw for four touchdowns.  It looked like it would be a rout early, however, Aaron Rodgers brought the Green Bay Packers back to within a score.  However, the Vikings pulled away at the end to win the game, 38-26.  Favre won both games against the Packers this year, and that is a rare feat for the Vikings.  It gives them a commanding lead in the NFC North with a 7-1 record.

 

Jeffrey Phelps/AP

 

Speaking of commanding leads, the Yankees grabbed the Series by the throat with a 7-4 victory on Sunday night.  On short rest, CC Sabathia did very well, but he was long gone by the time the game was decided.  CC had the lead when he departed, but a game-tying home run by Pedro Feliz off Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the 8th inning left a no-decision for Sabathia.

 

Al Bello/Getty Images 

 

At that point, it appeared that the Phillies had the series advantage.  If they could pull out a win tonight and Cliff Lee on the mound tomorrow, they could have potentially gone ahead 3-2 before the series headed back to New York.  But it was not meant to be as the Yankees rallied for three runs in the 9th.  Johnny Damon showed why he is such a catalyst for the Yankee offense.  After a two-out single in the 9th, he stole second and seeing that there was no one covering third, he outraced Pedro Feliz to advance two bags.  The play was critical as it forced Phillies closer Brad Lidge to alter his pitch selection and it gave Alex Rodriguez a chance to line a go-ahead single to score Damon.

 

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images 

 

With Mark Teixeira on base along with Rodriguez (Tex had been hit by a pitch after Damon had stolen third), Jorge Posada lined a single to score both runners and give the Yankees a three run cushion heading into the bottom of the 9th.  Posada was thrown out attempting to stretch the single to a double, but it didn’t matter.  The three runs were enough for Mariano Rivera, and he closed out the game with 3 up and 3 down to pick up his 39th career post-season save.

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images 

 

There is one more game in Philadelphia as A.J. Burnett, the Game 2 hero, faces Cliff Lee, the master of Game 1.  While it would be nice to close out the series in Philly, I have a feeling that this one is headed back for the Bronx.  Regardless of what happens, to win two out of three in Philly was a tremendous feat by the Yankees.  The Phillies are definitely a championship club and they’ve proven that last year was no fluke…not like the 2004 and 2007 World Series Champs!  Sorry Julia, I had to throw one in there for you!

 

 

So, I had a great weekend.  How about you?…

 

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

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