By Jon Lane
Slight exaggeration, but this measures the height of my view of the field. For the first time since I can recall, I’m closer to the blimp flying overhead.
The rain has let up, but there’s that dreaded wind chill. I’m dressed in layers but wishing I was wearing a hat. Until tomorrow ….
Anyway, less than 10 minutes from baseball. Click here for documentation of my pregame activities. And Yogi Berra, escorted by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, met retired Army Captain Tony Odinero at the mound for his throwing of the ceremonial first pitch. A nice touch.
Enjoy the game.
8:14 p.m. After two quick outs the heart of the Phillies’ order loaded the bases – Ryan Howard’s double was sandwiched between two walks – but Sabathia escaped by getting Raul Ibanez to ground out to second. The big guy threw 24 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.
Early fan behavior: Chants of “CC! CC!” and “Philly sucks!”
8:28 p.m. CC settles down in the second, needing only 10 pitches to retire the side in order.
8:54 p.m. Sorry for the lack of updates. To better protect my
laptop, the mist circling above the outfield chased me from my post.
Thus far it’s been the pitchers’ duel we’ve all expected, except the
Phillies made Sabathia (58 pitches after three) work before Chase Utley
homered with two out in the first to put Philadelphia on the board.
That said, the ball hasn’t carried here like it did during the regular
season. Teams combined for 237 homers in 2009, but only seven to date
in the playoffs. Furthermore, Utley’s homer was the first by a Yankees’
opponent in this building.
9:11 p.m. We’ve seen this often during the regular season. Sabathia has a bad inning or throws a bad pitch. Then he works with more anger, more of a scowl. After Utley’s homer he retired the last four, including a clean fourth with two strikeouts.
9:21 p.m. Lee is dealing, striking out the Yankees’ 3-4-5 hitters on nasty breaking pitches. Ruben Amaro Jr. made the trade of the season in my view. For all the hoopla over Roy Halladay, Amaro told J.P. Riccardi to shove it and made the better deal with the Indians. Halladay remains in Toronto, Riccardi is out of a job and Lee could be the final piece to a repeat World Series win for the Phillies.
By the way, it must stink to be a Cleveland sports fan. The Indians trade Sabathia, Lee and Victor Martinez, and the Cavaliers may lose LeBron James after this season. Then there’s Eric Mangini’s Browns. Whoa boy.
9:48 p.m. Utley goes yard – again. He’s been the Phillies’ entire offense, supplying both of their two runs. Seeing how Lee has been turning out the Yankees’ lights, rare has a 2-0 lead been insurmountable. Lee has thrown just 69 pitches through five innings. Unless the Yankees can make him work and get to the Phils’ bullpen, Lee could all the way and lead Philly to a 1-0 series lead.
Then again, the Yankees have rallied from worse.
9:58 p.m. Kudos to Yankees radio announcer Suzyn Waldman. The Yankees’ media relations department paid homage to her being the first woman to call a World Series game.
Tonight’s attendance: 50,207 – a new Yankee Stadium high.
10:09 p.m. Here’s the Yankees offense in a nutshell: It has four hits, two from Derek Jeter. Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are a combined 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, and the former two stranded Jeter on first base to end the sixth. Lee’s been that good and at 86 pitches is showing no signs of letting up. If Sabathia and Co. keep it at 2-0, the only chance the Yankees have is against Brad Lidge in the ninth.
Lidge, incidentally, has pitched four scoreless innings with three saves this postseason.
10:18 p.m. A good stat passed on by Howie Karpin, one of the Yankees’ official scorers: The Yankees have gone 15 straight World Series innings without scoring a run (Game 5 of the 2003 WS) and 19 at home (Alfonso Soriano’s two-run homer in Game 2).
10:35 p.m. What has happened to Phil Hughes? Joe Girardi put him in to start the eighth in hopes of getting his confidence rebuilt. Instead, Hughes walked the first two batters and got the hook for Damaso Marte (I never thought I’d write that). Hughes has a 5.79 ERA (three runs in 4 2/3 IP) in six appearances. For someone who thrives on confidence, Hughes’ body language did not look good.
10:50 p.m. Phils get a big third run with Ibanez’s two-out single to right off David Robertson, after Damaso Marte recorded two outs in relief of Hughes. Down three against Lee and (perhaps) a rejuvenated Lidge. Not good odds.
11:24 p.m. If only the bullpen had done its job – the Phillies scored two in the eighth and two in the ninth – the Yankees would be in business. Alas, to quote Miracle Max, “It would take a miracle.”
At least the Yankees snapped their postseason scoreless streak at 17 1/3 innings. Barring a big comeback, I’ll check back in after postgame.