Phillies stick close, but can't get NY sweep

Pedro Martinez may well have talked himself into a loss in Game Two of the World Series when he urged Charlie Manuel to let him start the seventh inning. The Yankees beat the Phillies to tie the World Series at one.

To some, it appeared that manager Charlie Manuel made a couple of questionable moves - or non-moves - late in game two that could have cost his team dearly. When he addressed the media, Manuel made his arguments for why he managed the game the way he did.

The very first question to Manuel was why he didn't start the runners with one out and Chase Utley facing a 3-2 count in the eighth inning. As it played out, Utley hit into a double-play, but Manuel was worried about another potential type of double-play. "First of all, Utley don't hit into many double plays. He always hustles," explained Manuel. "And at the same time I don't want to get -- Utley is a left-handed hitter and Posada has got a straight shot at Rollins, and I want Utley to hit, too. That's kind of how I looked at it."

Plus, Manuel isn't at all sure that Utley was out on the play and made it a point to mention that to reporters. "I'll tell you something else: Utley was safe," said Manuel. "I'm not saying nothing about the umpiring, I'm just saying that he was safe. That's all I'll tell you."

Prior to that eighth inning though, Manuel made the decision to let Pedro Martinez remain in the game even after it appeared that he had hit a wall. Twice, Manuel had J.A. Happ and Chad Durbin up in the bullpen, but Martinez worked out of jams. After six innings of work, Manuel and Martinez had a lengthy discussion in the dugout and Manuel came away from the chat convinced that Martinez could pitch deeper into the game. "Yeah, he said he felt just like he did. He said he felt good. He said that he was fine. He said that he wanted to go back out and pitch. The bottom of the lineup was up and everything, and I thought he hadn't lost anything."

At that point, Martinez had given up two solo home runs - one to Mark Teixeira and the other to Hideki Matsui - but in the seventh, he gave up back-to-back singles to Jerry Hairston Jr. and Melky Cabrera to start the inning. Manuel lifted Martinez in favor of right-hander Chan Ho Park, who gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Jorge Posada to score the Yankees third run of the night. Park then struck out Derek Jeter, who attempted to bunt with two strikes and then got Johnny Damon to hit into a double-play.

When Teixeira homered in the fourth, it snapped a streak of 17 straight scoreless innings that Martinez had thrown in postseason baseball. The last time that he had allowed a run was when he was pitching for Boston in game seven of the 2004 ALCS.

The Phillies offense was corralled by starter A.J. Burnett, who gave the Yankees seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks that led to just one earned run for the Phillies. That lone run came on an RBI single from Matt Stairs that third baseman Alex Rodriguez couldn't get to. The hit scored Raul Ibanez, who had doubled in front of Stairs, as the Phillies took a 1-0 lead.

"He [Burnett] was good and he was very aggressive with his fastball and his breaking ball was good. He pitched a heck of a game," commented Manuel.

Mariano Rivera threw the final two innings for the Yankees and delivered 39 pitches in the process to record the save. Yankees manager Joe Girardi felt comfortable using Rivera for two innings, thanks in part to the off-day on Friday. The off-day makes it conceivable that Rivera will be ready to go for game three Saturday night in Philadelphia. "I won't know that until Saturday," admitted Girardi. "I'll check with him on Saturday. But I think he threw 34 against the Angels, and he would have been available with a day off, if we had to play again, or he probably would have been available again the next day. So I think he'll be fine."

Throughout the game, Martinez was hearing chants from the Yankees fans and taking a lot of heat from the fans as he walked to the dugout after each inning. Martinez said that the fans didn't bother him, with one exception. "I remember one guy sitting right in front of the front row with his daughter, sitting with his daughter, and his daughter in one arm, and a cup of beer in the other hand and saying all kinds of nasty stuff. I just told him, 'Your daughter is right beside you. It's a little girl. It's a shame you're saying all these things,' " said Martinez. "I had to stop and tell him because I'm a father myself, and God, how can you be so dumb to do those kind of things in front of your child? What kind of example are you setting?"

Phillies pitchers have handled Alex Rodriguez well in this series. Rodriguez came into the World Series on a roll, but he's gone 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the series to snap his 11 game post-season hitting streak.

The series now heads to Philadelphia, tied at one game a piece. Cole Hamels - the MVP of last year's World Series - will be opposed by Andy Pettitte for the Yankees.

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