"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Sticking To The Plan

Pettitte prepares for Game Three (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)Given the starters’ previous performances this postseason, the pitching matchup in Saturday night’s Game Three of the World Series, which pit Andy Pettitte against Cole Hamels, heavily favored the Yankees. That advantage played out as the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the series behind a solid performance by Pettitte that included an unexpected game-tying single.

By his own admission, Pettitte was a bit off his game when the game began after an hour-twenty-minute rain delay. That manifested itself most in the second inning, when he had trouble finding the strike zone. Pettitte started the inning by falling behind Jayson Werth 3-0. Werth then reached out and yanked a 3-1 curve that was low and away into the seats in left to open the scoring. After Pettitte struck out Raul Ibañez, Pedro Feliz doubled into the right-field gap on a 1-0 pitch and, with the pitcher on deck, Pettitte walked Carlos Ruiz on five pitches.

Cole Hamels followed with a bunt to the third base side of the mound. Pettitte ran over to field it, but hesitated thinking Jorge Posada was going to make the play coming out from behind home. Posada similarly hesitated seeing Pettitte beat him to the ball and those two brief pauses allowed Hamels to reach safely, loading the bases with out a play. Pettitte then walked Jimmy Rollins on five pitches, forcing in a run, and after Shane Victorino inexplicably swung at two pitches out of the zone, gave up a sac fly to Victorino that made it 3-0 Phillies.

Pettitte rallied to strike out Chase Utley to end the second, then didn’t allow another hit (or walk) until the sixth inning, when Werth again led off with a solo homer, this one an absolute bomb off the facing of the second deck in left. By then, however, the game situation was very different.

The camera hit by Rodriguez's home run (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)When Mark Teixeira walked with one out in the fourth, he was just the second Yankee baserunner of the game (Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch in the second), but Rodriguez followed with an apparent double off the top of the wall in the right-field corner for the first Yankee hit. Upon further review, however, the ball hit into the lens of a television camera just above the fence. The right field umpire admitted that the ball made an odd sound when it hit, so the officials went to the video replay for the first time in World Series history and came back, almost instantaneously, with the correct call, giving Rodriguez a home run and bringing the Yankees within 3-2. (Coincidentally, Rodriguez also hit the first reviewed home run in regular season history.)

An inning later, Nick Swisher, whose struggles this postseason led to his being benched in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr. in Game Two, led off with a double. With the pitchers’ spot on deck, Hamels struck out Melky Cabrera. Had Cabrera walked, Andy Pettitte likely would have bunted the runners up, but with one out, he was swinging away and flipped a first-pitch curveball by Hamels into shallow left center for a game-tying RBI single. It was the first World Series RBI by a Yankee pitcher since Jim Bouton drove in a run in the 1964 classic.

Pettitte's game-tying single (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter followed Pettitte with another first pitch single that fell in front of a sliding Victorino in center, then nearly ran up Pettitte’s back as both were plated by a double by Damon, which gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead. An inning later, with lefty J.A. Happ on in relief of Hamels, Swisher delivered again with a solo homer to left. That put the Yankees up 6-3 when Werth connected for his second homer. The Yankees then got that run back in the top of the seventh when Damon drew a one-out walk, stole second (though replays showed he was out), and scored on a single by Posada.

With Pettitte at 104 pitches having battled through a night in which he claimed not to be able to control his pitches or throw his curveball for strikes, yet still struck out seven Phillies, including Chase Utley and Ryan Howard twice each, Joe Girardi turned to his bullpen for the seventh. The biggest concern for the Yankees heading into the game was how the set-up relievers would perform in between Pettitte, who has maxed out at 6 1/3 innings this postseason, and Mariano Rivera, who was unlikely to go more than an inning after throwing 39 pitches on Thursday night.

No worries. Joba Chamberlain needed just nine pitches to set the top three men in the Phillies lineup down in order in the seventh. After Hideki Matsui increased the Yankee lead to 8-4 with a pinch-hit home run in the top of the eighth, Damaso Marte then came on and struck out not just Howard, but also Werth, then got Raul Ibañez to line out to third for another perfect inning of relief. A crack appeared in the ninth, when Phil Hughes gave up a one-out solo homer to Carlos Ruiz, setting the final score at 8-5, but with that Girardi brought in Rivera, who got the last two outs on five pitches.

The Yankees now have a 2-1 lead in the Series, making them the first team to hold a  series lead on the Phillies since the Rockies in 2007, and CC Sabathia going up against Joe Blanton in Game Four. A win behind Sabathia would put the Yankees one win away from their first world championship since 2000. That was the plan all along, and the Yankees are doing a hell of a job of sticking to it.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:07 am

Just win, baby

2 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:26 am

[1] Two more to go..

