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Dedication To Edith & Shorty, Pat & Joe for consoling our losses and exulting in our wins, but more importantly fanning the flame that has become our passion.
Introduction We came up with the idea for this book by watching baseball games, while interacting with fellow fans on Twitter. Twitter is the most significant change to the baseball viewing experience since the invention of instant replay. The ability to have an ongoing dialogue about the game in progress, with fans across the globe, from every walk of life, while sitting in the comfort of our living room, takes the experience of watching baseball to a whole new level. About the time that we were kicking around the idea of creating this souvenir collection, a tweet appeared which summed up what we felt about the new form of baseball viewing;
For those of us who cannot afford to have season tickets and can only imagine what it must be like to sit in the same seat, surrounded by our baseball loving friends on a nightly basis ... here it is. Pull up a chair, plug in to the internet and Letâ€™s Play Ball! Welcome to the friendly community of baseball loving fans. It also became readily apparent that there are tons of really creative, interesting people out there who happen to love baseball as much as we do. We thought it would be fantastic to save up all of these unique observations and perspectives, Baseballisms, and compile them into a collection representing the 2009 Postseason. A retrospective view of the baseball playoffs as seen and shared by true fans of the game, expressed in 140 characters or less.
So this is our postseason experience .. We can’t pretend to have captured all the great tweets that were written and posted out there. Interactions on the “real time” web happen so quickly that you can’t expect to keep up with it all, while simultaneously enjoying the ballgame itself. Besides, we just weren’t able to watch every inning of every game during the playoffs, due to the facts of life and the families we are devoted to. However, as is typical, as we get deeper into the playoffs, the more we collected. If you are one of the people whose wisdom and insight we put in the book, Thank You! You made our experience of watching the 2009 MLB Playoffs incredibly enjoyable. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did. The enthusiasm for your favorite team was obvious, your knowledge and understanding of the game was extraordinary, the humor and wit through which you crafted your messages was vibrant, and your passion for the game of baseball was on full display. When compiling our favorite baseballisms for this collection, we intended on locating as many different fans as possible and concentrating on limiting repetition of the same fans throughout, but in some cases we just couldn’t help ourselves. We didn’t want to keep the good stuff from you as a reader .. and some people are truly worthy of multiple presentations in this collection. They are that good! There is one other note to consider as you embark on this journey through the playoffs, some times the commentary makes sense when it’s within the context of the game happening on the field. The tweets were very appropriate at the time of the viewing experience. We hope that by reading the game summary at the start of each chapter you will be reminded of the many twists and turns that took place within the ballgames and the messages will make more sense. Other times the messages stand on their own and are timeless. Oh, and sometimes the language can get a little adult oriented ... Just Sayin’.
How We Did It This labor of love was made possible via the use of the critical # hashtag on Twitter. This functionality allowed us to discover a large majority of the tweets that are presented in this collection. We know that there were huge numbers of posts that were great commentary on the games that we just did not see, simply because they did not contain a hashtag or a keyword that we were searching. We are sorry to those of you we probably should have included, but we just didn’t see you. We maintained searches of general terms such as; Baseball, MLB, Playoffs. We maintained searches for ALDS, NLDS, ALCS, NLCS and World Series, plus searches for each of the individual teams that appeared in the postseason. As we watched the games we would participate in conversations with those of you we are following, but we would also scan through the various searches that we were watching so that we could “favorite” for review at a later date. We realized that in order to find the true gems, we had to search in real time. It was an intense process, but you will see from this collection that most would just jump off the page at us. There are thousands of scoring update posts, especially at the end of a game, so we correctly determined the best Baseballisms occur in real time. We tried to get to the original source of a post if we came across it via a re-tweet, if we could. Sometimes the re-tweeter included comments that added value to the original message, so we kept those intact, but if the original was traceable and not from someone with protected tweets, we present them here. Something to note about protected tweets, as we went through the final editing stages of the book, we came across many posts that we could no longer access. In some cases it was a disabled account, other times it was a change of a user profile to protected tweets. We don’t know what great insights we are missing now, but it’s just unfortunate that they have vanished forever!
Once we had favorited all of these messages, we needed to be able to locate it when putting the book together, so we created a spreadsheet sorted by game. Keep in mind that in the early rounds of the playoffs there were occasions when the games overlapped, so we had to sort out the linear aspects of collecting favorites in real time. It was tough trying to keep everything chronological and in the correct game. After combining all of the favorites, we went through an editing process where we removed duplicates and determined those that we felt best exemplified our playoff experience and our belief in Wisdom from the Diamond. The editing process was incredibly enjoyable as well. It provided us with the experience of â€œre-livingâ€? the postseason. We hope to provide you with that same enjoyment with this collection. It also gave us a glimpse into something that we did not see during the initial favoriting process. Following the link in our spreadsheet, it took us to your Twitter page displaying your chosen background and profile picture. We have to admit that in some cases it was a great background or user name that would sway our decision about keeping a post as part of the collection. We LOVE your creativity and self expression! The last (but time consuming) steps in this process included writing the chapters and summaries for each of the postseason games, plus capturing the digital image of each of the messages. Finally, it was time to lay out the book in chronological order and prepare a manuscript to upload for presentation to the community of baseball loving fans.
