In their defense, it would have been tough to start him after he said he couldn’t wait for the season to be over after game three.

The. Yankees. Win. They beat a great Phillies team that fought to the end and still has a fantastic core with a lot of games left to play. But not this year. If the Phils came into this series full of swagger, they have to come out of it knowing that if they want to beat the best in baseball they will have to get better.

You get the feeling that the Phillies might get another chance against this group of Yankees before it’s over.

With that in mind, let’s hope they bring some better pitching next time. I would also like to say that if I ever see Pedro Martinez wearing a Phillies uniform to face Hideki Matsui as a Yankee again it may be more than I can bear. That’s pretty unlikely given that neither player is likely to play another game for the Yanks or Phils, but I still think we need to get somebody working on an early warning system of some kind right away.

Charlie Manuel takes a lot of criticism that he doesn’t deserve. He is a fantastic manager, perhaps the best in Phillies history. There may not be another person on the planet that could get more out of the Phillies teams of the past two seasons than he has. He made the worst decision I’ve seen in a long time last night, though. With two outs in the third inning of a must-win game, Hideki Matsui came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Yanks up 2-1. Pedro had nothing. Given enough time we’re going to forget how bad Pedro looked, but he had nothing. He was slinging 84 mile-an-hour fastballs over the plate. Matsui had homered off of him in each of his last two at-bats and reached base the two before that. Happ was ready to come into the game. And Manuel still let Martinez pitch to him. The Phillies were lucky that all Matsui did was smoke a two-run single.

I truly do not understand how you can look at that situation and believe that letting Pedro pitch to Matsui gives the Phillies their best chance to win that game. Yes, I know the Yankees outscored the Phillies 3-2 the rest of the way. Yes, I saw Matsui’s at-bat against Happ later in the game. Yes, I know it was the third inning. Yes, I saw him strike out A-Rod before Matsui came to the plate. No, it didn’t cost the Phillies the game. No, it’s not indefensible or unforgivable. It was still really, really a bad idea. The Phillies needed Manuel’s best move right then, not some sonnet to something Pedro did for the Boston Red Sox half a decade ago. How many at-bats in a row would Matsui have had to have homered against Pedro for Manuel to take him out of the game? I don’t know the answer, but I know that it’s more than two.

Matsui had an epic game, driving in six runs and hitting his third home run of the series.

Pedro started the bottom of the second by walking A-Rod. Matsui followed with a home run that put New York up 2-0. A one-out triple by Ruiz in the top of the third helped the Phillies get on the board at 2-1. In the bottom of the third the Yankees loaded the bases with one out on a single, a walk and it hit batter. Martinez struck out A-Rod for the second out, but Matsui followed with a two-run single that extended the New York lead to 4-1. Jeter started the fifth with a double off of Happ and came in to score on a single by Teixeira. 5-1. Rodriguez followed with a walk and Matsui delivered a two-run double to make it 7-1. Howard hit a two-run homer off of Pettitte in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-3, but that was how it ended.

The New York Yankees have won the World Series, beating the Phils 7-3 in game six last night to take the set four games to two.

Pedro Martinez got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run by Matsui. Martinez struck out five.

He faced a Yankees lineup that went (1) Jeter (SS/R) (2) Damon (LF/R) (3) Teixeira (1B/S) (4) Rodriguez (3B/R) (5) Matsui (DH/L) (6) Posada (C/S) (7) Cano (2B/L) (8) Swisher (RF/S) (9) Gardner (CF/L). Matsui up to fifth and Posada sixth.

The Yankees had four players on their bench to start the game, righties Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston, switch-hitter Ramiro Pena and lefty Eric Hinske.

He came out throwing slop. It worked in the first, though. Jeter got ahead 1-0 and flew to left for the first out. Damon struck out swinging 2-2 for the second. Teixeira flew to Werth in deep right on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Martinez was really not throwing the ball hard. He threw 13 pitches in the inning.

A-Rod started the second and walked on four pitches. Matsui was next and first he hit one way out but foul, then he just missed a double down the first-base line, then hit a 3-2 pitch out to right. 2-0. Pedro struck out Posada 2-2 for the first out. Cano swung at the first pitch and lined to Utley. Swisher flew to shallow left on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

It didn’t look like Pedro was long for the game. After 24 pitches in the inning he was at 37.

He started the third down 2-1. He struck Gardner out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Jeter was next and lined a 1-1 pitch to center that was misjudged by Victorino. It fell just in front of him for a single. Damon waked on a 3-2 pitch to put men on first and second and Happ started to warm in the bullpen. Pedro’s first pitch to Teixeira hit him in the leg to load the bases. Martinez struck A-Rod out looking 1-2 for the second out. Matsui was next and Pedro stayed in to pitch to him. Pedro got ahead of him, but Matsui lined an 0-2 pitch into center for a two-run single. 4-1 with men on first and second. Posada flew to left 1-1 to set the Yankees down.

