World Series Game 5: Yankees at Phillies (UPDATES with Pena replacing Cabrera, Girardi and Joba audio)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Brett Gardner CF
Jose Molina C
A.J. Burnett P
Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (1-0, 3.55 ERA in postseason)
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Pedro Feliz 3B
Carlos Ruiz C
Cliff Lee P
Pitching: LHP Cliff Lee (3-0, 0.54 ERA in postseason)
TIME/TV: 7:57 p.m., FOX
WEATHER: Looks like it should be a nice night for baseball. Cloudy but with a low chance of precipitation and temperatures around 50 degrees. Check out the full forecast here.
STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees are one win away from their 27th World Series title after beating the Phillies in a wild game last night. The Yankees have held a 3-1 lead in the World Series eight previous times and they’ve won the title each time (six times in Game 5, two times in Game 6).
THREE AMIGOS: The Yankees have used only three starters throughout the postseason and they are the first team to reach the World Series with a three-man rotation since the 1992 Braves (Smoltz, Glavine, Avery). The last team to win the World Series with three starters came a year before that, when the 1991 Twins (Morris, Tapani, Erickson) beat Atlanta.
BUSTING OUT: The 15 runs scored by the Yankees in Games 3 and 4 marks their biggest World Series outburst since they scored 18 runs over Games 1 and 2 of the 1998 World Series against San Diego.
WORKING OVERTIME: Mariano Rivera made his 11th appearance of the postseason in Game 4, matching his career high (also 2001). The only games in which he hasn’t pitched are Game 4 of the ALCS and Game 1 of the World Series. Rivera has thrown more than one inning five out of 11 times and more than two innings three times, recording a 0.63 ERA in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 13.
ALEX AND TEX: The middle of the Yankees order hasn’t been a consistent producer during the World Series with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez combining to go 3-for-28 with 13 strikeouts. Rodriguez’s two hits, at least, have been meaningful – he homered in Game 3 and drove in the decisive run in Game 4.
DAMONIC: When Johnny Damon stole second and third base in the ninth inning of Game 4, he became the 13th player to record two stolen bases in an inning in the World Series. The last was Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton in Game 3 last year.
TARGET PRACTICE: The Yankees have been hit by five pitches in the World Series, one shy of the World Series record. Pittsburgh was hit by six in 1909 and Arizona was hit by six (from Yankees pitchers) in 2001, both of which were seven-game series.
RANDOM QUESTION OF THE DAY: If you could be involved in a Yankees Champagne celebration, who would you spray first?
IF THERE WERE WALK-TO-THE-PLATE-MUSIC IN REAL LIFE, TODAY’S WOULD BE: Today Was a Good Day by Ice Cube.
Back with more later. Joe Girardi is scheduled to be in the interview room at 4:50 p.m.
UPDATE, 5:04 p.m.: Girardi said the Yankees are in talks with MLB about making a roster move for Melky. As you can see Gardner is starting in center. Audio and more info coming shortly.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Chad reports that the Yankees will hear from MLB about their roster move at 6 p.m. Obviously we’ll keep you updated. Here’s Girardi’s audio:
UPDATE, 5:25 p.m.: For those wondering about the sign-stealing talk, apparently Larry Bowa was on ESPN Radio here in Philly and said the reason for the Yankees constant visits to the mound is that the Phillies are notorious for stealing signs. Shane Victorino responded angrily, saying, “I guess he knows something that I don’t know about, obviously. You know, everybody makes excuses. Everybody is going to find a reason. For Bowa to come out and say something like that if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, if he doesn’t have cold, hard facts he shouldn’t say something like that. … That’s just weak, I guess.”
He added, “Obviously, if we were stealing signs, we’d be doing a lot better than we are right now.”
UPDATE, 5:35 p.m.: Here’s some audio from Joba Chamberlain’s press conference. Normally teams bring the next day’s starting pitcher to the interview room, but neither team did that today because neither team has named a Game 6 starter (if there is one). So the Yankees sent Joba and the Phillies sent Victorino.
(By the way, Girardi said Pettitte is throwing his usual side session today and the Yankees will “see how he feels” on the off day if they lose tonight.)
UPDATE, 5:43 p.m.: MLB just announced that Ramiro Pena will replace Melky Cabrera on the roster.
UPDATE, 5:50 p.m.: Chad here with a thought on the addition of Pena instead of Freddy Guzman. I have to think Jerry Hairston is now the fourth outfielder, which means the Yankees needed someone to fill the utility infielder role. Guzman would have given the Yankees a pinch runner to replace Gardner off the bench, but he’s never going to play right field — he’s done it roughly a dozen times in his career – and if there’s going to be a defensive switch in the late innings, it’s either going to be in right field or to improve the throwing arm in left. Hairston does both of those better than Guzman. With Hairston’s likely role coming in the outfield, Pena makes sense in the infield. And he gives the Yankees pretty good speed himself, I just never thought Pena, Cervelli, Guzman and Bruney would all be active at one point or another this postseason.
UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Chad here again with some more notes from Girardi.
• The Yankees have been making an unusual number of trips to the mound this series, but Girardi said it’s not simply because the Yankees are concerned about the Phillies stealing signs. It’s the World Series. The Yankees are making sure everything is exactly right, that every pitch is exactly the one they want to throw.
• That said, there is some concern about players stealing signs but Girardi said it’s no more or less with the Phillies than with any other team. “In today’s game, with all the TV coverage, you have to be careful,” he said. “The camera is right on the pitcher, looking in on the catcher, you can figure out signs pretty quick.”
• Sounds like Girardi considered starting Jorge Posada but was never leaning that direction. “(Posada) had a big hit again last night, he’s had some big hits for us, but that relationship has been working,” Girardi said. “A.J. has been pitching very well. Sometimes, this time of year, it’s about pitching and defense and we just don’t want to break it up right now.”
• I know you all don’t want us reporters to jinx anything, but we had to check with Girardi to find out if they would have a workout at the stadium tomorrow in the event they lose tonight. “Probably,” he said. “But let’s not talk about that.”
UPDATE, 6:33 p.m.: One bit of dialogue from the beat writer’s session with Girardi left all of us laughing. I’ll paraphrase the questions and quote Girardi’s answers. Notice how he tries to convince himself that he can’t use Mariano Rivera for more than an inning, but slowly has to admit that this is Rivera in the World Series. Nothing is off the table.
Question: Would you use Rivera for two innings tonight?
Girardi: “I doubt it just because he’s thrown three out of four days.”
Question: Is three outs the maximum?
Girardi: “I might try four.”
Question: So four outs is the maximum?
Girardi: “I gotta see how he feels.”
Question: One-run game, middle of the order coming up in the eighth inning?
Girardi: “It might be a situation where I’d go to him.”
UPDATE, 7:02 p.m.: Meant to mention this before, but a few of you have e-mailed asking if Joe Girardi is going to change his number from No. 27 (to No. 28 or something else) if the Yankees win the World Series. Here is his answer: “I really haven’t thought a whole lot about that. I’m sure my kids would have recommendations what my uniform number should be, but I haven’t thought about that and I don’t like to think too far ahead.”
Also, it seems that Larry Bowa claims he was misquoted. He told Newsday that he never said anything about the Phillies stealing signs.
UPDATE, 7:22 p.m.: A.J. on his way to the bullpen to start his warm-ups. There’s some juice in the park tonight. Everyone knows what this game means. It’s a great night, too, for baseball. Very crisp.
UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Nothing says American Pastime like a Canadian singing the national anthem, though Alanis Morissette did a great job. The Phillie Phanatic was obviously impressed, running over and trying to hug Alanis after she finished. She seemed bemused.
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: Jim Bunning throwing out the first pitch, joined by Robin Roberts. Couple of HOFers.
UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: A-Rod and Frankie Cervelli playing catch, as they always do, alongside the Yankee dugout. We’re minutes away.
UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: I should mention that MLB announced that tonight’s game is being dedicated to Michael Goldsmith, an advocate in the fight against ALS, who died Sunday. For more info, check this article out.
UPDATE, 8 p.m.: And we’re off. It’s 50 degrees with clear skies at first pitch on a great night for baseball. Enjoy the game everyone.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: That was A-Rod’s 16th RBI of the postseason, setting a franchise record. Remember what Flaherty said in Flash Points? Getting to Lee early could take some starch out of the Phillies and make things a lot easier for A.J.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: How many “Rocky” scenes will we see on the big screen here tonight? 20? 50? It’s the bottom of the first and we just saw our first one …
UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: Tough call right off the bat there. I thought he was pulling back, but you could certainly argue it the other way.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: Wow. One pitch later it’s 3-1 Phillies. That ball was crushed by Utley right off the bat. A.J. has to stay composed. There’s a long way to go.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Great play by Teixeira there. He makes the throw from his knees as well as anyone in the game.
UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: Whatever Burnett does, the Yankees need to keep working Lee. He threw 20 pitches in the first inning. Back in Game 1, that was three innings for him.
UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: And Lee mows through the Yankees bottom three hitters. Fourteen pitches isn’t bad, but it was pretty free and easy for him. Right back to A.J.
UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: Nice comeback for Burnett, who fell behind Ruiz 3-and-0 but struck him out with a 94 mph fastball. His command looked good there, staying right on the outside corner.