CHUT-LEE Strikes Back! This Dynamic Duo Brings the Series Back to the Bronx for Game 6!
Nov 3, 2009
It was an anxious night for Phillies fans under the lights of Citizens Bank Park as the Fightin Phils faced elimination, something Joe Buck would remind us of all throughout the game. If anyone could get us back into this series though, it was Cliff Lee and that's exactly what he did last night. While his command wasn't as good as it was in game one, Lee was still hitting his spots and didn't let himself get frustrated on the mound. Lee also had help from someone named Chase Utley, who last night tied another hitting record with another hitting legend. On top of another pitching gem from Lee and record tying night from Chase Utley, the Phillies played as a team, letting it be known there was no way they would be eliminated at home. Now the series heads back to the Bronx as Pedro Martinez will get a chance to take the Yankees out one more time and hopefully force a game 7.
From pretty early on in last night's game, it was pretty clear that Cliff Lee didn't have full command of his pitches. This is in no way saying he didn't pitch a spectacle because he did, it was just a little bit more of a grind for him. Early on, Lee was throwing a lot of pitches in the dirt and gave up a run in the first inning with an A-Rod double. After serving up a twenty pitch first, he left it to the offense of the Phillies to get the run back which is exactly what they did... and then some. Jimmy Rolling quickly hit a single off of Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett and then things got a little scary. Shane Victorino came up to bunt and Burnett's pitch looked like it hit Shane in the middle and ring fingers of his throwing hand, something that would be a factor for the rest of the game. With no one out and Rollins and Victorino on first and second, Chase Utley came to the plate and off the first pitch fastball from Burnett, blasted a three run homer to right, giving the Phillies a two run advantage early on. Once again, Utley's night was only just beginning.
A.J. Burnett didn't get a chance to prove himself as he has been called the Jekyll and Hyde of baseball and only made it through the first two plus innings. Before Burnett had left the game, he gave up two more runs off the bats of Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez who drove in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard respectively. The bottom of the third would see one more run come in for the Phillies off the bat of Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz, giving the Fightins' a commanding 6-1 lead over the Yankees. In the top of the fifth, the Yankees would score again, but Cliff Lee remained dominant as the Phils had their eyes set on Yankee Stadium. Then came Chase Utley again in the bottom of the seventh. Phil Coke came into the game as the Yankees reliever. Chase Utley welcomed him to Philly with his second homerun of the night, tying Reggie Jackson for having the most homeruns in a single World Series with five. The welcoming party wasn't over yet as Raul Ibanez also hit a solo shot off of Coke, making sure he got the welcome message.
The Yankees decided to make this game another heart pounder though as A-Rod doubled in Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the eighth, continuing his dominant hitting in the World Series. Cliff Lee would be taken out after another amazing pitching performance, making way for reliever Chan Ho Park, who would only give up one more run to Robinson Cano, who sac flied A-Rod home. It was now a save situation for the Phillies and Charlie Manuel made the right call. Instead of pitching Brad Lidge for the save who was responsible for Sunday's blown game, Manuel gave him a day to rest and brought in Ryan Madson. In true Phillies fashion, the game became to close for comfort as Madson gave up one more run before closing this game out and forcing a game six.
It can be really disheartening to listen to a broadcaster say all night that the team you're rooting for is up for elimination, but as Phillies fans, we stood tall and cheered as the Fightin Phils knocked down the naysayers and won game 5 of the World Series. While the Phillies have a tough road ahead as the Series goes back to Yankee stadium, this is a team that never backs down and is very capable of winning two more in a row. On Wednesday night the Phillies will pitch Pedro Martinez one more time as he tries to get the Phillies to game 7. He will face long time foe and veteran Andy Pettitte who like Burnett, will only be pitching with three days rest. This game will be a battle of wits and seasoning as these two have played in games just like these over the past decade and a half. Coverage of game 6 of the World Series begins at 7:30 with first pitch at 7:57 Eastern on FOX. Go Phillies Go!