Simply an atrocious inning for Manuel. You just can’t let Pedro stay in to pitch to Matsui. After Matsui drives in two more runs you shouldn’t let him stay in to pitch to Posada. Victorino should have caught the ball Jeter hit and it would have changed the inning, although the Phillies may have been lucky as it was that Martinez just gave up four runs. Martinez was at 62 pitches after throwing 25 in the inning.

Pedro threw a 1-2-3 fourth. Cano flew to left. Swisher struck out swinging 3-2. Gardner smoked a line drive on a 1-1 pitch, but Utley snared it to end the inning.

15 and 77 for Pedro.

Durbin started the fifth. Jeter led off and drove a ball to left-center just out of the reach of Francisco. It bounced on the track and went over the fence for a ground-rule double. Hairston, who had taken over for Damon in left, bunted him to second with the first out. Teixeira singled to center and Jeter scored. 5-1. Durbin walked A-Rod on a 3-2 pitch that was way inside. It put two men on and Happ came in to pitch to Matsui. Matsui hit a 3-1 pitch off the wall in right for a two-run double. 7-1. Happ struck out Posada and Cano to leave Matsui stranded.

I never knew how slow Francisco was until watching him try to get to Jeter’s ball. That was in the air for a while. Finally get to see Happ versus Matsui and it doesn’t turn out that well.

Happ came back to start the sixth with the Phils down 7-3. He walked Swisher on a 3-2 pitch. Gardner tried to bunt but struck out looking 2-2. Park came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter hit a ground ball in between first and second. Howard fielded and threw to second to get Jeter, but the Phillies didn’t have a chance to turn two. Hairston flew to right on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.

Park was back to start the seventh. He struck Teixeira out swinging 2-2 for the first out. He got ahead of A-Rod, but Rodriguez hit a 1-2 pitch that dribbled through Rollins and Feliz and into left field for a single. Eyre came in to pitch to Matsui and struck him out trying to check his swing 1-2 as A-Rod stole second. Eyre walked Posada intentionally to pitch to Cano and struck Cano out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.

Not a fan of walking Posada intentionally with two outs no matter how bad Cano is hitting. It worked out great, though.

Eyre was back to start the eighth. Swisher hit a slow ground ball to third that Feliz bare-handed. He made a nice throw to first to get Swisher for the first out. Gardner grounded to second for the second out and Madson came in to pitch to Jeter. Jeter singled to right. Hairston popped to short to end the inning.

Great play by Feliz.

Lee was the only pitcher who made a start for the Phillies who threw to an ERA under six for the series.

Jeter was 11-for-27 with three doubles and a walk in the series. 407/429/519.

Damon 8-for-22 with two doubles. 364/440/455. You’re going to be okay offensively if the top two hitters in your lineup on-base .429 and .440.

Teixeira 3-for-22 with a double and a homer. 136/296/318.

Rodriguez 5-for-20 with three doubles and a home run. Three walks and was hit by pitches three times. 250/423/550.

Posada 5-for-19 with a double. 263/318/316.

Swisher 2-for-15 with a double and a home run. 133/316/400.

Cabrera 2-for-13. 154/154/154.

Matsui 8-for-13 with a double, three home runs and eight RBI. 615/643/1.385. He led the team with eight RBI.

Gardner 0-for-10 with four strikeouts.

Molina 0-for-2.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Andy Pettitte went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Victorino (CF/S) (3) Utley (2B/L) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Werth (RF/R) (6) Ibanez (DH/L) (7) Feliz (3B/R) (8) Francisco (LF/R) (9) Ruiz (C/R). Victorino stays in center despite being hit on the right hand by a pitch trying to bunt in game five. Ibanez is the DH with Francisco in left. Against the lefty Sabathia in the first DH-game of the series, Francisco hit seventh and Feliz hit eighth.

The Phillies started the game with four players on the bench, lefties Dobbs, Stairs and Bako and righty Eric Bruntlett.

Rollins led off the game and took ball one before hitting a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Jeter made a nice play to throw him out. Victorino chopped an 0-2 pitch slowly down the third base line. Pettitte fielded but didn’t have a play. Utley grounded into a double-play on a 1-1 pitch to end the frame.

Just eight pitches in the inning for Pettitte.

Howard got ahead 2-0 to start the second, but grounded to first. Werth drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Ibanez swung at the first pitch and popped up to shallow right. Werth went to second when Pettitte delivered a 2-1 pitch to Feliz that was in the dirt and got away from Posada. Ahead in the count 3-1, Feliz fouled out to the catcher.

Of the five Phillies hitters who had made an out in the game, four of them were ahead in the count when they did it. Ibanez swung at the first pitch for his out. Sixteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 24 after two innings.

