Tagged: Jayson Werth

Zimmermann Perfect As Nats Derail Yankees



Jordan Zimmermann struck out four en route to throwing four perfect innings and Anthony Rendon stroked a two-run double with two outs in the second inning as Washington edged New York in an exhibition game on Tuesday at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL.

Zimmermann (1-0) threw 37 of his 57 pitches for strikes and reached a three-ball count to just two batters to get credit for the victory. Manny Delcarmen pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn a save.

The Nationals opened the scoring in the first off Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia (0-1) when Rendon drew a walk to lead off the inning. One out later, Jayson Werth advanced Rendon to third with an opposite-field single and Wilson Ramos drove in the first run on an infield groundout.

Danny Espinosa opened the second inning by drawing a walk and he advanced to third on an bloop single to left by Tyler Moore. Two outs later, Rendon lined a double down the left-field line that scored Espinosa and Moore.

The Yankees scored a single run in the fifth off Drew Storen on a two-out triple by Eduardo Nunez and an RBI single by Dean Anna.

They added a run in the sixth on a leadoff double by Zoilo Almonte off left-hander Felipe Rivero. He advanced to third on a flyout by Jacoby Ellsbury and scored on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly.

The Yankees’ Grapefruit League record drops to 7-5-1. The Nationals improve to 8-4.


  • Anna continues to show a good bat this spring. He is 6-for-16 (.375) with two RBIs. Though Anna, 27, is still considered as a longshot to make the 25-man roster, he is showing that he might be of help should the Yankees need a backup infielder this season.
  • Today was one of the rare days in Viera this spring that the wind was NOT blowing out and it cost the Yankees a pair of potential home runs. Gardner’s sac fly in the sixth actually was held up on the warning track by the wind. Outfielder Ramon Flores also just missed hit one out to right in the eighth inning.
  • Give credit to the Yankees’ bullpen comprised of Matt Daley, Jim Miller, David Herndon, Cesar Cabral and Brian Gordon. They combined to give up only one hit (a single off Gordon in the eighth) and two walks in the final six innings. After Werth’s single in the third inning off Sabathia, the Nationals were 1-for-18 the rest of the game.


  • Sabathia summed it up to reporters after the game: “I [stunk] today.” Sabathia, making his second spring start, had trouble with his mechanics and he was tagged for three runs on four hits and two walks in three innings. Two leadoff walks really hurt because they both later scored.
  • Manager Joe Girardi brought Ellsbury, Gardner, Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira on the trip and they combined to go 0-for-11 in the game. I do realize it is spring training and Teixeira is still working his way back after wrist surgery. But it is about time some of the veteran starters start stinging the ball. In their seven at-bats against Zimmermann they looked overmatched.


McCann made the highlight reel for his catch of a popup off the bat of Scott Hairston in the fourth inning. McCann threw his mask down the third-base line and, when Anna rushed in to help on the play, he tripped over the mask, fell into the back of McCann’s legs and McCann fell and landed on top of Anna. But he held onto the ball. Both players took some playful teasing from their teammates in the dugout later.  . . .  The Yankees made their first cuts of camp on Sunday. Right-hander Jose Ramirez, 24, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and left-hander Francisco Rondon, 25, was reassigned to minor-league camp. Both players were injured early and have been unable to pitch. Ramirez had lower-back pain and Rondon had a sore shoulder.


The Yankees return to George  M. Steinbrenner Field to play host to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, coming off a very good outing against the Tigers on Friday, will make his second spring start. He has yielded no runs on two hits and a walk while fanning seven batters in 4 2/3 innings.

He will be opposed by Anibal Sanchez, who will be making his second start against Kuroda and the Yankees in five days. The Yankees won the game 3-2 on a balk in the ninth.

Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast live by the MLB Network nationally and locally by the YES Network.



