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David Brown

With Yankees on brink of clinching, Utley and Phillies push back

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Score and situation: Phillies 8, Yankees 6 New York leads series 3-2

Leading lad: Chase Utley(notes), is there anything you can't do? Utley homered twice, giving him five in the Series to tie Reggie Jackson's 32-year-old record. Reggie can still be Mr. October however; three of Utley's homers have come in November. Utley also has seven career homers in the World Series; only Duke Snider, with 11, has more in a career among NL players. Utley is hitting .333 in the series, but has yet to single. His other hit in 18 at-bats was a double.

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Head hangers: Somewhat predictably, A.J. Burnett(notes) wasn't as sharp as he was in Game 2. Pitching with three days of rest, he allowed six runs, four hits and four walks in two-plus innings.

Phil Coke(notes), whose job it is to get out lefties, allowed solo homers to lefties Utley and Raul Ibanez(notes) in the bottom of the seventh, giving Philly insurance it would need.

Key play: With Alex Rodriguez(notes) on deck as the potential tying run in the ninth, Derek Jeter(notes) grounded into a double play to kill the Yankees rally against closer Ryan Madson(notes).

Key stat: X-rays on Shane Victorino's(notes) hand were negative for a break, which gives the Phillies a huge break for the rest of the Series.

What they're talking about: It's hard to second-guess manager Joe Girardi for using Burnett instead of, say, Chad Gaudin(notes). Gaudin tossed one inning in the ALCS on Oct. 20, but hasn't started a game since Sept. 3. Even the mighty Yankees lack pitching depth.

What they're saying:

"It's cool. It's pretty surreal. I'm glad we got the win tonight. We're going back to Yankee Stadium." — Chase Utley

What's next: A rested Pedro Martinez(notes), who lost Game 2, gets one more crack at the Yankees in the Bronx at 7:57 ET on Wednesday night. Andy Pettitte(notes), the winningest pitcher in postseason history, probably goes for the Yanks with three days of rest.

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