As seen on Phillies Nation.
The World Series is headed back to the Bronx! Facing elimination, Chase Utley and Cliff Lee led the Phillies to an important 8-6 victory.
Red-hot Alex Rodriguez quickly put the Yankees on the board. A-Rod's World Series slump is history, but Chase Utley made history of his own. Utley's first inning three-run bomb started a long night for A.J Burnett. Utley was far from done.
The Phillies tacked on runs in the third inning via Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, and Carlos Ruiz RBI's. Burnett was the complete opposite from game two. He lasted two innings and gave up six runs. In the meantime, Cliff Lee was cruising.
Lee wasn't lights out, but he pitched better than his line indicated. He pitched seven innings, but tired as he approached the 100+ pitch mark. Three of the five earned runs he allowed came in the eighth inning, including one inherited run.
Once again, it was A-Rod with the big hit. Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch in the first inning, so Charlie Manuel opted to rest him with a commanding lead. It was controversial since Raul Ibanez was unable to make a tough catch and Ben Francisco, Victorino's replacement, could not make a strong throw on a sacrifice fly. The Phillies six-run lead was cut in half.
Chase Utley's second home run and Ibanez's solo shot were a big reason why the Phillies put together a large lead. Utley has five home runs in the World Series, tying Reggie Jackson's record in 1977. The home runs proved to be key since the Yankees continued to fight back.
Chan Ho Park pitched a solid inning, and Ryan Madson was asked to close. Jorge Posada's double and Hideki Matsui's single were the beginning of another potential ninth-inning nightmare. Instead, a run was traded for a double play and Madson struck out Mark Teixeira to end the game.
Breathe a little easier, but there are still two more games that the Phillies need to win. They'll have to do that on the Yankees' turf, but they play their best with their backs against the wall.