SERIES: World Series, Game 2. Marlins lead, 1-0.
This time, however, the veteran left-hander must do it on three days’ rest.
Pettitte looks to earn his third postseason win as the Yankees host the Marlins in Game 2 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte beat Minnesota in Game 2 of the AL Division Series after the Yankees dropped the opener, and got New York even in Game 2 of the championship series with Boston, propelling the Yankees to their sixth Fall Classic appearance in eight years.
However, he did have a rough outing in Game 6 of the ALCS on Wednesday, yielding four runs and eight hits over five innings. Pettitte left the game with a 5-4 lead, but watched from the bench as the bullpen squandered the advantage, leading to the Yankees’ eventual 9-6 loss.
David Wells gave New York a solid effort on short rest in Game 1 on Saturday, allowing three runs and six hits—all singles—over seven innings. But Florida starter Brad Penny and relievers Dontrelle Willis and Ugueth Urbina held off the Yankees for a 3-2 win, ending New York’s 10-game World Series home winning streak.
Now it’s up to Pettitte to help the Yankees even the series.
Despite a 12-7 record in 28 career postseason starts—just one win shy of John Smoltz’s all-time playoff record—Pettitte knows that the past won’t help him when he takes the mound Sunday.
“I don’t think that anything I’ve done in the past is gonna give me an edge when I go out there,” he said. “I’ve just been saying, is try to hopefully go out there and get in the groove. I want to get in, locate the ball like I want to, and, again, try to give us a good start.”
Florida’s Juan Pierre made the most of his first appearance on baseball’s biggest stage Saturday, as his speed set up Florida’s first-inning run, while his clutch two-run single in the fifth provided the difference.
“It was a good start, sending them a message,” Pierre said. “We bring our style to the Stadium.”
Pierre reached base four times. He bunted for a single and scored the game’s first run, hit a two-run single on a hit-and-run, was hit by a pitch, then walked and stole second.
“I wouldn’t say we’re unbeatable, but when we get on and do our thing, we put a lot of pressure on them,” he said.
In the regular season, Pierre led the National League with 65 steals and was third with 204 hits. While he had just one RBI in his previous nine postseason games, he’s been a repeated menace on the bases.
The Yankees knew what they had to do, but they couldn’t stop Pierre from speeding by in the opener.
“You want to keep those guys off the basepaths,” New York manager Joe Torre said. “They don’t know any fear.”
New York has not lost consecutive World Series games at home since Games 1 and 2 of the 1996 Fall Classic against Atlanta. The Yankees have lost three straight World Series games overall dating to 2001, when they dropped Games 6 and 7 in Arizona.
The Marlins have won each of their previous five postseason series.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Marlins - NL wild card; beat San Francisco Giants 3-1, division series; beat Chicago Cubs 4-3, league championship series. Yankees - AL East champions; beat Minnesota Twins 3-1, division series; beat Boston Red Sox 4-3, league championship series.
PROJECTED LINEUPS: Marlins - CF Pierre (.305, 1 HR, 41 RBIs), 2B Luis Castillo (.314, 6, 39), C Ivan Rodriguez (.297, 16, 85), 1B Derrek Lee (.271, 31, 92), LF Miguel Cabrera (.268, 12, 62), 3B Mike Lowell (.276, 32, 105); RF Juan Encarnacion (.270, 19, 94), DH Jeff Conine (.282, 20, 95), SS Alex Gonzalez (.256, 18, 77). Yankees - 2B Alfonso Soriano (.290, 38, 91, 114 runs, 35 steals, 130 Ks), 1B Nick Johnson (.284, 14, 47, 70 BBs in 96 games), SS Derek Jeter (.324, 10, 52), CF Bernie Williams (.263, 15, 64), LF Hideki Matsui (.287, 16, 106, 42 doubles), C Jorge Posada (.281, 30, 101), DH Jason Giambi (.250, 41, 107, 129 BBs, 140 Ks), 3B Aaron Boone (.267, 24, 96, 23 steals), RF Karim Garcia (.262, 11, 35) or RF Juan Rivera (.266, 7, 26).
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER: Mark Redman (14-9, 3.59 ERA). The left-hander has not earned a decision in his three postseason starts, including Florida’s 9-6 win in Game 7 of the NLCS against Chicago. He lasted just three innings, allowing five runs and five hits, including two home runs. Redman is 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in four career appearances at Yankee Stadium, including three starts. He has allowed 11 runs and 17 hits over 20 innings in the Bronx.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Pettitte (21-8, 4.02 ERA). Pettitte pitched well at home this year, going 10-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 16 starts. He has made all three of his playoff starts at Yankee Stadium.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - C Rodriguez picked up right where he left off in the first two rounds of the postseason, hitting a sacrifice fly in his first-ever World Series at-bat Saturday. The NLCS MVP has 17 RBIs in 12 postseason games this year. … RF Encarnacion is hitting .455 (10-for-22) in his career against LHP Pettitte. … RHP Ugueth Urbina pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings in Game 1 to earn his first-ever World Series save. He has not allowed a run in his last 6 1-3 innings, a span of four outings. Yankees - LHP Chris Hammond was added to the World Series roster Saturday, replacing INF Erick Almonte. Hammond was on the roster for the ALDS against Minnesota, but didn’t pitch. He was then dropped for the LCS against Boston in favor of Almonte, who also didn’t make an appearances. Hammond was 3-2 with a 2.86 ERA and one save in 62 regular season appearances. … New York left nine men on base in Game 1, including six in scoring position.
HOME/ROAD RECORDS: Marlins - 46-35 on the road in regular season, 5-2 in postseason; Yankees - 50-32 at home in regular season, 3-4 in postseason.