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Roundtable: 2009 WS Game Five

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday November 02, 2009 8:00 PM ET 2009 WS Game Five roundtable.
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Roundtable Administrator (9:23:37 AM PT): Welcome to the 2009 WS Game Five roundtable, where BP authors engage in a live chat during the event and answer our readers questions. This roundtable does not start until 8:00 PM ET on November 2, but you can submit questions for our authors any time before or during the roundtable by submitting them using this roundtable chat interface.

Kevin Goldstein (4:56:32 PM PT): Hi Everyone, and welcome to the Game Five roundtable. My prediction before the series was that the Yankees would win every game Cliff Lee doesn't start, with the reverse also being true. Gimme the Phillies in a pretty easy one, and we head back to NYC.

Joe Sheehan (5:04:51 PM PT): I asked for action on that prop and then passed, which I'm quite please about at the moment. What's interesting is that the Phillies got a good start from Pedro and an acceptable one from Blanton, but still couldn't win.

Will Carroll (5:05:07 PM PT): Cliff Lee's body language is downright arrogant in warmups, just as it was when he was Larson-esque in Game 1. We'll see what that means, if anything, tonight on normal rest.

Jay Jaffe (5:06:56 PM PT): Show of hands, who thinks Lee should have started last night? I do, which means he should have been handled differently in Game 1.

Joe Sheehan (5:08:09 PM PT): Not I.

Lee eschewing sleeves again. Nutbar.

Joe Sheehan (5:08:47 PM PT): Really a shame, the fans getting on J.C. Romero like this, out of the blue. The guy's not even active.

Jay Jaffe (5:10:10 PM PT): And A-Rod picks up where he left off last night, driving in Damon, this time with a double down the right field line.

Steph Bee (5:10:40 PM PT): That darn A-Rod. Trying to replay the ninth inning from last night and getting another double and RBI.

Dan Wade (5:12:55 PM PT): After Ryan Howard's Matt Holliday impression at the plate last night, it would be a shame if Damon had been called out there.

Kevin Goldstein (5:13:03 PM PT): I'm not even a Yankee fan and every A-Rod hit in the post-season makes me smile just because it eliminates a stupid myth.

And yes, not doubt in my mind that Lee should have started last night, although he looks more than a bit out of whack here in the first.

Will Carroll (5:14:06 PM PT): Johnny Damon hasn't lost much speed, despite age and some injuries. I'd love to see baseball do more with speed measurements, the way football talks about 40-times.

Will Carroll (5:15:45 PM PT): No matter what Rodriguez does between now and the end of the series, there's no way he gets the MVP award. None. I've never seen a player so hated by the media.

Dan Wade (5:15:54 PM PT): I know the Series is late this year, but there should never, ever be Christmas commercials during baseball season. Ever.

Kevin Goldstein (5:16:17 PM PT): I was thinking the same thing last night, and looking at Johnny Damon's career total and birthday while wondering if he could have a pretty graceful aging cycle a la Brett Butler and end up with close to 3000 hits.

Jay Jaffe (5:16:23 PM PT): 20 pitches, just nine strikes, one first-pitch strike out of six for Lee there. Not the blueprint the Phillies had in mind.

Will Carroll (5:16:48 PM PT): Did I really just see a Christmas commercial? Get off my lawn!

Joe Sheehan (5:17:35 PM PT): So you don't want to know that I drew PeteAbe as my Secret Santa?

Steph Bee (5:17:46 PM PT): With that said, Will, who do you think takes the MVP home should the Yankees win? Mo? A.J., pending his performance tonight? Damon, even?

Will Carroll (5:18:33 PM PT): Hey data guys -- time to play our favorite game ... Fact Check McCarver! What's the OPS of hitters with a first pitch strike and a first pitch ball? (Do we count a first pitch in-play as a strike?)

Christina Kahrl (5:20:01 PM PT): Man, does making a PC work take forever. Hope Victorino's hand isn't hurt that badly....

Joe Sheehan (5:20:27 PM PT): The bat was in the strike zone. 0-1.

Kevin Goldstein (5:20:47 PM PT): Does anyone really thing that was intentional? Really?

Will Carroll (5:21:20 PM PT): Didn't Pete already get his Christmas gift?

I think Damon gets a lot of votes. Wouldn't surprise me to see Rivera get it. Lot of baseball to play.

Hey look, it's a play that could be quickly decided by replay.

Joe Sheehan (5:22:07 PM PT): Rollins = runs.

Jay Jaffe (5:22:13 PM PT): Yikes.

Steph Bee (5:22:42 PM PT): Well, if Utley's not hitting it out of the park, he's not hitting it at all.

Jay Jaffe (5:22:47 PM PT): First homer with a runner on for the Phillies.

