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Joe Girardi pulls A.J. Burnett with none out in the third (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)In a way it was classic A.J. Burnett. Just when I was ready to make my peace with his presence on the Yankees and accept him as a key contributor to a championship club, he took the mound in the potential World Series clincher and managed just six outs before getting the hook.

Burnett’s stinker was especially hard to take as Cliff Lee, whom most expected to shut down the Yankees again in Monday night’s Game Five like he did in Game One, was vulnerable. The Yankees managed just an unearned run in the ninth against Lee in Game One, but last night they jumped on the board in the top of the first on a Johnny Damon single and an Alex Rodriguez double. That lead was gone in the blink of an eye, however, as Jimmy Rollins greeted Burnett with a single back up through the middle, Shane Victorino got hit on the right hand attempting to bunt Rollins up, and Chase Utley crushed a first-pitch fastball for a three-run homer that put the Phillies up 3-1 before Burnett had recorded an out.

Burnett stranded a subsequent walk to Ryan Howard and worked around a two-out walk to Rollins in the second, but when he started the third with two more walks, both of which came around to score on singles by Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez, Joe Girardi had seen enough. The first four batters reached against Burnett in two of his three innings of work and he had walked four and given up five runs on four hits without getting an out in the third, using up 53 pitches in the process.

With runners on the corners and none out, Girardi turned to David Robertson, who allowed the man on third to score on a fielder’s choice, but avoided an escalation of the inning, then pitched a perfect fourth. The Yankees got a run back in the fifth when Eric Hinske walked for Robertson, went to third on a Derek Jeter single, and scored on a Damon groundout. Alfredo Aceves then pitched in two scoreless innings, but after Jerry Hairston Jr. flied out for Aceves, Phil Coke was unable to answer in kind.

Utley connects for a record-tying home run (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)Brought in to face Utley, Howard, and, if necessary, Ibañez, Coke was greeted by yet another solo homer by Utley, his fifth dinger of this World Series, tying Reggie Jackson’s single-Series mark set in 1977. Two outs later, Ibañez also went deep off Coke, inflating the Philadelphia lead to 8-2.

Those two runs would prove to be the difference in the game as the Yankees immediately answered back. Damon led off the top of the eighth with an infield single which was followed by doubles by Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, the latter of which plated both Damon and Teixeira and bounced Lee. With Chan Ho Park on in relief, Rodriguez moved to third on a groundout and scored on a shallow sac fly to center by Robinson Cano.

That cut the Phillies’ lead to three runs at 8-5 and, after a scoreless frame by Phil Hughes, the Yanks got right back at it. Having watched Brad Lidge blow the game the night before, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose Ryan Madson for the ninth inning this time and only narrowly avoided a similar result.

Madson was greeted by a double by Jorge Posada and a single by pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui. Facing the potential tying run, Madson fell behind Derek Jeter 2-0 before getting the Captain to ground into a sadly predictable double play (I say that only because I, sadly, predicted it). Posada scored on the DP, however, and Damon followed with a single that brought Mark Teixeira to the plate as the tying run.

With the Citizens Bank Park crowd roaring and waving towels like 46,178 Phil McConkeys, Madson threw Teixeira a first-pitch fastball on the outside corner for strike one followed by a trio of changeups that dove out of the zone. Teixeira swung over the first as Damon took second, took the second for ball one, then swung over the third for strike three, giving the Phillies an 8-6 win and sending the Series back to the Bronx for Game Six.

Neither of the last two games unfolded exactly as expected, but the results were the same. When the Series moved to Philadelphia tied 1-1, I said the Yankees would win behind Pettitte and Sabathia, lose to Lee, and head home up 3-2, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. I’m sure any fan, as well as the Yankees themselves, would have signed up for that three games ago, as the Yankees now have two chances two win the Series at home and a significant pitching advantage in a potential Game Seven with CC Sabathia going against an as-yet-unnamed Philly starter that could be the struggling Cole Hamels or the largely unused J.A. Happ.