Who Is Here? We thought it would be interesting to provide some statistics, since we are all baseball fans here, and baseball fans really dig statistics! • There are 1540 individual tweets included in this book from 1104 unique profiles. There are many profiles that do not list actual location, so the following is based upon what information was available to us: • There are tweets from users with profiles listing 44 U.S. States plus Puerto Rico. The States not represented are: AK, MS, MT, SD, UT, WY .... • Not surprisingly, considering the participants in the postseason, the largest representation went to California, New York and Pennsylvania. • Canadian citizenry is well represented here including Calgary, Fredericton, Halifax, Kitchener, Montreal, Quebec, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria BC. • We are pleased to present posts from these other points across the globe: Auckland New Zealand, Dunedin New Zealand, Gothenburg Sweden, Guadalajara Mexico, Japan, Melbourne Australia, Preston United Kingdom, Salem India • We also had a few profiles who listed Tehran Iran, most likely indication of solidarity with those struggling post election in that country
We want to purposely recognize that Major League Baseball has a global impact and we were seeing numerous messages that were written in Spanish, Japanese, and other languages that we could not translate on the fly. We hope that in future years we are able to create a compilation that also contains these and many other languages. The non-sports celebrities mentioned in this collection had us greatly amused. We thought that it would be fun to see the list of both the real and fictional references mentioned in the context of playoff baseball. We have included the complete list of non-sports “celebrities” in the Appendix.
What else do we know about you? ...... You love the game of baseball and your favorite team, but you are also falling for your brethren who appear in your Twitter stream. There are demonstrations of true friendship that extends beyond the game dialogue. Well wishes, family matters, practical advice and inside jokes were routinely on display. As each team was reaching the end of their season, there was a palpable sadness as fans bid farewell to the friends they were going to miss, knowing that without baseball they may not be communicating as much as they had during the season. Of course it is still possible to communicate, but without that 162 game schedule as the focal point, the times when the entire gang was together would be fewer .... until Spring Training 2010. There is a very real community of baseball fans developing on social networking sites. We believe that in some small way, this collection of Fanâ€™s Commentary may motivate those who have not joined in this revolution to create a profile and start sharing in the camaraderie. For those of you who have been so motivated, Say Hello! ... and pass the peanuts.
Letâ€™s Play Ball!
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins Play-in Game The 2009 baseball regular season could not come to a conclusion without having a game 163! The American League Central Division winner had to be determined by a one game playoff between a team that was skidding, the Detroit Tigers, and the Minnesota Twins who were on another season ending hot streak that saw them take 17 of their last 21 to tie the Tigers. This prologue to the playoffs set the tone for dramatics as the Twins overcame a three run second inning by the Tigers with a Jason Kubel home run, followed by another playoff moment for Orlando Cabrera. It took a Maglio Ordonez home run in the 8th inning for the Tigers to set the stage for the extra game to go extra innings. Neither of these teams were ready for the season to end. Both teams scored in their half of the 10th inning which included Ryan Raburn misplaying a hit into a triple and then subsequently throwing out the winning run at the plate. In the 12th inning, the Tigers threatened but a great middle infield play by Nick Punto cut down the go ahead run at the plate to get out of the jam. The Minnesota Twins won the game in the bottom of the 12th inning in the last regular season game in Metrodome history, and earned the right to face the New York Yankees in the ALDS. This was also the first game where we were introduced to a couple of memes. There was a common thread mocking TBS announcer Chip Carayâ€™s use of the term #fisted. There was also criticism of his play calling in general. We found it funny that in our process of searching for messages concerning both teams of a ballgame, it would expose fans on BOTH sides who were convinced that the announcers were openly rooting against their team! Displeasure with the announcers was rampant throughout the postseason.
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 1 - NLDS Cliff Lee’s exceptional pitching run through the playoffs began on this windy day in Philadelphia. Taking a shutout all the way until two outs in the ninth when Troy Tulowitzki doubled in a run. Lee mixed pitches striking out five with no walks, retiring 16 straight at one point. Lee’s performance protected the one question mark on everyone’s mind for the Phillies in defense of their 2008 World Series Championship .. How would the bullpen perform?
Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees Game 1 - ALDS The Twins had to jump on a plane after dispensing the Tigers in their one game playoff, and fly to New York to take on the Yankees in a late afternoon ballgame. As the Twins prepare to close the Metrodome, the Yankees christen their brand new stadium with postseason baseball. The Twins jumped out early off of C.C. Sabathia, but Derek Jeter got things back to even with a home run in the third inning. ARod with two RBI hits, Matsui with a homer and Nick Swisher with a run scoring double was more than enough to start the Yankees on their playoff journey under skipper Joe Girardi.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Game 1 - NLDS The first game of this NLDS series was marred by the teams setting a Division Series record for stranding a combined 30 runners on base. The pitching matchup seemed to favor the Cardinals going in, with Chris Carpenter facing off against Randy Wolf. Wolf gave up a run in the first after loading the base with the first three batters he faced, but got out of serious trouble by fanning Matt Holliday, a run scoring bloop single to Ryan Ludwick, and an inning ending double play by Yadier Molina. Carpenter promptly gave up the lead in the bottom of the inning via a two run blast by Matt Kemp. The Dodgers tacked on another run, scoring on an errant throw towards second base by Mark DeRosa. He made a nice diving stop on a ball down the line at third, then launched his attempt to second into right field.
