UPDATE, 9:39 p.m.: CC looks a lot like he did in Game 1 – location is inconsistent and the Phillies are making him work for his outs. I think it’s also fair to say that Johnny Damon’s arm is a real liability. That’s a slow runner coming from second scoring on a bullet line drive.
Interestingly, it sure looked like Howard never touched home plate. Either way, it’s 2-2 going to the fifth.
UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: That hurts from CC. For all the talk about his ability to swing the bat, he needed to get that bunt down. Now it’s up to Jeter – another guy who has bunted on two strikes in this series.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: And there you go, a bouncer through the hole for Jeter that brings Swisher around from second. It’s 3-2 Yankees.
UPDATE, 9:51 p.m.: The Yankees aren’t exactly crushing the ball this inning – they’ve got a walk, an infield single on a ball Utley had time to stop and flip, a flare to left and a flare to right – but two runs are in and it’s 4-2. One big blast here could be huge.
UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: Huge spot for A-Rod here. A big hit could blow it open.
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: Nothing doing. Fly to center for A-Rod and it’s 4-2 with Sabathia heading back out there at 66 pitches.
UPDATE, 10:04 p.m.: CC has to run the gauntlet now after a single and walk to Rollins and Victorino. Nobody out and the meat of the order up.
UPDATE, 10:05 p.m.: That’s one. Utley pops to short. Now it’s Howard. I’ve got to say, there have been a lot of chats between CC and Posada, CC and Eiland, CC and Girardi. Lots of talking in this game.
UPDATE, 10:07 p.m.: That’s two. Another pop to Jeter.
UPDATE, 10:12 p.m.: Well, it took 22 pitches and about 76 trips to the mound from Posada, but CC works out of about the toughest spot a pitcher could be in with this Phillies lineup. Give him credit: that’s legit pitching.
UPDATE, 10:14 p.m.: The Phillies did succeed in getting Sabathia’s pitch count up to 88 pitches, so you figure we’ll be seeing some Yankees bullpen tonight. In an unrelated note, Joe Frazier just made a cameo on the field as the Phanatic “won” a boxing fight.
UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.: FYI, the “fight” wasn’t with Frazier; it was with some guy who sort of resembled “Glass Joe” from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Smokin’ Joe was the referee.
UPDATE, 10:29 p.m.: Looks like Melky pulled a hamstring running out his last AB. He tried to convince Girardi and Steve Donahue that he could stay in but they didn’t want to take a chance – Gardner now in center.
UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Blanton’s night is over. Ben Francisco is hitting for Blanton.
UPDATE, 10:32 p.m.: Chan Ho Park coming on to start the seventh for Philly. It would appear CC is going to hit for himself.
UPDATE, 10:35 p.m.: This is an interesting call for Girardi. CC has thrown 95 pitches. Considering his middle-relief options, I have to say I can’t fault Girardi at all for sticking with Sabathia.
UPDATE, 10:44 p.m.: Crowd of 46,145 at Citizens Bank Park tonight.
UPDATE, 10:53 p.m.: Sabathia leaves after giving up Utley’s third home run of the series on a 0-1 pitch. On a night where he clearly didn’t have it, the Big Man did pretty well: 6 2/3, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts. Now The Magician, Marte, is on to face Howard. Let’s see if the Yankees bullpen can hold a lead.
UPDATE, 11:10 p.m.: Sorry for the lack of updates. Writing on deadline for the paper. Joba is coming on now for the eighth, with Rivera and Coke warming up behind him in the pen.