On Sunday night, the Yankees eked out a win over the error-prone Los Angeles Angels with a score of 5-2 to send them to the World Series against the sluggers from Philadelphia who had no trouble dispatching the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The match-up that begins Wednesday night will be eagerly watched – the reigning world champion Phillies up against a hungry New York team that has not been to a World Series since 2003.
It will feature power hitters – Alex Rodriguez for the Yankees and Ryan Howard for Philadelphia, and the possibility of sterling fielding from such marquee players as Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley.
But it will be the pitching match-ups that will be most-watched: the Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia up against a formidable Phillies line up featuring Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. If the Yankees have any advantage, it's their closer, Mariano Rivera, who has been almost un-hittable in the post-season.
Rivera closed out the Yankees Sunday night win against the Angels in game six of the American League Champion Series. He did give up his first earned run in closing out the last two innings. He went on to strike out Gary Matthews Jr. to give the Yankees the pennant.
The Angels made far too many errors at critical moments to have a chance. Perhaps the most costly error was in the bottom of the 8th inning when Scott Kazmir, normally a starter, in for relief, threw a bunt attempt over the first baseman's head. A Yankee run scored.