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10/29/09 2:48 AM EST
Phillies look like champs in opener win
Lee, Utley and Co. cruise, but know Yankees will be tough
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- They made it look easy. The defending champion Phillies hopped an easy Amtrak train from Philadelphia to New York and quickly jumped on the Yankees with a 6-1 victory to start the 105th World Series.
The question is whether Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees will make it loud. "As far as being frustrated, our guys will grind it out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, when asked if his hitters were frustrated by Lee. "I'm not concerned about that." "That's just one win, and that's why you play seven," Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino said. "They're professionals over there. They're a good team. They didn't have the best record for nothing. It's a win and we've got three more to go." Game 1 might have seemed shocking to many, because the Yankees posted the best record in Major League Baseball this season and opened with the home-field advantage. But this is not an underdog. The road goes through the reigning champs. This is a Phillies team thinking parade again -- or more accurately, thinking only of the moment and the next pitch. It just yanked away the Yankees' home-field advantage, earned through the American League's All-Star triumph, and countless fans in the City of Brotherly Love are happy to note that the winners of the first game have won the past six World Series. That streak began when the 2003 Marlins opened on top at Yankee Stadium on their way to the title. "This team didn't win 100 games being desperate," Ryan Howard said of the Yankees. "They're professional. They're not here by accident." The World Series is under way. It might be the first seven-game Fall Classic since 2002, finishing on Nov. 5, later than any in history. It might be a sweep. Who knows? The drama has started. Everyone is watching. For the Phillies, it was like one giant behind-the-back catch. They made it look easy.
GRABBING THE REINS
|Year||Game 1 winner||World Champions|
|2008||Phillies||Phillies in 5|
|2007||Red Sox||Red Sox in 4|
|2006||Cardinals||Cardinals in 5|
|2005||White Sox||White Sox in 4|
|2004||Red Sox||Red Sox in 4|
|2003||Marlins||Marlins in 6|
|2002||Giants||Angels in 7|
|2001||Diamondbacks||Diamondbacks in 7|
|2000||Yankees||Yankees in 5|
|1999||Yankees||Yankees in 4|
|1998||Yankees||Yankees in 4|
|1997||Marlins||Marlins in 7|
|1996||Braves||Yankees in 6|
|1995||Braves||Braves in 6|
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.