Were the Phillies battling more than just the Yankees in the 2009 World Series?
Memories swept over Citizens Bank Park as the 2009 National League champion Phillies were honored for the 10th anniversary of their back-to-back pennant season.
Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, who joined the team midseason and pitched in the deciding game six of the World Series in New York, was one of many from the team who was recognized at the ballpark on Sunday.
After the game, Martinez told reporters that several players had the swine flu during the 2009 World Series, which New York won in six games.
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“It wasn’t told, but most of us were sick…Some of the guys had swine flu and had to be kept away. I caught some of the virus. We would just never say it. When I got home, I realized that I was really sick.”
Martinez went just four innings in the final start of his career, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks while throwing just 77 pitches.
While none of the other players who had swine flu were mentioned, it’s interesting to note who did not perform well in the World Series. Four starters (Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins) hit below .220 in six games. Howard hit .355 in nine playoff games, but hit just .174 in the World Series.
Cole Hamels struggled for most of the 2009 season and had a 7.58 ERA during the playoffs.
Brad Lidge gave up three runs in one inning and Chad Durbin gave up four in an inning and a third.
Chase Utley certainly didn’t seem hampered, hitting five home runs during the series.
Who knows if the swine flu really affected a lot of the players, but it’s certainly another “what if” that plays into the Phillies historic postseason run.