October 16, 2009
The Philadelphia Phillies showed they really are World Champions last night, stunning the home team L.A. Dodgers in Game One of the NLCS. An even bigger surprise was which batters led the way: The catcher Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, and Raul Ibanez did the same in the eighth inning, giving the Phillies a comfortable 8-4 lead. The Dodgers scored twice in the ninth inning, rattling closing pitcher Brad Lidge, who still got credit for the save. See MLB.com.
UPDATE: The Dodgers struck back tonight, capitalizing on an erroneous throw to first base by second baseman Chase Utley in the eighth inning. That allowed the tying run to score, after which the Dodgers took the lead and went on to win, 2-1. That one play may have saved the Dodgers' hide in this series.
It's hard to believe, but this is the first year since 2004 that the Yankees have reached the AL Championship series. They made it to the postseason but only as far as the divisional series in three of the four years since then, and the last time they went all the way to a world championship was at the dawn of the century (and the millenium), the Year 2000. Starting with 1923 (when the original Yankee Stadium was built), the Bronx Bombers have won 26 World Series titles, which translates to about one every four years over the entire 1903-2008 period. Given the current eight-year drought they're in, I'd say they're about due!
The following table summarizes how far the Yankees have gone in each postseason of this century:
|2000 WS||Mets||W, 4-1|
|2001 WS||Diamondbacks||L, 3-4|
|2002 ALDS||Angels||L, 1-3|
|2003 WS||Marlins||L, 2-4|
|2004 ALCS||Red Sox||L, 3-4|
|2005 ALDS||Angels||L, 2-3|
|2006 ALDS||Tigers||L, 1-3|
|2007 ALDS||Indians||L, 1-3|
|(2008)||Failed to qualify.||.|
The New York Times raises serious questions about whether the City of Miami can and should pay such a big portion of the new stadium for the Marlins. It will all depend on whether the Marlins can sustain attendance.