In His Return to Yankee Stadium, Pedro Martinez and the Phillies Fall Short in a Nail Biter...
Oct 30, 2009
While last nights game isn't the worst thing that could have happened to the Phillies, it was still a little disheartening to see Pedro Martinez have to lose yet another game against the Yankees. What's worse is that it wasn't really his fault. Sure Pedro gave up three runs, but he also went six innings with eight strikeouts and only two walks. When it came time to back their pitcher up, the Phils bats couldn't come up with the big hits. This isn't to say that A.J. Burnett isn't a good pitcher because he is, having gone seven last night, allowing only four hits with nine strikeouts and only two walks. However, a familiar situation for the Phillies came up last night in game 2, they couldn't get the job in with runners in scoring position. There were multiple times last night where the Phils could have taken the lead, but they just couldn't pull through.
For a while during this game, it seemed like both pitchers were going to have to hit the showers early not because they were giving up runs, but both teams were making the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches. However once the game got into the early-middle innings, both pitchers were solid. If it hadn't been for two solo home runs from Mark Teixeira in the fourth and Hideki Matsui in the sixth, who knows how long this game would have gone on. In the end though, it was the Phillies last night who shot themselves in the foot, letting A.J. Burnett get away with way to many first pitch strikes and leaving runners in scoring position. During the bottom of the eighth last night, the Phillies had runners on first and second with only one out and Chase Utley hit into a double play. While the call shouldn't have been a double play since Chase was actually safe at first, he still hit a bad ball and ended the inning.
When a pitcher like A.J. Burnett can take his team into the seventh inning with a two run lead, setting up a two inning save for closer Mariano Rivera, you know you've had a good game. Rivera will probably go down as being the best closer in baseball and he showed the Yankee crowd last night yet again why that is. Even after he got himself into a jam where the Phillies had the potential to tie the game or even take the lead, he was able to fight right back and have Chase Utley, who was Wednesday's hero, swing at a bad pitch. Finally in the ninth, after a strikeout to Ryan Howard, his fourth of the night, a line out from Jayson Werth, and a double from Raul Ibanez, Rivera was able to shut the door on the Fightins' with a strikeout to DH Matt Stairs, giving the Yankees a 3-1 win.
With the World Series all tied up at one a piece, the Bronx Bombers head to the City of Brotherly Love today where they will play game 3 on Halloween night. Citizens Bank Park is unfamiliar ground to the Yankees as they have yet to meet some of the rowdiest fans in baseball. On Saturday night, Andy Pettitte will get the call for the Yankees, having a 2-0 record and a 2.37 ERA as he takes on former staff ace of the Phillies Cole Hamels. Like his regular season, Cole has had a shaky postseason, with a 1-1 record and a 6.75 ERA, enough to make any Phillies fan nervous. The Phillies have a big advantage going into game 3 tomorrow night though and that's their fans and The Bank. When the Phils are at home, boy do they like to hit and when they do, the crowd goes crazy. Philadelphia has a chance to win it at home like last year if they win the next three games, but they have a tough Yankee team to beat. As my friend Dean would say, "Welcome to Philly!"