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You're not on the mark, Teixeira; he whiffs to end it

Mark Teixeira is visibly frustrated in the dugout

Mark Teixeira is visibly frustrated in the dugout after striking out to end the game. (November 2, 2009) Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara / Newsday

PHILADELPHIA - Mark Teixeira had a chance to have a signature Yankees moment with two outs in the ninth inning of Game 5 last night.

He represented the tying run at the plate after the Yankees had reduced a six-run deficit to two.

But Ryan Madson, the Phillies' fill-in closer for the shaky Brad Lidge, struck out Teixeira on an off-speed pitch and the Yankees lost, 8-6, to send the series back to Yankee Stadium for tomorrow's Game 6.

>> See photos from World Series Game 5

Teixeira is 2-for-19 in the World Series.

"He threw three straight changeups and I swung at two of them," said Teixeira, who is batting .172 (10-for-58) in his first Yankees postseason. Left unsaid was that he swung and missed at those two pitches.

"Stats don't matter right now," Teixeira said. "Over a 162-game season, at the end of the season you go OK, that's the kind of player he is. But right now, it's one game at a time and you try to win each game."

With no DH, no Jorge Posada and no Melky Cabrera, the Yankees went into the game in a bit of an offensive pickle against Cliff Lee.

The bottom five in their batting order were Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, Jose Molina and A.J. Burnett. So their only legitimate chance to put fear into Lee was the top of the order.

Problem: No. 3 hitter Teixeira has been in a severe postseason slump, even if he won't acknowledge it.

"I think I've done a lot this postseason to help this team win," he said. "That's what I'm going to try to do [Wednesday]."

Teixeira went 1-for-5 in Game 5 with a double in the eighth inning off Lee. His other World Series hit was a big one - a game-tying home run off Pedro Martinez in the Yankees' 3-1 Game 2 win - but the Yankees have been waiting for more production from Teixeira, who led the American League with 122 RBIs in the regular season.

Last night he also flied to right in the first, chopped into a 5-4 forceout in the third and flied to right again with a runner in scoring position to end the fifth.

Posada was on the bench so Molina could catch Burnett. After Burnett flamed out, allowing six runs in two-plus innings, Posada was able to enter the game as a pinch hitter for Molina in the fifth.

Gardner made his first start of the postseason in place of Cabrera in centerfield. Cabrera strained his left hamstring running to first base in the sixth inning of Game 4 and had to come out. He was removed from the roster before the game, with infielder Ramiro Peña taking his place.

Gardner has been used mostly as a pinch runner in the postseason. The Yankees were almost in danger of losing him, too, when he crashed into the centerfield wall while running down a drive off the bat of Jayson Werth in the fifth inning. But Gardner was OK and remained in the game.

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