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 2 - NLDS One of the biggest distractions for Cole Hamels during this post season came to fruition immediately after his Game 2 start. Allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings, Hamels headed towards the hospital where his wife was going in to labor. The couple had a baby boy named Caleb Michael. Even Manager Charlie Manuel had to admit that this might have been a distraction, and thus began concerns over Cole Hamelsâ€™ psyche. For the Rockies, Aaron Cook pitched into the sixth turned it over to the bullpen and closer Huston Street pitched out of a mini-jam for a 5-4 win and a tie in this first round series. Yorvit Torrealba homered for the Rox and Jason Werth for the Phils, but a 3 for 5 afternoon from Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in the top spot of the lineup opened some eyes to his potential.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game 2 - NLDS This game is what post season baseball is all about; heroes and goats, edge of the seat excitement and a game winning hit that sends the crowd home happy. After the Cardinals got a solid outing from their other Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright, who left the game in the eighth inning holding on to a 2-1 lead, left fielder Matt Holliday was blinded by the light and took a line drive from the bat of James Loney directly in the belt buckle. Hollidayâ€™s gaffe allowed the Dodgers to mount a ninth inning rally on a base hit by Ronnie Belliard to tie up the game, and after closer Ryan Franklin loaded the bases, he coughed up a game winner to pinch hitter Mark Loretta for a 3-2 win and a 2-0 advantage in the series. Earlier in the game, Holliday and Either had traded solo home runs knotting the score at one.
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels Game 1 - ALDS The second American League Division Series finally gets underway after both National League Series have completed two games already. Angels horse John Lackey faces off against southpaw Jon Lester. All it took to get enough runs for Lackey, on this night, was a three run blast into the rocks in center from Torii Hunter. The 5-0 outcome of this game seemed to overcome the 12 out of 13 postseason games winning streak that the Red Sox held over the Angels since 1986. Prominent on this night were some egregious calls by first base umpire CB Bucknor, who was raked over the coals on Twitter as well as by some quick witted Sox fans who amended a WikipediA page about him. The meme of umpiring deficiencies would carry all the way through the postseason.
Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees Game 2 - ALDS More extra inning excitement for the Twins in this one, only this time they came up on the wrong end of the outcome losing to the Yanks 4-3 in 11 innings. The Mark Texiera walkoff laser would not have been possible had Minnesota closer Joe Nathan not given up a game tying two run shot to Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth. Closer implosion is not the only thread starting to crop up in some of these early games. Unfortunately, terrible umpiring is also becoming quite apparent. In the top of the 11th the Twins Joe Mauer led off the inning with a tailing fly down the left field line that outfielder Melky Cabrera could not reach. Replays showed the ball tip off his glove, land in fair territory and bounce into the stands for what should have been a ground rule double. However, the umpire down the line Phil Cuzzi ruled the hit a foul ball. Although Mauer singled in the at-bat, had he been on second he would have scored on one of the next two singles. Instead the Twins loaded the bases with no outs and could not score on a line out, a force at the plate and a fly to center. Texiera homered to win the game in the first at bat in the bottom of the inning.
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels Game 2 - ALDS This was mostly a pitching duel between Jered Weaver of the Angels and Josh Beckett of the Red Sox, knotted at one until the bottom of the seventh when Beckett surrendered three more runs for a 4-1 final. Bobby Abreu continued to visit with the Red Sox infielders after four walks in Game 1, he was 2 for 4 with a run scored in Game 2.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Game 3 - NLDS Due to snow in Denver and a travel day for the American League teams, we only get one baseball game on this October Saturday, but it’s the deciding Game 3 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Getting a solid start from castaway Vincente Padilla, the 5-1 victory put the Dodgers in their second consecutive National League Championship Series. It’s the first time in back to back NLCS since ‘77 - ‘78 when they faced the Phillies, winning both, then losing to the Yankees in both World Series! Some big bats started to come to life for the Dodgers with Andre Either getting his second homer of the series and coming up a single short of the cycle, while Manny Ramirez had three hits and two RBI. All five Dodgers runs came on two out hits, which shone a spotlight on the Cardinals troubles hitting just .133 with runners in scoring position in this NLDS.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Boston Red Sox Game 3 - ALDS Red Sox Nation had to hope that coming home to Fenway and sending youngster Clay Buckholz to the mound would change the momentum of this Division Series, but the Angels came roaring back from a 5-1 deficit to mount an enormously shocking comeback against premiere closer Jonathan Papelbon. It is painful to watch Vladimir Guerrero swing at pitches outside the zip code and hobble around in a body that defies his birth certificate, but with two out in the ninth, swinging at the first pitch, he delivered two runs to knock the Red Sox out of the post season. The Angels got to celebrate a post season series sweep, and pay tribute to their fallen teammate Nick Adenhart who was killed in an April car crash.
