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Andy Pettitte weathers shaky outing to put Yankees ahead in World Series

Left-hander gives up four runs in six innings but is backed up by three home runs to defeat Philadelphia, 8-5, and give New York a 2-1 lead in the Series.

November 01, 2009|Kevin Baxter

PHILADELPHIA — There are certain things that seem to pop up with regularity in the postseason. Rain delays in Philadelphia and Andy Pettitte victories, for instance.

Then there are the surprises. Such as Pettitte driving in the tying run with a single or the umpires getting a close call right.

Mix in another disastrous postseason start from the Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels, two extra-base hits from the New York Yankees' Nick Swisher and Mariano Rivera coming on to get the last two outs, and you have Game 3 of the World Series, which the Yankees rallied to win, 8-5, Saturday night in front of a damp but boisterous 46,061 at Citizens Bank Park.

"It's nice to have a day like this, but it's just one game," Swisher said after helping the Yankees take a one-game lead in the best-of-seven series. "Right now, we're sitting 2-1, and it's all about the team. We want to get this thing."

As with two of the last three World Series games played in Philadelphia, the start Saturday was delayed by bad weather. That appeared to unnerve Pettitte and it looked as if his night would be shorter than the 80-minute rain delay.

The left-hander gave up a single on his first pitch, then the Phillies knocked him around for three runs in a second inning that began with a home run by Jayson Werth and featured an error by Pettitte and a bases-loaded walk to Jimmy Rollins.

"I've had a lot of rain delays this year. But it affected me a little bit today," Pettitte said. "I was heated up and ready to go and felt like I was in a real, real good place mentally. And right as I was about to walk out the door to go to the bullpen, they shut me down."

The Yankees didn't even have a hit until the fourth inning, when, with Mark Teixeira at first base after a walk, Alex Rodriguez lined a shot into the right-field corner that was originally ruled a double.

But after reviewing a video replay -- the first time umpires have used instant replay in a postseason game -- crew chief Gerry Davis overturned the call, saying the ball hit a TV camera in the first row of the stands.

"I wasn't 100% sure, but our coaches started yelling they thought it hit the camera," Manager Joe Girardi said. "You know it's really close, and with replay, you're going to go out there. And that's what we did."

It's been a tough postseason for the umpires, with replays showing they have gotten several important calls wrong. But the same replays showed Davis and his crew got this one right, giving Rodriguez his first hit of the World Series and giving the Yankees their first two runs of the game.

The Yankees knocked Hamels out an inning later when they sent eight men to the plate, scoring three times.

Swisher, batting .111 in the postseason and hitless in the World Series, started the rally with a double before scoring to tie the score an out later on Pettitte's broken-bat single to center field. It was Pettitte's first career postseason run batted in and two batters later he scored the run that would put the Yankees ahead to stay, jogging home ahead of Derek Jeter on Johnny Damon's two-run double.

Hamels lasted only one more batter, leaving after giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings, ballooning his playoff earned-run average to 7.58 in four starts.

Pettitte gave up only one more hit, a solo home run by Werth, in his six innings, leaving with his 17th playoff victory, the most of any pitcher.

"He shut us down," Manager Charlie Manuel said. "Basically, the biggest thing for Pettitte was he closed off our left-handed hitters."

Indeed. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez were a combined 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts.

Swisher later hit a home run, one of six by the two teams, before Rivera was called on to get the last two outs in his 22nd World Series appearance, tying him for the most by a pitcher.


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