Monday, November 09, 2009

Looking back

A short note here on Buster Olney's key matchups from the World Series and how they worked out. These are the factors Olney identified as most important in the Series (and which The Monk discussed on 10-28).

(1) The Yankees' hitters against Cliff Lee's frantic pace. Lee wins. The Yanks solved this in the 7th inning of Game 5, but Lee had a 6-1 lead then. He was the only Phils pitcher the Yanks struggled against.

(2) The Phillies' hitters versus Mariano Rivera's cutter. Rivera wins. No answer for the Phils -- Mo pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against them, with two saves, in the Series.

(3) The Phillies' pitchers versus the patience of the Yankees' hitters. The Phils actually walked more than the Yanks (26-18) and had a higher OPS, but the Yanks made their hits count -- after the split in games 1 and 2, the Yanks hit .352 with RISP (12-34) and the Phils hit .207 (6-29), and the most patient at bat of the Series -- Damon v. Lidge -- went for the Yanks.

(4) Jayson Werth and Jorge Posada versus opportunity. Push. Neither set the world aflame: Werth banged two homers in Game 3 but finished with just two homers and 3 RBI. Posada had 5 RBI. Both were 5-19.

(5)The Yankees' power pitchers against the Phillies Who Mash Fastballs. Rollins, Victorino and Werth were kept in check; Howard received a steady diet of breaking balls and set a record for whiffs in the World Series (13 in 25 AB). Utley crushed the ball. The Yanks' power pitchers (Sabathia and Burnett) were 1-2. Pettitte was 2-0.

(6) Derek Jeter versus Jimmy Rollins. Not close -- Jeter in a landslide (.407 AVG/.519 SLG/.947 OPS, 5 runs to .217/.217/.562, 3 runs). Better to walk it than talk it.

(7) Cole Hamels versus his recent past. The recent past won -- Hamels melted down in the fifth inning of game 3, the Yanks took the lead and never looked back.

(8) Damaso Marte versus the Phillies' left-handed hitters (that's you,Chase Utley and Ryan Howard). Marte wins -- he faced eight batters and retired them all, with five strikeouts. Whatever adjustment he made with Billy Connors in September on his slider was golden.

(9) The umpires versus the action. Only one umpire had a bad night (first base, game 2, two blown calls) and the rest of the Series was well-officiated.

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