PHILADELPHIA -- While the Yankees have to be considered a fairly heavy favorite with only one win needed as they head back to the Bronx, the Phillies still have some characteristically serious fight in them. Until last rites are read to the Phillies, they should be assumed to have plenty of life.
Here are some reasons this World Series is far from over ...
As usual, the Phillies are in it to win it. The odds are against them, but this resilient bunch can never be counted out.
Longtime Yankees postseason star
Pettitte won more respect from teammates for hanging tough in a game where he not only didn't have his best stuff but by his own private accounts to longtime friends actually had zero. Zip. Nada.
Three Yankees teammates recounted how Pettitte told the team he took "nothing" (his word of choice) out to the mound for Game 3. But even beyond his self assessment, the plan for short rest for the Yankees' three vaunted starting pitchers was always seen as by far the most worrisome in the case of Pettitte, who at 37 is five years Burnett's senior. Plus, Pettitte is 5-7 lifetime on three days' rest (compared to Burnett's 4-0 mark going into his Game 5 disaster), and Pettitte hasn't done it once since he was a youngster of 34.
It's unrealistic to knock Yankees manager
When Pettitte, a postseason stalwart, tells you he wants to pitch twice, and can do it, it's impossible to pass him up for a run-of-the-mill right-hander (Gaudin is 34-35 lifetime).
"Andy will be ready to go. He's a competitor," Cashman said after Burnett's Game 5 debacle, when Girardi was still officially leaving the door slightly ajar to turn elsewhere. "All these guys wanted to take the ball. Andy's looking forward to it."
That's somewhat reassuring. Yet, one person in the Yankee hierarchy said, "The only thing that worries me (about Games 6 and 7) is that both (Pettitte and Game 7 starter CC Sabathia) are going on three days' rest." So even within the inner circle of the storied franchise, there is still a smidgen of unrest about the lack of rest.
• The Yankees have interest in bringing back Johnny Damon -- "We need him," A-Rod said -- but could well get competition from at least the White Sox and Giants. The Cardinals, Braves and Red Sox are among other teams looking for a corner outfielder, though it's hard to imagine him going back to Boston. Before these playoffs, the Yankees were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million for Damon. But that was before his solo double steal in Game 4
• Damon saw a replay of his brilliant double steal, and said, "I didn't realize (
• Manuel's explanation that somebody should have been covering third base didn't really cut it. If he himself couldn't have named the person, it's no wonder the Phillies players didn't know who should've been there.
• The whole idea that the Yankees have so many mound meetings because the Phillies have a rep for stealing signs, as
• If the Yankees win one more game,
• The reason the Yankees added
• One order of business for the Reds will be to find a shortstop. They could do worse than
• The San Francisco Giants hired
• If the Red Sox could figure out how to squeeze in two hitters between free agents