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Phillies can't solve Burnett as Yankees even World Series in Game Two


Game Two of World Series games are not Jayson Werth's specialty.

Werth, whose crucial error in Game Two of last year's World Series led to the eventual winning runs in a 4-2 Phillies loss, was picked off first base in the top of the fourth inning of last night's contest vs. the Yankees. In the World Series, every play is crucial. And when Mark Teixeira homered off Phillies starter Pedro Martinez in the latter half of that inning, you had an eerie feeling that Werth's miscue was exactly the spark that the Yankees needed to get back into the game and the series. When all was said and done, the Phillies lost a heartbreaker 3-1, lost their lead in the 2009 World Series, and can't help but feel they gave this game away.

As luck would have it for the Phillies, they unfortunately got the dominant A.J. Burnett, not the head case with an ERA over 4.00 this postseason. In a stark contrast from Game One, the Phillies failed miserably to execute with runners in scoring position against Burnett. Attrocious at-bats by Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Shane Victorino throughout the game contributed to this. At this time, Pedro Feliz is such a lost cause at the plate it's unbearable. Further proof that no team in the history of Major League Baseball has been hurt more by the two-out, two-strike homer than the Phillies occurred courtesy of Hideki Matsui in the bottom of the sixth. Our worst fears were then confirmed: the Phillies fell behind late in the game, and Mariano Rivera shut the door on the Phillies to even the series 1-1.  As usual, the Phillies made it interesting. As far as Charlie Manuel deciding not to run Rollins and Victorino in the eighth inning when Chase Utley hit into a double play was an iffy one.  Hindsight is always 20/20, and when you have Ryan Howard coming up it raises even more eyebrows.  Moreover, the question whether Manuel should have sent Martinez out in the seventh inning raises some eyebrows. As usual, the umpiring during the postseason was horrific for both teams, with Burnett's and Rivera's strike zone expanding tremendously.  Any of these topics are debatable, but when it comes down to it, the Phillies only scored one run.

Just 24 hours ago, we were talking about the possibility of the Phillies' jumping to a 2-0 in this series as a tremendous opportunity. Instead, they are now tied 1-1, and with an unreliable Cole Hamels going Saturday in Game Three against big game pitcher Andy Pettitte, this series could turn real sour, real quick for the Phillies. Let's hope the Yankees don't take the ball and run with it.

Don't worry guys, you experts at ESPN and all the other networks can breathe a little easier now. Unreal. Can't wait to hear what they have to say tomorrow.......


photo: www.nj.com