Christina Kahrl (5:22:52 PM PT): Amen, Will. Lots of baseball to go, or at least here's hoping.

Will Carroll (5:22:57 PM PT): No warning for pitching inside?

Hey Shane -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TDW2RQ

Heck, I might vote for Utley even if the Yankees win.

Kevin Goldstein (5:23:40 PM PT): ddanyc (nyc): Does no one care that Ruiz's block of the plate was illegal since he did not have the ball? I know it's never called, but should it be praised as a "good block"?

Just speaking for myself, I really don't care, as it's a academic, semantic argument. We have that rule, and then we have reality, and I care more about the latter. It's like worrying about the fact that there's a law on the book that doesn't let me walk an elephant down the street on Wednesdays. It's written down, but it doesn't matter.

Dan Wade (5:23:46 PM PT): I was thinking the very same thing, Will. If you count out A-rod, Utley has to be next.

Joe Sheehan (5:24:23 PM PT): The Phillies are 1-0 so far this postseason when they get a baserunner on a foul ball.

Will Carroll (5:25:34 PM PT): Here's a question for the sharp knives ... Rollins lost a ton of OBP this year, but scored more runs. (I'll assume that's mostly based on more playing time.) Victorino stayed about the same. Utley stayed about the same in runs and RBI. So did Howard. Why no dropoff if Rollins "makes or breaks" the Phils offense?

Joe Sheehan (5:25:44 PM PT): KG, just to present the other side, it bugs the hell out of me. It's obstruction, blatant and dangerous, and it should be called that way. Or you get Jason Varitek tripping Eric Byrnes and getting rewarded for it.

Steph Bee (5:25:57 PM PT): If you've got Utley in the discussion, I'd think that you'd have to also look at what Werth has done.

Christina Kahrl (5:27:32 PM PT): Does anyone really think Victorino could have done a better job of getting out of the way than he did? At what point are you asking for soccer-style sales pitches for "I tried, no, really, I tried, and I'm a victim."

Jay Jaffe (5:29:35 PM PT): Christina, it looked to me like Victorino paid a price for not getting out of the way, the following homer notwithstanding.

Will Carroll (5:31:20 PM PT): That specialized tool to get mud out of cleats? Steak knife.

Kevin Goldstein (5:31:30 PM PT): Joe,

I totally understand, and in many ways agree with you -- all I'm saying is whether it's a rule or not is almost irrelevant because nobody with the power to do anything about it cares. Watch, it'll suddenly become a story now as an ump will suddenly decide to call it like the Aybar neighborhood rule a couple weeks ago.

Joe Sheehan (5:34:06 PM PT): Which would be awful, of course. I think we're on the same page.

Hasn't Utley hit all four of his homers to basically the same spot?

Christina Kahrl (5:34:33 PM PT): My point's this: Victorino squares to bunt as the pitch is delivered, and flinches when the pitch comes inside. It wasn't Don Baylor turning a shoulder and taking his base. It's interesting that this comes up at the same time as people complaining about Ruiz blocking the plate without the ball.

Jay Jaffe (5:35:50 PM PT): AndrewP (Minnesota): Did Johnny Damon's double steal last night further his chances for inclusion into the Hall of Fame eventually?

Well, it certainly didn't hurt his case, and it won't if the Yankees go on to win this World Series. Because of his relatively low homer and stolen base totals - low relative to other HOFers he's basically on the 3000 or bust plan.

Kevin Goldstein (5:36:45 PM PT): Molina sure had made Burnett better tonight.

Steph Bee (5:37:52 PM PT): Maybe Molina just has Burnett on the ALCS Game Five plan...

Jay Jaffe (5:40:52 PM PT): Re Damon, sorry, i posted that too soon without an edit.. what I meant to say was

It certainly didn't hurt his case... but because of his relatively low homer and stolen base totals - low relative to other HOFers and his low All-Star, MVP and black ink showings, he's basically on the 3000 or bust plan.

14 pitch inning for Lee, 34 overall. 23 for Burnett in that ugly first.

Will Carroll (5:41:37 PM PT): Dammit, Tim. The placement of the "spike" doesn't matter at all to the actual pitch. The ball curves because of the spin, not the placement of the finger. Like any pitch, it comes off the middle finger last. Wasn't it Bob Gibson that told McCarver "all you know about pitching is it's hard to hit"?

Jay Jaffe (5:42:18 PM PT): BR (NYC): Molina and Burnett at the bottom of the order at least allows me to get up and go to the kitchen without worrying about missing anything.

Stephen King called, he wants to collect royalties for the Yankees' use of "The Dead Zone."

Kevin Goldstein (5:51:00 PM PT): If Victorino can't hit with that finger, you have to pull him. I don't care how "tough" he is, especially when Jimmy Rollins is tougher.