Nationals Fooling Themselves With 7-Year Offer To Lee

ORLANDO, FL  —  Since when did the Washington Nationals think they could compete in the same arena as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox?
They already splashed into the deep end of the free-agent pool by reeling in the “Catch of the Day” in Jayson Werth before the Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL, began.
Today they decided to widen their fishing nets for Cliff Lee with an offer of seven years. However, no matter how creative the Nationals can get with dollars and length of contract, I doubt seriously if Lee will bite.
Lee has tasted the big stage twice in the past two seasons with the Phillies and the Rangers. In both cases he was so close but lost to the Yankees and Giants.
Sure he can take a seven-year, $140 million deal and live with the Nationals. But what guarantee does Lee have reaching the playoffs with the Nationals? With the Phillies in the same division and the Braves and Mets around it would seem the Nationals have a long way to go before making a breakthrough.
Werth, notwithstanding, the Nationals lack a competitive lineup, rotation and bullpen to be serious contenders in the short term. For Lee, that speaks volumes. I doubt the lure of an extra year will change his desire to pitch for a contender that he can count on making the playoffs.
So look for the Yankees, who are offering six years, and the Rangers, who are holding firm on five, as the major players in this drama. In these deep ends of the free-agent pools in which the Nationals have decided to swim, when it comes to Lee they will get blown out of the water.
Here is another prediction: Werth will flop in a bigger ballpark and with all the focus on him instead of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.
JETER JABS  . . .  Things got a little testy this afternoon in Tampa, FL, as the Yankees announced the signing of Derek Jeter. Make no mistake, this press conference was not a “lovey-dovey” affair. Yankee co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman were not smiling.
The reason is because Jeter was playing the good soldier who took a pay cut to stay with the Yankees in public. But privately Jeter is very unhappy with the way the Yankees leaked their offer and Jeter’s demands.
Jeter was also not happy with Cashman’s pronouncement the contract was a “fair offer” or his advice to Derek to “test the market.”
Jeter’s comment “I would be lying to you if I said I was not angry” raised a more than a few eyebrow in the room. Though Jeter refused to name anyone, it was clear his jab was aimed at the media shills of Cashman and the Steinbrenners who made the dirty laundry too public for The Captain’s taste.
At one time, I believed that would remain loyal to the Yankees and they would remain loyal to him. Down the road I saw the Yankees offering Jeter a personal services contract extending after his career and possibly an offer to coach or manage when his career was over.
That would have made sense given what Jeter means to the Yankees and their fans. Think about this: If you are a Yankee fan who is 45 years old or less, Derek Jeter is your Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig.
To see the team captain and the face of the franchise being treated like Johnny Damon was last season is just distasteful and unnecessarily cruel. Yeah, the Yankees had “leverage” in negotiations because Jeter never wanted to even seek an offer from another team.
But just because you have leverage does not mean you have to use it.
Perhaps Derek should have a chat with his old mentor Joe Torre for perspective on handling an organization that seems to preach class and doing things the right way but does the exact opposite when it suits their wallets.
Oh the stories Joe could tell.
GONZO FOR ADRIAN  . . .  It is very lucky for the Boston Red Sox that they are able to staff the San Diego Padres with stooges who used to work for them in order to get Adrian Gonzalez at a cut-rate price.
However, the Red Sox allowed their team to collapse last season beyond a point where any one player can make much of a difference. 
They still have holes that have to be addressed. Werth is off the market and Carl Crawford is very unlikely to play for an organization that booed its best Afro-American player (Jim Rice) unmercifully for the decade he played with the team.
Crawford is not a fool and he is also not happy with the way Red Sox fans treated him at Fenway Park and Tropicana Field. They yelled racial slurs at him from the bleachers. He knows just donning a Red Sox uniform will not change their views.
Why did the Celtic fans cheer Brian Scalabrine louder than for Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett? Hmmm!
They Red Sox also have issues now than Victor Martinez has decided to leave. They also have to address whether Jonathan Papelbon is their “fair-haired” boy after they so publicly courted Mariano Rivera.
Jacoby Ellsbury has to bounce back, Marco Scutaro has to prove he is not a stiff and they seem to be stuck with aging has-beens like David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. I am not convinced a starting staff that includes an ailing Josh Beckett, an overachieving John Lackey and an overrated Daisuke Matsuzaka is going anywhere.
There is always Tim Wakefield around to abuse in the bullpen or fill in as a starter.
Maybe the Padres can help by providing more talent. But, other than Gonzalez and free-agent closer Heath Bell, it appears the Padres have already tanked their hopes in 2011 in order to restock their pals in Boston.
Maybe the Padres should change their name to Pawtucket. It would be fitting.

