Many will want to talk about A-Rod driving in the tie-breaking run during the 9th inning of this game. And, he deserves credit for getting that hit. But, to me, without question, the hero of this one is Johnny Damon. First, Damon had big hits in the 1st and 5th innings. But, more importantly, that At Bat of his in the 9th inning and what followed was just incredible.
Yanks and Phils tied, top of the 9th, no one on, with two outs, and Damon comes to the plate. Phil Coke and Phil Hughes are warming up in the bullpen. I’m already thinking about writing this one up as a terrible loss for the Yankees – maybe a loss that costs them the entire series in the long run. Within three pitches, Damon finds himself in the hole with a 1-2 count. He fouls off the next pitch. Then, he takes two balls. Now, it’s a full count. Next, Damon spoils a pitch foul. And, then he does it again. Finally, Damon singles to left field and the Yankees have a runner on first albeit with two outs.
After that clutch, thrilling, and winning At Bat, Johnny Damon steals second base and then, on the same play, he steals third base because the Phillies have the shift on (for Mark Teixiera, batting) and Brad Lidge forgets to cover third base.
And, that set it up – after Teixiera was hit by a pitch – for A-Rod’s hit.
Johnny Damon’s effort in the top of the 9th inning of this game should go down in World Series history…because it was so important to the Yankees winning this game.
I’ll have more on this game at a later time – because I feel that Damon deserves the spotlight, alone, in this game entry.
Sure, there’s other things to discuss from this one – such as pitchers throwing at A-Rod and the gutty effort by CC Sabathia in this game. And, yeah, there’s the Joba-thing. But, again, for now, this one’s for you Johnny Damon. And, you’ve earned it.
As far as the Yankees…hey, you’re up three games to one now in this series. Do us all in Yankeeland a favor, and, GET IT DONE ON MONDAY.
Yes, it’s going to be hard – facing Cliff Lee on full rest and throwing A.J. Burnett, on short-rest, and on the road. But, just find a way to get it done, in Game Five, and DO NOT LET THE PHILLIES BACK INTO THIS THING. They’re down, and, please, let’s keep them there and finish this off, now, quickly…OK?