Digging this groove this afternoon, can it get any funkier??

3 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:36 am

Youtube just killing my afternoon now, but can't stop the groove after a Game 3 win!

4 thelarmis   ~  Nov 1, 2009 4:05 am

Hell Fuckin' YEAH!!!

[3] freddie king is 'teh awesome' !!!

i got to see a lot of the game from my gig and was super pleased. i had some cards with me on top of my cases. the guys in the group thought i had issues...i guess they're right! ; ) ...but it worked!!!

cult of basebaal was outside at the big Phish concert in SoCal, so i texted him some updates.

looking forward to being back here at the Banter for tomorrow nights game!!!


5 thelarmis   ~  Nov 1, 2009 5:24 am

holy crap it's late! must sleep. but i had to read thru the game thread.


Jeremy coined Timmay as "McAsshole". that wins!

Funniest comments:

Ms. O's "pee on it Jorgie"


William's "Mo for 5 innings!"

Jazz Tokyo - definitely Funky Snakefoot! it's funny, i was actually listening to Al Mouzon all day on Wayne Shorter's "Odyssey Of Iska" album. cool BN cd from 1970!

glad we got to turn the clocks back...it's LATE!

to tomorrow!


6 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Nov 1, 2009 5:51 am

[2] nice pull, ove th elive at fillmore west kc and memphis soul stew.

and lovin me some WS advantage tonite ~ I am not the only one who thought thi game was goin to the dogs when Andy walked in a run. his "one bad inning" and otherwise solid performance was AJ-esque.

Swish responded well to the challenge, the yanks got the swagger and the lead.

and momentum's name is carsten charles. here's a little festival express for ya'all


bring it, big man!!

7 Biscuit Pants   ~  Nov 1, 2009 7:13 am

[0] Not to nitpick, Cliff, but the final score was 8-5. :-)

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 1, 2009 9:51 am

[7] d'oh, I forgot to add in the Ruiz homer. Fixed.

9 DALELAMA   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:08 am

I don't know what replay of Damon's steal you were looking at but Fox's replay from a second angle showed Damon clearly safe as Rollins didnt touch Damon until he reached second. I think someone went for a toilet break and missed the second angle replay. Even the Yankee hating McCarver and Buck agreed that Damon was safe.

10 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:11 am

there cant seriously be "controversy" over that A-Rod homer right? That was clear as night and day to me. People confuse me with their hating.

11 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:38 am

[10] looks like the umpires put that to rest by stating unequivocally that it was ground rules that camera = homerun. nice!

12 monkeypants   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:38 am

[10] The only controversy could be whether the camera was hanging over the fence such that the ball would not have gone over the fence had the camera not been there. It looked to me like the ball would have cleared the fence, but there is also no doubt that the camera was overhanging. There's probably no way to prove it one way or another.

But still, that's not much of a controversy in my mind. According to the ESPN announcers, the umpires discussed the rules at the start of the game, any ball that hit the camera was going to be called a HR. So, no judgment play: ball hit camera, so HR.

The only "controversy" should be directed at the network in charge of the camera--they should be directed to push the cameras back so that they can't interfere with the ball in play.

13 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:39 am

[2] Wow. King Curtis. He was something. I have some recordings of Duane Allman playing with him.

[6] CC Rider. I like that. Caught a glimpse of Jerry Garcia.

I was getting so tense with Andy missing to that extent. The, he found his groove. It was so gratifying.

Go CC Rider!

14 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 1, 2009 10:47 am

[9] The replay I saw, shot looking from behind Damon, showed Rollins nip Damon on the small of his back a moment before his foot hit the bag. Not a major blown call, but he looked out to me. Rememeber, McCarver thought Teixeira came off the bag on that stretch earlier this postseason when he didn't. I don't trust their interpretations of the replays. For example, the camera thing. Buck kept saying it was a judgment call, leaning heavily on that fact, but as the umpires reported after the game (and as I suspected during it) the ground rules were that any ball that hit the camera was an automatic home run.

15 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 11:26 am

[12] yep I agree. It was great to see alex get the homer. Not great to see him get hit twice.

16 DALELAMA   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:02 pm

Funny how two People can see the same thing differently....the replay you mentioned proved to me Damon is safe...I just find McCarver and Buck usually take the anti-Yankee interpretation whenever possible so whenever they agree with a pro Yankee call to me it reinforces its veracity. Also is it a ground rule if the two teams are not advised of it ? Manuel said he wasn't and Girardi gave no indication he was. If they weren't it is just another example of umpire malpractice.