Jay Jaffe (5:52:13 PM PT): Will, to answer your question about Jimmy Rollins and the lack of a dropoff in the Phillies' offense, it looks to me like the OPSes by batting slot for the 2-6 hitters all improved over 2008

Will Carroll (5:55:13 PM PT): I didn't see any severe swelling for Victorino. I'm sure Sheridan has him freezing the finger when he's on the bench. Smart play here would be to put some ice in a bag and put it in his back pocket. He could keep it on ice between plays.

Will Carroll (5:56:05 PM PT): Jay - why wouldn't that show up in the runs and RBI?

Kevin Goldstein (6:00:44 PM PT): Victorino can't even put his right hand behind his glove. Gutsy is great to the point where it could hurt your team.

Will Carroll (6:00:56 PM PT): Kevin brings up Brett Butler in comparison for Johnny Damon, but I keep thinking Paul O'Neill. Not just a Yankee, but a guy who had better speed than most remember and also really muscled up in the middle of his career. Damon's a good 20 pounds higher than his listed weight, about the same amount as Sabathia.

Christina Kahrl (6:02:00 PM PT): The real question for me about Victorino between now and his next at-bat is whether any injury would impact his fielding, or if it would to the point that he can't do his best in center.

Dan Wade (6:02:43 PM PT): Victorino looked pretty set on catch that ball with just the one hand. I'm inclined to agree with Kevin, give me Ben Francisco.

Jay Jaffe (6:03:25 PM PT): Looking at the splits by batting slot instead of by player it appears that down in the five and six they squeezed out about 20 extra runs and RBI. The offense was deeper with Werth playing full time and Ibanez having a very good year. Rollins actually scored more runs per game than last year.

Christina Kahrl (6:07:57 PM PT): Butler didn't hit for anything like the same power as Damon; heady qualities on the field, perhaps, but performance at the plate, not exactly. That said, it's a reflection of the silliness of the Hall of Fame that someone like Butler--or Damon--isn't really taken seriously, while Earl Combs is in.

David Laurila (6:09:01 PM PT): Ryan Howard seems due for a long ball. That's a hunch.

Jay Jaffe (6:09:14 PM PT): faithdies (DE): Hate to sound like a homer, but is Utley the best player on the field for both teams? I mean he's averaging around 7.5 WAR over the last 5 years. Is there a more surefire HoFer after six seasons in Baseball?

Well, I believe Mr. Rodriguez might enter the discussion for best player. As strong as Utley has been over the last four years, he didn't get his first 100-game season in until his Age-26 season, he's through his Age-30, he's got a less than sterling injury history, and second basemen tend to age more quickly than other hitters. Not a surefire Hall of Famer yet, I'm afraid.

He was meat on that stolen base had Molina given Jeter a better throw. Why is Molina catching again?

Will Carroll (6:09:25 PM PT): So Rollins was ... more efficient? Color me confused.

(BTW, a quick tip of the cap to Sky Kalkman, one of my favorite math-type writers. He was one of the few that could explain things down at my level and he'll be missed.)

Jay Jaffe (6:12:35 PM PT): Two walks to start this inning, Burnett now at 47 pitches to get six outs. Robertson up in the Yankees' pen.

Steph Bee (6:13:36 PM PT): You'd have to think that Posada is coming in for Molina as soon as his spot in the order comes up at this point...

Will Carroll (6:13:50 PM PT): .395 reaction time? Hey, Seidman, doesn't that mean Burnett is releasing a bit closer to home than average?

Kevin Goldstein (6:14:42 PM PT): The three rules of real estate would apply to Burnett tonight. Just a mess.

Jay Jaffe (6:14:51 PM PT): The lineup as a whole was more efficient, Will, and Rollins was a beneficiary. Don't get too attached to the counting stats.

Will Carroll (6:14:59 PM PT): I remember hearing that Burnett was very good on short rest, but I guarantee you, someone's going to bring that up ... oh wait, Buck just did.

Kevin Goldstein (6:16:20 PM PT): Someone remind me what these big stupid necklaces do again? Magnets keeping their chakras aligned? Let's them breathe through their eyelids? Where's Penn and Teller when you need them?

Jay Jaffe (6:16:34 PM PT): And two RBI singles by Werth and Ibanez chase Burnett.

"Bases on balls is the curse of a nation." - Satchel Paige.

Kevin Goldstein (6:17:46 PM PT): SC (DC): What would the score/inning combination have to be to consider taking out Lee to use him in Game 6/7?

I don't really have an answer, but I like the question and would like to hear from the smarter folks here -- six is out of the question . . . is seven?

