After suffering through two games of mesmerizing pitching performances, you had to know the offenses on these two powerhouses would explode at some point.
Did they ever. Six Homers and 13 runs in Game 3! It wasn’t necessarily due to a bad pitching performance at all. It was a matter of good hitting. The pitching was good, save for maybe a small melt down by Andy Pettitte in the 2nd that caused him to fall behind 3-0. Other than that, I don’t think you can blame the pitchers.
Ya just gotta tip your hat to the hitters.
Well, most of them. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are an exception. They continue to pull their strange World Series disappearing act in Game 3.
There were, however, plenty of hitters alive and well in Philadelphia last night. Let’s get to The Contenders:
Hideki Matsui – 1 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 1 RBI. Manager’s just love that line. Generally it translates into a Pinch Hit Home Run. In this instance, it was indeed a PH HR. Nice job Mr. Pro Hitter.
Johnny Damon – 4 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 2 RBI. Johnny has had some clutch hits so far in the World Series. Last night’s laser double to right in the 5th put the Yankees ahead for good.
Alex Rodriguez – 2 AB, 1 Hit, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 2 HBP. Alex came into Game 3 in a slumber at the plate. The Phillies made the mistake of waking him up in his first at bat by plunking him. Next time up, A-Rod’s bat came out of the deep freeze. His HR to right field bounced off the Fox camera. After the first ever Post Season review… the game changed from a comfy Philly lead to a nail biting 3-2 contest.
That HR sent Pettitte into a little side wobble that cost him 2 more runs. To Pettitte’s credit, he recovered just fine. Werth later hit a Massive Blast to left field for his 2nd HR of the game and 7th of the Post Season!!!
Carlos Ruiz – Another player that continually comes up with Post Season hits. Usually they are clutch. Unfortunately for Carlos, the game was pretty much out of hand when he belted a HR in the 9th inning. Still, don’t overlook this guy for doing something special later on.
Andy Pettitte – When Andy escaped the 2nd inning down 3-0 the game had the kind of feel that it would be tough for the Yankees to score on Hamels. Cole had yet to give up a hit in the game. Then came the A-Rod HR and the game changed. Swisher doubled in front of Andy Pettite. Andy was paying attention, got the same curve ball and deposited it into Left to score Swisher and tie the game!
A Huge hit that started a 3 run rally to give the Yankees the lead. Andy’s RBI hit was the first for a Yankee pitcher in the World Series since Jim Bouton (Ball Four!) in Game 6 of the 1964 World Series. Cool Andy… very cool.
Nick Swisher – What was that comment we made about A-Rod’s bat coming out of a deep freeze? Okay then… Nick’s melted out of that freeze. Hot! Hot! Hot! (See Sony commercial). Nick’s aforementioned double to lead off the 5th was a result of finally paying attention to what the pitcher’s were doing to get him out. He did figure it out, smoked a double off of a nice curve ball (teaching Andy along the way) and scored the tying run.
I was extremely impressed with Nick’s base running on Pettitte’s single. He saw the hit, correctly deduced the angle, dropped his head and never even hesitated… Scoring on a very close play at the plate. Pure hustle. Had he not committed himself immediately after contact, he’d have been out. The very next inning Nick blasted one half way to the moon for his 2nd extra base hit of the night.
And…. the winner is:
Congratulations Nick Swisher – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!
I was really wondering who the right guy would be for today. Was it Nick Swisher (2-3, 2RBI) who homered from both sides of the plate and hit the Walk Off sneaker into the right field bleachers?
Nawww.. He got a pie in the eye.
Or, maybe Chase Headley (3-4, 2 RBI) who damaged the Giants with a big HR and a late inning go ahead single?
Nope, couldn’t quite pull the trigger on that one.
How about Raul Ibanez (3-4, 2RBI) or Matt Holliday (2-4, 2RBI) and hit a big HR in the 9th?
Nawww… Oh, I know! Let’s go with Dustin Pedroia. Dustin was Dusted back with a pitch:
Then got off the deck and belted 2 big HRS in a Red Sox romp.
Pretty meaningful because they were trying to stay in front of the hard charging Rangers in the Wild Card.
Which brings us to THE choice!
Marlon Byrd! (7-9, 3RBI)
The Texas Rangers kept blowing chances to inch up the Wild Card standings while in Baltimore. It turns out that Cleveland was the place to rock! The Rangers won a slugfest in Game 1 and then double dipped in Game 2 to close in the AL Wild Card race. Marlon Byrd was awesome. He was a perfect 4 for 4 in Game 1 and tallied three more hits in the nightcap for a big day at the dish. Watch his game Here!
Somewhat hidden from the limelight in Toronto, Adam Lind has been shelling the ball just about the entire year. His hitting prowess vaulted him into the spot light last night as he nearly hit the cover off the ball. His 3 for 5 night netted 8 RBIs and included a Grand Salami and a Solo Shot, the 26th and 27th HRs for him this season. The 8 RBIs are the most in the Majors this season and 2nd most in Blue Jays history (Roy Howell had 9 in ’77). He now has 89 RBIs this year. Watch Adam’s awesome night by clicking Here Here!
Honorable Mention; Brandon Phillips, Nick Swisher, Carlos Pena