The World Series Game 2 was both good and bad for fans. The World Series Game 2 was bad for fans of offense, and for umpires. But the World Series Game 2 did even the series, which is good for everyone but Philadelphia fans. The World Series Game 2 could have put the Phillies up 2-0, and made a World Series that everyone expected to go the distance become much shorter. However, the World Series Game 2 instead made sure that this could be the first lengthy, memorable World Series in several years – for the moment.
Going into the World Series Game 2, the Phillies had the Yankees in big trouble. A win behind Pedro Martinez would give the Phillies a two-game advantage, in which they only needed to win two in Philadelphia to win it all. Given Philadelphia’s big home field advantage, that might not have been a problem.
However, the World Series Game 2 instead swung things back in New York’s favor. That is a relief for objective baseball fans, who have been tired of a lopsided World Series the last several years. The Yankees-Phillies series was supposed to be the first classic Fall Classic since 2001, which would have been harder to get with the Phillies dominating.
Now the Phillies have to hope the Yankees don’t dominate after the World Series Game 2. Also, baseball has to hope that one team doesn’t sweep the next three games, so that the series can go six games for the first time since 2003. The World Series Game 2 was a boost for the Yankees, but the Phillies still have designs on sweeping at home and winning it all there for the second year in a row.
Last year after the 2008 World Series Game 2, the Phillies and Rays looked set for a lengthy, down-to-the-wire series. However, the Phillies got all the breaks at home and overwhelmed the Rays to finish it quickly – albeit after two days of rain. The Phillies will likely have a harder time doing the same this year, but they want to get at least two wins and have two chances to clinch at New York.
The World Series Game 2 gave fans hope for a long, drawn out showdown – but it also gave them new fear that the umpires will ruin it. Two disputed double-plays overshadowed the end of the game, and put the struggling umpires back under the radar. There was confidence that the umpires would have turned things around after Game 1, but now there is even greater fear that a bad call will alter and ruin the World Series.
The Phillies can attest that they might have ruined the World Series Game 2 for them. Chase Utley was mistakenly called out in the eighth on a double play, which cost them a chance to have Ryan Howard come and tie things up. From then on in, Mariano Rivera took over, although the Phillies made him throw 39 pitches – and could have broken him with a few extra ones.
So there is both hope and fear in the air after the World Series Game 2, in New York, Philadelphia and the commissioner’s office. This may be the first real Fall Classic in years, but it could just give the umpires more time to ruin it all. And with the pitchers handcuffing most of the big bats thus far – especially Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard – it may take a while longer for a slugfest to break out.
The World Series Game 2 will be analyzed for another 24 hours, before Game 3 gets set tomorrow at 7:57 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.
ESPN- “Kneejerk Reactions: Game 2”
New York Times- “In World Series, Umpires Find Themselves Back in Center of Dispute”