Stocking Stuffer Lee Tops 2010 Wish List For Yanks’ ‘Elf’

Well, the “little elf” has delivered Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera to the Yankees. Can he now fulfill the team’s wish list with a left-hander Cliff Lee?
General manager Brian Cashman, who took time to rappel down the Landmark building in Stamford, CT, playing the part of an elf in their Christmas celebration this weekend, heads to the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, FL, with a sack full of money ready to hand to Lee.
Lee, after all, is the top free-agent pitcher on everybody’s winter shopping list. The question is can the Yankees’ offer provide Lee “comfort and joy?”
As this blog predicted, the Yankees were able to forge a compromise deal with Jeter. He has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $51 million dollar deal that includes a player option for a fourth season.
Jeter’s deal, which is pending a physical and likely will be announced this week, calls for deferred money and the player option can increase up to $8 million based on Jeter’s performance in the first three years.
The most Jeter could earn under the contract is $65 million and it includes a $3 million buyout in 2014.
Both the Yankees and Jeter managed to save face on a month-long negotiation that did have some unexpected moments of drama. Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, called the tact the Yankees were taking toward their team captain “baffling.”
Earlier, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner hinted the negotiations with Jeter might become “messy.”
But with Jeter back in the fold, it appears both sides are happy and Jeter will be ready for another championship run in 2011.
The same can be said for Mariano Rivera, who has agreed to a two-year deal that is reportedly worth $15 million per season. The funny thing is the offer was the same one Rivera received from the Yankees’ chief rival, the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox, who apparently are making no secret of their desire to replace closer Jonathan Papelbon before he becomes a free agent next season, thought they could somehow spirit away the best closer in baseball history from the team who signed him and brought him to the big leagues.
Rivera said he appreciated the Boston offer and he said he “respected” the Red Sox organization but added, “the Yankees did what they were supposed to do, and that was the end of that.”
Rivera’s two-year deal, which he hinted likely may be last contract, is also awaiting a physical and a formal announcement.
Cashman flew into Orlando Sunday night in advance of the meetings so, as he said, could hit the ground running on Monday. In addition to Lee, the Yankees have reportedly expressed an interest in signing former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carl Crawford.
The Yankees have apparently changed their mind about not tampering with their outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher and believe Crawford, 29, could add a solid hitter, a consummate base-stealer and excellent defensive outfielder to the team.
Crawford is coming off a 2010 season in which he hit .307 with a career-high 19 home runs and a career-best 90 RBIs. He also finished third in the American League with 47 stolen bases. 
The Yankees, if they are serious about signing Crawford, would be competing with the Red Sox and the California Angels for the speedy left-fielder. With outfielder Jayson Werth off the free-agent market due to his signing by the Washington Nationals, Crawford is the best remaining position player prize left in the winter free-agent pool.
The Yankees may also have an interest in Crawford to drive up his price on the Red Sox as payback for their attempts to “steal” Rivera. The Yankees also could be looking to use either Gardner or Granderson in a trade to acquire a pitcher — either a starter who could replace Andy Pettitte should he retire or a reliever who could setup for Rivera since the Yankees allowed Kerry Wood to seek a role a closer for another team.
But the real focus beginning Monday morning will be the Yankees desire for Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner who is seeking a five-year deal worth as much $125 million. The Texas Rangers appear to be the team most likely to get into a bidding war for the lefty.
Lee, 32, was 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA in a season between the Seattle Mariners and the Rangers. Lee has defeated the Yankees in three consecutive postseason starts. He was undefeated in all eight of his postseason starts until San Francisco beat him in both of his World Series starts as the Giants won the 2010 World Series over the Rangers.
The Yankees have two huge advantages going into the negotiations for the crafty veteran left-hander. No. 1, they have the deepest pockets. In a meeting a month ago in Lee’s Arkansas hometown, Cashman told Lee and his agent that the Yankees would top any offer he is made this winter.
No. 2, the Yankees already have signed Lee’s best friend in ace left-hander CC Sabathia, who was a teammate of Lee’s from 2002 to 2008. In fact, when the Yankees thought they were close to a deal with the Mariners to acquire Lee at the July 31 trade deadline, Lee called Sabathia to inquire about schools in the New York area.
The Rangers, who no longer have the deep pockets of Tom Hicks, are hoping to at least be able to stay in the same vicinity of the Yankees’ best offer and hope that Lee will prefer a smaller stage in Arlington, TX, for a bit less money.
The Angels are also interested in Lee, but they have targeted Crawford as more important to them because the team floundered in the absence of speedy Chone Figgins, who signed last winter with the Seattle Mariners.
Now the elf (Cashman) can make some very good boys and good girls who root for the Yankees very happy at Christmas by placing Lee under their big Christmas tree stadium in the Bronx. That would certainly be the best sanitary stocking stuffer Cashman could possible provide.