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins Game 3 - ALDS Andy Pettite went to the mound in this series clinching game in pursuit of a record tying 15th career postseason victory. Former Yankee and the bane of all Yankees fans, Carl Pavano got the ball from Ron Gardenhire in this final game in the Metrodome. Although he pitched well, including a team postseason record of nine strikeouts, Pavano coughed up a 1-0 lead on home runs to ARod and Posada in the top of the seventh, In the eighth inning, a mistake on the basepaths again did in the Twins as they attempted a late inning rally off of Phil Hughes. After running into an out that would have been the tying run, Mariano Rivera came on to shatter Joe Mauerâ€™s bat, and hopes of keeping the game alive. The Yanks piled on in the ninth to reach a final score of 4-1. The Yankees move on to their first ALCS since 2004, once again eliminating the Twins as they did in 2003 and 2004. This is the third ALDS sweep for the Yankees. The other two times they swept in 1998 and 1999 they won the World Series.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies Game 3 - NLDS The breathes you could not see on this frosty cold night in Denver were being held in by Philadelphians, as shaky closer Brad Lidge got Troy Tulowitzki to fly out to preserve a 6-5 win for the Phillies, to go up 2 games to 1 in the only Division Series still not decided. Lidge didnâ€™t make it easy as two walks in the inning brought the hitter to the plate all Rockies fans would want up in that situation. Chase Utley got things going quickly in this game with a first inning solo homer off of Rockies starter Jason Hammel. J.A. Happ countered for the Phillies and was touched for four hits and two runs in the home half of the first. By the end of the fourth inning both starters were out of the game, and we were tied at 4-4 after a Carloz Gonzalez homer. Jose Contreras issued two walks in the 6th and a Carlos Ruiz single made it 5-4 for Philadelphia, until Gonzalez came around to score his third run of the game for the Rockies, after leading off the bottom of the 7th with a double. Gonzalez was only a triple short of the cycle in this game. Rockies closer Huston Street could not keep the Phillies off the board in the ninth as a single by Rollins and a dubious infield hit by Utley set the table for a sacrifice fly by Ryan Howard for the winning run.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies Game 4 - NLDS Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies allowed the second batter of the game Shane Victorino to deposit the baseball into the Rockies bullpen. From there he battled opposing pitcher Cliff Lee until the sixth when Jason Werth took him deep. The Rockies scratched back with a run in the bottom of the frame. The 8th inning is when things really got interesting! The game was tied by a Jason Giambi RBI, scoring Dexter Fowler who had reached second only after hurdling Chase Utley trying to field a slow roller. Next, it was Yorvit Torrealba’s turn to drive in two runs off of Ryan Madson to extend the lead to 4-2. Turning the game over to Huston Street for the second night in a row, the expectation was that after recording 35 saves on the season he would not get touched up again. Wrong .. following in an early postseason trend .. another blown save for a top notch closer. An infield single, a fielder’s choice, a walk, and a two run double by Ryan Howard tied the game. Then the next batter Jason Werth singled to center to score Howard from second, sending Street to the showers and the Philadelphia Phillies on to a rematch of last year’s NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game 1 - NLCS Game One of the National League Championship Series featured some high powered offense with each team belting two home runs in the game. The 8 - 6 outcome put the Phillies up 1 - 0 over the Dodgers. A couple of young lefthanders faced off with 21 year old Clayton Kershaw going up against playoff tested 25 year old Cole Hamels. Each starter struggled but each got a decision. Kershaw only lasted four and two-thirds, while Hamels made it to five and one-third innings. James Loney got the scoring started for the Dodgers with a solo shot leading off the second inning, and that stood up until the fifth inning blew up on Kershaw when he lost complete control of the strike zone. Walks, wild pitches, a three run homer by Carlos Ruiz and a two run double by Ryan Howard spelled the end of the line for Kershaw, who set two LCS records in this game. At 21 and 211 days he is the youngest pitcher to ever start an LCS game, and in the 5 run 5th inning set the LCS record for most wild pitches in an inning - Ouch! Things settled down until the 8th inning when late season pickup, lefty reliever George Sherrill walked two runners in front of Raul Ibanez. All baseball fans know what happens when you can’t find the strike zone, a grooved first pitch fastball ends up sitting on a bleacher fan’s book shelf. Ibanez’ 3 run homer puts this game out of reach even after a mini-rally by the Dodgers, with Manny grounding out with runners on the corners.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game 2 - NLCS Stellar pitching performances by veterans Vicente Padilla and Pedro Martinez are in stark contrast to the youth and struggles of Game 1. Pedro went 7 innings giving up only two hits and no runs, while Padilla countered with 7 and one-third innings, four hits and one run. It was the Phillies bullpen and more throwing issues from Chase Utley that ruined a remarkable effort from Martinez. Russell Martin with a single plus a hit by pitch, followed by sacrifice bunts from Padilla each time, was the only Dodger to get to second base off Martinez. In the 8th however, with Chan Ho Park in relief, a leadoff single to Casey Blake, a well placed bunt to Ronnie Belliard, and a misfired turn of a double play by Utley allows the first Dodger run of the game. The run was immediately followed by a pinch hit single from Jim Thome and a walk, surrounded by multiple Phillies pitching changes, ultimately to face Andre Ethier with the bases loaded. J.A. Happ walked Ethier home with the winning run. Ryan Howardâ€™s homer in the fourth was the only run for the Phillies. The blast gives him an RBI in six consecutive post season games.
