On a night where the Yankees needed him the most A.J. Burnett delivered a brilliant performance and Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui homered to give the Yanks a 3-1 victory.
In his first World Series start Allan James threw seven strong innings, allowed just one earned run on four hits, walked two, and struck out nine.
The lone Phillies run shouldn’t have even scored. With two out in the second Raul Ibanez hit a ground-rule double. Matt Stairs was the next batter and hit a hard grounder to third. Alex Rodriguez allowed it to sneak under his glove and Ibanez scored.
Burnett only got himself into one serious jam and that came in the second when the Phillies put runners on first and second with two out and Ryan Howard at the dish. But Burnett struck out Howard with one of many nasty curveballs. Howard would end up striking out four times on the night, the last a controversial third strike from Mariano Rivera.
For the Phillies, Pedro Martinez was also impressive. He threw his array of pitches between 78 MPH and 91 MPH. In 6+ innings the crafty vet allowed three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out 8.
Here’s what happened: Pedro pitches well, the Yankees starter does too, the Yanks put a couple runs on the board, and they wear him out by the seventh.
Mark Teixeira bombed one into the Yankees bullpen in the fourth, and Hideki Matsui’s shot in the sixth to give the Yankees their first lead of the series.
They added their third run in the seventh on a Jorge Posada RBI single off Phillies’ reliever Chan Ho Park – who now looks like an Asian Geico caveman.
Last night’s umpiring wasn’t efficient. In the seventh, Johnny Damon lined a ball to first. Howard, knowing he didn’t catch the ball on a fly threw to second to try to start a double play. The throw was wide and pulled Jimmy Rollins off the base, everyone was safe and the Yankees had bases loaded with one out. At least that’s how it should have worked out. However, first base umpire Brian Gorman said that Howard caught the ball on the fly and therefore it was a double play, inning over. Howard basically told everyone that he didn’t catch the ball by throwing to second — had he caught the ball on the fly wouldn’t he have just thrown to first to double up Posada? Also, where the hell is the home plate umpire on this play? I can understand the first base ump missing this call, he was behind Howard and couldn’t see what was going on. But what is Jeff Nelson looking at on that play? The umpires had a meeting and apparently nobody was actually looking at the ball.
In the top of the eighth inning, with Mariano Rivera now on the mound, the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out and Chase Utley batting. Mo got Utley to ground a ball to Robinson Cano and the Yankees, thanks to a great turn by Jeter, were able to turn a huge inning-ending double play. The only problem was that replays showed that Utley was safe. At least both teams got freebies from the umps.
Like game six of the ALCS, Mo followed up a rough eighth with a much less stressful ninth. He allowed a two-out double, but that was it a Mo strike out of Matt Stairs on a cutter diving down and in to end the game and send this series back to Philly tied at one. Just another six-out save for the greatest ever.
The Yankees will now look to the all-time postseason wins leader when Andy Pettitte takes the mound in game three. He will be facing another southpaw, the struggling Cole Hamels. First pitch on Saturday will be 7:57 p.m. and as always the game can be seen on FOX.