Yankees Will Have To Be Patient With Lee This Winter


  • CLIFF LEE CHASE . . . If you Yankee fans were expecting the first contact between general manager Brian Cashman and Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker to end up with a Lee signature on a contract you are overly optimistic. The Major League Player’s Association does not disallow it, but it frowns upon top-tier free agents from signing too early because they prefer low-level and mid-level free agents push the prices up rather than have the top-tier free agents push the prices down. Lee will take his time and he may end up as Matt Holliday did last winter by not signing until January. But my understanding is the Yankees intend to make Lee an offer the Rangers will not want to match. 
  • WRITING OFF DEREK JETER? . . . Yes, it is starting again. Yankee haters have been blogging that the Yankees would be better off letting Jeter go rather than sign a player who apparently can’t hit, field, run or feed himself anymore at age 36. There is no doubt Jeter had his worst season as a pro. But I doubt anyone in baseball is truly writing Jeter off. They tried that in 2008 and he only hit .334 and won his fifth championship ring in 2009. Jeter and his agent might be seeking a long-term deal — perhaps six years. But what Jeter likely envisions is a contract that will allow him to play into his 40s if he wants to challenge Pete Rose’s all-time hit record. But the deal also would allow him to remain with the team either as a coach, player-coach or personal services ambassador for the team. Jeter could eventually end up as the team’s manager as some point so it might be a good deal for the Yankees to lock him up for six years. You write Jeter off at your own peril.
  • SIGN THEM ALL . . .  I have also read a lot of Yankee fans crying the Yankees should have kept Kerry Wood and they need to sign Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford AND Cliff Lee. I got news for you fans: It is not going to happen. The Yankees are going to put their big dollars toward signing Lee. They then will try to get Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter signed. They then plan to ask Andy Pettitte if he wants to keep pitching. Only then will they assess what money they have left to put towards Crawford or Werth. The problem is that with Brett Gardner’s emergence last season, the Yankees might be forced to unload Curtis Granderson’s hefty contract, which has three years left on it. That is the only way they could justify signing Crawford or Werth. It is unlikely either player will end up in pinstripes. As for Wood, the Yankees knew that he would prefer to go back to closing and likely for a contending team. The Yankees always address their bullpen needs last and they will do so very late in the winter. Signing Rivera is the first step. They may have their eyes on lefty Scott Downs as a replacement for Wood. Downs has closed but mostly has been a setup man in Toronto. The fact he is left-handed is a bonus. Downs would address the need for a quality lefty and a setup man in one nice package. He also will not command a huge amount of dollars. But he will have a lot of suitors too.
  • MONTERO AS A STARTER? . . .  The Yankees are absolutely convinced that Jesus Montero will hit in the major leagues and he could potentially be a superstar with the bat. The only caveat with the 20-year-old Montero is his defense behind the plate. Well, former catchers like Tony Pena and Joe Girardi and others in the organization now believe Montero is a better defensive catcher than 38-year-old Jorge Posada. So the plan this winter is to get Montero ready for the major leagues. They won’t say it because they will not want to put any pressure on the young catcher, but the Yankees would like him to have a hot spring and take over as the starting catcher. The Yankees then could use Posada as its primary DH and he would also be an emergency third catcher behind Francisco Cervelli. That is, if Cervelli keeps his job. Word is the Yankees are looking at bringing Jose Molina back because Cervelli’s throwing in 2010 left a lot to be desired.
  • CANO MOVING UP? . . . After Robinson Cano’s breakout 2010 possible-MVP season, the Yankees are toying with the idea of moving him into the No. 3 spot in the batting order next season. Ideally, the Yankees would like Cano there because he is the best hitter on the team and Mark Teixeira would provide “protection” for Alex Rodriguez in the No. 5 spot. The Yankees also want Gardner to lead off. However, they do not think it could work because Jeter hits to many ground balls that could be double plays batting second. So Jeter likely will lead off and Gardner mostly will bat ninth.
  • SUPER NOVA . . .  The Yankees are very happy with the way 23-year-old right-hander Ivan Nova pitched in his rookie season in 2010. They still believe he could develop into a very good starting pitcher. However, with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes in the rotation and the possibility that Lee and Pettitte may round out the starting five, the Yankees are thinking Nova has a better chance of contributing in the bullpen. Nova seemed to struggle the second time through the batting order as a starter, which suggests he could be very effective as middle-inning reliever next season. He also gives the Yankees insurance in case a starter is injured.
  • THE ZACK FALLBACK . . . With all the attention of the Yankees’ pursuit of Lee, what is not being considered is the Yankees’ fallback position in case Lee signs elsewhere. The Yankees have their eyes on a trade for Royals right-hander Zack Greinke should Lee somehow get away. The Royals would be willing to part with their ace if they could get four prospects that could rebuild their team. The Yankees might have to dangle Montero, Nova and Joba Chamberlain just to get the Royals interested. The Royals also would be looking at young shortstop Eduardo Nunez and might take him instead of Montero.

