We are underway on a clear, cold night in the Bronx. Nobody asked, but I can see this being a high-scoring game and that would favor the Yankees being that they are home.
It will be interesting to see how Pedro Martinez fares against the Yankees a second time after pitching pretty well in Game 2.
Hope you enjoy the game.
FIRST INNING: Three up and three down for each of the Old Timer starters. The matchup between 37-year-old Andy Pettitte and 38-year-old Pedro Martinez is the oldest in the World Series since Game 1 of the 2004 World Series when Tim Wakefield faced Woody Williams of the Cardinals. Both were 38 at that time.
Pettitte is pretty much a get it and throw it sort of pitcher. But as Pedro showed in the first inning, he’ll use his rhythm to try and control the at-bat and throw the hitters off. He’ll either slow down or quick pitch depending on the batter. Watching how he compensates for his lost velocity is one of the most interesting aspects of this game.
SECOND INNING: Pedro has yet to hit 90 mph and he’s paying for it as Hideki Matsui drilled a two-run homer to right field. He’s throwing a lot of junkyard change-ups and seems afraid to challenge hitters. Yankees lead 2-0.
THIRD INNING: Pettitte allowed allowed a run in the top of the inning but Pedro got in trouble again in the bottom. Jeter singled, Damon walked and Teixeira was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After A-Rod struck out looking, Matsui cracked a two-run single to center.
Meanwhile, Damon pulled a calf muscle scoring and has been replaced in left field by Jerry Hairston Jr.
FOURTH INNING: Pettitte issued two-walks to Werth and Ibanez but came back to get Felix on a grounder to third. Pedro then had his second 1-2-3 inning, taking care of the bottom of the Yankees order.
With Melky Cabrera out and now Damon injured, the Yankees need a win tonight or risk going into Game 7 with a makeshift outfield of Hairston, Gardner and Swisher.
The story of this game now is which starter can get an inning or two deeper and his bullpen out of the game. If Mariano Rivera is going to go two innings — and every indication is that will be the case — the Yankees have nine outs to figure out.
FIFTH INNING: Pettitte got through the inning. And now the Yankees have blown it open. Teixeira had an RBI single and Matsui — the MVP? — a two-run double. Yankees now lead 7-1.
SIXTH INNING: Pettitte is done, having allowed three runs over 5.2 innings. Ryan Howard finally got on track witha two-run homer. Now Joba Chamberlain is in trying to get the ball to Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning as the Yankees lead 7-3.
SEVENTH INNING: Chamberlain and Damaso Marte survived the seventh inning. Now you can expect Girardi to give the ball and the lead to his closer. It would be a surprise if he trusts anybody else at this point. Rivera has had the last two days off.
EIGHTH INNING: Marte stayed in the game to get Howard. Now Rivera is responsible for the final five outs and has a four-run lead to play with. Nothing is a sure thing, but that is pretty close.
NINTH INNING: The Yankees are three outs away from the championship. Rivera will face pinch hitter Matt Stairs, Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins, he of the very inaccurate prediction.