Now that was a great, nail-biter of a game. Game 2 of the World Series pitted Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against A. J. Burnett of the Yankees. After the Phillies took care of Sabathia and Game 1, the Phillies had to look in good shape going into this one, especially after Pedro's press conference where he pulled out all the stops and stopped only short of calling himself the best pitcher that ever lived...even if he could be right by saying so.
Of course, at age 38, Pedro bedazzles more with guile than the power pitching machine he used to be. It sure seems that he gets into the minds of the apposing batters. He'll have them blinking in silence at 88 MPH fastballs right down the middle and then after the batter is thinking, "What the heck, why wasn't I ready for that meatball," Martinez throws a sloppy curve into the dirt and makes them swing. It's downright entertaining unless of course, you are a Yankee fan.
But like Dorothy pulling the veil down from the great magician in the Wizard of Oz, Mark Teixeira pulled the magician's hat off of Pedro's head on a change up over the outside of the plate. He absolutely crushed it into the Yankee bullpen. The next thing you know, the magician is handing out hearts and courage with another homer by Matsui and a later run to get the magician out of the game.
Meanwhile, Burnett, who puts more fear into Yankee fans than into the other team had a better time of finishing off Phillies' at bats than usual. So far in the playoffs, he would always start 0-2 or 1-2, then throw a couple of curves in the dirt and walk the guy. Then he would be all off and start throwing wild pitches all over the place. Thursday night, he got the two strikes and then finished the guy off to the tune of nine strikeouts and seven innings with just the lone run.
Mariano Rivera finished it off by pitching two innings for the save. If his arm doesn't fall off this series, the Yankees have a chance. He bends, but he hasn't broken and once he gets through the eighth inning, the ninth is money. Although that first out to Howard was at least six inches outside.
It was a game the Yankees had to have and it was a game the Phillies could have really put the cuffs on. But the Yankees go to Philadelphia with a tie. The Phillies have been a weird team this year and have been better on the road than at home. The Rockies took a game from them in Philadelphia and then the Phillies rocked them at Coors. It will be interesting to see what happens. Cole Hamels will face Andy Pettitte on Saturday night.