Will Carroll (6:19:04 PM PT): Errata: I said shoulder about Dave Robertson in my sidebar to the WS Preview. Should have said elbow. Everything else holds true.

Quick question -- why not a SOMA/Kitchen Sink game for the Yankees in Game Six. Pettitte for a couple, Chamberlain for a couple, Gaudin if necessary, then Hughes/Marte/Rivera as needed.

David Laurila (6:19:13 PM PT): I can sense people all over the country thinking, "Well, this one is over," much like they did yesterday when the Vikings led the Packers 24-3. The Vikings did ultimately win, but not without a real fight. Just might happen for the Phillies here tonight, Cliff Lee or no Cliff Lee.

Will Carroll (6:21:15 PM PT): Kevin - to answer the question, he'd be on two days rest, which would be his normal throw day. I could see him going a number of pitches (40? 50?) since he's going to have a lot of rest after AND he's not a long-term Phillies asset. (Yes, I'm sure they'd like to re-sign him.) He could be very valuable in a kitchen sink game (Happ, Blanton, etc) and yes, I'd start him, just for the psychological effect and so that he has a normal pre-game routine.

Eric Seidman (6:22:36 PM PT): Okay, the Phillies representative has arrived. I've been busy atwitter figuring out which actors would play the Phils-Yanks in a movie. Best one so far is Bumblebee Man from the Simpsons as Jose Molina.

Steph Bee (6:23:47 PM PT): I'm thinking the Yanks will look at Gaudin or Aceves to eat up the majority of the innings tonight, though I wouldn't be at all surprised if they throw the kitchen sink at the Phils if this moves to a Game Six.

Jay Jaffe (6:24:54 PM PT): adambennett (Spring Green): This may seem like hindsight, but I have been saying all week that if I were the Yankees I would pitch this game out of the pen. I don't like Burnett or Pettitte on short rest. Start Gaudin, switch pitchers every time the pitcher has to hit. Pitch Aceves, Joba, Robertson, Hughes, Pettitte for a couple of batters somewhere in there. Let Posada catch and hit. Have Pettitte available in the bullpen for the rest of the series.

I disagree, because you don't punt a World Series game by limiting yourself to the guys in the bottom half of your staff.

Will, re: SOMA, I'm not sure you'd expend your bullpen more than necessary in Game Six if you want to leave yourself any kind of hope for Game Seven.

Will Carroll (6:25:04 PM PT): Did I hear Buck say that Victorino had an x-ray? I'm not aware of any MLB stadium that has an on-site x-ray machine. Lincoln has one (it's required by the NFL) but I don't think he could have gotten over there.

David Laurila (6:26:10 PM PT): So, Yankees fans, would you just as soon lose this one so that you can maybe/presumably/inevitably win it in front of the home fans in your brand spanking new digs?

Eric Seidman (6:26:29 PM PT): Yeah, Jay has it right. You don't punt a game by planning for the future, almost conceding a loss just to get a starter back on full rest. If Burnett went 6 scoreless tonight nobody would even bring this up.

Steph Bee (6:26:39 PM PT): The Yankees have an x-ray machine in their stadium. I'm almost positive about that...

Will Carroll (6:27:30 PM PT): Jay - I'm not saying you extend the bullpen as much as maximize Pettitte. ("Hey Andy, you're only going three, maybe four, so don't hold back.") You already have Gaudin on the roster so you might as well use him, two, maybe three innings, which puts you into the normal bullpen usage.

Steph Bee (6:28:28 PM PT): I'd like the Yankees to win it at home, sure, but I'm not at all opposed to taking the game tonight rather than allowing the Phils the potential of winning 2 more games. I'll take watching the Yankees winning the World Series in any way possible, but for me, it's the sooner, the better.

Will Carroll (6:29:23 PM PT): You're right, Steph. New Yankee does have an x-ray, I'm told by one of my favorite Yankees insiders. It's an advanced "Bucky" system. Evidently, Philly does as well.

Jay Jaffe (6:29:55 PM PT): David, I don't think many Yankee fans really care where the thing is won so long as their team wins it. Not like there's going to be rioting in the streets here either way.

Jay Jaffe (6:32:17 PM PT): Will, given the matchups (.400ish OBP vs. lefties) I'd want as little high-leverage Gaudin as possible. The reason he's on the roster is to sponge a couple of innings in a blowout loss, not as a bridge to Mariano Rivera in a win.

Eric Seidman (6:32:33 PM PT): This game has a weird feel to it for me as a fan. Far from over but it feels like a bit of delaying the inevitable, still giving Phils phans one more night of solid sleep.

David Laurila (6:34:51 PM PT): I would think 50,000 people with tickets would like using them, fingers crossed.

