11/01/09 2:48 AM EST
Yankees Short Hops: Game 3
Pettitte settles down, A-Rod ignites homer-happy offense
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
The Yankees came back from an early three-run deficit behind home runs by Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui. Frozen moment
The Yankees were hitless and down three runs in the fourth when Rodriguez lined an 0-1 pitch from Cole Hamels down the right-field line and, it appeared, off the wall for a double. The umpires reviewed the play, however, and ruled it a home run since the ball struck a camera just above the fence in right. The two-run homer got New York right back in the game. Big number
19 -- Yankees home runs this postseason -- a franchise record -- after the long balls by Rodriguez, Swisher and Matsui. Coming into the game, this year's Bombers were tied at 16 with squads from 1996, 2001 and 2003. Game balls
That's one way to break out of a slump. After sitting out Game 2, Swisher responded in a big way on Saturday, with his first home run of the postseason -- a solo shot to left field -- and a double down the left-field line to spark the Yankees' three-run fifth inning.
It certainly wasn't the sharpest start of Pettitte's postseason, but he managed to dig himself out of some major trouble early and help his own cause at the plate later. Pettitte's fifth-inning RBI single was the first in the World Series by a Yankees pitcher since Jim Bouton in Game 6 of the 1964 Series against St. Louis.
Chamberlain had a quick and easy seventh inning, retiring the top three hitters in the order on just nine pitches. With the continued struggles of Phil Hughes, Chamberlain may reclaim his role as the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera for the rest of the World Series.
Sense of October
Pettitte's single was just the 28th hit of his career in 204 at-bats. It was his third career postseason hit, the others coming in the 2005 National League Division Series with Houston and the 2001 World Series with the Yankees.
4 AB, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI
Comment: Damon's one hit was a big one. His two-run double in the fifth gave the Yankees their first lead of the game and one they would not surrender. He also walked and scored in the seventh for a crucial insurance run.
6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 7 K, 3 BB
Comment: Pettitte survived a rough second inning to earn his fourth win in 12 career World Series starts. After surrendering three runs in the second, Pettitte allowed only one more hit: Jayson Werth's second solo shot of the game in the sixth.
"It's nice to have a day like this, but it's just one game. ... Obviously, coming here into a hostile crowd like tonight, it's great to definitely get a game here." -- Swisher
The Yankees aim to take full control of the series behind their ace, CC Sabathia, in Sunday's Game 4 in Philadelphia at 8:20 p.m. ET.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.