PHILADELPHIA -- With two out and a tie score in the top of the ninth inning, nobody on base and a 1-2 count to
The play seemed innocuous at the time, a foul tip to keep the count at 1-2 with the bases empty. But that tip started the rally that won the game that will probably define this World Series. Three batters later, the Yankees could sniff a championship, and now the Phillies are the ones just trying to keep themselves alive.
Lidge blew 11 saves in the regular season, then converted all three chances in the playoffs, prompting hope that he had flipped the proverbial switch. But Phillies fans should know, after watching starter
He went to 3-2 on Damon, threw a fastball instead of a slider, and gave up a single to left. Then he hit
Every World Series has a night on which it turns, and for the Phillies and the Yankees, this was the one. When
Now, it looks like the Phillies will have to spend all offseason figuring out who in the world was supposed to cover third. After Damon's single in the ninth, he promptly stole second, as Ruiz's throw two-hopped the bag. Since Teixeira was batting, and the Phillies defense was shifted dramatically to the right, Feliz took the throw even though he plays third base. At that moment, shortstop
Damon took off, a trick that
Since this series shifted to Philadelphia, the Yankees have been the aggressors, the Phillies on the defensive. While Sabathia pitched on short rest Sunday,
Blanton wound up with the start and gave up four runs in six innings, good enough to keep his team in the game, not good enough to win it. Sabathia was only slightly better, allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings, but the Phillies had to feel like they would have tied the series with Lee.
They will have much to think about this winter and the Yankees should have much to celebrate. Sure, they spent the most money, as always. But this time around, they have also showed the most guts.