Dan Wade (6:36:42 PM PT): Admittedly this may be looking too far ahead, but assuming the Yankees don't cut 3+ runs off the lead in the next few innings, does Manuel pull Lee early to set up a possible Game Seven start?

Will Carroll (6:37:11 PM PT): The Phillies are really bagpiping the Yanks tonight.

Joe Sheehan (6:37:38 PM PT): I cared, as I was supposed to be on a flight Wednesday morning. Once Manuel moved Lee to Game Five, I figured that was toast.

So a very sweet cheap ticket is now going to be...ugh, I don't want to think about it.

Nods to David and Steph, but this game is done like newspapers.

Eric Seidman (6:37:59 PM PT): I highly doubt it Dan. I have a feeling Lee went into this under the mindset that this will be his last start of the year. However, were it to get to GM 7, like Will mentioned, it would be his throw day, so maybe 1-2 IP, but that really doesn't seem like Manuel's style.

David Laurila (6:38:37 PM PT): HBP coming here with Utley?

Joe Sheehan (6:39:45 PM PT): How many Yankees relievers are better than Ryan Madson? Four? Five?

Eric Seidman (6:40:03 PM PT): David, he'd be the perfect choice given that he leads the league in HBP every year now. They could cover up the motive with sweet, sweet data.

Jay Jaffe (6:42:09 PM PT): adambennett (Wisconsin): Jay said: you don't punt a World Series game by limiting yourself to the guys in the bottom half of your staff. I say: are you really sure that Hughes and Joba are worse pitchers--a few innings at a time--than is Burnett on short rest? And if Burnett comes paired with Molina, doesn't that weaken the case for going with Burnett on short rest?

This just in: Burnett's erratic, whether he's on 3 days rest or 4 (ALCS Game 5), but he was coming off a great start. Neither Hughes nor Chamberlain have had more than one full good inning in weeks, so what makes anyone think they're a guarantee for a few innings in such a context?

David Laurila (6:45:08 PM PT): Given the multiple A-Rod plunkings, you'd think a warning would follow Utley getting drilled, which doesn't help Lee. Frankly, I think it would have been a good way for Girardi to try to shake things up here.

Joe Sheehan (6:49:00 PM PT): A.J. Burnett didn't get hammered tonight because he was starting on three days' rest. He got hammered because he's A.J. Burnett, and sometimes he does this. And, yeah, the Phillies' lineup is really freaking good.

The game isn't even over yet and I'm sick of this story. Call for moratorium on "days rest".

Eric Seidman (6:49:01 PM PT): Hinske has now played for the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays. So the Orioles have to sign him, right?

Joe Sheehan (6:52:14 PM PT): Yankees don't really need a big inning, but they do need to work Lee so that he has to come out in the seventh. A couple of runs and a Lee exit with seven or more outs left.

David Laurila (6:52:57 PM PT): If Howard comes toward the plate with the ball, to tag the hitter, Hinske doesn't score.

Jay Jaffe (6:53:44 PM PT): drawbb (SoCal): 1) Are we ever going to see a World Series longer than 5 games again? and 2) Am I the only person who foresaw more WS blowouts and lower quality of WS play when they originally adopted the 3-division/wild-card setup? It's now 15 postseasons under this format and the number of lengthy, high-quality World Series produced in that time has been stuck on five (1995-6, 2001-3). No, 1997 doesn't count...that was a horribly-played Series overall with a good Game 7. If the teams are checking for pulses before sending guys out to the mound, it's not good baseball.

One Game Six, coming up. Ask and ye shall receive.

I don't think it follows at all that the playoff format is the cause of shorter World Series. If anything these guys are MORE rested rather than less by the time the final round starts. And it's not like all of those World Series have been blowouts, though they've not come close to maxing out. The 2005 series had two one-run games, two two-run games. For of the five games last year were decided by one or two runs.

Steph Bee (6:58:15 PM PT): Oh boy. Last thing the Yanks need is another injured CFer. Even so, awesome play by Gardner to track the ball and glove it.

Christina Kahrl (7:00:13 PM PT): Good thing they've got 12 pitchers on the roster, gollygeewhillickers and then some. That 20-inning extravaganza's just around the bend, and boy are they ready! Alert! With cat-like swiftness!

David Laurila (7:00:55 PM PT): The first time I saw Gardner was shortly after he was drafted. He was standing next to the visitor's dugout in short-season Lowell, and I remember thinking to myself, this guy is small.

Kevin Goldstein (7:03:19 PM PT): rselzer (nyc): i'm 99% sure I just heard over the mlb.tv feed the home plate ump call the first pitch to Werth as "ball down" Do MLB umps give location on every ball call? Is it required?

You are correct. My umps do it, but it is not required.

