PHILADELPHIA — Time to hop back on the New Jersey Turnpike. Or Amtrak. Whatever. This World Series is headed back to New York.
With A.J. Burnett failing to get an out in the third inning, Chase Utley continuing to terrorize pitchers and Cliff Lee just good enough, the Yankees couldn’t close out the Series last night, rallying late before falling to the Phillies, 8-6, in Game 5.
The Yankees trailed 8-2 after seven innings but scored three times in the eighth and twice had the tying run at the plate in the ninth. But Derek Jeter hit into a double play, and after Johnny Damon singled, Mark Teixeira struck out to end it.
Joe Girardi said after the game that if Andy Pettitte feels up to it physically, he’ll take the mound on three days’ rest in Game 6 and try to help the Yankees — still with a three-games-to-two lead — win title No. 27. He’ll go against Pedro Martinez, who allowed three runs in six innings-plus in taking the Game 2 loss. It will be the first Game 6 of a World Series since 2003.
Utley, who drove in four runs, slammed two home runs in Game 5 to give him five in the Series, tying Reggie Jackson’s record set in 1977. His first one was a three-run shot in the first inning that erased any good feelings the Yankees might have had about getting an earned run off Lee in the top of the first.
Burnett, pitching on three days’ rest, was gone after facing four batters in the third without recording an out. He went two innings-plus, allowing six runs, four hits and four walks.
“I had a chance to do something special tonight and I failed,’’ he said. “I let a lot of guys in here down and I let a city down. The positive thing you take from tonight is these guys, they don’t stop. They played their heart out tonight for nine innings. Unfortunately, I didn’t give us a chance to win from the first inning.”
Said Girardi, “Well, if we would have pitched today, we probably would have won. A.J. struggled today. He felt good, he just struggled today. That's something that happens in the game of baseball.’’
Lee entered the game 3-0 this postseason, having allowed two earned runs in 33 1/3 innings, a 0.54 ERA. He had given up 20 hits and three walks for a 0.69 WHIP, with 30 strikeouts.
Lee had held the Yankees to six hits, no walks and no earned runs in nine innings in Game 1, a 6-1 Phillies victory. The Yankees were 6-for-32 and struck out 10 times against him in that game, and they didn’t do much better through seven innings in Game 5, going 4-for-25.
Then, with the Phillies leading 8-2, Damon led off the eighth with a single and Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez followed with doubles on consecutive pitches to make it 8-4. A-Rod’s two-run double off Lee gave him a franchise-record 18 RBIs in 14 games this postseason. He wound up scoring on Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly off Chan Ho Park.
Jorge Posada led off the ninth against Ryan Madson with a double off the rightfield wall and went to third on pinch hitter Hideki Matsui’s single to left. But Jeter grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, with a run scoring. Damon singled to keep the inning alive, but Teixeira struck out swinging. Said Damon, “We felt pretty good about it, especially with the captain coming up there. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it done tonight, but I’ll take him in that spot anytime.”
With Damon on first and two outs in the first inning, Rodriguez doubled down the rightfield line to make it 1-0, giving him his fifth two-out RBI hit of the postseason.
But Burnett produced a first inning similar to his ALCS Game 5 start, when he allowed four runs in his first 12 pitches, including four hits in a span of six pitches.
Burnett got ahead of leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins 1-and-2 — and three pitches later, he had given up three runs. Rollins singled up the middle, Shane Victorino was hit in the right hand by a pitch when he squared to bunt and Utley hit a three-run homer to rightfield for a 3-1 lead.
Utley and Ryan Howard drew back-to-back walks to start the third and Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez produced RBI singles to make it 5-1 before Girardi replaced Burnett with David Robertson.
Pinch hitter Eric Hinske walked with one out in the fifth, took third on Jeter’s single and scored on Damon’s grounder to make it 6-2. But Utley, who hit three home runs off lefthander CC Sabathia in Games 1 and 4, led off the seventh with a solo shot off lefthander Phil Coke. Two outs later, Ibañez homered off Coke for an 8-2 lead.
Said Coke, “I’m embarrassed.”
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