The Yankees and Phillies turned game three of the World Series into the Home Run Derby, it seemed.
The World Series teams hit a combined six homers in the game, but it was the Yanks who out-slugged the Phils and won 8-5 in game three, taking a two-games-to-one lead in the fall classic.
Up 3-0 in the top of the fourth, Phillies starter Cole Hamels threw a pitch out over the plate to Alex Rodriguez, who crushed the ball to deep right field. Originally ruled a double, Rodriguez’s hit went under review by the umpires, who were forced to convene and use instant replay.
It turns out Rodriguez hit the camera behind the right field wall and had the camera not been in that exact spot, the ball would have undoubtedly left the yard. The ball was ruled a home run, it cut the lead to 3-2, and it got the Yankees back in the game.
That home run was Rodriguez’s first career World Series hit and it was his sixth homer this postseason. With that he tied Bernie Williams for most home runs in a single postseason. A-Rod certainly has the chance to set a new record, and he will if he leaves the yard one more time.
To be honest, I think it was the right call. That camera should not have been there; if it wasn’t there the ball was going out anyway, so…finally, a good call from the umps.
Nick Swisher also put on a display of power, hitting a double and a solo homer on the night. Swisher had been struggling greatly in the series, going 0-for-3 in game one and even being benched in game two.
Swisher broke out of it tonight and hats off to him. I expect him to carry over his good hitting from tonight throughout the rest of the series. He seems a lot looser than he was previously, so I think Swisher will be fine. Nice hitting!
Hideki Matsui also went yard in game three, blasting a pinch-hit, solo home run in the top of the eighth inning. That was Matsui’s second homer in as many games and his third career World Series home run.
Andy Pettitte made the start for the Yankees tonight and did a lot more than just pitch. The veteran lefty tossed six innings and gave up four earned runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out seven.
Pettitte may have tossed a pretty solid game (albeit not a quality start) but he helped his own cause in the top of the fifth. After Rodriguez made it 3-2 in the fourth, Pettitte came up with an RBI single off Hamels to tie the game at three.
With his RBI, Pettitte became the first Yankee pitcher since Jim Bouton in 1964 to record an RBI in the World Series. However, Pettitte (I guess) is one to gloat after he gets a hit. According to Derek Jeter, Pettitte has bragged about some of his past fall classic hits, including a base knock off Kevin Brown in 1998 and one against Randy Johnson in 2001.
With his hit last night, Pettitte can add Hamels to that list of pitchers he has hit off in the World Series.
The Yankees scored twice more in the fifth with a two-run double off the bat of Johnny Damon, giving them a lead they would not give back. Jorge Posada also added a run with an RBI single in the seventh, capping the Yankee offense.
Despite Pettitte’s decent outing, he did allow two solo home runs to Jayson Werth. The first bomb of Werth’s came in the second inning and he took Pettitte deep for the second time in the sixth.
Pettitte also allowed a bases-loaded walk to Jimmy Rollins and an RBI to Shane Victorino in the third, which put the Yankees in the hole.
Carlos Ruiz had the last home run in the game and the third homer for the Phillies, taking Phil Hughes deep in the ninth inning to finish the scoring on the night.
The Yankees were able to come from behind (again) and win. I guess this shouldn’t surprise me; they’ve been doing this all year. I was (of course) annoyed when the Phillies took the early lead, but I shouldn’t get annoyed.
The Yankees have it in them; that fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude that gives them the strength to come back in games like this. They are never out of any game, that’s all there is to it.
Tonight, CC Sabathia will take the mound on three days rest in game four against Joe Blanton. Sabathia is 3-1 this postseason with a 2.11 ERA and has struck out 36 batters.
Blanton on the other hand has not had much lifetime success against the Yankees, posting a career record of 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in 22 innings pitched vs. the Bombers.
Cliff Lee, who dominated the Yankees in game one, was considered by Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel to pitch game four on short rest. Lee however has never pitched on three days rest in his career. I guess Manuel didn’t want to push him, which is understandable.
Looks like the odds are once again in favor of the Yankees. With the way Sabathia pitched on three days rest in game four of the ALCS vs. the Angels (eight innings, one run, five hits, two walks, five strikeouts) and the career numbers Blanton has against the Yankees…well, the numbers don’t lie.
Sabathia pitched great in that game on short rest and Blanton has struggled against the Yankees, so things are looking bright in Yankee Universe. When the numbers are in their favor, I generally tend not worry.
Plus, I think CC stands for “Confidence! Confidence!” Whenever he takes the hill, the team just knows they have a chance to win. Tomorrow we’ll see what the workhorse/Yankee ace can do; I expect nothing but the best.
It’s safe to say that if the Yankees take game four from the Phillies tonight, they’ll have a stranglehold on the World Series and things will be looking even better than they are now for them.
Well, game three was scary at first (I guess that’s to be expected…I mean, it was Halloween!) but our Yanks came through, like they’ve been doing all year.
See you after game four with more highlights and analysis. Until then…
Two more wins, guys…TWO more!