2009 World Series Game Three Recap -- Yankees 8, Phillies 5

The Phils lose their first post-season game to a lefty over the past two years and go down 2-1 to the Yankees.  Three story lines to tonight:

1) Tonight was Cole Hamels' season in a nutshell.  He pitched great for three innings yet couldn't get out of the fifth thanks to a combination of bad luck and not being able to put hitters away on two strike counts.  Alex Rodriguez's home run, which followed a Mark Texeira walk in which he came back from a 1-2 count (with help from the home plate ump), was the shortest a home run could be at CBP (and needed the aid of instant replay).  Nick Swisher's double was just fair.  Andy Pettitte's RBI single was a true bloop.  Derek Jeter's single could have been caught by Shane Victorino.  Only Johnny Damon's double was hit hard.  Yet Cole gives up 5 earned in 4.3 innings.

2) The Phillies' offensive lefties were no-shows tonight.  On the other hand (literally), the righties were dominant.  If the lefties could have put anything on the board tonight, the game would have been much closer.

3) Charlie Manuel's managing when the game was still tight was awful.  Pinch-hitting Eric Bruntlett in the sixth with a man on first, down by only 2, and Pettitte over 100 pitches was inexcusable.  Ben Francisco was the obvious choice.  If not him, any right-handed hitter in the stands would be better than Bruntlett.  Then, in the top of the seventh, with Chad Durbin struggling, Manuel had no one warming in the bullpen and was forced to let Durbin close out the inning.  Of course, Durbin gave up a run putting the game that much further out of reach.  The Bruntlett pinch hit appearance and Durbin full inning were turning points.

Yet, as bad as tonight felt, we're only down 1 game.  Joe Blanton faces CC Sabathia Sunday night to even the series.  Let's go Phils!

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