The Yankees won Game 3 of the 2009 World Series 8-5 last night, coming from behind in yet another postseason game.
Things didn’t look too good early on as Cole Hamels appeared to be cruising while Andy Pettitte was having trouble locating, particularly in the second inning, as he gave up a solo bomb to Jayson Werth, walked in a bases-loaded run and allowed a sacrifice fly that gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Fortunately for the Yankees Pettitte calmed down thereafter and ended up tossing 104 pitches over 6 innings, ultimately yielding four runs (including a second Werth home run) and five hits while striking out seven.
Hamels looked sharp through three, but crumbled in the 4th inning, as Alex Rodriguez collected his first career World Series hit on a huge two-run home run that also marked the first time in history that the umpires consulted instant replay in a Series game. In addition to A-Rod, who reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances, the Yankee offense showed signs of stirring from its World Series slumber, as Hideki Matsui picked up another solo home run; Nick Swisher notched his first two-hit game of the postseason, both of which went for extra bases (including a huge solo insurance home run); and even Andy Pettitte helped his own cause with a big RBI single in the fifth to tie the game.
Additionally, the Yankee bullpen mostly got the job done. Girardi went to Joba Chamberlain for the seventh and was rewarded with a 1-2-3 inning, the suddenly capable Damaso Marte pitched a perfect eighth punctuated by two big strikeouts, and Mariano Rivera picked up the last two outs of the game. Unfortunately Mariano was only pressed into service due to the continuing ineffectiveness of Phil Hughes, who got an out but then surrendered a solo home run to Carlos Ruiz.
The Yankees now lead the 2009 World Series 2-1 — ensuring that, if necessary, the Series will return to the Bronx — are starting to show offensive signs of life and send their ace to the mound tonight against a guy with a career ERA+ of 102.
As a side note, I had the distinct pleasure of watching last night’s game at Blondie’s with a terrific group of huge Yankee fans, including Ben, Amanda, Rebecca, Sara, Stef and Emma. If you ever have an opportunity to watch with any of these fine folks, I highly suggest you jump at it.
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