Friday, October 30, 2009

Yankees Even Series on Burnett Mound Effort

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 29, 2009 NY Yankees 3 Philadelphia Phillies 1 Pedro Martinez was good, but A. J. Burnett was even better, holding the Phillies to a single run over 7 solid innings, allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks, fanning 9 batters in the process, including getting Ryan Howard on strikes three times. Burnett had Phillies' hitters flailing at his exceptional curve ball, keeping them off-balance by changing speeds and staying ahead in the count. Nibbling at the corners and consistently moving the ball up and down, Burnett threw 68 of his 108 pitches for strikes and left after completing seven innings. The only run allowed by Burnett came in the 2nd inning, when Matt Stairs, hitting in the DH spot, drove in Raul Ibanez from second on a smash past 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez. Ibanez had reached on a bloop ground-rule double which bounded off the left field foul line and into the stands. Mark Teixeira tied the game with a solo home run off Martinez in the 4th inning, and a two-out, 6th inning solo shot to right field by Hideki Matsui gave New York their first lead of the series. The Yankees added another run in the 7th on Jorge Posada's RBI single, chasing Martinez before he could register an out in the frame, but the Philly relievers shut the door, keeping the game close. Mariano Rivera earned the save, pitching two innings - the 8th and 9th - allowing a hit in each inning and a walk in the 8th, but he induced a double play ball to finish the 8th and struck out Ryan Howard in the 9th, completing a poor effort by the Phillies' slugger, as he struck out in each of his 4 plate appearances. After a day off Friday, the series moves to Philadelphia on Saturday for three straight. Game 3 begins at 7:57 pm ET, with Andy Pettitte starting for the Yankees against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels, who was 7-5 with a 3.76 ERA at home in 2009. Pettitte, the ultimate big-game pitcher, with more post-season wins (16) than any other pitcher all-time, was 8-4 with a 3.71 ERA away from Yankee stadium this season.

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