© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
10/05/07 11:11 PM ET
Chess Match: Carmona too good to pull
Young righty fans A-Rod in ninth with go-ahead run on second
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Game 2 at Jacobs Field may never have seen extra innings on Friday night had the Indians pulled back on the throttle early in the game. Then again, some overaggressive baserunning was hardly the lone factor that led to a tightly-contested tilt that the Indians finally ended in the 11th inning.
After Cleveland's Jhonny Peralta steals second base with two outs in the second inning, Kenny Lofton lines a pitch from Yankees starter Andy Pettitte into center field for a single.
Peralta bolts from second and Indians third-base coach Joel Skinner waves his arms, giving Peralta the green light to sprint toward home plate.
Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera gloves the ball and fires a bullet to the plate, where catcher Jorge Posada is able to easily tag Peralta out to end the inning.
The analysis: "I got a good break, but he hit it hard and right to Cabrera. I knew if he made a good throw, I didn't have a chance. And that's what happened. He got me." -- Peralta
Passing on the MVP
With first base open, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez bats with two outs in the ninth inning, Bobby Abreu on second and the game tied at 1.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge elects to have Fausto Carmona face the prime American League Most Valuable Player candidate, despite the young hurler being well over 100 pitches and the left-handed-hitting Hideki Matsui on deck with left-handed reliever Rafael Perez warming up.
The count goes full, but Carmona fans Rodriguez on a sinker under his hands. Rodriguez remains hitless in the first two games of the series.
"I was excited about the situation and I thought I was the right man in the right spot. I worked him, fouled off some tough pitches, but I have to tip my cap. He won the battle." --Rodriguez
In the seventh inning, Pettitte walks Lofton to put runners on first and second base with one out and New York ahead, 1-0.
The decision: New York manager Joe Torre decides it is an opportune time to summon rookie setup man Joba Chamberlain from the bullpen.
Chamberlain strikes out pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez and then induces an inning-ending fly out off the bat of Casey Blake.
"Joba was so solid in the seventh to come in and bail me out. It was a serious pressure situation. " -- Pettitte
Going after Garko
With two outs, the game tied at one run apiece, and a runner on third base in the 10th inning, Indians catcher Victor Martinez steps to the plate to face Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees opt to intentionally walk Martinez in favor of facing Cleveland's Ryan Garko, who bats from the right side.
Rivera hits Garko with a pitch to load the bases, but the Yankees' closer follows by striking out Peralta to end the inning.
"This year it's different. We kind of find a way to cover up mistakes -- leaving runners on base -- and find a way to win." -- Cleveland's Travis Hafner, who had the game-winning hit with the bases loaded an inning later