The Phillies were down just one in the third, and Pedro Martinez had just struck out Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded. Manager Charlie Manuel opted to stick with Martinez to face Matsui, who lined a two-out, two-run single up the middle to give New York a 4-1 lead.
-- Matsui's six RBIs tied a single-game World Series record set by former Yankee Bobby Richardson in Game 3 of the 1960 Series. Like Matsui, Richardson went on to be Series MVP; unlike Matsui, Richardson's Yankees lost the Fall Classic on Bill Mazeroski's walkoff home run in Game 7 for the Pirates.
Ruiz certainly isn't known for his bat in the regular season, but his 2-for-2 night, including a triple and a run scored in the third, gave him six hits in six World Series games this season. Furthermore, Ruiz is batting .342 in his last five postseason series.
While Martinez put the Phillies in a hole, Durbin made it deeper in the fifth. The reliever faced four batters, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk as the Yankees built a 7-1 lead.
Sense of October
Under normal circumstances, Francisco's 0-for-7 in this World Series probably would have slipped under the radar. But it's harder to ignore when his counterpart on the other side, Yankees designated hitter Matsui, goes 8-for-12 with three home runs and eight RBIs in the Fall Classic. Francisco also just missed snaring Derek Jeter's leadoff double in the fifth, which sparked the Yankees' three-run frame.
For an astonishing 11th time in his career, Mariano Rivera recorded more than three outs to finish a Yankees win in the World Series. It wasn't a save situation, but Rivera came in with one out in the eighth to close the door on the Phillies and bring home the Yankees' first title since 2000. It was the fourth time Rivera was on the mound for the final out of a Yankees championship.
Lines of the Game
4 AB, H, HR, 2 RBI, R
Howard's offense came too little, too late in both Game 6 and in the Series. His two-run homer in the sixth gave the Phillies a glimmer of hope in the later innings, but they weren't able to get the tying run to the plate after the fourth inning.
4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, HBP
Much like in Game 2, Martinez was undone largely by Matsui. Matsui's two-run homer in the second got the Yankees on the board, and his two-run single off Martinez an inning later established a three-run lead. The Phillies would not get closer than three for the rest of the game.
"They were just a better team. They outplayed us. We have to tip our hats to them." -- Howard
After winning 102 games in 2009, the Phillies will attempt to claim their fourth consecutive National League East title and third straight NL pennant in 2010.