Big bats look to bust loose at World Series
PHILADELPHIA — Derek Jeter almost seems to delight in the way this World Series is playing out.
Forget all those power hitters. Pitching is priceless.
“I told you,” he said with a smile.
Without any offence from Alex Rodriguez, Jeter and the New York Yankees totalled four runs in the first two games and still eked out a split at home. Now, the Series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 tonight, with Cole Hamels set to start for the Phillies against fellow lefty Andy Pettitte.
Three wins from a second consecutive championship, Philadelphia could wrap it up at home. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and crew can’t wait to play before their fervent fans in the second-ever World Series game on Halloween.
“We’re back in our own ballpark. It’s going to be hostile. It’s going to be loud,” Shane Victorino said.
Nothing new, according to the Yankees.
“Because of the team we are, we get booed and yelled at everywhere we go,” Johnny Damon said. “Even coming off the train.”
Citizens Bank Park is approximately 173 kilometres from Yankee Stadium, with all those New Jersey Turnpike tolls in between. Both teams zipped down on the train in a little more than an hour — the Phillies after their 3-1 loss Thursday night, the Yankees on Friday afternoon.
During batting practice, as one slugger after another sent balls ricocheting around Philadelphia’s cozy ballpark, it was hard to fathom how Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett looked so dominant on the mound the previous two nights.
“I can’t say enough about our advanced scouting and our reports. They’re right on,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Sooner or later, though, some of these big bats are bound to break loose.
Mark Teixeira’s only hit in seven at-bats is a solo homer. Phillies bopper Ryan Howard is hitting .222 with six strikeouts. A monster in the playoffs, Rodriguez is 0-for-8 in his first World Series, also with six strikeouts.
“I feel pretty good. I mean, it’s only been eight at-bats, but I felt like I’ve had a lot of good swings,” he said. “I fouled a couple of pitches off that I should have put in play.”
Damon said the rest of the Yankees need to pick up the slack for Rodriguez.
But with offence at a premium, they’ll be missing a dangerous bat during the next three games.