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees Game 1 - ALCS Postseason baseball often runs into the situation when weather conditions are not ideal for the Boys of Summer. If you take a team out of Los Angeles, put them in a game that starts out at 45 degrees with 17 mile per hour sustained winds, you might expect some issues. The Angels committed three errors in Game One of the ALCS and that does not take into account other miscues that were not ruled as official errors. The Yankees capitalized immediately and road the broad back of C.C. Sabathia to a 4 -1 win. After Captain Jeter and Johnny Damon lead off the game with singles, advancing to second and third on a poor throw, it was ARodâ€™s sacrifice fly that got the scoring started, his seventh RBI of the post season so far. Next up was Hideki Matsui, and itâ€™s still unclear what was happening on the left side of the Angels infield, as his pop fly landed between Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar as they both stood around waiting on the other to make the play. This normally solid defensive team struggled throughout. Sabathia was a horse, carrying the Yankees through 8 innings allowing just one run while striking out seven, turning the ball over to Mariano Rivera who recorded his record extending 36th postseason save.
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees Game 2 - ALCS Game 2 of the ALCS was a classic from the perspective of dramatics in extra innings, with the visiting Angels getting a 3 -2 lead in the 11th inning with a Chone Figgins single off of Alfredo Aceves. Ultimately overshadowed by an Alex Rodriguez homer when closer Brian Fuentes couldn’t bring the win home, blowing the save and pushing the game deeper into Sunday morning. It was a throwing error in the 13th inning that allowed pinch hitter Jerry Hairston to come all the way around to score on a fielder’s choice attempt off the bat of Melky Cabrera. It was not a classic game in regards to the fielding troubles that continued to haunt the Angels, and was even contagious for the Yankees as the teams combined for five errors in the ballgame including two by Robinson Cano and the walkoff error from Maicer Izturis. Offensively, Yankees were 0 - 8 with runners in scoring position and the Angels 3 - 15 so we’ll chalk it up to the 47 degree weather. We also had the umpiring situation where the “neighborhood play” was rule against the Angels, as a double play attempt by Erick Aybar was ruled safe in the 10th inning no less. It’s one thing to enforce that rule throughout the season, making it a harder play to turn the double play, but you can’t start enforcing it in extra innings of a League Championship Series game.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 3 - NLCS Game Three action in the NLCS shifts to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia where Cliff Lee was masterful, pitching 8 innings of shutout ball, striking out 10 and walking none. The game was so one sided, with Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda shellacked in one and one-third innings allowing six runs, that the story line was simply how well Lee was pitching. The final score grew to 11 - 0 as each subsequent Dodgers pitcher walked batters and Phillies padded their RBI totals. Jason Werth had a two run homer in the first and Shane Victorino a three run shot in the bottom of the 8th. Most fans wanted to see Lee come out for the ninth inning to cap off the incredible performance with a complete game. After singling and scoring in the 8th inning the decision for Charlie Manuel was to send Chad Durbin out to relieve Lee. Ryan Howard continued his streak, and has an RBI in all seven of Philadelphiaâ€™s playoff games so far this postseason.
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Game 3 - ALCS Itâ€™s off to Los Angeles for Game 3 of the ALCS, and an afternoon start time for a week day game from the West Coast. It turned out to be another extra inning affair with home runs setting the pace for both sides, before Jeff Mathis could drive in the winning run in the 11th off of Alfredo Aceves. That clutch hit in the 11th was necessary after Mariano Rivera pitched into trouble in the 10th, having two on with no out, but getting out of it, forcing groundouts from Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero to keep the game alive. Derek Jeter homers in the first at bat of the game, followed by an Alex Rodriguez solo shot leading off the fourth. Johnny Damon pushes the lead to 3 - 0 when he homers to right field in the 5th inning. After that, we flip to the other side of the scorebook with Howie Kendrick getting a solo homer to left and eventually Vlad Guerrero knotting things up with a two run jack. Trading single runs in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth sets things up for the extra frames. Andy Pettite and Jered Weaver started this game, and each left it for the bullpens after giving up three runs.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 4 - NLCS Walkoffs are on the menu today as we get another blown save by a trusted closer. Jonathan Broxton could not hang on to a one run lead, allowing a Jimmy Rollins double in the gap to drive home two runs and put the Phillies within one win of repeating as National League Champs. Broxton actually entered the game in the 8th inning, getting Jason Werth for the final out, after George Sherrill took care of the lefthanders at the top of the Phillies lineup. In the 9th it was a Matt Stairs walk (pitch around?) and a Carlos Ruiz HBP that ultimately came around to score off Broxton. Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer giving him eight straight postseason games with at least one RBI. This ties a record held by Lou Gehrig. Dodgers starter Randy Wolf was the starting pitcher for the Phillies on Opening Day 2004 when Citizenâ€™s Bank Park opened. Joe Saunders got the start, but Brad Lidge actually got the W for the record book as he recorded two outs in the Dodgerâ€™s 9th.
