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Yankees 7 Phillies 4: Yankees Never Say Die

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CC was not sharp, handing out 3 walks in addition to 7 hits over 6.2IP.  He managed to work out of significant trouble, leaving runners in scoring position in the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th.  He wasn't the immovable object of the ALCS, but with some offense behind him, he didn't need to be.

Sabathia didn't seem to be locating well, which may or may not have been influenced warning issued by the umps in the top of the first when Arod was plunked for the 3rd time in 4 games.  But he reminded the world that what makes him special is that he gives depth as well as quality.  

The Phighting Phils scored their first run on back to back doubles in the 1st, and another on a single + Johnny Damon's arm in the 4th. CC left in the 7th following another Utley solo shot on a hanger.

Joe Blanton kept the Yankees off balance for 6 innings- striking out 7 but also walking a pair and surrendering 5 hits.  The ump certainly helped with one of the most questionable strike zones I can remember in a long time.  Pitches called strikes half way down the shins, both sides of the plate growing and shrinking as the night stretched on.

The top of the order was the catalyst for the Yanks tonight, both Jeter and Damon collected a pair of hits and scored runs in the 1st and 5th.

Marte looked good closing out the 7th, giving way to Joba for the 8th.  Joba struck out Jason Werth, touching 97 with his fastball.  Then Joba struck out Raul Ibanez, throwing 3 straight sliders to set up another 97 mph fastball.  He was up 1-2 to the light hitting Pedro Feliz.  He missed with a pair of sliders, and came back with a fastball that Feliz turned around so quickly that Joba didn't even have to watch it fly to know it was gone.

In the top of the ninth, Matsui and Jeter went down in order.  Johnny Damon worked a nine pitch AB, finally lacing a single to left field.  The Phillies put the shift on Tex (though the broadcast team didn't mention it or show it well), and when Damon stole second, then popped up and took off for third most of Yankee Universe committed bushido before realizing that it was a great heads up play.  Tex was HBP, putting an exclamation point on his 0-fer, and bringing the Lighting Rod to bat with runners on 1st and 3rd.  Arod did what Arod do, doubling in Damon (Joe Nathan, Brian Fuentes, Brad Lidge- it's like a little collector set).  Jorge followed with a single, plating Tex and Arod, though Posada was out at second on the play.

Mariano took the hill with a 3 run lead (protecting a vulture W for Joba Chamberlain).  Goodbye Matt Stairs.  Goodbye Jimmy Rollins.  Goodbye Shane Victorino.  MVP?  Maybe, maybe.

The night's disheartening news concerns Melky Cabrera, who pulled up lame on a grounder to first in the top of the 6th inning.  If the Melk Man hits the DL, I figure either Freddy Guzman or Fransico Cervelli will return (though I'm personally rooting for Cody Ransom  /sarcasm).