11/03/09 2:05 AM EST
Yanks drop Game 5, head home up 3-2
Four late runs not enough to deliver 27th World Series title
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
A.J. Burnett was knocked out in the third inning and the Bombers were denied their chance to celebrate by the Phillies, who closed their stadium for the season with an 8-6 win in Game 5 of the World Series.
"I had a chance to do something special tonight, and I failed," Burnett said. "I let a lot of guys in here down, and I let a city down. The positive thing to take from tonight is that these guys don't stop. They played their hearts out for nine innings, and unfortunately, I didn't give them a chance to win."
With the Phillies facing elimination in their quest for back-to-back championships, Chase Utley homered twice, headlining a barrage that pointed the Yankees up the New Jersey Turnpike with more baseball to play.
New York will now prepare for a second chance at a potential clinching game, with Game 6 to be played on Wednesday night at 7:57 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium.
"We have a good feeling," captain Derek Jeter said. "We came here in a tough place to play and won a couple of games. Now, we get an opportunity to go back home and play Game 6. We have confidence playing there, but you've still got to play a good game."
|Year||Opp.||Gm 5 res.||Series res.|
|2009||PHI||L on road||????|
|2000||NYM||W on road||W in 5|
|1977||LA||W on road||W in 6|
|1962||SF||L at home||W in 7|
|1961||CIN||W on road||W in 5|
|1949||BRO||W on road||W in 5|
|1943||STL||W on road||W in 5|
|1941||BRO||W on road||W in 5|
|1937||NYG||W on road||W in 5|
|1936||NYG||L at home||W in 6|
Starting on three days' rest, Burnett could not find his command and recorded just six outs, charged with six runs in the aborted effort.
"If we would have pitched today, we probably would have won," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the bottom line -- A.J. struggled today. He felt good, he just struggled today. That's something that happens in the game of baseball."
Despite Burnett's shaky start, the Yankees improbably rallied from a six-run deficit to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. But Ryan Madson got Jeter to ground into a double play, and Mark Teixeira struck out to give baseball its first World Series of at least six games since 2003, when the Yankees lost to the Marlins.
With hindsight in play, a rocky seventh inning for reliever Phil Coke proved to be crucial. The left-hander surrendered Utley's second home run of the game and fifth of the World Series -- allowing the second baseman to tie Reggie Jackson's record from 1977 -- then he served up a Raul Ibanez solo blast that made it 8-2.
"Those were tack-on runs that hurt us, obviously," Girardi said. "We ended up with six runs tonight. We still had a chance in the ninth inning to possibly come back and tie it up or take the lead, but when you look back at it, those runs hurt us."
In the end, the Yankees were put in too large of a hole to overcome, for which Burnett wanted the blame. The first inning was ugly -- by the time Burnett recorded his first out, he had faced four batters and three runs were already on the scoreboard, courtesy of a three-run Utley homer to right field.
Driving home a point
"I just couldn't get the ball where I wanted to," Burnett said. "Everything was up, I had no hook tonight and strike one is huge, especially against a lineup like that. You've got to get ahead and I didn't do that."
Burnett finally escaped the first inning and navigated the second, but his fortune ran out in the third, when he faced four batters and retired none. Jayson Werth drilled a run-scoring single to center and Ibanez chased Burnett with an RBI double down the right-field line, prompting Jeter -- who repeatedly says he is not thrown off by anything -- to admit surprise.
"They seemed like when they got their pitches to hit, they hit them," Jeter said. "You're always surprised by that, because A.J. has got great stuff."
Carlos Ruiz added a run-scoring fielder's choice against Dave Robertson that all but finalized a matchup that will likely put Andy Pettitte on the mound in the Bronx against old rival Pedro Martinez as the final obstacle to a parade down the Canyon of Heroes.
Burnett's start of two-plus innings was the shortest in a World Series since Roger Clemens lasted just two innings for the Astros against the White Sox in Game 1 of the 2005 Fall Classic. It also marked the first time this postseason that a Yankees starter did not pitch at least six innings.
Long odds on short rest
"He just didn't have his stuff," Johnny Damon said. "That's what happens when pitchers don't have their stuff."
Girardi had felt confident giving the ball to Burnett on short rest, citing the pitcher's enthusiasm for the assignment as well as a persuasive track record. Burnett has made four regular-season starts on short rest, one in 2004 and three in '08, having gone 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA.
"I don't think it bothered me at all," Burnett said of working on short rest. "It's just a matter of throwing strikes. You guys saw it -- there's really no rest issue. I felt strong and felt great. I just didn't get it done."
Taking the start on regular rest, left-hander Cliff Lee wasn't as precise as in his dominant complete-game effort in the Series opener, but the left-handed ace was plenty capable, as the Yankees allowed him to get away with a few mistakes early and never really mounted a consistent attack.
"Basically, our backs were against the wall, a do-or-die situation," Lee said. "To go out there and give the team a chance, the offense scored plenty of runs to make things a little easier on me."
New York struck in the first inning, as Damon singled and scored on an Alex Rodriguez double. Eric Hinske worked a one-out walk in the fifth, and the second run scored when Ryan Howard tagged first base on a Damon groundout but declined to throw home, cutting the deficit to 6-2.
A-Rod added a two-run double in the eighth to push his franchise record of RBIs this postseason to 18 and chase Lee, who sprinted off the mound to loud applause. Robinson Cano lifted a sacrifice fly off Chan Ho Park before Jorge Posada scored the Yankees' final run with Madson on the hill in the ninth.
The late surge got the Yankees close but not near enough to taste those bottles of champagne, which remained unpopped and on ice for a 108-mile journey north.
"If our offense was great, we'd be getting ready for a parade," Damon said. "That's why I say it's OK. It's been OK. Hopefully, we can get some more production, and it starts Wednesday."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.