Phillies’ Bats Literally Bruise Yankees 6-2


Jayson Werth launched a three-run home run off Damaso Marte in the fifth inning to help lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL.
Joe Blanton (2-0) pitched five innings for the victory. Marte (0-1), making his spring debut, took the loss.
The Yankees are now 6-8 on the spring while the Phillies are 8-4.

  • Francisco Cervelli continued his hot hitting this spring with a 3-for-3 day with a double and two singles. He drove in the Yankees’ first run in the fourth inning with a double off Blanton to score Randy Winn. Cervelli is batting .583 this spring.
  • Nick Johnson added a hit and a sacrifice fly that drove in the team’s only other run in the fifth.
  • Brett Gardner scored that run in the fifth after a triple with one out. Gardner also singled and stole a base in the first inning. He raised his spring average to .240.
  • Despite giving up a run in the sixth inning, Joba Chamberlain pitched his best baseball this spring. In three official innings, gave up two hits and a walk and struck out three. The Phillies agreed to play an additional inning and Chamberlain pitched a perfect seventh and ninth. His spring ERA was lowered to 16.20.
  • Starter Andy Pettitte, who also made his spring debut, did pitch creditably in his four innings of work. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out four batters.
  • Rule 5 draft pick Amaury Sanit again pitched well in relief. Entering the game for Marte, Sanit struck out two of the three batters he faced and his ERA remained at 0.00 for the spring.

  • Marte had just an awful day. Coming in to the game in the fifth, he immediately gave up singles to Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino and then surrendered the three-run blast to Werth that made the score 5-2. It did not end there, however. Ryan Howard followed with a rocket off his bat that struck Marte in the lower back and he was removed from the game.
  • Pettitte gave up two runs on four hits in the first two innings. But you can probably chalk it up to rust because Pettitte’s first start scheduled last week was rained out.
  • Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-3 and his spring average is now .211.
  • The Yankees were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the game. 
  • Marcus Thames singled in his last at-bat but his average is still at .143 and Winn, despit his single, is batting .167. Both Thames and Winn are battling for reserve outfielder spots on the roster.

The Phillies-Yankees game set a attendance record for Bright House Network Field in Clearwater. The announced crowd was 10,640. . . . The Phillies wore their green jerseys and caps to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but the Yankees stuck with their traditional road grays. . . . Due to the sprained right knee of Placido Polanco, former Yankee Cody Ransom started at third base for the Phillies. He was 1-for-4 and is hitting .294 with three home runs this spring. . . . Gardner, Johnson, Teixeira and Rodriguez were the only starter
s to make the trip. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada did not make the trip. . . . Manager Joe Girardi said that Marte would be “sore for a couple of days” but dodged a serious injury when he was struck by the hard liner off the bat of Howard. Girardi said he asked Marte if he had Bud Selig’s signature on his back but Marte reportedly replied “No, just seams.” . . . Chamberlain kept his hopes of being the No. 5 starter alive with his strong outing. Challenged by Girardi to step up, Chamberlain responded. After the game, Chamberlain credited Girardi, saying “Sometimes you need a lit bit of a kick in the rear.”