Though he wasn’t all that impressive in this game, the Yankees can sleep well knowing they won’t be facing Lee again, and that they’ve made noise against both of the Phillies’ closer options. Losing a game that could have clinched a world championship isn’t fun, but the Yankees are in great position to win either of the final two games of this Series. As Teixeira said after the game, the Yankees were in a similar position in the ALCS, losing a potential clincher in Game Five. They then went home and wrapped up the series in Game Six behind Andy Pettitte. I won’t be surprised if they do it again.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Shaun P.   ~  Nov 3, 2009 2:03 am

[0] "With the Citizens Bank Park crowd roaring and waving towels like 46,178 Phil McConkeys"

Now there's an image that makes me smile! Now I think I can finally go to sleep. Thanks, Cliff.

3 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 3, 2009 3:53 am

[2] that website is inSANE!

Gotta wait a couple of days now... tick tock tick tock...

4 Hank Waddles   ~  Nov 3, 2009 5:17 am

[0] Thanks for the level-headed commentary. I get that the mainstream media is completely reactionary, but I really don't understand the reaction to this game. It's as if the Yankees are suddenly down in the series on the brink of elimination instead of the other way around. Honestly, I'd take Pettitte over Pedro on Wednesday, and I'd love it if the game gets into both bullpens. Sure, Coke is probably done, but I'd have no problem seeing five innings of Pettitte followed by two innings divvied up amongst Hughes, Joba, and Marte, all leading to Mo. Yeah, sign me up for that right now.

On the other side, how could the Phillie bullpen possibly come with twelve outs -- or even nine -- at the end? I just don't see it happening.

One more thing. Isn't it time that Utley gets the Bonds treatment?

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 3, 2009 7:45 am

[2] Amazing website.

[4] If Utley gets another pitch to hit in this series you will hear the screams from across the ocean..

Time for some inspiration? This is part of the Seibu Lions fight song, with the word "Lion" obviously replaced by something more appropriate for our team.

"The Sun rises, the wind blows hot, the sky burns
The Centaur runs on the horizon
Fierce, brave, beautiful,
His flying mane leaves the trail of a rainbow.
Aahhh..Centaur! Centaur! Centaur!
Go Go Go Yankees!"

NO doubt in my mind, we win either Game 6 or 7, no doubt at all.

6 RIYank   ~  Nov 3, 2009 8:02 am

We have ten post-season wins. But I agree with Mr. OK: this one goes to eleven.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 3, 2009 8:08 am

Meanwhile, the legend of Yu Darvish continues to grow..

Yomiuri Giants about to take a 2 -1 lead over the Nippon Ham Fighters though, they lead 7-4 in the 9th with Mark Kroon about to close it out for the Jints..as some others mentioned, it's kind of nice to watch a game with no concern for who wins..

8 monkeypants   ~  Nov 3, 2009 8:23 am

[4] Here, here! The Yankees needed AJ-short-rest to go five+ innings and he failed. Now they need the same from Andy or CC. They'll score their runs.

9 Dimelo   ~  Nov 3, 2009 9:15 am

This game came down to two people: AJ and Coke. If those two could have given up half the runs they did then they would have still been bad, bad is still better than vomit inducing awful.

That said, I didn't have a problem with AJ going on 3-days rest, the decision didn't play out the way I imagined.

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 9:26 am

Appreciate the workmanlike recap, Cliff.
No election morning questions in my mind about our hanging Chad (Gaudin, that is). I was down with the Burnett Plan all the way. Felt deeply bad for AJ seeing him buried alive on the mound, then slumped over, and anguished in the dugout. I didn't see anybody approach him, but I'm sure somebody tried to console him. Imagine letting your team and yourself down like that. Imagine the frustration of having that much talent, but not being able to summon it when you need it most.
Similar thing with Tex (wiffing with a runner in scoring position, and The Centaur of Attention on deck!) - but hitters are wired differently. They're expected to fail more often than succeed. Starting pitchers bear a heavier burden.
Champions like Pettitte know how to shoulder the burden, emphasis here on shoulder, particularly the left.
So now it's Yankees 3, Lee & Utley 2. Without Lee they'll be fighting with one arm tied behind their backs. We better win this, and we will.

11 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 3, 2009 9:45 am

[10] "Centaur of Attention" for the win.

12 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 9:54 am

[11] thanks, Cliff.