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Game 4 - ALCS Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia came up big again on three days rest, but it was another meltdown for Angel Scott Kazmir who could not throw strikes, walking four and allowing four runs in four innings. ARod powered the Yankees, going 3 for 4 with a homer and two RBI, as well as Melky Cabrera who was 3 for 4 with 4 RBI! However, it was the umpiring that inserted itself into the conversation for most of the night in this 10 -1 blowout. Third base umpire Tim McClelland was involved in two controversial plays. In one case he called Nick Swisher out for leaving too early tagging up on an outfield fly. Replay showed the call was incorrect. The second event was much stranger than just a simple blown call. Due to a couple of running mistakes, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano both ended up at third base. Neither runner was touching the base. Posada was tagged out and Cano, who was probably thinking that he might need to retreat to second if Posada makes it in safely, was just standing there and he was also tagged out. However, the way McClelland saw the play, only Posada was ruled out. ARod has driven in a run in 8 straight playoff games, and has homered in 3 straight.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 5 - NLCS The Philadelphia Phillies repeat as the National League Champions, taking the fifth game 10 to 4 over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were the opponent last year in the NLCS as well. In 2008 after dispensing with the Dodgers, the Phillies went on to win the World Series beating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one. Phillies starter Cole Hamels was still a bit shaky in this outing but the Phillies got two home runs from Jason Werth as well as homers from Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz. Add Dodger round trippers from Andre Ethier, James Loney and Orlando Hudson and you have two teams that combined for a record tying seven home runs in this game. Chase Utley continued to find ways to get on. Actually, he was 0 - 4 officially with three strike outs, but walked in the first and has reached base safely in 25 straight postseason games! Ryan Howard was awarded the NLCS Most Valuable Player Award. Howard hit .333 (5 for 15) with two homers, one double, one triple and eight RBIs in the series. He had a streak snapped in this final game of at least one RBI in eight straight postseason games.
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Game 5 - ALCS Angels send this American League Championship Series back to the Bronx. This game featured a strong performance by Angelâ€™s starter John Lackey who pitched brilliantly after getting spotted a 4 - 0 lead. With two outs in the seventh manager Mike Scoscia made the decision to go to the pen, and Lackey made it perfectly clear out on the field that he was not pleased with that decision. Things changed for the Halos after that with the Yankees scoring 6 runs, all with two outs. Yankees starter A.J. Burnett couldnâ€™t capitalize, a single and walk to the first two hitters in the bottom of the inning meant Joe Girardi had to go the bullpen. Damaso Marte and Phil Hughes could not keep the home team down, who bounced back with three runs of their own to go back on top 7 - 6. The Angels rode that lead all the way to the 9th when they turned the ball over to closer Brian Fuentes. Fuentes promptly got into a bases loaded, two out jam by intentionally walking Alex Rodriquez, walking Hideki Matsui and hitting Robinson Cano. He got the save by inducing an infield pop-up from Nick Swisher.
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees Game 6 - ALCS Game 6 was scheduled for Saturday night, but rain postponed the clinching celebration for the Yankees until Sunday night. Appropriately, Yankees starter Andy Pettite got the series clinching win, his fifth to set a major league record, as well as his 16th postseason victory, also a record. The ALCS Champs scored 3 runs in the fourth off of Joe Saunders, and made them hold up until the Angels got within one run in the 8th, the Yanks returned the favor by stretching the lead back out to the 5 - 2 final when the Angels went to two starters out of the pen, Scott Kazmir and Jered Weaver. The save of course went to Mariano Rivera. Alex Rodriguez reached base all five plate appearances, including 2 singles and 3 walks. He has hit in 11 straight postseason games. Games 1 and 4 starter C.C. Sabathia picked up the ALCS MVP honors.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees 2009 World Series Game 1 We open the 2009 World Series in the brand new Yankee Stadium with a single storyline ... the pitching performance of Cliff Lee. Statistically it looks like this; 9.0 innings, 10 strikeouts, 0 walks, 6 hits (Jeter 3 of them) and 1 late run allowed. As brilliant as this line is, it was the manner in which he went about the total domination of the Yankees stellar lineup that must be addressed. Lee was in such a groove that nonchalant catches, behind the back snags, and easy putouts made it look like he was playing in a pickup game waiting on his ride to take him to class. The Phillies scored six times, but could have survived off of the run support provided by the two solo shots from Chase Utley. Utley set a postseason record by safely reaching base in 26 straight games, passing the record of Baltimore’s Boog Powell. The performance was so dominant that a hashtag on twitter was launched to detail the many “feats” that Cliff Lee has said to have accomplished. You can still search for #CliffLeeFacts for quality humor.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees 2009 World Series Game 2 The Who’s Your Daddy! Anticipation was immense as Pedro Martinez took the mound for Game 2 in The Bronx, going up against A.J. Burnett. In the end, solo home runs from Mark Texiera and Hideki Matsui, who golfed one off his shoe tops into the right field stands, was enough to hang the L on Pedro. Meanwhile, Burnett pitched very well, getting his curveball over for strikes, fanning 9 allowing four hits, and giving up only one run. It should not be underestimated how important it was for Burnett to pitch well and even the Series going into Philadelphia for Game 3. Phillies fans are starting to wonder where the NLCS MVP Ryan Howard went, who after this game has now gone 2-9 with 6K’s so far in the World Series. In the other dugout, Alex Rodriguez has had dual 0-4 with 3 strikeout nights. Chase Utley walked in the second to reach base again, extending his record to 27 straight games dating back to 2007. Pedro’s moment of handing the ball to Charlie Manuel and walking off the Yankee Stadium diamond with a smile on his face was quality entertainment.