Jay Jaffe (7:06:29 PM PT): F. Leghorn (Denver): Putting the cart way out in front of the horse:if the Phils can get this to a Game 7, should they consider starting Happ? If it's Hamels, I think that the team may mutiny.

Well, right now I'm sure Charlie Manuel would kill to have that decision, and I'm reasonably sure he'd LIKE to kill somebody if they ask that question given how much fun he had answering the Lee ones.

I don't think he dares to do that given all the things he's said about Hamels lately, and the fact that Happ hasn't thrown much nor has he thrown well during the postseason.

Eric Seidman (7:10:41 PM PT): If it gets there they will go with Hamels. I know we like to speculate about certain strategies and such, but Manuel is a VERY loyal guy and I would be shocked if he suddenly breaks from that mold and goes for Happ if it gets to that point.

Kevin Goldstein (7:15:34 PM PT): Eric beat me to the punch. Lidge pitching the 9th last night tells us that Hamels goes if we go seven.

Will Carroll (7:17:09 PM PT): Cole Hamels is tired and frustrated. I guess that's news in a game that's not close.

Kevin Goldstein (7:19:28 PM PT): In the last five years, Rollins is 196 and 27 (88%) on stolen bases. That's crazy crazy good. And of course it's irrelevant after the wild pitch.

David Laurila (7:21:03 PM PT): The Red Sox started Gary Waslewski in a must-win Game 6 in 1967. Waslewski was a rookie who had pitched in 12 games during the regular season.

Eric Seidman (7:22:24 PM PT): And Utley is 77 for 87.

Jay Jaffe (7:31:56 PM PT): Bill (New Mexico): The Molina start looks even weirder with Posada pinch hitting for him. If Posada gets squashed trying to block the plate (with or without ball...) against Ryan Howard, who's the Yankees' emergency catcher?

It's Joe Girardi, and he deserves all the bumps and bruises he gets for his allegiance to Molina in the first place.

Will Carroll (7:33:59 PM PT): Gary Waslewski's son is an ASMI-trained orthopaedist, who's now the team doc for the Phoenix Coyotes (or was, who knows with that team now.)

Steph Bee (7:34:17 PM PT): I'm loving the old school baseball footage. It'd be nice for them to show some more classic clips of each team.

And I should really stop trying to write about golf while watching baseball...I don't think golfers hit or take ball four, but I could be wrong.

Will Carroll (7:37:10 PM PT): Golf? Bunch of juicers. (Kudos to them for finally instituting a drug testing program.)

Dan Malkiel (7:37:11 PM PT): Hey all, I'm joining late after catching the first 6 innings on the radio.


Joe Sheehan (7:37:33 PM PT): I think no one has won WS MVP losing a series that didn't go seven, but isn't Chase Utley the runaway guy right now?

Jay Jaffe (7:38:21 PM PT): Feh. Utley doesn't have one single yet. If he were a real team player...

David Laurila (7:38:26 PM PT): I've been attempting to transcribe a Kerry Wood Q&A, but the Chase Utley Show has been pretty distracting.

Steven Goldman (CBP) (7:39:16 PM PT): Anyone still want to argue with me about Coke being HR prone?

Dan Wade (7:39:16 PM PT): Is it possible for an established star to have a coming out party? Utley's profile and stock are about as high now as they could possibly be.

Will Carroll (7:40:35 PM PT): 91 feet? The ball never got higher than 91 feet?

Utley's nonchalance and refusal for a curtain call is the kind of thing that other players would get crushed for.

Steph Bee (7:40:35 PM PT): Yeah, golf. Do you think my editors would be particularly upset by my confusing ball four with bogeying a hole? It's practically the same thing...

But if they insist on me not confusing my sports, they can at least be happy that I'm not lamenting the Yanks' performance throughout the piece...

Steven Goldman (CBP) (7:40:40 PM PT): Anyone still want to argue with me about Coke being HR prone?

Will Carroll (7:41:35 PM PT): "New stat in vogue ... OPS." Ever think that Joe Buck would just f**king explode if he saw VORP?

Dan Malkiel (7:41:52 PM PT): The Phillies haven't lost yet, Joe.

By the way, doesn't "Phil Coke" sound like the nickname of a low-level Mafia drug runner?

Steph Bee (7:42:27 PM PT): Coke reminds me of Karstens in his scary fly ball tendencies. At this point, the Yanks would just be best avoiding Utley like the plague when he comes to the dish.

Eric Seidman (7:44:25 PM PT): The fickleness of short relievers.

Jay Jaffe (7:44:32 PM PT): Yeah, four wide ones for Utley next time.

Joe Sheehan (7:46:09 PM PT): I was just in the main box, and during the pitching change Buck was excitedly pimping this new TV show on NBC about stylish detectives in Miami.