Francisco led off the third with the Phillies down 2-0. He grounded to third on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Ruiz was next and he drove a 3-1 pitch into left-center and off the wall. The ball took an odd bounce off the ball and away from Gardner, allowing Ruiz to go to third with a triple. Rollins lined a 2-0 pitch to right for the second out. Ruiz tagged and scored to cut the New York lead to 2-1. Victorino swung at the first pitch and flew to right.

Thirteen pitches in the inning had Pettitte at 37.

The Phillies were down 4-1 when they hit in the top of the fourth. Jerry Hariston was in left for Damon, who had left with a leg problem. Utley struck out swinging 2-2. Howard lined to second on an 0-1 pitch. Werth walked on a 3-1 pitch. Ibanez swung and missed 2-0, but Posada just didn’t catch the ball and it let Werth go to second. Ibanez drew a walk to put men on first and second. Feliz got ahead 2-0, then took a 2-1 pitch that had a ton of the plate before grounding to third 3-2 to end the frame.

After 25 pitches in the inning, Pettitte was at 62.

Francisco started the fifth and struck out looking 0-2. Ruiz walked on a 3-1 pitch. Rollins was next and he grounded a 2-2 pitch to third. The Yankees turned two to set the Phils down.

Pettitte was at 75 pitches for the game after throwing 13 in the game.

The Phillies were losing 7-1 when they hit in the sixth. Victorino grounded to short for the first out, but Utley followed with a walk. Howard was next and he hit the first pitch of his at-bat just out to left. It cut the New York lead to 7-3. Werth was next and struck out looking 1-2. Ibanez hit an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner for a double. Righty Joba Chamberlain came in to pitch to Feliz and got Feliz on a ground ball to third to leave Ibanez stranded.

Chamberlain started the seventh still up 7-3. Francisco struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Ruiz was next and he singled into center on a 2-2 pitch. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch to second and Cano threw to Jeter to force Ruiz for the second out with Rollins safe at first. Rollins stole second as the count went 2-0 on Victorino, just barely beating the throw by Posada. Victorino walked on four pitches and lefty Damaso Marte came in to pitch to Utley with two outs and two on. Marte threw strike one and strike two. Utley tried to check his swing 0-2 but didn’t and Marte was out of the inning.

Marte looked fantastic, getting ahead with a pitch on the outside corner that was probably a ball and then throwing a pretty breaking pitch to get ahead 0-2. Not a good time to steal a base.

Marte was back to start the eighth and struck Howard out on three pitches for the first out. The righty Rivera came in to pitch to Werth and struck him out 2-2 for the second. Ibanez was next and got behind 0-2, but had a great at-bat that ended when he hit a 2-2 pitch over the head of Gardner for a double. Feliz fouled out to Posada to leave Ibanez stranded.

Great outing for Marte, striking out Utley and Howard back-to-back.

Mariano in the ninth with a four-run lead. Stairs hit for Francisco and lined to third. Ruiz drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that was inside. Rollins hit an 0-1 pitch deep to right, but Swisher took it at the track for the second out. Ruiz took second as the count went 1-2 on Victorino. Victorino grounded to second 3-2 to end the season.

Four great at-bats from the Phillies in the ninth. Just like you would expect. Stairs hit a moon shot to the upper deck but foul before he smoked a line drive right at Jeter. Ruiz worked a walk. Rollins just missed. Victorino got in an early 1-2 hole, but battled all the way and ran hard to first when he grounded out on the tenth pitch of his at-bat.

Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game and went 5-for-23 with five walks and two RBI in the series. 217/345/217. The Phillies did not win in either five or six games.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a walk last night and 4-for-22 with a double and three walks in the series.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 6-for-21 with a double, five home runs and four walks. 286/400/1.048. He led the team with eight RBI. Just a monster series for Utley.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer last night. 4-for-23 with two doubles, a home run and two walks in the series. He struck out 13 times in 23 at-bats. 174/240/391.

Werth 0-for-2 with two walks in game six. 5-for-19 with five walks and two home runs in the series. 263/417/579.

Ibanez 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. 7-for-23 with four doubles and a homer in the series. 304/333/609. His seven hits led the Phillies. He also struck out nine times in 23 at-bats.

Feliz was 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 4-for-23 with a double and a home run. 174/174/348.

Francisco was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-7 with a walk in the series. 000/125/000. I still think it was a great acquisition for the Phils, but he had a miserable post-season.

Ruiz was 2-for-2 with a triple and two walks. 6-for-18 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs in the series. He also walked five times. 333/478/722.

Stairs was 0-for-1 last night and 1-for-8 with an RBI in the series.

Bruntlett did not play last night but was 0-for-1 in the series.

No game today. Aprilish.