New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies 2009 World Series Game 3 Fans sat in anticipation of the third game of the 2009 World Series, waiting for the rains to pass and the tarp to come off the field. Once it had, the balls started jumping off the bats of both teams, combining for six home runs. ARod, Swisher and Matsui for the Yankees, Jason Werth had two along with Carlos Ruiz for the Phillies. At first it seemed as if Andy Pettitte would be the starter in the showers early, allowing three runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, but it was a two-run homer by ARod in the 4th and three more runs before two were out in the 5th that sent Cole Hamels off into the Halloween Night. ARodâ€™s home run required video replay to determine if it had cleared the outfield fence after bouncing off of a TV camera. It was the first replay ruling ever in a World Series Game. Ryan Howardâ€™s struggles continue. After Game 3 he is 2 for 13 with nine strikeouts in the Series.
New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies 2009 World Series Game 4 Game 4 turned out to contain some of the most memorable action of this entire World Series. The Yankees got to Phillies starter Joe Blanton immediately in the first inning, scoring two runs. The first inning also contained the third HBP of Alex Rodriguez in two games. Chase Utley continued to produce for the Phillies and bounced right back with a run in the bottom of the inning. The Phillies were able to tie the game in the fourth after Ryan Howard singled, advanced to second on a steal, and then scored on a Pedro Feliz single to left. Replays seemed inconclusive as to whether the big belly flopping first baseman missed touching the plate on his slide. Things didnâ€™t stay tied for very long as a leadoff walk to Nick Swisher came around to score, and the Yankees tacked on another to go up again by 2. Utley homered off of C.C. Sabathia in the seventh to get the score to 4-3. Sabathia was once more going on three days rest, so Manager Joe Girardi decided it was time to turn the game over to the bullpen. Joba Chamberlain started the 8th inning by getting the first two Phillies to strike out swinging, but couldnâ€™t put Pedro Feliz away, and he ripped one into the left field seats to tie the game at four. Phillie fans were rocking Citizenâ€™s Bank Park after the blast, and watched as Brad Lidge came on to try to hold down the Yankees in the top of the ninth. With two outs in the inning Johnny Damon had an epic at bat, fouling off pitch after pitch until finally singling to left on the ninth pitch. With Mark Texiera up and the Phillies in an overshifted defensive position, Damon broke for second and beat the tag. Damon then took off for third since the tag was being applied by third baseman Pedro Feliz as a result of the defensive alignment, leaving third base unattended. It is a replay that will be seen for quite some time. Maybe rattled by the situation, Brad Lidge then hit Mark Texiera only to face Alex Rodriguez who doubled in Damon with the winning run, eventually to score insurance runs for a final score of 7-4.
New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies 2009 World Series Game 5 It’s Deja Vu all over again for the Phillies! A strong pitching performance by Cliff Lee and two home runs off the bat of Chase Utley send this World Series back to New York for Game 6. Nothing could compare to the complete mastery of Lee’s Game 1, but he was able to scatter seven hits over seven innings, allowing 5 runs. Utley’s contribution tied him with Reggie Jackson as the only players to have 5 homers in one World Series. Yankees starter A.J. Burnett struggled on three days rest, couldn’t throw strikes and by the time he was unable to retire anyone in the 3rd inning, was responsible for 6 runs. It was the first time in 14 postseason games this year that a Yankees starter had failed to pitch at least six innings. After Utley and Ibanez homers in the 7th off of Phil Coke to push the lead to 8-2, you would have thought this game could be a coast to the finish for the Phillies. However, as stated going all the way back to the start of the postseason, getting the final six outs was going to be a challenge for this team. An ARod two run double and a sac fly from Robinson Cano in the 8th meant a six run lead was going to be a three run lead heading to the 9th. And that might not be enough.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees 2009 World Series Game 6 In the inaugural season for the new ballpark, the Yankees earned their 27th World Series Championship banner. It was ring number 5 for the â€œCore Fourâ€?, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. Pettitte had the privilege of starting and earning the win in the clinching game of all three rounds of the 2009 postseason. Series MVP Hideki Matsui powered the offensive with his second home run this Series off Phillies starter Pedro Martinez, a two run blast to right in the 2nd inning. He pushed the lead to 4-1 with a two run single to center in the 3rd inning. By the time he doubled in his 5th and 6th RBI of the game in the 5th inning, it was time for speculation about a DH winning the Series MVP award. Bobby Richardson for the Yankees in 1960 is the only other player to have 6 RBI in a single World Series game. In most appropriate fashion, Mariano Rivera entered the game to put away the final five outs. Rivera earned his 11th World Series (39th postseason) save, both major league records.
