The New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in New York late Wednesday evening to capture the franchise's 27th World Series championship crown.
The Yankees spent heavily on the free agent market before the beginning of the 2009 regular season forking out almost $450 million to three players: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. It's official. Money CAN buy championships! The moves paid off as the Yankees held the best record in baseball this season, ultimately completing the goal in the postseason over the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Yankees are far and above any other MLB team in terms of spending. The $200+ million they spent on this year's lineup is over 50 million dollars more than the # 2 team on that list, the New York Mets.
Andy Pettitte, who holds the record for most postseason victories by a pitcher all time, did what he was supposed to do Wednesday. The 37-year-old left hander came into the game on three days rest with only one thing on his mind; keep the team in the game and let the offense do the rest. That is exactly what Pettitte did as he pitched five and a third innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits, walking five and striking out three. It was not the virtuoso performance of Pettitte's career but it was exactly what the Yankees needed.
For the Phillies, future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez took the mound and seemed unlike himself from the get go. Martinez struggled early with the simplest tasks including catching a routine return throw from catcher Carlos Ruiz as well as having major velocity issues. Martinez's poor game seemed to stem from the flu he was suffering from earlier in the series.
Hideki Matsui cranked a two-run home run off Martinez in the bottom of the second inning while singling in two more runs off Martinez in the bottom of the third inning. Matsui also doubled in two more runs in bottom of the fifth inning off reliever Chad Durbin. The six runs batted in by Matsui tied the record for most runs batted in a World Series game. The amazing performance by Matsui earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, certainly raising his free agent value as Matsui hits the open market this offseason.
The title is the first for manager Joe Girardi as a coach, the first for the new stadium and the first under the helm of Hank Steinbrenner, but the championship surely isn't the last you will see from a Yankee organization intent on spending more than any other team in the league.