Yankees-Phillies World Series: Pettitte, A-Rod Spark 8-5 Game Three Win

November 1, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Before Game Three of the 2009 World Series could be played between the Yankees and the Phillies, the fans at Citizens Bank Park experienced an 80 minute rain delay to start the night.

After the delay was over and the tarps were pulled off the field, the Fall Classic was on.

After the first two games of the World Series were in New York, the series shifted to Philadelphia where both teams were tied 1-1 and looking to take an advantage.

The Yankees were sending up their most experienced starter in Andy Pettitte, who art the time had the most career postseason wins with 16, while the Phillies were sending up Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP.

Both Pettitte and Hamels got through the first innings scoreless, but only Hamels would get through the second inning with no trouble.

As for Pettitte, he ran into some trouble in the bottom of the second inning.

Jayson Werth took a breaking pitch that was below his knees and drove it into the left field seats to put the Phillies up 1-0.

Pedro Feliz doubled to right, Carlos Ruiz walked and Hamels bunted that neither Pettitte or Jorge Posada could get to and the bases were loaded with only one out.

Pettitte walked Jimmy Rollins to bring in Feliz and the Phillies were now up 2-0. Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Ruiz and Philadelphia was now up 3-0.

It looked as if Pettitte might have a rough night, but he kept his composure and got out of the second inning by striking out Chase Utley and worked a scoreless third inning to keep the game at 3-0.

While Hamels was good through three innings, he too ran into trouble in the next inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, Hamels walked Mark Teixeira with one out and then Alex Rodriguez took a fastball and drilled it to right field and at first it looked like a double off the top of the wall and the Yankees had runners on second and third with one out.

But, Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out and asked for the umpires to review to see if A-Rod’s hit was in fact a home run. While the umpires reviewed the play, the replays on FOX clearly showed the ball hit a camera above the wall, which would make it a home run.

Two minutes later, the umpire waved his finger around in the motion of a home run, and the Yankees were now back in the game and only trailing 3-2.

In the top of the fifth inning, Nick Swisher finally broke out of his slump by ripping a double down the left field line to get on. Swisher was benched for Game Two to give him a break and clear his head. Looks like it worked.

After Melky Cabrera struck out, Pettitte took a Hamels curveball and hit it to center field for an RBI hit and the Yankees had tied the game at 3-3.

After Derek Jeter lined a base hit to center that bounced over Victorino’s glove, Damon ripped a double off Hamels into the right center field gap that scored Pettitte and Jeter and the Yankees were now up 5-3.

Hamels walked Teixeira for a second time, which would be his last batter he would face, as Charlie Manuel took out his lefty.

Hamels only went 4 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, five runs, walked two and struck out three.

After being dominant in 2008, Hamels has been very bad in 2009. Hamels ERA before the game was 6.75. After the game, it shot up to a 7.58, which is clearly terrible.

J.A. Happ replaced Hamels and got the final two outs in the fifth to keep the game at 5-3.

While the Phillies were struggling with the Yankee bats, Pettitte continued to keep the Phillies off the board, pitching a scoreless fourth and fifth innings and looked to be in a groove after one bad inning.

In the top of the sixth inning with one out, Swisher took a Happ pitch and unloaded on it to deep left field for a solo home run and the Yankees were now up 6-3.

If a day off was what Swisher needed, then Girardi made the right move, because Swisher looked like a different hitter Saturday night.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Werth crushed another offering from Pettitte into the second tier of the left field seats for his second solo home run of the game the score was now 6-4.

After the home run, Pettitte got Raul Ibanez and Feliz to strike out and Eric Bruntlett to fly out to right to end the inning and end the night for the 37 year old lefty.

Pettitte went six innings, allowed five hits, four runs, walked three and struck out seven batters.

It wasn’t Pettitte’s best performance in the playoffs, but it was certainly good enough to win if the bullpen kept the lead for him.

In the top of the seventh inning, Damon walked and stole second after Teixeira struck out, then A-Rod was hit by a Chad Durbin pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs. Posada hit an RBI single to left to score Damon and the game was now 7-4.

After Pettitte left, it was up to the Yankees bullpen to close out the final nine outs. In first was Joba Chamberlain, who got three relatively easy outs in the inning and looked to have his confidence back.

In the top of the eighth inning, with two outs and batting for Chamberlain, Hideki Matsui stepped up and hit a pinch hit solo home run to left field off Brett Myers and the Yankees were now up 8-4.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Damaso Marte got two key strikeouts and a line-out to end the inning. Chamberlain and Marte both looked very sharp in this game.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, with the game not a save situation, Girardi brought in Phil Hughes to try and end the game.

Hughes got Feliz to ground out to third, but Ruiz drilled a pitch from Hughes over the center field wall for a solo home run and the lead for the Yankees was now 8-5.

After the home run, Girardi had no choice but to bring in Mariano Rivera to get the final two outs.

With just five pitches, Rivera got Matt Stairs to ground out to second and got Jimmy Rollins to pop out to third to end Game Three and the Yankees won 8-5.

Pettitte won the game for the Yankees, going 3-0 in the 2009 playoffs and picked up his 17th career postseason victory.

Hamels took the loss for the Phillies and is now 1-2 in 2009.

After an 0-for-8 start to the World Series, A-Rod’s two-run home run in the fourth inning was so huge for his confidence. After hitting his sixth postseason home run of 2009 and his first of the World Series, A-Rod started relaxing and put some good swings on pitches after looking lost in the first two games. If A-Rod get back to hitting like he did in the first two rounds, the Phillies need to look out.

Also, with a 2-for-4, Swisher looks to be swinging the bat much better after the one game layoff. Swisher has been a better home run hitter on the road for the Yankees in 2009, and his performance in Game Three was no different.

On the offensive side for the Phillies, the only one who was really productive tonight was Werth with the two home runs. Werth is turning into a really great player for the Phillies, but even his great game wasn’t enough.

The top of the Phillies order (Rollins, Victorino, Utley and Howard) went 1-for-15 with five strikeouts and left six runners on base.

The one who is really struggling the most in the series is Howard. After winning the 2009 NLCS MVP against the Dodgers, Howard so far in the World Series in 2-for-13 (.153) with nine strikeouts.

The best thing to see from the Yankees in the late innings was the strong pitching of Chamberlain and Marte with their strong innings.

Before tonight, Rivera was the only sure thing for the Yankees in the bullpen. But with Joba’s confidence coming back and Marte pitching well in the playoffs, getting the bridge to Rivera may not be as tough.

As far as Hughes goes, he still needs to work on his location and confidently throwing his best pitches for strikes. He’s still capable of being an over-powering reliever, but he just needs to throw his pitches with confidence and with good location.

The Yankees win a crucial Game Three to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series. They will send CC Sabathia back up after three days rest to pitch Game Four tomorrow night, while the Phillies will counter with Joe Blanton. Game Four will be at 7:57 p.m.

For Yankees Universe, nine wins down, two to go until World Series Championship number 27.



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