Mo came out in the top of the eighth to work the rare six out performance. He got into a little trouble, but was able to get out of it, striking out Stairs for the final out of the game and the Yankee win.
Alex Rodriguez: The Yankee slugger went 0-4 with three strikeouts. He also let a hard hit by Stairs get into the outfield allowing the Phillies’ lone run. It was the type of ball you expect Alex to pick up, but it was still a good hit and was not called an error.
Damon: Also went 0-4 and left four runners on base. Damon also showcased his weak arm in the outfield. He didn’t make any terrible throws per se, he just didn’t make any great ones either.
Derek Jeter’s Bunt : How many times do we see Jeter do something that just leaves you confused? His decision to bunt with two strikes and no outs in the seventh left me scratching my head. Even he admitted it was a stupid move.
AJ: After a disappointing outing against the Angels, AJ came back and showed just why the Yankees went out and got him last offseason. He went seven innings and only gave up four hits and one run, while striking out nine. Burnett dominated the Phillies lineup, making Ryan Howard wear the golden sombrero and giving up what was really a lucky run.
Matsui: Godzilla has struggled as of late, but he was solid last night. He went 2-3 with the game-winning home run, a run, a RBI and a walk.
Rivera: Mo was asked to do a little more than usual last night, and he did exactly what you would expect from the best closer in baseball. He went two innings and gave up two hits and one walk. He struck out two and picked up the save.
One of my favorite moments was when Pedro was pulled from the game, who much like CC the night before, pitched well – just not as well as AJ Burnett. This moment stood out to me not just because Pedro has been an enemy of the Yankees for a long time and was on the losing end of a World Series game – though that did help. It was because of the way he left the game. Walking slowly, pointing to the sky, smiling and taking in the boos from the crowd. Pedro knew what it meant, he knew they wouldn’t be booing him if he was anything but a great pitcher who had caused the Yankees and their fans some heartbreak in the past. Perhaps he knew this could be the last time he would be a part of such a moment or in Yankee Stadium. Regardless, despite losing, despite the negativity emanating from the crowd, Pedro knew to savor the moment for all it was worth.
don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand Pedro. He played for the Red Sox and helped them win their first World Series in 86 years, he played for the Mets, he threw Don Zimmer to the ground and has an ego the size of the Empire State Building. Still, he is a great competitor and seemed to be taking in the big picture as he strolled off the mound at the Stadium with a smile on his face.
In the On Deck Circle:
The Yankees and Phillies have an off day today, as they travel down the Turnpike to Philadelphia. Tomorrow night Game 3 will commence in the City of Brotherly Love, as Andy Pettitte and Cole Hamels will start for their clubs. Pettitte has pitched 6.1 innings in each of his outings and has been a solid starter for the Yankees throughout the postseason. He helped clinch New York’s return to the World Series when he kept the Angels to one run in Game 6 of the ALCS. Pettitte has been better on the road than he has in the Bronx and has a good history against some of the Phillies (Ryan Howard is 1-9 off Pettitte, Chase Utley is 1-7). Cole Hamels postseason has not gone as smoothly. He is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts. He has allowed 20 hits, 11 runs and six homers over 14.1 innings. Opposing teams are batting .328 against Hamels. (Pitching preview here) First pitch will be at 7:57pm on Saturday.