Score and situation: Yankees 3, Phillies 1 Series tied 1-1
Leading lads: With so much attention being paid to Pedro Martinez(notes), perhaps A.J. Burnett(notes) felt able to blend into his surroundings in the biggest start of his career by a mile. And he was great. His fastball moved with a serpent's tail and his curve broke every which way he wanted. A run and four hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings was exactly the bridge Joe Girardi needed to get to closer Mariano Rivera(notes).
Like Tiger Woods in a bunker, Hideki Matsui(notes) golfed a breaking pitch from Martinez — OK, Tiger's ball wouldn't be moving — onto the short porch in right field for a home run and a 2-1 Yankees lead in the sixth. A great piece of hitting by Matsui, who went 2-for-3 with a walk.Alex Rodriguez(notes), who was having a great postseason until the World Series started, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He has six whiffs in eight at-bats so far. Ryan Howard(notes) did even worse, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, though he had a beef on the ump's call with the last one.
The umpires. Again. Specifically first-base ump Brian Gorman, who missed Howard trapping a sinking liner on what turned into a rally killing double play for the Yankees in the seventh. He also missed Chase Utley(notes) beating out a grounder on an inning-ending double play (with Howard on deck) in the eighth.
Key play: If there's such a thing as momentum in a baseball game, it turned in the fourth. The Phillies led 1-0 and Jayson Werth(notes) singled to right, but soon was picked off first base by Molina — a somewhat surprising starter in Girardi's lineup. It was a great throw, basically going through batter Raul Ibanez(notes), and it was monumental mental laziness on Werth's part. The Yankees, coincidentally or not, were in control at that point.
Key stat: Burnett threw first-pitch strikes to the first 11 Phillies batters.
What they're talking about: Commissioner Bud Selig seems unwilling to expand instant replay, despite the calls that continue to be missed.
What they're saying:
"I knew it was gonna be crazy. I knew he was gonna be on his game and he was. I'm not much into watching the other guy but I did tonight. That was the fun." — A.J. Burnett
- Joe Girardi
- Tiger Woods