Just noticed we stopped at 26 comments in Alex's centaur thread yesterday. I'm not superstitious but that's just short of 27. Our centaur requires 27.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:12 am

so many oy and vey Buck & McCarver lowlights from this Series, but a picture of the Philly mascot in the paper just reminded me of their inane observation last night that the Fanatic is "the best mascot in the game" or somesuch nonsense. On cue, FOX held the shot on two (why 2?) Fanatics thrusting their hips, and shaking their fuzzy green rear-ends at the camera. It was a moment to embarrassed for baseball.
But as Buck & McCarver have been verbally thrusting their hips, and shaking their fuzzy rear-ends at their audience throughout this Series, this rancid scene was par for the course.

14 Joel   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:23 am

At any point in the season it is hard to go into any opposing ballpark and sweep. If we were sitting here in May and the Yanks lost the final game of a three game series in, let's say, Toronto, we would all be saying "Hey, we took two out of three on the road--not bad at all." Same thing here.

We did what we had to do in Philly. We're in very good shape.

15 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:27 am

There were a number of bummers last night, and a number of goats. While Jeter has had an outstanding PS, the DP he hit into just sucked all the air out of the room. I was almost hoping he would bunt in hopes of assuring that both Teix and ARod got a shot of tying the game. Up until the DP I really felt we would win the game.

As as William pointed out, a decent PS by Teix and we already have #27.

I don't think I would have had the nerve to pitch Gaudin, but I felt it was the best move.... mostly because I'm not sure if Andy can go on 3 days rest. Last game he said he legs were gone.

Playing with nothing to lose is an ass-backwards advantage, so we need to score early and big on Wednesday to deflate them Phillies.
It would be nice to send an early message that they have no chance.

16 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:28 am

[13] Ha, yeah that was so lame!

Also lame was McCarver saying something like "these American League hitters haven't seen Cliff Lee ... He uh pitched for a while for the Indians but this is a different Cliff Lee pitching for the Phillies ..." Nice one.

And as I mentioned last night, in the wrap up, Joe Buck says something like "Tim the Yankees did make a late surge, how about that?" Timmy goes "Yeahhhhhh ... How about that Pedro Martinez??"

17 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:29 am

[15] Too true about Jeter's bunt. In retrospect that was just deadly even though Tex pissed me off more at the time.

18 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:38 am

[17] I mean DP, of course

19 rbj   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:52 am

I am not worried. If you told me at the start of the season that the Yankees would be up 3-2 in the series, heading home, but with Andy & CC pitching on short rest, I would have signed up for that without hesitation. The ghosts just wanted the new stadium to be broken in in proper fashion.

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:55 am

[15] yeah, Jeter and Tex didn't come through in the 9th, but come on, without those two we're talking hot stove right now instead of how to clinch the Series with two games at most to go at home.
You wanna goat horn somebody?
Last night's loss is on Burnett, and Coke. They gave up 8 runs.
Tex has had a couple of HUGE postseason hits, and his stroke seems to be coming back (see 8th inning double).
Dwelling on Jeter and Tex's 9th inning failures is not seeing the big picture.

21 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 10:59 am

Burnett is so ... weird. Not as a person, as a pitcher. I just don't get it. When he's off his pitches seem to have a life of their own, and when he's on his pitches seem to have a life of their own. After the game, he seemed to feel real bad about it but I almost feel like he shouldn't. And maybe neither should he when he dominates - it's almost as if it's luck either way.

Did anyone catch the Phil Coke postgame interview? Young man was intense.

22 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:02 am

[20] I definitely can forgive Jeter as he has been great since April. Tex on the other hand is killing the team. Killing it. If he had done even half of what Jeter or A Rod has in this series, that strike out wouldn't have been such a terrible moment. It's just the latest in a series of bad at-bats by him. He's just terrible.

23 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:05 am

[22] his 8th inning double sparked the rally. He finished the ALCS strong, and I wouldnt be surprised to see him finish the WS strong.

24 llbubba   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:06 am

Long time lurker, occassional poster here.

[13] The Phanatic is completely annoying. I was at the game last night and was commenting to my husband how irritatingly gimmicky other major league teams are, with their mascots, and their fireworks and their ringing Liberty Bells for home runs (and we did see that one too many times last night). But, what they probably didn't show on network TV, at least I hope not, was between the top and bottom of the 8th, they had about 15 teenage girls get up on top the Phillies dugout (in shorts no less) to dance to some cheesy song with the Phanatic. It bordered on child porn. Seriously. I was slack jawed.

