You thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series between the Phillies and the Yankees. I thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series. Phils manager Charlie Manuel thought it was going to be a hitters' World Series. So far, though...
"I thought, if you had asked me before the series, I thought...this was going to be a series were one of either two teams hit," Manuel said before Game 3. I felt like whoever won the series...that the team was going to kind of hit a lot and score a lot of runs. So far, on both teams, it's been -- the pitching has been very good. It's been outstanding. And when I say that, the pitching has been what you call World Series or playoff pitching..."
For Game 3, though, that could change.
The history is somewhat limited, but a few Yankees have eye-popping numbers against Phillies starter Cole Hamels -- not a lot of power, but a lot of contact. Johnny Damon has hit .600 against Hamels in 7 plate appearances, Derek Jeter .571 in 7 PA, and Melky Cabrera .500 in 6 PA. Mark Teixeira has hit .294 against Hamels with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 17 PA. Again, very limited numbers -- but it's all we have. As a team, the Yankees have hit .286 off of Hamels.
As for the Phillies, their numbers against Yankees starter Andy Pettitte are a little bit more extensive, but only a little -- and they are grimmer. The Phillies have a team batting average of .219 against Pettitte. Ryan Howard is 1-for-9 lifetime, Jayson Werth 1-for-13 (a home run). Werth, Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz each have a single home run off of Pettitte. And that's about it.
If the Phillies are going to get to Pettitte -- and they are going to have to get to him, or likely have a real problem winning this series -- it will be by killing him with patience, hoping that home plate umpire Brian Gorman doesn't have too generous a strike zone, and then pouncing on the mistakes that will not arrive with a lot of velocity.
Again: the Phillies' bats awaken tonight or this gets very, very difficult.