The Yankees will host the Tampa Bay Rays at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday night. The Yankees are scheduled to start right-hander Javier Vazquez, who will be making his second spring appearance. Also expected to pitch is Chan Ho Park, a former Phillies reliever signed as a free agent. He will be making his spring debut. The Rays will start Carlos Hernandez.
Game time is 7:05 p.m. and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network.

Pettitte Scares Up Win As Yanks ‘Cole-Cock’ Hamels


Andy Pettitte’s pitching might have given New York Yankees fans a major fright after the first two innings but he utilized a few old tricks and ended up by treating his team to a huge road victory against the Philadelphia Phillies on this rainy and forboding Halloween night in Philadelphia.
Pettitte (1-0) pitched six solid innings to win his major-league best 17th postseason game and even further spooked the Phillies by adding an RBI single to lead the Bronx Bombers to an 8-5 victory and 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.
“It was a battle tonight — I wasn’t able to get ahead,” Pettitte told MLB.com. “I wasn’t able to get my breaking ball over. I was able to get some outs when I needed to get some, but it was a grind tonight for me.”
With the victory at Citizens Bank Park the Yankees also regained the home field advantage they had given up in Game 1.

“We feel like we’ve got a real strong team,” Pettitte said. “Obviously, losing that first game, we weren’t happy with that. We were upset about it, but we feel real good about what we’re doing and we felt good about coming in here.”

After spotting the Phillies three runs in the second inning, Pettitte held the powerful Phillies bats silent until Jayson Werth greeted the veteran lefthander with his second home run of the night off Pettitte to lead off the sixth inning.
Werth now has seven home runs and 12 RBIs in the postseason and is batting a robust .310.
Pettitte, who also picked up his third victory of the postseason, gave up four runs on five hits and three walks and fanned seven batters. He saved his best work for the Phillies powerful lefthand hitters — Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez. The Phillies’ trio were virtual ghosts, going a woeful 0-for-9 off Pettitte with six strikeouts.
They were 0-for-12 overall in the game. 
Howard, who entered the Fall Classic with a .355 average, two home runs and 14 RBIs, is now 2-for-13 (.154) with just one RBI and a shocking nine strikeouts in the three games.
Pettitte threw 51 pitches in the first two innings and totally lost his location in the second inning. 
He fell behind 3-0 to Werth before surrendering his first home run of the night to lead off the frame. After one out, Pedro Feliz cracked a double. Pettitte then fell behind 3-0 to Carlos Ruiz before walking him. 
Hamels followed with a sacrifice bunt between catcher Jorge Posada and Pettitte and indecision on the part of both allowed Hamels to reach on a single to load the bases. 
Pettitte again fell behind 3-0. This time to Jimmy Rollins before walking him to force in a run. Shane Victorino completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Ruiz.
But the stage was set for the Yankees’ comeback courtesy of a complete meltdown of lefthand starter Cole Hamels. Hamels, who early in the contest was looking more like the 2008 version of the monster star of the Phillies’ World Championship run, ended up looking like a flamed out jack-o-lantern well before midnight.
Hamels (0-1) looked dominant in his first three innings and had allowed the Yankees nary a hit.
But it all unraveled like a cheap costume for him in the fourth when Mark Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch with one out and Alex Rodriguez hit what initially was ruled a double down the rightfield line. However, the Yankees asked the umpiring crew to review the play by having them head into the television dungeon — oops replay booth — just off the Phillies’ dugout.
Within less than two minutes, crew chief Gerry Davis reappeared on the field and signaled it was a home run. Replays showed the ball struck a FOX Sports TV camera lens above the fence. It was the first video review of a home run in World Series history and the Yankees reaped the benefit.
Rodriguez was awarded his sixth home run of the postseason and he is now tied with Bernie Williams for the most postseason home runs in team history. It also was his first hit of this series. He had been 0-for-8 with six strikeouts entering Game 3.
“I think it was a big hit,” Rodriguez told MLB.com. “I think it woke our offense up a little bit. It felt really good.”

“It was a big hit for us because it really got us going,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He has been so good for us in the playoffs. He’s a big reason we’re at this point.”