Yankees win tomorrow night.

25 Rich   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:14 am

Cliff's first paragraph sums up my feelings about AJ perfectly.

26 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:17 am

[25] Well if they win it all he's still a key contributor. I still think the positive from game 2 was more important than the negative for last night's game.

27 Rich   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:23 am

[26] That's true, because AJ is both good and bad, and when he is good, he can an upper echelon pitcher, but when he is bad, he can be a replacement level pitcher. For $16.5 million a year, it would be nice if he was a little more dependable.

btw, The Yankees will win.

28 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 3, 2009 11:33 am

[24] They do the dancing thing with Mr. Met as well. It's demeaning like a shout out to springbreak. But, I have to say the phanatics take the cake.

It must tbe hard to have ace ability, but not have the mental composition to execute every time he on the mound. I so want to believe in him, because when he's on, it's a wonder to behold. However, he can stink it up like nobody's business.

While Jeter didn't get it done, I thought that Teix hacking away at breaking balls in the dirt was playing into their strengths.

29 Greg G   ~  Nov 3, 2009 12:24 pm

I had my first child birth class with my wife last night. We live in LA so the game is on (PST). When she scheduled it over a month ago for November, I thought the postseason would be over. After the class the teacher said, "Sorry some of you are missing the World Series." I jumped in and said, "Don't tell me the score." Promptly a guy there said, "The Phillies were up by 6 the last I saw." I guess he never heard of Tivo? I wanted to strangle him!!!

It was an incredibly disappointing game, but I loved that the Yanks didn't roll over. And with a 6 run deficit, that they ended up with the tying run at the plate in the 9th.

Burnett is an enigma and you had to figure this was a distinct possibility. I was hoping Girardi would have given him the hook sooner. Going on 3 days rest, he should have gotten Gaudin up after the 1st inning. (Maybe he did and I missed it as I was racing throught the Tivo at 11pm?)

Even though we were up 3 games to 1, we all new this wasn't going to be a cakewalk. I didn't sleep really well last night, but this WS is still the Yanks for the taking.

There will certainly be a lot of satisfaction if we can make Pedro the loser in game 6. He is the perfect foil for the Yankees and isn't it nice to have someone to hate on the other team when you beat them? Maybe Zimmer will come to the game and jump out of the seats, and this time he tackles Pedro and gives him a 75 year old beatdown.

I think it will be fitting to have Andy and Mo putting the 2009 Yanks over the top tomorrow night. The Bronx crowd going crazy, and aura and mystique should have a front row seat.

30 standuptriple   ~  Nov 3, 2009 12:27 pm

I'm feeling good about seeing Pedro try ad find something left in the tank...and the Yanks taking him on a bad trip. I've said 6 games from the start, so everything is going as planned.
I guess we now know why Marte has been Joe's go-to lefty up to this point.

31 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 3, 2009 12:38 pm

I had yesterday down for a loss all the way but not, as Cliff says, in the way it happened. I am also down for the 3 starters on 3 days plan, though not with joy in my heart. Mainly that Gaudin would have been conceding a game and AJ is AJ on 3 OR 4, in other words, you don't much change the randomness.

Nor do I ever get on a batter for a single out or bad plate appearance. Jeter and Tex had chances. Batters tend to make outs. I like so much how HARD this team seems to be to put away. Even when we lose we often scare opponents big time. Who'd a thunk we'd have the tying run at the plate in the 9th, as the 8th began?

Tomorrow we pray to get 5 decent from Andy, then our bullpen does what the pre-playoffs touts said it would be - a strength. Pedro really should not hold us down in the Bronx.

Oh. And it has been too long since I typed this: Damon is Da Mon. AGAIN, with the superb 9th inning at-bat, after looking like a doofus at the beginning of that at-bat!

32 wcyankee   ~  Nov 3, 2009 12:41 pm

One of the very, VERY few yankee fan colleagues of mine actually hoped that the Phils would win last night because winning it in NY would be more, as he put it. "event-full." I didn't really know how to respond to him other than, I won't be content until the Yanks hoist that trophy.

