Yankees-Phillies World Series: A-Rod Clutch Again In 7-4 Game Four Win

November 2, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

For the second time in the history of Major League Baseball, the World Series was being played in November.

After an exciting Game Three that saw the bats come alive, the Yankees were facing the Phillies in Game Four of the 2009 World Series.

Coming into the game, the Phillies fans were excited and some were present earlier in the day to watch the Philadelphia Eagles rip apart the New York Giants just across the street at Lincoln Financial Field, so for some of the fans at Citizens Bank Park, it was going to be a long night, but one filled with excitement and drama.

The Yankees were sending up their ace in CC Sabathia, pitching on three days rest after losing in Game One, while the Phillies were countering with Joe Blanton, pitching in his first game of the World Series.

The Yankees came out swinging against Blanton. Derek Jeter started out with an infield single and Johnny Damon ripped a double to left to put runners on second and third with no out.

Mark Teixeira ripped the ball to first, which caused Ryan Howard to dive for the ball, pop up and tag the base, but it also allowed Jeter to score from third and the Yankees were up 1-0.

Blanton took his first pitch to Alex Rodriguez and drilled him in the back, a pitch that looked to be thrown intentionally since A-Rod got hit twice the night before. So with the hit by pitch, there were runners on first and third with only one out.

Jorge Posada drove the ball to deep center field that was caught by Shane Victorino, but allowed Damon to score and the Yankees had an early 2-0 lead.

The Phillies responded in the bottom of the first inning where Victorino hit a bloop double to left and Chase Utley ripped a double to deep right center field to cut the lead to 2-1.

Following the first inning, both Sabathia and Blanton got into a groove and were both pitching well, keeping the game close early.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Howard singled to center and then stole second base.

With two outs, Pedro Feliz singled to left and Howard came around to score to tie the game at 2-2. When the replay was shown, Howard had never touched home plate, but nobody from the Yankees rushed to tag Howard out, so the Phillies got a break on that play.

In the top of the fifth inning, Nick Swisher walked and Melky Cabrera reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second.

After Sabathia struck out, Jeter singled to left to score Swisher and the Yankees were back on top 3-2. Damon singled to right to score Cabrera to increas the lead to 4-2.

Blanton left after getting through the sixth inning. Blanton pitched six innings, allowed five hits, four runs, walked two and struck out seven batters. Blanton wasn’t sharp, but he was durable enough to keep his team within striking range.

Sabathia continued to get the Phillies hitters out, even without his best stuff. He got through the fifth and sixth innings without a runner scoring.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, with two outs, Utley connected on a fastball from Sabathia that sailed over the right field wall to cut the lead to 4-3. It was the third home run hit by Utley off Sabathia in the series.

The home run was the final batter Sabathia would face, as Joe Girardi pulled his left-handed ace from the game. Damaso Marte came in to relieve Sabathia and got Howard to fly out to end the seventh.

Sabathia went 6 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits, three runs, walked three and struck out six batters. Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff, but grinded through the game and did his best to give the Yankees a chance to win.

In the top of the eighth, Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning after allowing two runners on base.

In the bottom of the eighth, Joba Chamberlain was pitching in relief. He got Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez to strike out, but with two outs, Feliz hammered a high fastball into the left field seats and tied the game at 4-4. Joba struck out Ruiz to keep the game at 4-4.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Phillies sent in their closer, Brad Lidge, who would be pitching for the first time in the 2009 World Series.

Hideki Matsui popped out to short and Jeter struck out for the first two outs.

Damon singled to left to keep the inning alive. Damon then stole second and with nobody covering third, Damon then took off and made it to third base easily, so heads-up base running by Damon.

Lidge hit Teixeira with a pitch to put runners on first and third with two outs and A-Rod at bat with the game on the line.

A-Rod took an 0-1 pitch and drilled it to deep left field for a huge RBI double to score Damon and the Yankees were back on top 5-4.

Posada then drilled a Lidge pitch to center field to score Teixeira and A-Rod to make it 7-4. The Phillies tagged out Posada trying to stretch the hit into a double for the third out of the inning.

The Yankees sent in their closer, Mariano Rivera, to shut the door on the Phillies.

Matt Stairs grounded out to first for the first out. Jimmy Rollins popped out to first for the second out. Victorino grounded out to first for the final out of the game and the Yankees took Game Four with a 7-4 victory.

Joba picked up the win despite surrendering the home run in the eighth. Despite the one bad pitch, Joba looked sharp in striking out the side in the eighth.

Lidge took the loss for the Phillies. After a rough 2009 season with 11 blown saves, Lidge blew his first save in the postseason.

A-Rod has only two hits in the first four games of the World Series (2-for-14, .143). But each of those hits and his three RBI have been crucial to the Yankees, especially his go-ahead double on Sunday.

The Yankees 1-2 hitter continued to provide production in the series. Jeter (7-for-17, .411) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run and Damon (5-for-17, .294) went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Posada (4-for-13, .308) was also huge for the Yankees going 1-for-3 with three RBI.

For the Phillies, Utley’s 2-for-4 and a home run and Feliz’s 3-for-4 with a home run were the only hitters who did any damage against the Yankees.

The thing that is killing Philadelphia is the Phillies main hitters aren’t getting it done. Rollins is 3-for-15 (.200), Victorino is 3-for-15 (.200), Howard is 3-for-17 (.176), Werth is 3-for-13 (.231) and Ibanez is 3-for-16 (.187).

Utley is the only one with a decent batting average, going 4-for-15 (.266), with three of his hits being home runs.

The Yankees now have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Phillies in the World Series and just need one more win to end the series and win the World Series.

For Game Five, The Yankees will send up A.J. Burnett tomorrow while the Phillies will counter with their ace in Cliff Lee. Burnett was dominant in the Yankees Game Two win while Lee was nearly unhittable in the Phillies Game One win.

Monday will be the last game of the series played at Citizens Bank Park. After Monday night, the series either ends in Philadelphia or moves back to New York.

For Yankees Universe, 10 games down, one more to go until World Series Championship No. 27.

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