Hamels’ problems got much worse in the fifth inning when another struggling Yankee batter touched him for a big hit. Nick Swisher, hitting .114 in the postseason and benched in Game 2, lashed a Hamels curveball down the leftfield line to open the fifth frame.

With one out and Pettitte at the plate, Hamels tried a first-pitch curveball and Pettitte connected for a bloop single to center to score Swisher and knot the game at 3.
It was the first postseason RBI for a Yankee pitcher since Jim Bouton did it in the 1964 World Series.
One pitch later, Derek Jeter hit another blooper to center that Shane Victorino could not catch on a sliding attempt. Johnny Damon then laced an 0-1 pitch into the gap in right-center to score Pettitte and Jeter and give the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish.
After Hamels walked Teixeira for a second time, Charlie Manuel brought out his hook and Hamels’ Halloween horror night was over. He gave up five runs on five hits and two walks and struck out three while hitting one batter in four and 1/3 innings.
Hamels, the winner of the National League Championship Series and World Series MVP awards for pitching the Phillies to the championship, is now 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts this October. He has not pitch
ed into the sixth inning of any of those starts.
But the scariest thing for Manuel, the Phillies and their fans is Hamels is currently in line to start a possible Game 7, though tonight’s horrific display may have Manuel thinking of other options.
“We made him throw strikes, and when you do that with our ballclub, you’re capable of doing some good things,” Damon said to MLB.com. “He still pitched well, but our bats woke up a bit.”
The Yankees were able to tack on solo runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings of a very shaky Phillies’ bullpen. 
Swisher, proving his postseason slumber with the lumber may be over, blasted a J.A. Happ fastball into the leftfield bleachers for his first home run of the postseason to make it 6-3.
“I don’t really read the paper,” Swisher said. “I’m more a guy that looks at the pictures. But all of the struggles kept piling on, and the harder I would try to work, the harder I would try when I got into the box. To get by that and have a great game like tonight was extremely gratifying.”
After Werth’s second dinger brought the Phillies back to within two runs in the sixth, Jorge Posada singled in Johnny Damon in the seventh off an erratic Chad Durbin.
Girardi had thought about starting DH Hideki Matsui in rightfield for his first appearance in the field this entire season but he relented and gave Swisher the start instead. The decision paid off because Swisher was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and a RBI.
But it also worked out for Matsui when he pinch-hit in the eighth against Brett Myers. With two out, Matsui put a charge into a fastball and drove into the leftfield bleachers for his second home run in two games and his third of the postseason.
When Pettitte left after six gutty innings, Girardi turned the game over to his much-maligned middle relievers. But — with the exception of a Carlos Ruiz home run off Phil Hughes with one out in the ninth — Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte and Hughes were effective in keeping the Phillies from treating themselves to a comeback.
Still, with the score 8-5 and one out in the ninth, Girardi summoned the scariest closing hobgoblin in baseball, Mariano Rivera. Rivera needed only five pitches to retire pinch-hitter Matt Stairs and Jimmy Rollins at a bewitching hour of 42 minutes after midnight. 
The start of the game was delayed by one hour and 20 minutes due to a howling wind and rainstorm.
The Phillies may be glad Halloween is over but they have a bone-chilling task of having to beat the Yankees in three of the remaining four games to repeat as champions.
Looming like a large shadow over their shoulders is the 6-foot-7 frame of C.C. Sabathia,, who was chosen by Girardi to take the ball on three days’ rest in Game 4. Sabathia (19-8, 3.37 ERA) lost Game 1 to Cliff Lee but is 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA in the postseason.
Manuel resisted the temptation to start Lee on three days’ rest on Sunday night and instead will send to the hill veteran righthander Joe Blanton (12-8, 4.05 ERA). Blanton had a no-decision in his only start in the postseason in the NLCS against the Dodgers. He has no record and has a 4.66 ERA in the playoffs so far.
But the real frightening statistic is that Blanton is 0-3 with a 8.18 ERA in his career against the Yankees. That does not bode well for Phillies fans in the City of Brotherly Love. 
“We feel good about being up, 2-1,” Pettitte said. “But we know there’s a lot of work left to do.”
Gametime will be 8:20 p.m. EST and FOX Sports will televise the game nationally.