World Series Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 4th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (9-5) at New York Yankees (10-4), 7:57 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Pedro Martinez (0-1, 2.08)
New York - Andy Pettitte (3-0, 3.24)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees turn to Andy Pettitte on short rest
this evening, as they try once again to lock down their 27th World Series
title when they play Game 6 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee
This is the first time the World Series has reached a sixth game since 2003
when the world was introduced to Josh Beckett, who tossed a five-hit shutout
to eliminate the Yankees and clinch a World Series title for the Florida
The Yankees are hopeful that Pettitte has a better outcome this time than he
did six years ago when he toed the rubber against a 23-year-old Beckett. This
time, he will be squaring off against 38-year-old Pedro Martinez in what very
well could be the final start of both of their careers.
"For us both to still be pitching and then to be able to be pitching in the
World Series, I'm sure he feels the same way I do," said Pettitte. "I just
feel very blessed, very fortunate to be able to have this opportunity."
Surprisingly, these two have never met in a playoff game, and have not faced
off anywhere since 2003.
"Two old goats out there doing the best they can and having fun with it,"
Pettitte, the third straight Yankee starter to go on three days' rest, hasn't
pitched on short rest since when he was with the Houston Astros in 2006, and
has not pitched well in these situations overall. In 14 career starts on short
rest, he has posted a 4-6 mark to go along with a 4.15 earned run average.
"Physically, for me it obviously is a little concern, just seeing how my body
is going to feel on that short rest," Pettitte said. "But again, you prepare
for this. I've been resting the last few days, and I feel like I've had the
time off that I need, and mentally I'll be able to get in the place I need to.
I mean, I'm hoping for that."
In five career postseason starts on three days' rest, Pettitte is 3-1 with a
2.80 ERA. In fact, two of the best outings of his career have come on short
rest: Game 5 of the 1996 World Series, when he tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings
to outduel Atlanta's John Smoltz, and Game 2 of the 2003 World Series, when he
allowed just an unearned run in 8 2/3 frames to defeat Florida.
Of course, Pettitte is not 24 years old like he was back in Atlanta 13 years
ago. But he is still the winningest pitcher in postseason history. In fact, no
pitcher has won more clinching games than the six he has under his belt.
Pettitte, who was on the hill in the Yanks' pennant-clinching victory over the
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALCS, picked up his major league record
17th playoff win in Game 3 of this series on Saturday, as he allowed four runs
and five hits in six innings to improve to 3-0 this postseason to go along
with a 3.24 ERA. He also helped his cause at the plate with an RBI single.
"What an opportunity," Pettitte said. "That's really the only way you can look
at it. To be able to hopefully pitch the game that will bring a 27th world
championship to this organization and this city, it's what we set out to do. I
just feel very fortunate to have this opportunity, be on this team with a
great group of guys, and hope I can throw a great game for us tomorrow to give
us a chance to be able to win another championship."
Philadelphia, meanwhile, will rely on Martinez, who, of course, is no stranger
to the big stage in the Bronx.
"For everybody that grows up in the Dominican and didn't have a rich life,
it's a survival," Martinez said. "That's what we call it in the Dominican --
survival. And in baseball, I am a survivor. I'm someone who wasn't meant to
be, and here I am on one big stage. I really thank God for the blessings of
being here, because I was supposed to just survive and that's it. Here we are,
guys! I have a lot of you paying attention to me right now. That's a great
The veteran right-hander had been 8-4 in the old Yankee stadium and pitched
perhaps his best game there back in 1999, when he allowed one hit and struck
out 17 in a complete game win. In his first start in the new park, he gave up
three runs and six hits in six innings and kept a potent New York lineup off-
balance all night, despite taking the loss in Game 2.
Martinez is just 1-3 in seven postseason appearances against the Yankees and
0-3 in his past six outings against them. Overall in the playoffs, Martinez is
6-3 with a 3.22 ERA in 15 appearances, 13 of them starts.
The Phillies signed Martinez at the All-Star break and the three-time Cy Young
winner made nine starts this regular season, posting a record of 5-1 with a
Philadelphia kept the Yankees' champagne on ice on Monday, as Chase Utley
clubbed a pair of homers and Cliff Lee pitched into the eighth inning to help
the Phillies extend their season with an 8-6 win.
Utley belted a three-run homer in the first inning off A.J. Burnett, then
delivered a solo blast off Phil Coke leading off the seventh. His five homers
in this set ties ex-Yankee Reggie Jackson for the most hit in one World
Series. Jackson accomplished the feat in 1977 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Obviously it's great company," said Utley. "At some point, not right now,
maybe I'll look back on it and see what kind of special moment it is. But
right now our goal is to win two more games."
The Phillies, aiming to become the first National League repeat winner since
Cincinnati in 1975-76, still have a big task to overcome, as they are trying
to become just the sixth team to rally back from a 3-1 deficit to win the
World Series. Kansas City was the last team to do in 1985, while the
Pittsburgh Pirates were the last to accomplish the feat having to win Games 6
and 7 on the road, which they did in 1979 in Baltimore.
Philadelphia nearly wasted an 8-2 lead in Monday's win. Down 8-5 in the ninth,
the Yankees put men on first and third against Ryan Madson with no outs, but
came away with just one run when Derek Jeter grounded into a double-play.
Johnny Damon then battled back from an 0-2 count and singled up the middle,
but Mark Teixeira struck out swinging to end the game as Madson barely earned
his first career postseason save. Alex Rodriguez, who drove in three runs
Monday, was left on deck.
Raul Ibanez knocked in two runs, including a mammoth 420-foot homer off Coke
in the seventh.
Lee (2-0), who sparkled with a complete-game win in the series opener, allowed
seven hits and five runs over seven-plus frames.
"Basically our backs were against the wall, a do-or-die situation," said Lee.
"To go out there and give the team a chance, the offense scored plenty of runs
to make things a little easier on me, and that was all good. But for me, I've
still got to try to put up zeroes and get deep into the game, and I did that
and gave the team a chance. So it was a group effort and we're still
Burnett (1-1), on short rest, was knocked out of the game with no outs in the
third. He allowed four hits and six runs, walked four and had a pair of
These teams have a limited history against one another, but did square off
once in the World Series back in 1950, when the Yankees swept the series in
four games from the Whiz Kids of Philadelphia.
The Phillies also took two of three from the Yanks earlier this season at
Yankee Stadium. Philadelphia won the opener before New York rallied off of
closer Brad Lidge in the second contest. The Yankees got to Lidge again in the
finale, but Philly managed to pick up an extra-inning win in that one to
capture the series.
11/04 10:36:37 ET