Things started well for the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday. But it all fell apart after an Alex Rodriguez home run, with the Yankees winning 8-5.
At no point during last season's run to the World Series title were the Philadelphia Phillies behind in a series.
Now, after the New York Yankees beat them 8-5 in Game 3 of the World Series, they are.
Down two games to one is hardly backs-against-the-wall time. But the Phillies will possibly go with their No. 4 pitcher – the capable but unspectacular Joe Blanton – against Yankee's ace C.C. Sabathia Sunday. If they lose, they will be a game from elimination with only one game remaining in Philadelphia before the series shifts back to Yankee Stadium.
None of this fazes Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel. "We'll come out tomorrow and try to even play better and harder," said Mr. Manuel in the post-game press conference. "We're that kind of team."
Nor are the Yankees planning the ticker tape parade yet. The Phillies are a team of sluggers, and Citizen's Bank Park breathed new life into the two teams' slumping offenses Saturday night, with six home runs flying out of the park.
"It seems like you could have a slugfest," said Yankee rightfielder Nick Swisher, who accounted for one of them.
But it was Alex Rodriguez's shot into right field in the fourth that ignited the Yankees. A-Rod's blast barely cleared the fence and was initially called a double. But, in the first utilization of the replay rule in postseason history, the umpires ruled it bounced off a camera on top of the wall and was a home run.