Big bats look to bust loose at World Se­ries

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Sports Weekend - BYMIKE FITZ­PATRICK

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.