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Hamels, though, was badly mistaken. His manager, Charlie Manuel, said, "No, that's not a bunting situation." With no outs the pitcher will bunt to get a runner from second to third. But with one out, there is no significant advantage to be gained by giving up an out.
It was a costly mistake by Hamels. Pettitte, a .134 career hitter with 12 plate appearances over the previous three years, dumped a single into centerfield, and Swisher scored. It was the start of a four-pitch sequence in which the Yankees went from trailing 2-3 to leading 5-3: the single by Pettitte, a first-pitch single by Jeter and a second-pitch two-run double by Johnny Damon.
The Yankees scored in five consecutive innings off four Philadelphia pitchers, and by the end the game had a familiar New York postseason look, with Pettitte getting another win and Rivera taking care of the last out, as he has done for 13 of Pettitte's 17 postseason wins. Pettitte, however, knew this one was unlike any other. "It was a battle tonight," he said.
GAME 4 at Philadelphia
YANKEES 7, PHILLIES 4
FOR ALL THE IMPACT OF THEIR HOME RUN POWER and payroll, the Yankees in Game 4 carved out a moment that revealed their inner grinder—and will most likely pique the curiosity of future World Series historians. Did the Yankees actually win a game because of two stolen bases by one player on one pitch? Yes, they did, and it was Johnny Damon who made like Johnny Dangerously, helping will New York to a 7-4 victory just when it looked as if the Phillies were pulling back in the World Series tug-of-war.
The excitement began in what seemed a moment that belonged to the Phillies: two outs, nobody on in the ninth, Phillies closer Brad Lidge keeping the Citizens Bank Park crowd noisy and happy after a game-tying home run by Pedro Feliz off Joba Chamberlain when the Phillies were down to their final four outs.
Lidge even jumped to an advantageous count, 1 and 2. That's when Damon escalated the battle. Sixteen pitches later the Yankees would be handing a three-run lead to Rivera.
Damon fouled off a slider, took two fastballs, fouled off two more fastballs and, on the ninth pitch of the at bat, a fifth straight fastball, dumped an opposite-field single to left.
"Wow, Johnny," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said to Damon at first base, "that was some professional at bat."