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It's all on Pedro's shoulders now

Nov 4, 2009, 4:05 PM EDT

The Phillies managed to score four runs in six innings against a fully rested Andy Pettitte in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday. Given that he’ll be working on short rest tonight, it seems doubtful that they’ll be shut down entirely. Pettitte hadn’t even started on four days’ rest since Sept. 5. His track record in big games shouldn’t be dismissed, but this is the most vulnerable he’s been in months.
So, tonight’s Game 6 figures to come down to Pedro Martinez. With the possibility of Mariano Rivera for two innings looming, it’s imperative that the Phillies build an early lead. If they don’t go to the bullpen ahead by two or three runs, it’s advantage Yankees.
WEEI’s Alex Speier has the rundown on Martinez’s previous record in elimination games. The future Hall of Famer played a big role in some of Boston’s comebacks, winning Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS against the Indians, Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS against the A’s and Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees.
Perhaps even more famously, though, Martinez blew Boston’s lead in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees. That game, ended by a walkoff homer in Aaron Boone in extra innings, cost Grady Little his job as Boston’s manager.
Martinez doesn’t figure to get a chance to spoil a late-inning lead tonight. With any luck, manager Charlie Manuel learned his lesson by sending Martinez back out for the seventh inning in Game 2. If Pedro can hold the Yankees to two runs over six innings — which is what he did last time out before Manuel pushed his luck — then the Phillies should be in pretty good position to send the World Series to a Game 7.
I’ll be hosting a live chat during Game 6. Check back at 8 pm EST to join in.

  1. Cru11 - Nov 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    I am a big fan of this matchup. Both seasoned vets who seem to rise to the occasion. A nice little factoid a la Peter Gammons last night: Pettitte hasn’t picthed on 3 days rest after throwing 100 or more pitches the previous start since 2001.
    Should (hopefully) go down to the wire.

  2. nick bartow - Nov 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM


  3. tarheel - Nov 4, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    no, no…i haven’t even studied

  4. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:01 PM

    It’s all on Pedro’s shoulders and he loves it!!! This is what he came back for!!! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  5. Alex - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:08 PM

    Lord, I hope you’re right, John! I despise the Skankees with every fiber of my being. I’m an AL East fan, but my feelikng is ANYbody but the frickin’ Skankees!

  6. Bree - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    I agree with both of you, Alex and John. (John,you sure do love to say “mark my words”). I don’t know if it’s possible that anyone could despise the Spankees more than I. I’m a lifelong Phillies and Indians fan. I’ve know despair. The Indians being up 3 games to 1 over the Red Sox and then Boston winning 3 straight to advance to the World Series; that was sheer agony. I want the Phillies to win even more this year than last, if that’s possible. Please, pitch the lights out Pedro; please, Ryan Howard, start hitting. Chase, beat Reggie’s record. GO PHILLIES!!! (How is Shane’s finger?).

  7. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Fear not Alex, fear not. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  8. Duh - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    What Alex means is he’s a Red Sox fan…typical Red Sox fan post. How’s their “vacation” treating them so far?

  9. John - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:32 PM

    Who cares? Quit worrying about the Red Sox and their fans and concentrate on the team who is going to beat the Yankees tonight. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  10. Dennis - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    Matt, you have it right. Tonight will be Pedro’s day in the “sun”

  11. Duh - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    Just calling a spade a spade. At least he’s still following baseball…most “fans” stop watching once their team gets bounced. I’m not saying the Phillies can’t win, they are a rock solid team. HIGHLY suspect bullpen but strong line up. Beating a team 3 games in a row is near impossible (even though the Yankees did it earlier in the series) and I think they are going to have a hard time doing it in that stadium with questionable pitching. Pettite is a wild card tonight but CC v. Hamels, Happ, or anyone else in that rotation favors the Yankees in my opinion. I’m assuming of course they have wised up and are going to pitch around Utley the next 2 nights though. If not it goes either way.
    BTW Alex, if you aren’t a Red Sox fan I’m shocked.

  12. JudyJ - Nov 4, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    No guessing here which team is “your” team. the Yankees will win tonight and really, it sucks to be you.

  13. cannuck - Nov 4, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    I guess success does breed contempt….goooooo Yankkkkks….bring home number twenteeeeee sevvvvennnnnn…..yeahhhhhh…and to all the yankee haters….peace….and remember this….
    But it’s been no bed of roses
    No pleasure cruise –
    We consider it a challenge before the whole human race –
    And we ain’t gonna lose –
    We are the champions – my friends

  14. Giorgio Castelli - Nov 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM

    I always thought…and I still think…
    Yankees…the best team ever in baseball history, no matter what !!
    They will finish tonight…game 6 !!!

  15. Jack - Nov 4, 2009 at 10:06 PM

    Hey John, MARK MY WORDS, you are a complete moron. Lol, Phillies in seven. Almost as bad as Rollins “Phillies in five.”

  16. John - Nov 5, 2009 at 1:11 AM

    Hey Jack it’s not my fault I bought a faulty crystal ball!!! Damn thing anyway, first thing in the morning I’m taking it back to the gypsy I bought it from… providing she’s still there given she’s a gypsy and all.
    Anyway congrats to all you Yankee fans on NY’s 27th WS title, yes even you Jack and your genius brain. 😉 PHILLIES ARE OUT!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  17. Various_Authors - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:36 AM

    Hey all you haters. Stop hatin’ on the Yanks y’all. Y’all nuthin but a bunch of hatin’ haters. Back in the 60’s we had a name for people like you haters. What was it? Oh yeah, Douchebags!
    You can’t beat the Yanks. Don’t even try. They reflect the greatness of the greatest city in the world, populated by the greatest people on earth. New Yorkers.
    If it’s any consolation to you, the Yanks are still only 1/10th of the way to where they want to be. 270 World Series championships!

  18. wreckanize - Nov 5, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    Just got pounded. Best of LUCK!

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