2009 World Champions!!!

November 5, 2009 – 12:53 pm

Order Restored To The Universe!

NYY 7, Philadelphia 3. What a perfect way to clinch No. 27. With all due respect to the “new guys” like Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett — it was the “old” Yankees who came together to clinch this World Series. Andy Pettitte pitched yet another gem, giving him a perfect 4-0 record for the postseason. And Mariano Rivera, what is left to say about him? He picked up the save, his fifth of the postseason to go along with an unbelievable 0.52 ERA over 16 innings. And of course it was The Captain, Derek Jeter, going 3-for-5 and scoring two runs to cap a postseason where he got at least one hit in 14 of 15 games and had two+ hits in 6 of those. And the MVP of the series was yet another long-time Yankee, Hideki Matsui, who pretty much single-handedly won this one with six RBIs. Godzilla ended up with a gaudy .615 BA for the World Series, and was .349 for the entire postseason.

But it wasn’t just the old Yankees contributing — this team won the same way they got to the Series, with contributions from everyone up and down the lineup and throughout the pitching rotation and bullpen. Alex Rodriguez had a monster postseason, hitting .365 with an OPS of 1.308. And clutch? How about a .429 BA/RISP. Yes, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano both had a rough time at the plate throughout the postseason, but time and again their defense was solid. And then there was Johnny Damon, who’s base running pretty much won game four and tilted the series to the Yankees.

And how about all the starting pitching? All the critics were saying that you couldn’t go the entire postseason with a 3-man rotation, but never did that phase CC, A.J. or Andy. Sabathia ended up being everything the Yankees had counted on him being, getting 3 wins against only one loss and ending up with a 1.98 ERA. And in spite of his dual pitching personality, A.J. came through with 3 good outings, including the critical second game of the Phillies series — which all things considered was probably the biggest game of the postseason.

Even the bullpen, which showed signs of cracking up at several points, ended up carrying more than their share of the load. Although Phil Hughes and Phil Coke got roughed up several times, in stepped Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson to do the job. And of course, the real hero of the bullpen was Damaso Marte, of all people. Who could have seen this coming? Marte brought a beyond ugly ERA of 9.45 in to the postseason — but didn’t give up a single run in eight — count ’em, eight — games in the postseason.

And finally, let’s not forget Joe Girardi.  His use of Marte is just one example of some great managing.  After several WTF-were-you-thinking games in the ALCS, Girardi clearly learned from his mistakes and managed to near-perfection in the World Series.  Time and again, he made all the right moves not only with the pitching but also with the lineups.  Dare I say it, but probably the biggest difference between this team winning it all for the first time since 2000 and all the past postseason failures was none other than Joe Girardi’s managing.

Bottom line, though, was that this was as much a total team effort as I’ve seen in many, many years.  From one game to the next, you never knew who was going to step up and get the job done.  But you just knew it would be someone.  And so here you are ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 World Champion New York Yankees!  What a season!

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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