I knew last night was another shot at either good AJ or pathetic AJ. Game 2 was better. And I was kinda bummed to come back after my evening walk to find we were down 6-1. However, as I fired up the laptop and got logged into Banter, I felt more at ease. I was loving that the boys just didn't lay down. They gave it a good shot down to the wire, and I was okay with it. They came back.

As with you, I'm confident that we get #27. I really do think its a given.

33 randym77   ~  Nov 3, 2009 1:22 pm

[24] They do that at Scranton. Probably because they used to be the Phillies AAA club. Their mascot looks an awful lot like the Phillies mascot, except he's blue instead of green.

34 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 3, 2009 1:25 pm

2009 PS: ab RS RBI ...................................... RP
A-Rod::: 50 13 18 .360 .484 .820 1.304 31
Matsui::: 39 04 07 .308 .438 .564 1.002 11
Hinske:::: 0 01 00 .000 1.000 .000 1.000 1
DJeter::: 59 12 06 .322 .420 .542 .963 18
Posada:: 47 05 08 .277 .352 .447 .799 13
Damon:: 63 09 09 .286 .328 .429 .757 18
Hairston:: 6 01 00 .333 .333 .333 .667 01
Cabrera: 48 05 04 .271 .314 .313 .626 09
Robbie:: 53 05 06 .208 .283 .302 .585 11
Teixeira: 58 09 07 .172 .269 .310 .579 16
Swish::: 44 05 02 .136 .255 .250 .505 07
Gardner:: 9 03 00 .222 .222 .222 .444

Certainly, the PS MVP is pretty obvious

35 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 3, 2009 1:36 pm

World Series ONLY....................... RP
Matsui::.556 .600 1.222 1.822 -4
A-Rod: .222 .364 .556 .919 -----9
Damon .381 .435 .476 .911 -----9
DJeter: .364 .391 .455 .846 -----4
Swish: .167 .333 .500 .833 -----4
Jorge:: .313 .333 .375 .708 -----6
Teix::: .105 .261 .316 .577 -----6
Cano:: .167 .158 .167 .325 -----1
Melky: .154 .154 .154 .308 -----1

All in All, the biggest goats for what was expected (in order)
1) Swisher
2) Cano
3) Teix
4) Melky

36 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 1:58 pm

[35] meaningless scorecard. 3-2 is all that matters. everybody knows who's getting the big hits/ who isn't. -- and why go naming goats when we're a game from clinching the World Series, and home for the finale? you got a thing for goats we should be concerned about? baaaaaah!

37 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 3, 2009 2:05 pm

[36] obviously just kidding with you, OYF. I just don't see the point of naming goats when we're on the verge of a championship.

38 jjmerlock   ~  Nov 3, 2009 2:19 pm

[33] That's "The Grump," and he's actually kind of awesome - although you don't necessarily want to get too close because that suit - well, it isn't washed all that regularly.

39 The Hawk   ~  Nov 3, 2009 2:21 pm

[35] Disagree about your goat ranking (and as [37] points out, the series isn't exactly lost yet). I put Tex at the top, then Cano, then Swisher, then Melky.

40 Greg G   ~  Nov 3, 2009 2:27 pm

What strikes me about the 2009 Yanks is that they are similar to the dynasty teams of 96-00. It wasn't just one guy doing it all year.

Tex for all his postseason bad swings this year had a couple of huge hits too, and without him in the regular season we wouldn't be here.

Swish carried the team in April before Tex got going and while ARod was out. Those April wins made it possible to put the brakes on in September and get CC, AJ and Pettite a few extra days to rest their arms.

Phil Hughes has now slipped quite a bit, but if he did not solidify the bullpen from June on, we are probably not in the postseason. He was a sure thing setup guy like Rivera in 96, but has lost his way for the postseason.

AJ has been up and down but the pies in the face and an incredible performance in Game 2 and we are 1 game away from a parade.

Girardi pushed a lot of the right buttons, flipping Jeter and Damon in the batting order, and moving Hughes into the setup role.

You look at 1-25 on this roster, and every member of the team has had at least 1 signature moment, and others obviously had many (CC, Jeter, ARod, Tex, Mo), and that is why 2009 has been and will be remembered as a very special team.

41 randym77   ~  Nov 3, 2009 3:36 pm

[38] Actually, I think they changed his name when the Yanks took over. They were going to change the mascot, but in the end, decided to keep him. With a new name: "Champ."

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