Life is good as a New York Yankee fan this morning. A 2-1 World Series lead with CC Sabathia heading to the mound tonight -- against Joe Blanton instead of Cliff Lee.
Let's cruise the Inter-Google while we celebrate the Game 3 victory, and see what is being said Around the Yankee Universe.
- New York Daily News media critic Bob Raissman was highly critical of FOX for their reporting -- or lack of reporting on the Alex Rodriguez home run that resulted in the first-ever World Series replay reversal. The camera, of course, belonged to FOX -- a fact that was never mentioned. The other question is, of course, why would the network stick a camera in a place where it could interfere with play?
- Mike Lupica has plenty of praise for Andy Pettitte this morning, after Pettitte perservered through six difficult inning.
None of it (the comeback) happens if Andy Pettitte doesn't stand in there against the Phillies, like a hitter standing in against the curve. There have been what feel like a hundred October nights when he had more fastball and more stuff than he showed you against the Phillies in Game 3, those three runs in the first two innings, two home runs by Jayson Werth, the second one a monster shot that went off the facing of the upper deck at Citizens Bank Park.
He pitched six innings, gave up five hits, struck out seven, gave up the two home runs. It does not look like a lot. It was. On this night, the night when the Yankees were trying to get ahead and then give the ball to CC Sabathia, Pettitte was as much a champion Yankee as he has ever been. He needed 17 minutes and 24 pitches to get out of the bottom of the first. He threw over to first eight times after Jimmy Rollins singled. He saw Rollins steal second without even drawing a throw from Jorge Posada. It is supposed to be easier stealing from an armored car.
- While Pettitte is drawing praise today, Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels is mostly drawing scorn. Including a 'WTF were you thinking?' reaction to that fifth-inning curveball he threw to Pettitte that resulted in a game-tying single. The following is from SI.com's Tom Verducci, and it probably sums up the reaction of Philly fans and knowledgeable baseball people.
If Game 3 is the turning point of the World Series -- 68 percent of teams up 2-1 go on to win it -- then a Yankees championship began with one pitch from Cole Hamels that will be remembered as one of the great gaffes in recent Series history. The beginning of the end for Philadelphia was a first-pitch curveball Hamels threw New York pitcher Andy Pettitte with no understanding of basic baseball. When Pettitte stepped in, Hamels was working with a 3-2 lead, a runner at second base and -- here's the key part -- one out. Pettitte is a career .134 hitter who has come to bat a total of 12 times over the past three years. Hamels could dispose of him with fastballs, the way J.A. Happ would do the next inning, and he would be one out away from being out of the inning. Instead, Hamels threw a first-pitch curveball up, and Pettitte slapped a single to tie the game. Why in the world would he throw something slow -- and up, no less -- to an American League pitcher? "I made the right pitch to Pettitte," Hamels explained. "A pitcher doesn't hit an oh-and-oh curve in a bunting situation." I was incredulous. I had to follow up, and asked him, "Just to clarify, you thought Pettitte was bunting, so you threw a breaking ball up to try to get him to pop up a bunt?"
"Yes," Hamels said. "That's what I get my fair share of the time when I'm bunting. He swung and got a hit. Baseball is very, very difficult to understand sometimes." Hamels emphasized his point by way of explaining he missed location only once, on a fastball to Johnny Damon that became a two-run double that inning. Hamels clearly did not regard the pitch to Pettitte as a mistake. I couldn't believe it. There is no way Pettitte is bunting there. There is virtually no advantage to be gained from moving a runner from second to third and be left with two outs. With no outs, it's an obvious bunt situation. One out? The pitcher swings away, because even if he strikes out, you still have a runner in scoring position with two outs, and on all but rare occasions the runner will be sent home from second on a single. So you have nothing to lose by letting the pitcher swing away. It's Baseball 101.
"Skip  sat me down the other day and said, 'Hey, just relax. I want you to just watch this game, enjoy this game,' " Swisher said. "And then we talked about some stuff after the game. But I think it really helped me mentally, not necessarily physically because right now you're such on Cloud Nine because you're playing in the and you don't really feel anything.
"But it was nice for my head to just rest and enjoy that game, and especially for us to win, that was great."
- After watching him surrender a ninth-inning home run to Carlos Ruiz, Ken Davidoff wonders what the Yankees will do with Phil Hughes the rest of the Series.
You have to wonder what sort of role Hughes, sporting a 10.80 ERA in eight postseason appearances, will play the rest of the way. If Girardi doesn't trust him to get two outs before surrendering three runs, that doesn't speak much for the manager's confidence.
It is a fair question. My guess is that you will see more David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain. SI.com's Jon Heyman got this tidbit about Hughes from a scout. "He looks frightened, he doesn't look the same."