World Series, Game 3 : Yankees Rally For 8-5 Win Over Phillies

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Fans From Both Sides Recap Game 3

For the New York Yankees and the folks at Pinstripe Alley, Nick Swisher finally came through:

Joe G. gave Swisher a game off; Swisher came back with two crucial extra base hits.

Joe G. pulled Andy early. Andy wasn’t great tonight, but he was gutsy enough that I was willing to send him back out there. He also collected the first World Series RBI by a Yankee pitcher since Jim Bouton in 1964- part of a game changing 5th inning in which the wheel came off for Cole Hamels (who pitched a great game- Victorino had caught the lazy flies by Pettitte and Jeter it could have been a very different game).

Joe G. showed uncommon trust for his set-up men, sticking with Joba against Chase Utley with 2 out. His confidence was rewarded when Joba got Utley, allowing Joe to double switch Matsui, who promptly homered. Joe then stuck with Marte against the righties Werth and Ibanez.

My only complaint is about how Joe handled Hughes. I like bringing him in with a safe lead in the 9th inning even though he gave up the homer to Ruiz. I think you have to give Hughes 1 more batter in that situation. One more batter would not be the tying run, and instead you deny yourself the chance to use Mo for 2 tomorrow (though he did only throw 5 pitches). I like what Joe Buck reported Hughes said, “I was worrying too much about scouting reports and got away from my strength.”

While Phillies fans at The Good Phight saw three story lines tonight:

1) Tonight was Cole Hamels’ season in a nutshell. He pitched great for three innings yet couldn’t get out of the fifth thanks to a combination of bad luck and not being able to put hitters away on two strike counts. Alex Rodriguez’s home run, which followed a Mark Texeira walk in which he came back from a 1-2 count (with help from the home plate ump), was the shortest a home run could be at CBP (and needed the aid of instant replay). Nick Swisher’s double was just fair. Andy Pettitte’s RBI single was a true bloop. Derek Jeter’s single could have been caught by Shane Victorino. Only Johnny Damon’s double was hit hard. Yet Cole gives up 5 earned in 4.3 innings.

2) The Phillies’ offensive lefties were no-shows tonight. On the other hand (literally), the righties were dominant. If the lefties could have put anything on the board tonight, the game would have been much closer.

3) Charlie Manuel’s managing when the game was still tight was awful. Pinch-hitting Eric Bruntlett in the sixth with a man on first, down by only 2, and Pettitte over 100 pitches was inexcusable. Ben Francisco was the obvious choice. If not him, any right-handed hitter in the stands would be better than Bruntlett. Then, in the top of the seventh, with Chad Durbin struggling, Manuel had no one warming in the bullpen and was forced to let Durbin close out the inning. Of course, Durbin gave up a run putting the game that much further out of reach. The Bruntlett pinch hit appearance and Durbin full inning were turning points.

And it’s true: the Phillies are only down one game, and are by no means out of the series. But with shaky Joe Blanton pitching tonight vs. C.C. Sabathia, who’s been excellent all postseason, the Phillies will likely need some big-time hitting if they want to even this series. If not, the Yankees will have indisputable control of the series, and Philly’s chances for a repeat get ever so slim.

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World Series, Game 3: Pettite, Hamels To Hand Out Candy In Philly At 7:57 ET

With the World Series tied at a game apiece, the Phillies and Yankees move the series to Philadelphia. The Phillies' Cole Hamels will dress up as a starter who posted a 2.77 ERA through two start in the 2008 World Series, but whose 2009 regular season campaign has resulted in a relatively disappointing 4.32 ERA. Meanwhile, the Yankees' Andy Pettitte is going as one of the most experienced pitchers in World Series history, having tacked up a 3.81 ERA through 66 career innings in the Fall Classic.

The forecast at Citizens Bank Park Saturday night is rather glum; although the temperature isn't expected to dip below the upper 50s, rain appears very likely. SB Nation's Phillies blog, The Good Phight, examines possible implications if the game is postponed until Sunday.

We've been here before. In fact, just over one year ago. Will Bud Selig pull the same crap Saturday night he pulled for Game 5 last year? If the weather's really as bad as it seems they're forecasting, here's hoping they call it early before either pitcher throws anything, and before any fans make their trek from wherever they are coming.

Key questions though: if the game is postponed to Sunday, do the Yankees skip Pettite and go with Sabathia for a Sunday Game 3? Also, no doubt Lee pitches on Monday regardless of whether it's Game 4 or Game 5, right?

Stay tuned to SB Nation's Yankees blog, Pinstripe Alley, as well as our Phillies blog, The Good Phight.

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