10/29/09 11:30 PM EST
Yankees Short Hops: Game 2
High five for arms of A.J., Mo, Molina, bats of Matsui, Tex
By Thomas Boorstein / MLB.com
They didn't explode, but the Yankees' bats did enough to even the series behind a masterful performance from A.J. Burnett.
Jose Molina's pickoff of Jayson Werth at first base in the fourth inning removed the leadoff baserunner and helped turn what could have been a long inning into a short frame for Burnett. It also may have snatched the momentum from the Phillies, who saw their 1-0 lead disappear in the bottom of the inning.
30: That's the number of innings in between World Series leads for the Yankees dating back to the Marlins' three-run second inning in Game 5 of 2003. Game balls
Burnett responded from a lackluster outing in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series with seven innings of one-run ball in the Bronx. He worked his curveball to great success, getting four of his nine K's looking.
Matsui, no stranger to critical swings against Pedro Martinez in the postseason, added another one to his resume with a line-drive homer into the seats in right field. That broke a 1-1 tie and helped the Yankees achieve a 1-1 tie in the World Series.
After looking lost in Game 1 on Wednesday, the first baseman tied the game with a long fourth-inning home run into the bullpen in right-center field. He also applied the nifty tag on Molina's pickoff throw.
Staked to a two-run lead, Rivera worked a two-inning save for the second time this week. He also got six outs to help the Yankees clinch the pennant against the Angels on Sunday night.
Sense of October
Rivera doesn't start the eighth inning unless the Yankees need a game. They needed this one, and Rivera needed the double play he induced from Chase Utley after putting runners on first and second with one out.
3 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 BB
Comment: Most of the Yankees struggled against Martinez, but Matsui did not. He reached base all three times against the Phillies starter and had the go-ahead homer with two outs in the sixth inning.
7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K's
Comment: Burnett started slowly but finished with a flourish. After allowing a run in the second and needing 76 pitches to get through four innings, the righty allowed one runner in his final three frames and struck out two of the final three Phillies he faced, exiting after 108 pitches.
Andy Pettitte, whose last World Series start came with the Astros in 2005, will make his 11th World Series start with the Yankees in a pivotal Game 3 as the series shifts to Philadelphia on Saturday.
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.