In a must win situation, the Yankees got the win that they needed.
And, the Yankees can thank two parties for this victory: A.J. Burnett and Charlie Manuel.
Burnett was super for New York in this game. He was a master at getting strike one and starting ahead in the count. And, he would have pitched a shutout over seven innings if not for the A-Rod’s error…errrr…I mean Matt Stairs RBI “single” in the 2nd inning.
And, Charlie Manuel made a stupid, stupid, move in the 7th inning – one that probably cost his team a win in this one.
Pedro Martinez had thrown 99 pitches over the first 6 innings of this contest – allowing just 2 runs and getting 8 K’s in the process. Now, even when he was a superstar, everyone knows little Petey was not the same pitcher after 100 pitches. And, today, Martinez is clearly in what Dan Duquette would call the “twilight of his career.” Or, as FOX pre-game analyst Ozzie Guillen would say: “Pedro’s not the san juan as he used to be…”
So, why, would you allow Pedro Martinez to come out and start the 7th inning in this game – when he was at 99 pitches? Holy Grady Little Batman! Manuel did the Yankees a favor and that extra run (charged to Pedro) was huge. If the Yankees don’t score there, then it’s a 2-1 game and that changes the whole scene in the top of the 8th inning when Philly had two on, etc. For sure, then, they play for one-run, probably get the job done, and then it’s a tie-game heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.
But, that’s all just “What if?” stuff. And, while it’s not up there with “What if Jane Foster had found the hammer of Thor?” it’s just “What if?” nonetheless…
Back to Pedro Martinez…I don’t like the clown, but, you have to give him his due for this one. So many in Yankeeland looked at Martinez season this year and went into some babble about “Brad Penny, John Smoltz, National League, blah, blah, blah…he would get killed in the American League…” Well, in this game, Pedro faced the best offensive team in the American League, in a hitter’s park, on the big stage, and was near stellar for six innings. So, he’s got nothing to feel bad about there.
Back to the Yankees…again, a huge win here. Now it’s “Best 3 of 5″ (albeit with the Phillies having the home field advantage). Even if the Yankees now win just one game in Philly, they get to bring the series back to New York. Hey, things could be worse.
Now, for some miscellaneous observations…
Hey, is it just me, or, has Alex Rodriguez struck out in 6 of his first 8 career World Series At Bats. Whither that Kate Hudson magic?
Derek Jeter bunts with two strikes in the 7th inning with runners on first and second, no outs, and the Yankees leading by two runs? Ladies and Germs, if that ain’t a “WTF?” moment there ain’t a “WTF?” moment in the world.
Speaking of the bottom of the 7th inning today, the umps blew that call, obviously, on the Damon “DP” liner. But, how simple was it to realize that Howard knew he trapped Damon’s hit – since he threw to second instead of stepping on first? No way he throws to second if he knows he caught it on a line. Man, the umpires are falling apart this off-season.
Lastly, Mo Rivera made that 8th inning sort of interesting, huh? All these two-inning saves for Mariano is a sure sign that the “Bridge to Mo” does not exist in the Yankees pen. Hughes, Chamberlain and Bruney cannot be trusted. Ditto Robertson and Aceves in a tight spot. That leaves Coke and Marte. And, that’s not happening. So much for the Yankees bullpen being so good. And, that might come back to haunt them in this series. Given the Yankees bats are so weak, most times, this post-season, these games are going to be close. Further, all these two inning saves, even with off-days, are going to drain Rivera. Just wait and see…