17 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:19 pm

[14] Cliff - I think you saw it wrong. I had the same reaction at first. But Damon's slide brings his left foot into the bag before his right foot hits the base. The tag to the small of the back happens just before his right foot hits the bag so it looks like he was tagged out but his left foot is already on the bag. That angle kind of hides that.

18 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:20 pm

[17] I should note I just re-watched it to be sure I had that right. So I'm fairly confident in my analysis of that play.

19 Evil Empire   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:22 pm

I hope I can finally enjoy a game tonight without being like a white knuckle driver....I think we'd have to be up 3-1 to finally relax and enjoy these games more.

20 Evil Empire   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:24 pm

By the way, I am bummed about Hughes, but what's nice is that the arms in the pen seem fungible....Phil falters, so Joba and Marte step to the forefront....they fail and here come Coke and Robertson. The Yanks deeper pen is making a difference and the difference will continue to be felt throughout the rest of the series.

AND, I'm not so sure that Phil can't right the ship anyway.

21 51cq24   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:43 pm

[14] damon looked safe to me, but it was definitely close, and i was surprised no one said anything about it. i was also surprised at how little attention they paid to the humongous strike zone the phillies were getting. they were getting some strike calls on balls a foot outside to lefties and some that were way high against anyone. it didn't look like the yankees were getting as many of those calls, but they might not have it that corner as much. the umpire was definitely giving the outside corner to lefties more than the outside corner to righties, for both teams.

[20] it sucks that he gave up the hr because it would be great to have let him finish the game, and i think it was the right call to go straight to mo (if i were a phillies fan, i'd be hoping that phil stays in longer there), but at least he was throwing strikes. he looked ok to me, i just hope he isn't rattled.

22 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:55 pm

[17] Good explanation. FOX only showed the replay once and I didn't bother to rewind my DVR to check it again. I concede the point having not rewatched it.

As for [16], I'm not sure how much detail the umpires usually go into on ground rules before each game. Manuel probably should have known because he's managed hundreds of games in this ballpark. Girardi would only have known from a pre-game briefing, but just because the managers aren't apprised of a certain ground rule doesn't make the rule invalid, and it didn't effect the way the players reacted to the play on the field. They played it like a double and the ruling was home run. No harm done.

23 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 1, 2009 12:58 pm

[21] I'd have given Hughes one more batter with a three-run lead and two outs left in the game, but pulled him if one more man got on. I don't think pulling Hughes after a homer is going to help his confidence going forward, but then there are at most four games left in the season, so maybe such concerns are moot at this late date.

For what it's worth, as @leokitty has pointed out on twitter, Hughes may just be gassed. He's not been healthy for a full season since 2006.

24 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:23 pm

Morning after, and ... that was fun. I watched from another hotel bar on the road and this time had Yankee fans (and one good-natured Philly Phan) around me. My early worry was that Andyt was being very uncharacteristic - beating himself, walking bottom feeder batters. It does feel like A Rod's camera hogging homer (!) was the turning point, but Hamels looked iffy enough that they could have got him anyhow,. Still, being on 3-2 probably added to that shakiness. Major blow/return to a great post-season (um, remember to field though, Alex).

I agree that it really looks as if Hughes may just be gassed. I am never sure what 'tired arm' means and it seems to mean different things to different pitching coaches, but I'd say Hughes is tired. I'm also it hat tip mode to Marte, who may have his mojo back just in time to pick up that slack. We might see him against righties again tonight/tomorrow. And while the hat is tipping, Joe G gets one, too, I think. I hope the Banter did that last night. (Though love the 'Mo for 5 innings' line William!)

CC for 3-1!

25 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:24 pm

From Rob Neyer@ E@#$.com:

Blown Call: Well, maybe. Rodriguez's long fly in the fourth inning certainly did hit a television camera, and that camera certainly was above the right-field fence. But if the baseball hadn't hit the camera, would it really have cleared the fence? Perhaps. But it might also have hit the very top of the fence and bounced back into play, presumably limiting Rodriguez to a double. But upon review, the umpires awarded A-Rod a two-run home run.

...Update: According to this the umpires decided before the game that a batted ball hitting the camera above the right-field fence would automatically be a home run. Funny, I didn't know that umpires have the power to establish their own ground rules.

I love that some writers can never admit they were wrong; instead opting to pass the buck onto the object of their conjecture, but I decided to respond more to a simple, but surely wide-shared question about the FOX camera's positioning and subsequent role in the "controversy"... fortunately, I'm not an E@#$.com member, so I'll post my intended comment here on the off-chance that it reaches the masses there...

