Just six of 43 teams facing 3-1 Series deficits have gone on to win the title, including five in a row since Kansas City rallied past St. Louis in 1985.
But Pettitte and CC Sabathia, the Yankees’ Game 7 starter, will be pitching on short rest — Pettitte for the first time this year and Sabathia for the third time in the postseason.
If the Phillies come back to become the first NL team to win consecutive Series titles since the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, Girardi will be widely second-guessed for his pitching decisions. No Series champion has gone the entire postseason with just three starters since the 1991 Minnesota Twins — when there were just two rounds of playoffs.
New York, trying for its first title since 2000, still has strong memories from 2001, when the Yankees led Arizona three games to two before losing the final two games on the road. In 2003, the Yankees led Florida two games to one before losing three in a row.
New York will be without center fielder Melky Cabrera for the rest of the Series. Cabrera strained his left hamstring in Game 4 and was replaced on the roster by backup infielder Ramiro Pena as Brett Gardner took over in center field.
Philadelphia received a scare when center fielder Shane Victorino was hit with a pitch while squaring to bunt in the first inning. X-rays were negative but the finger swelled and he left after seven innings.
While the Phillies have outhomered the Yankees 10-5 in the Series, Ryan Howard is slumping. He went 0 for 2 with two walks and two strikeouts and is hitting .158 (3 for 19) with 12 strikeouts, tying the Series record set by Kansas City’s Willie Wilson in 1980.
Yankees win their 27th World Series
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