October 28, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Phillies shock the Yankees

Cue Peter Gabriel and replace the word monkey in that 1980s song: "shock the Yankees tonight ... shock the Yankees tonight." I knew the Philadelphia Phillies were a serious contender, being defending world champions, but I certainly didn't expect them to dominate the Yankees, especially not in New York. Well, you gotta give credit to starting pitcher Cliff Lee for completely shutting down the Yankees, going a full nine innings with zero earned runs. An error in the ninth inning allowed the only Yankee run to score. C.C. Sabathia got off to a bad start in the first inning, barely escaping a bases-loaded situation without any damage, but he pulled himself together for five more innings. The only mistakes he made were letting Chase Utley hit two solo home runs. The Yankees got six hits, but couldn't put together a rally; A-Rod struck out three times and did not reach base. It was still a tight game until the Yankees bullpen buckled under the pressure, allowing the Phillies to score two runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth. Final score: 6-1. frown

Notwithstanding this rude opening act, this should be an excellent, highly competitive World Series. As Thomas Boswell wrote in today's Washington Post, the Yankees are in the unusual position of having to prove their worthiness, while the Phillies are almost as confident as the Yankees were a decade ago. It's indeed quite a role reversal.

Just like I did last year and in the years before that, here is a "side-by-side" comparison of the ballparks of the two contending World Series teams. There is clearly a big difference in terms of the shape of each stadium, and in the left field dimensions, but in right field it's almost exactly the same. The right field wall in Citizens Bank Park is five feet higher than in New Yankee Stadium, 13 vs. 8. Roll your mouse over the thumbnail images to toggle back and forth between Yankee Stadium II and Citizens Bank Park, the two most slugger-friendly stadiums in the major leagues:

Yankee Stadium II Citizens Bank Park