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Phillies Fall Short in Game 6, Yankees Win Series

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Phillies starter Pedro Martinez retired the Yankees in order on 11 pitches in the first inning of Wednesday’s game 6.  But the ‘Bombers’, or rather DH  Hideki Matsui unloaded on him for 2 runs each in the second and third innings and 6 RBIs for the game.  With the score 2-0 after two, Phils got a run back in the third inning and 1st baseman Ryan Howard pounded a 2 run sixth inning homer after striking out a World Series record 13 times but the Phillies fell short in game 6 and the Yankees won their 27th World Series crown.

Martinez walked 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez on 4 pitches to open the second inning before DH Hideki Matsui followed working Pedro for a 7 pitch full-count before bashing a 2 run shot. 

The Phils got one back in their half of the second on a triple by catcher  Carlos Ruiz and an RBI sacrifice fly by shortstop Jimmy Rollins before the Yanks took control of the game on Martinez and the Phils in the third on a single, a walk, a hit batsmen — culminating in Matsui’s 2 out, bases loaded 2 run single which ultimately put the game out of reach for the Phils. 

Starter Andy Pettitte, while credited with his 2nd win of the series, was less than sharp over 5 2/3 innings walking 5, throwing a wild pitch and suffering a passed ball, but the Phils repeatedly failed to capitalize.  When Chad Durbin took over for Martinez in the fifth, the Yanks scored 3 more runs, 2 of them on Matsui’s RBI single.  For Matsui, it was his 5th and 6th RBIs of the game — tying a World Series record and earning him the World Series MVP award. 

The Phillies fell short in game 6 losing the series.  But they can hold their heads high in what they achieved in 2009; Winning the NL East for the 3rd straight season, winning the NL Pennant and going to the World Series for the 2nd straight year after winning it all in 2008.  They were rarely out of ballgames with their own Murderer’s Row Big Boppers and came from behind some 43 times during the regular season.  They won the 2009 NL East and NL Pennant with a largely inconsistent starting rotation, other than rookie lefthander J.A. Happ and late-season acquisition Cliff Lee, and an erratic closer. 

Happ and 3 other relievers worked the remaining 3 2/3 innings and kept the Yanks at bay only giving up 3 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 6.

The Phillies, down 7-1 in the sixth, finally got a 2009 World Series homer from Ryan Howard after he set an all-time series record in futility with 13 strikeouts.

3 Yankee relievers held off the Phillies through the final 3 1/3 innings with future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera giving up an eighth inning 2 out double to leftfielder Raul Ibanez and issuing a 1 out ninth inning to Ruiz before putting the Phillies away on a fly out and a ground out.

And so, tearfully, its always difficult to write as a season, as the 2009 season draws to a close.  The playing-field action is over, but as after the close of play each year, prepare for the maneuvers, machinations, negotiations and more as the teams prepare for 2010.  For now, this is a sign-off as I prepare to rest and tackle other projects between now and winter meetings, free agency, arbitration and the opening of spring training preparatory to the 2010 season.

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