One thing was noticeable last night until Mark Texeira and Hideki Matsui homered: the Yankee Stadium crowd was dead. They felt darkness creeping in, and the malevolent figure was Pedro Martinez.
Pedro Martinez was very, very good last night. A.J. Burnett was just stronger. If the Yankees would have lost, you’d have had second-guessers writing for every paper on the east coast for sitting Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada against the right handed Martinez for a couple of righty reserves.
But Burnett wouldn’t yet the Yankees slip. What I saw for seven innings last night was a guy who was unhittable. Ryan Howard wanted to complain about the balls and strikes calls (he struck out four times) but the bottom line is the Yankees pitched him perfectly in every at-bat. They made that a trend to most Philly batters. Beyond that, if Alex Rodriguez makes that play at third base in the 2nd inning, the Yankees don’t give up a run last night. It’s a testament of how badly Joe Girardi wanted that game that he turned to Mariano Rivera in the 8th inning to get the two inning save. Rivera is now 10 for 11 in World Series saves opportunities. That is amazing in itself.
A.J. Burnett and Mark Texeira possibly saved the Yankees series hopes. The odds of the Yankees going to Philadelphia and winning more then a game would have been slim trailing 2-0. Now they really only have to win one of three, although we think they’re going to get 2 of 3 before returning home to win the thing.
This game fit the profile that we think the rest of the series will follow. Tight game until late, a few big swings win it.