"As someone who works with cameras, I can tell you without a doubt that the difference between the camera hanging over the wall and being set back several feet behind is certainly noticeable by itself; depth of field, which is the measure of length of subject from the lens and determining what's in focus in between would be affected depending on what type of shot you are trying to achieve. That this is shot multi-camera somewhat diminishes the visual impact of that one angle, but because it became the focus of a larger issue, it's positioning gained more attention than it perhaps deserved.

It's really a matter of style; FOX was going for intensive coverage and ended up in the middle of the game. That's not unusual in broadcast "journalism", but obviously has the potential to adversely effect the event it covers. The situation here was unlikely to occur, but it did and you have to give credit to the umpires at least for deciding beforehand what to do in case it actually did happen.

A true knee-jerk reaction would be to automatically ban cameras from hanging over like that before considering the likelihood of batted balls hitting that exact spot multiple times. In any regard, I doubt the umpires would have the power to move the cameras back; considering the partnership the network has with MLB in any regard."

26 ed   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:25 pm

[23] My only worry with that plan is the specter of Utley. If Hughes puts Stairs on, then it's Rollins, Victorino, and Utley with one on and one out -- which means Mo is a broken-bat single away from facing Utley as the tying run. I'm happy Girardi played it safe.

27 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:31 pm

[26] Agreed, 100%.

I'm glad Girardi didn't play games.

28 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:34 pm

[26] Especially seeing as how Mo has not been sharp of late. What Stairs got on and Mo came in and walked Rollins? Or yes, Rollins bloops one in? Mo has been a tad below lights out, so I don't want him in with little margin for error if it can be avoided.

29 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:38 pm

2009 postseason Mo has 4 walks in 13 1/3.

30 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 1, 2009 1:58 pm

[29] ¡Dios Mio! ¡Que lastima! Still, I don't think it will effect the tithes and burnt offerings today... >;)

31 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 1, 2009 2:07 pm

[30] :)

32 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 1, 2009 2:12 pm

[23] Also, I don't think Hughes' confidence should factor in at all, right now, especially since Joba and Marte have stepped up in a huge way.

We only have to win two more games and we have CC for two of them, so we're not absolutely dependent on what Phil can give us from here on out. We can afford to not have to rely on him from here on out.

33 seamus   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:28 pm

[32] you can worry about his confidence in the off season. Right now, we need to win the world serious.

34 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:39 pm

excellent recap, Cliff.
Couldn't be more proud of Pettitte today. He grinds one out in the Philly bandbox, strokes a World Series ribbie, and scores! in a 3 run victory. Awesome performance. Stand up and yell Bravo! to the man.
Loved the shot of him and Posada talking strategy in the dugout, Jeter's comment to the ump about having to hear Pettitte boast about his big hit.
Great stuff. Another World Series classic by Andy.

Also, agree with Cliff that I would have stuck with Big Shoes Hughes until another Philly reached based. Hopefully he understands it's nothing personal going to Mo in that situation. It's business. I'm confident he has the confidence to bounce back. Mo will talk to him about that.
Is Hughes gassed? I dunno. I suspect not. Big strong kid like that, who's had plenty of rest -- I think he's just making mistakes and good hitters are making him pay for them. Growing pains. Fortunately, we have baseball's greatest insurance plan backing him up.

Lotta baseball to go, and how fortunate are we to get a Sabathia start on a Sunday night in November. Our baseball blessings abound.

Oh, and ARod has been a joy to behold. Couldn't be more proud of him. I'm almost overcome with pride watching him carry the team this way.

35 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:44 pm

sorry for the breathless fan boy rant, but this team has me giddy for lack of a less silly word.

36 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 1, 2009 3:52 pm

being a primarily American League dad I haven't had too many opportunities to explain the DH rule to my youngs sons. I've explained it to them, but they still question me when they see our pitchers hit in interleague games. They laughed outloud at how slowly Pettitte runs (they're all about speed which is why they ALWAYS ask me if Garnder is playing, and if not they beg, WHY?) Pettitte's jacket was the last straw. Why any athlete would subject themselves to such "babying" is beyond the grasp of my macho elementary school ballers, who need no excuse to underdress for the weather.

37 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 1, 2009 4:00 pm

[25] good call, Chyll. The umps and everyone else who needed to know knew the cameras could come into play, and planned to keep an eye on it.
Neyer didn't get the memo and apparently feels left out.
Anyway, no question in my eyes that ball would have gone out.

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