NEW YORK – Pedro Martinez, who often has thrived on being the pitcher New York Yankees fans love to hate whether he pitched for Boston or the New York Mets, made his first World Series start for the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.
“I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium,” Martinez had said bluntly the night before the game. And, for most of the night in Game 2 of the 105th World Series, Martinez was the Pedro of old, before shoulder problems began to nip at his abilities.
The Yankees made solo homers by Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui and a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Jorge Posada stand up for a 3-1 win that sent the Series to Philadelphia at 1-1 for Game 3 on Saturday night.
Mixing a slow, then slower breaking ball with a fastball that was good enough and a change-up that was baffling, Martinez gave up only four hits, albeit two of them homers, in the first six innings and struck out eight before he came out in the seventh.
But Martinez was matched and then some by Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett, winless in three previous postseason starts but dominant this time.
Burnett, seemingly throwing twice as hard as Martinez and sporting a nasty curveball, fanned nine in seven innings before turning the game over to Mariano Rivera for the last two innings.
The Yankees are deadlocked despite scoring just three earned runs in the first two games and having only one hit with a man in scoring position.
The Phillies jumped ahead for the second time in two nights with a run in the second. Raul Ibanez sliced a ground-rule double and Matt Stairs shot a single to the left of third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who could have made the play.
Burnett kept the game close in the third when the Phillies had a chance to stretch their lead.
Chase Utley was walked intentionally after the count ran to 3-0 to put runners on first and second with two out. That put it in Ryan Howard’s lap and he fanned for the second time in a dreadful night of four straight punchouts.
In the Phillies’ fourth, Yankees catcher Jose Molina pulled off a crucial play. After Jayson Werth singled to open the inning, Molina picked Werth off first base as the Phils’ runner tried to return standing up.
With this momentum shift, Teixeira, who had only two extra-base hits in the postseason, tied the game with a homer to right-center leading off the Yankees’ fourth.
After fanning the first two hitters in the Yankees’ sixth, Martinez got ahead of Matsui with two quick strikes but at 1-2, Matsui golfed a low breaking ball over the right-field wall for the Yankees’ first lead of the Series and the Yankee Stadium fans resumed their chants of “Who’s Your Daddy?” in retort to a famous Martinez quote from the past.
“When I made a couple of mistakes, I paid for it,” Martinez said.
Yankees 3, Phillies 1
|Hairston Jr. rf||3||0||1||0||0||1||.333|
LOB—Philadelphia 6, New York 7. 2B—Ibanez 2 (2), C.Ruiz (2), Jeter (2). HR—Teixeira (1), off P.Martinez; H.Matsui (1), off P.Martinez. RBIs—Stairs (1), Teixeira (1), H.Matsui (1), Posada (1). RLISP—Philadelphia 4 (Howard, Victorino, Utley, Stairs); New York 2 (Damon, Gardner). RMU—Victorino. GIDP—Utley. DP—Philadelphia 1 (Howard, Rollins); New York 1 (Cano, Jeter, Teixeira).
|P.Martinez L, 0-1||6||6||3||3||2||8||4.50|
|A.Burnett W, 1-0||7||4||1||1||2||9||1.29|
|Ma.Rivera S, 1-1||2||2||0||0||1||2||0.00|
IR-S—Park 2-1, S.Eyre 2-0. IBB—off A.Burnett (Utley). HBP—by Madson (Teixeira). T—3:25. A—50,181 (52,325).