Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 66 Recap

[WE data via FanGraphs]

When the seventh inning began, the game was still in reach for the Yankees with the score sitting at 3-1. Andy Pettitte was facing Carlos Ruiz - who hadn't had a hit since last year's World Series, I believe - and gave up a double to start the inning. Wilson Valdez bunted Chooch over to third and Pettitte walked Shane Victorino (already 2-3 with a homer and another hard hit ball on the night) to get to Chase Utley. Andy proceeded to walk him as well to load the bases.

The game looked to be spiraling out of control for Pettitte and the Yanks but Placido Polanco hit a weak grounder to first that, unlike the one in fourth inning on Tuesday night, Mark Teixeira threw home to get the force. Ryan Howard then came to the plate and after starting him out with a ball, Pettitte got him to foul off a curve, then a change before striking him out swinging on a cutter down and in.

Pettitte and Cervelli both let out fistpumps after they wriggled out of the jam and for a moment it felt like the Yankees were about to come back. The offense, aside from Robinson Cano, had been largely dormant to that point, but the optimist in my thought they could pull together a rally and salvage a series victory.

Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the seventh and took four pitches, two of them balls and two of them strikes. He then fouled back three straight before ripping a line drive almost directly at Ryan Howard. Francisco Cervelli then worked another excellent at bat, running the count full before pulling a rocket down the left field line that only missed the foul pole by a couple of feet. He ultimately hit a sharp grounder to third that Placido Polanco snared and threw to first for the out. And it was all downhill from there. Kendrick fell behind Ramiro Pena 3-0 but got him to ground out to end the inning.

Both teams went down 1-2-3 in the eighth and Joba Chamberlain took the hill to start the ninth. He gave up a double, and single and a walk and was pulled from the game before he could record an out. Damaso Marte was next and allowed two walks and two sac flies but was removed despite left hander Raul Ibanez due up and the Yanks already down five runs. Chan Ho Park was summoned but only fanned the flames, allowing an RBI double to Ibanez. The Yanks only got out of the inning because Ibanez may or may not have been hit by a ball off the bat of Ben Francisco in the process of advancing to third.

All told, the Phils plated four runs in the ninth, and what was an insurmountable deficit heading into the frame was now essentially impossible to overcome. The Yanks went down in order anyway to complete the loss and give the Phillies the series victory.

After winning the first game of this set, the Yanks' offense in particular spit the bit in the final two. They managed only seven baserunners last night and six tonight, for a grand total of four runs - half of them driven in by Cano. That's just not enough support to give your pitching staff.

The second installment of the Subway Series starts tomorrow night and the Yanks welcome the Mets to the Bronx this time and Javy Vazquez squares off against Hisanori Takahashi.

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