Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Hideki Matsui's monster night at the plate was capped by the Yankees swarming the infield for a boisterous celebration of their unprecedented 27th World Series title, including the first for Alex Rodriguez.
Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBI in one game, Andy Pettitte threw into the sixth inning for his postseason-record 18th win and New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-3, to clinch the World Series championship in six games.
Fittingly, the game ended with the playoff's best closer of all-time on the mound, as Mariano Rivera retired Shane Victorino on a ground ball to second base.
When Joe Girardi was hired as manager of the Yankees last year, he chose to wear No. 27 on his uniform to symbolize the team's next championship, and he guided baseball's historic franchise to its first World Series title since 2000.
"For this team, they never stopped fighting," said Girardi. "They got up and they got up. It's unbelievable how this team came together in spring training and they're willingness to be unselfish. They played the game the right way and that's why they won."
It's the seventh world championship in the George Steinbrenner era and the team will celebrate the best-of-seven series victory with a ticker-tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes on Friday.
"Dad, I know you're at home watching with mom, This one is for you," said Hal Steinbrenner, son of the Yankees owner. "I think it means everything to him."
Matsui belted a two-run homer in the second inning and added a two-run single in the third, both off Pedro Martinez, and then drilled a two-run double off J.A. Happ in the fifth. Matsui became the first full-time designated hitter to win the World Series MVP.
The six RBI equals the mark set by the Yankees' Bobby Richardson in an October 8, 1960 Game 3 victory against Pittsburgh, a series in which New York lost in seven games.
"It's awesome, it's unbelievable, I'm surprised myself," Matsui said through an interpreter.
Matsui, in the final season of a four-year, $52 million contract, saved his best for ultimately the last game of 2009. The 35-year-old, a three-time MVP of the Japanese Central League (1996, 2000 and 2002), and nicknamed Godzilla for his hitting power, had a huge series, going 8-for-13 with three homers and eight RBI.
The Yankees won the World Series with just three starting pitchers - CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Pettitte (2-0), who was the third straight hurler to go on three days' rest. The southpaw allowed four hits and three runs, walked five and fanned three over 5 2/3 innings. Pettitte became the first Yankee starter to record more than one victory in a World Series since Mike Torres defeated the Dodgers twice in 1977.
"I've benefited from a lot of great teams I've been on," said Pettitte. "I've had a lot of wonderful players surrounding me. I tried to give it my all tonight, tried to get locked in. I felt like I scuffled again, but we got through it. We got a win. We got Mo closing out so it's going to be a 'W' usually."
The Yankees, who spent $423.5 million in the offseason on three players - Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Burnett - used that in part to gain their first World Series appearance since 2003. They finished it with a title in the inaugural year of the new Yankee Stadium with shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, Pettitte and Rivera all garnering their fifth World Series championship ring. Jeter had three hits and scored twice in the series clincher.
"It's good to be back," said Jeter holding the trophy. "This is right where it belongs."
It was also the culmination of a roller-coaster year for Rodriguez. Before the season, the three-time AL MVP admitted to using steroids while a member of the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. He didn't make his 2009 debut until May 8 because of hip surgery.
"I couldn't be more proud of these guys," said Rodriguez. "I know when a lot of people were running the other way, teammates, coaches and the organization stood right next to me and now we're standing here today as world champions! We're going to enjoy it and we're going to party!"
Ryan Howard had a record-setting World Series for the Phillies, but it was one he would like to forget. Howard, who hit a two-run homer off Pettitte in the sixth inning, went 4-for-23 with a World Series-record 13 strikeouts over the six games. That broke the mark of 12 strikeouts by Kansas City's Willie Wilson in 1980, when the Phillies won their first World Series in franchise history before adding last year's championship over Tampa Bay.
The Phillies were trying to become the first NL team to win back-to-back World Series titles since Cincinnati in 1975-76.
"We were there last year so now you kind of know what it feels like to be on both sides," said Howard. "I feel cool, the only thing you can do now is relax and come back for spring training."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said his team will hopefully make a run at another championship next year.
"It's very important for the next couple of years that we stay afloat," said Manuel. "At the same time we have a talent and I think we can tinker with our team enough to even get better."
Martinez (0-2), the losing pitcher in Game 2, left after giving up three hits and four runs over four frames.
Already ahead 4-1, the Yankees tacked on three runs in the fifth. Jeter hit a ground-rule double to left-center field and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Teixeira singled up the middle to plate the runner before Rodriguez walked. Matsui then greeted Happ by crushing a 3-1 offering off the base of the wall in right field, scoring two more.
Howard homered to left field with Chase Utley on base in the sixth, but after Raul Ibanez doubled, Joba Chamberlain retired Pedro Feliz on a ground ball to end the inning.
The Phillies threatened in the seventh, putting men on first and second, but Damaso Marte fanned Utley on an appeal of a check swing to end the frame. Rivera came in with one out and nobody on base in the eighth, and although Ibanez doubled with two outs, Feliz fouled out to Posada.
Rivera worked around a one-out walk to Carlos Ruiz in the ninth, retiring Jimmy Rollins on a fly ball to deep right field and Victorino on a groundout to second base. When Teixeira received Robinson Cano's throw at first for the final out, the celebration began...for a 27th time.
"I was thinking of retiring, but I think I'll stay for another five years," said Rivera to a chorus of cheers during the on-field celebration.
When Martinez stepped to the mound on the brisk night at Yankee Stadium, the chants of "Who's your daddy?", stemming from his days with the Red Sox, were consistently heard from the capacity crowd, trying to heckle the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
He walked Rodriguez on four pitches to start the second. Matsui, who homered off Martinez in the sixth inning of Game 2, then clubbed a four-seam fastball on the inside corner to the second deck in right field for his third round- tripper of this series. It came on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
With one out in the Philadelphia third, Ruiz tripled to the gap off the wall in left-center field and scored on a Rollins fly ball to right.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the third as Jeter singled, Johnny Damon walked and Teixeira was hit by a pitch on his right thigh, but Rodriguez looked at a called third strike on the outside corner for the second out.
Matsui nearly had a hit for extra bases, but it hooked foul down the right field line. Facing an 0-2 count, New York's designated hitter lined a two-run single to center field.
Damon left the game after three innings due to a strained right calf and was replaced in left field by Jerry Hairston Jr...The Phillies, who won, 8-6, on Monday in Game 5, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base...Pettitte has won six series-clinching games in his career. He became the first pitcher to win more than one World Series clincher since Jimmy Key won Game 6 for Toronto in 1992 and Game 6 for the Yankees in 1996...Rodriguez finished the postseason with 18 RBI, the most in Yankees history for a single playoff year...The last team to start three different pitchers on three days rest between two starts in the same World Series was Atlanta in 1992, when Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery all did it in a six-game loss to the Blue Jays...Toronto's Paul Molitor had 12 at bats as the DH and 12 at bats at first base while winning the Series MVP in 1993...Matsui's 1.385 slugging percentage is the second highest ever in a World Series among players with at least 10 at bats. Lou Gehrig had a 1.727 mark in a four-game series in 1928 with the Yankees...Rivera pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in four appearances in this World Series and extended his World Series scoreless innings streak to 9 1/3, lowering his career World Series ERA to 0.99. His 41 pitches thrown Wednesday were the most he has ever thrown in a World Series game...This marks the third time that a team has won the World Series clincher in the first season in its new Stadium, joining the Red Sox at Fenway Park in 1912 and the Cardinals at Busch Stadium II in 2006.