Will Carroll (7:46:17 PM PT): Was that Matt Stairs sitting in the bullpen?

"Get out the tape measure." Or, we could use this newfangled FoxTrax+ that uses something called "radar." I hope we can get those guys back. It was a good interview that my hard drive decided to eat ...

Dan Wade (7:46:50 PM PT): I think Will mentioned this on twitter, but if you're going to intentionally pass someone, why not just have the pitcher go to the mouth four times? Saves the pitchers arm, no risk of the random wild pitch.

Joe Sheehan (7:47:14 PM PT): I was just in the main box, and during the pitching change Buck was excitedly pimping this new TV show on NBC about stylish detectives in Miami.

Will Carroll (7:47:31 PM PT): Chase Utley's hair was an extra in the Farrell-Foxx version of Miami Vice, I think.

Christina Kahrl (7:47:38 PM PT): Fly-ball pitcher in a bandbox = increased likelihood of certain results? What's there to argue?

Joe Sheehan (7:50:18 PM PT): I've had Jay-Z back and to my right for most of the game. He's now doing shots with Philly fans. Wondering if this should be my Hunter S. Thompson moment. Because, you know, I hold my liquor well.

Steph Bee (7:53:20 PM PT): Wasn't there someone who ended the game on a wild pitch while trying to give out an intentional pass a few years ago? Or am I remembering K-Rod against Oakland when he dropped the ball?

Steph Bee (7:54:10 PM PT): Does Buck's new show include him singing the classics with Tim McCarver?

David Laurila (7:57:20 PM PT): The Yankees could easily have a runner on second and two out right now. Philly not exactly sparkling on D just now.

Jay Jaffe (7:58:54 PM PT): Well, 112 pitches for Lee, but one too many, it would appear. It's 8-4 with a man on and six outs to go against the Phillies' bullpen.

Of course the real problem is that there are six outs to go against the Yankees' bullpen too.

Kevin Goldstein (8:00:13 PM PT): So I disappeared for a while to talk to a scout about Orioles prospects (shameless plug: Top 11s start next week!) -- I come back and we suddenly kinda sorta have a ball game. Four runs with six outs is still a tough task, but there's at least SOME tension.

Steph Bee (8:01:19 PM PT): If the Yanks manage to score a few more runs here, that will make for quite the interesting bullpen predicament...go to Mo with the potential that you need him for more than one inning in the event of a tie game, or try to find...um...Mo Jr.?

Will Carroll (8:01:38 PM PT): Couple years back, Utley's agent gambled with a long term deal. Instead of free agency at the end of this year, he's essentially trading it for a 4 x 15 deal. Honestly, that's not too bad. Matt Holliday's going to get more, but not much more. It's only in comparison to Howard's deal where it looks shabby.

Will Carroll (8:02:31 PM PT): Couple years back, Utley's agent gambled with a long term deal. Instead of free agency at the end of this year, he's essentially trading it for a 4 x 15 deal. Honestly, that's not too bad. Matt Holliday's going to get more, but not much more. It's only in comparison to Howard's deal where it looks shabby.

Joe Sheehan (8:04:31 PM PT): Important run there. Save situation means Lidge, in all likelihood.

Jay Jaffe (8:05:48 PM PT): Wow, is Francisco's arm that bad that A-Rod was able to tag?

Jay Jaffe (8:06:45 PM PT): Those runs allowed by Coke suddenly loom large.

Joe Sheehan (8:10:51 PM PT): Really a big outing for Park, who kept the Yankees from rolling over the lineup by going 1-2-3.

Jeter's back to missing a lot of balls to his left.

Dan Malkiel (8:14:46 PM PT): Pop quiz: Matt Stairs is the poor man's [blank].

Dan Wade (8:15:11 PM PT): Jack Cust

Jay Jaffe (8:15:51 PM PT): Hmmm, no Lidge? Maybe the 30 pitches and 3 runs tipped Manuel off that it wasn't a good idea.

Christina Kahrl (8:16:26 PM PT): The poor man's Johnny Mize '49, or perhaps his Jim Thome '09.

Dan Malkiel (8:17:46 PM PT): I was thinking Mark McGwire.

Jay Jaffe (8:18:29 PM PT): No. Jack Cust is the poor man's Matt Stairs. Matt Stairs is the poor man's Hank Sauer.

David Laurila (8:19:11 PM PT): All Philly fans who smoke are smoking right now. If the Yanks get baserunners, they'll smoke faster.

Jay Jaffe (8:20:54 PM PT): Ryan Madson on and gives off a leadoff double. We almost have a ballgame here.

