When Andy Pettitte was down 3-0 in the bottom of the second and had thrown around forty pitches, admit it, you were worried.
We don’t learn, do we?
In game 3 of the 1999 World Series, with Andy Pettitte starting, the Yankees were down 5-1 in the game and came back and won.
Down 3-0, then, should have been nothing.
Of course, at the time, Cole Hamels was dealing, no-hitting the Yankees, but Hamels has been so ordinary, so human this postseason, that it could not last.
So it didn’t.
In fact, the very first Yankee hit of the game was a 2-run home run from Alex Rodriguez that hit off of a camera in right field. One astute twitterer compared the role of the camera to that of Jeffrey Maier. With comparisons to the late nineties so prevalent, this one seems more than apt.
Rodriguez’s home run was as if a pressure valve had been released: the very next inning, Swisher, who had been batting under .150 in the postseason, doubled, and came home on an RBI from Andy Pettitte. This was followed by a bloop single from Derek Jeter and a two-run double from Johnny Damon.
The Yankees took a 5-3 lead and did not look back–instead, they got four more runs on a Swisher home run, Matsui home run and Posada single.
Pettitte gave the Yankees six innings that were far frm his best but, in the end, good enough, and then the bullpen took over, and, believe it or not, did a decent job.
Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte pitched 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and the eighth; Phil Hughes still is not right, but with a four run lead the Yankees had a luxury and only needed to use Mariano for two outs.
The game, of course, could only end one way: with Mariano Rivera facing Jimmy Rollins, who had, as discussed earlier, attempted to trash talk the Yankees’ closer.
There’s only one way that could end, and I think you know: Rollins popped out on the second pitch.
Now, whatever happens, the Yankees are guaranteed at least one thing: unlike what Jimmy Rollins predicted, the Phillies cannot win the 2009 World Series in five games.
The Yankees, on the other hand, should the gods smile upon them, can make it happen.