About Baseballisms Baseballisms.com is a community of baseball fans dedicated to sharing and preserving personal baseball stories. A Baseballism is a fanâ€™s content. They can be written, texted, recorded in audio or video .. all capturing the very essence of what it means to be passionate about the game of baseball. They can be short form as presented here in this 2009 Playoff Collection or they can be long form as presented on the web site Baseballisms.com. Everyone has plenty of their own Baseballisms - whether a fond remembrance from playing the game as a Little Leaguer or watching a ballgame today with a grandparent, something about the game of baseball triggers an emotional response. We want to provide an outlet for these gems so that they are passed from person to person, generation to generation. Capturing and sharing these sentiments is what Baseballisms.com is all about. Baseballisms.com is a web site developed by true fans of the game, Joe Magennis and Cameron Watson. Dedicated to collecting the poetry of the game. We are building a community with a fine appreciation for the way in which baseball weaves throughout all of our life stories. You can follow us on Twitter @baseballisms or @baseballisms3, and also become a Facebook Fan of the Baseballisms Fan page.
Interesting Technical Details Joe used an Apple iPhone with the Tweetie app blazing. He kept his notes in the Notes app. On the desktop he used the Seesmic Twitter client, and Google Docs for spreadsheets and documents. Cameron used a Macbook Pro and iMac both with Seesmic desktop twitter client. On his iPhone he used Tweetdeck and Gmail for notes and links. For preparing the Book layout, all creative work was done on both Apple machines utilizing the Adobe Creative Suite CS4- Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Material management, text and spread sheets were in the cloud via Google Documents.
Next @ Baseballisms.com • Keep an eye on the web site where we will be presenting podcasts from a wide variety of authors who have penned baseball books. If you have a hard time making it through the offseason without your Wisdom from the Diamond, check out the books from these authors to help you get by. Please let us know if there are any authors we should being talking with, and if you have contact information to help set things up we would really appreciate it. You can email information to Wisdom@baseballisms.com
• We are going to be organizing Tweetups throughout the upcoming 2010 season. We want to schedule get togethers at MLB parks, but we will also be looking for some Minor League ballparks as well as college games. If we are really lucky we might take in a Cape Cod League game or two. Come on out and say hello! We’d love to get to know you in person. Follow our twitter stream to find out more up to the minute details.
• Next season has been announced as the very last season that Vin Scully will be bestowing his poetry of the game upon us. This is a moment in history that we cannot let pass without acknowledgement. We stated during this past season that we intend to take in as many Dodgers games as possible on the satellite package. We propose a #Vin hashtag to the baseball community so that we can capture his eloquence forever. It is possible to subscribe to the RSS feed of a hashtag search, so if the entire baseball community gets behind a single hashtag, and contributes to the documentation of his words throughout the season, we won’t miss a single one. We will be able to get our daily dose of Vin as we all participate. Let’s make this happen!
• We will continue to present your personal baseball stories, your own Baseballisms. We would love to have you share with the entire community how the game of baseball has impacted your life, or simply your fondest recollections. Write us your story and send it via email or create a video message and post if via the Upload Page. Interview your friends and family, find out what they love about our National Pastime. We look forward to building this community of fans interested in sharing the poetry of the game of baseball!
Give Back We would have been remiss had we failed to mention how generous the baseball community is. If the spirit moves you, you have the resources or the time to give back in some small way, we would like to simply suggest that you investigate the important and charitable works associated with your favorite ballclub. Baseballisms.com would also like to recognize:
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is the official Charity of Major League Baseball â€“ http://www.bgca.org/
In 1953, the owners of The Boston Red Sox, Tom and Jean Yawkey, adopted The Jimmy Fund as the official team charity:
The Jimmy Fund http://www.jimmyfund.org/
Conclusion So if you made it this far you might have come to the same conclusion we have... When interacting with baseball fans on Twitter you get to know them, each and every one is a unique and interesting person. However, this compilation only gives you a part of the picture. Go ahead, follow these people presented in this collection, get to know them and enjoy the 2010 baseball season.
Hit it Hard Somewhere!
â€œNon-Sports Celebritiesâ€? Al Gore
Mary J. Blige
Bill Nye The Science Guy
Black Eyed Peas
Bonnie and Clyde
A true fans commentary on the 2009 MLB playoff season in 140 characters.