Kevin Goldstein (8:21:02 PM PT): Posada has them smoking faster with a leadoff double, missing a home run by about five feet. This could get interesting, and Brett Myers warming up in the pen shouldn't exactly inspire confidence as Madson continues to miss.

Christina Kahrl (8:21:37 PM PT): I'm glad to see that Girardi's pinch-running mania isn't entering into the picture after Posada's double; of course, the 12-man pen helps out there.

Kevin Goldstein (8:22:34 PM PT): Matsui singles, first and second, no outs, top of the order, and Jay can officially remove "almost" from his last statement.

Jay Jaffe (8:23:13 PM PT): Well, it helps that the Yankees have no catcher after Posada save for Shpilkes Joe himself.

Steph Bee (8:23:55 PM PT): And considering that his emergency catcher would be Hairston Jr., he's probably going to elect to keep Posada in as long as possible.

Christina Kahrl (8:24:19 PM PT): Joltless Joe might be more useful than Brian Bruney...

Kevin Goldstein (8:24:33 PM PT): Madson needs to take a deep breath -- totally amped and overthrowing.

Dan Malkiel (8:24:56 PM PT): As much as I hate to say it, McCarver's right. Why hold Matsui on? He doesn't run well and his run is meaningless anyhow.

Dan Malkiel (8:25:29 PM PT): Jeter's a fine player, but he's just not clutch.

Kevin Goldstein (8:25:38 PM PT): Derek Jeter is soooooooooooooo money.

Jay Jaffe (8:25:48 PM PT): Oh, and Jeter bounces into a DP. The RBI of shame for Captain Clutch.

Christina Kahrl (8:25:51 PM PT): Badonka-donk, that's a worthwhile two-for-one.

David Laurila (8:25:55 PM PT): Exhaling replaces frantic inhaling in Philly.

Joe Sheehan (8:26:22 PM PT): Man, when does that guy get a rep? The only thing you CAN'T do there is make two outs!

David Laurila (8:28:10 PM PT): Damon gets on, we're back to drama.

Christina Kahrl (8:28:56 PM PT): Single! Bring on Mitch Williams!

Steph Bee (8:29:02 PM PT): What I would give for a homer...

Kevin Goldstein (8:29:18 PM PT): And drama we have . . . can we stop making fun of Johnny Damon for what he can't do? Because he can do a lot of things.

Jay Jaffe (8:29:20 PM PT): And Damon has another strong at-bat, and works his way on base again.

So, shift for Teixeira?

Kevin Goldstein (8:30:07 PM PT): I'm actually rooting for a walk here so A-Rod hits.

David Laurila (8:30:39 PM PT): Guy on deck can hit a little, also. Philly fans are inhaling again.

Christina Kahrl (8:30:54 PM PT): Oh, now wouldn't that be fun...

Dan Wade (8:30:59 PM PT): And we're headed back to the Bronx

Dan Malkiel (8:31:17 PM PT): Hooray for more baseball!

David Laurila (8:31:26 PM PT): Had them all the way. Game 6 anyone?

Kevin Goldstein (8:31:28 PM PT): Ryan Madson remembered that he had a changeup, and we're heading to New York.

Steph Bee (8:31:31 PM PT): Start spreadin' the news...this series is going to give me a heart attack as the teams head to New York.

Jay Jaffe (8:32:30 PM PT): Teixeira strikes out to end an exciting game that really looked like it would be a complete dud. And we head back to New York, those of us who aren't already there.

Dan Malkiel (8:33:13 PM PT): Ba-wha? Cliff Lee is the player of the game for allowing 5 runs? How many HR would Utley have needed to hit to surpass Lee's sterling effort?

David Lauriila (8:34:52 PM PT): As it turns out, there was a bit of Packers-Vikings to this one,

Dan Wade (8:35:35 PM PT): I can't tell you how excited I'd be to see Pedro in Game Six.

Joe Sheehan (8:36:10 PM PT): Can't let go of the Jeter AB. 2-0, no out, first and third, tying run. Great work by Madson--that's what he does.

I really, as a baseball fan, wanted it to come down to Rodriguez.

Phil Coke isn't going to sleep well.

Will Carroll (8:37:15 PM PT): The story of Game Six is going to be how both managers manage their pitching. Manuel may have to go kitchen sink for two games, while Girardi can't just count on Sabathia in Game 7. Expect the rest patterns of Pettitte and Lee to be discussed by many people who can't define "throw day."

Will Carroll (8:38:31 PM PT): "I am not missing Happy Pony." That should be a thing.

Jeff (former intern) (8:46:47 PM PT): Joe, it was 2-1. Jeter took a strike. Doesn't change the equation much though.

Christina Kahrl (8:49:09 PM PT): Well, with that, we've got a Game Six to look forward to, and I cannot thank enough everyone who enjoyed the ride with us.

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