World Series Game 4: Damon Phlummoxes Phillies

Johnny Damon couldn’t throw me out, and I’m as klutzy as it gets.
But he can still hit, steal and play heads up baseball. Not only was he 3-for-5 in tonight’s stunning 7-4 victory over the Phillies, but he had a nine-pitch at-bat in the top of the 9th against Lidge that resulted in a two-out single….
….and then he stole second AND third when nobody was covering.
Could the Yankees find a way to bring him home? Uh-huh. Tex was hit by a pitch, and A-Rod lined a double to left to lift the Bombers to a 5-4 lead in what was another wild, seesaw, come-from-behind battle. Jorge’s two-RBI single decided the game offensively, and Mo took care of the Phillies in the bottom of the frame for his 39th postseason save. Of all the games in this series, this one nearly put me in restraints.
It was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it had enough twists and turns to keep any fan riveted. For me the other key moments included:
CC’s gritty performance (short rest or no short rest).
Jeter’s two singles.
Swisher’s leadoff walk in the fifth.
Melky’s infield hit (hope his hamstring is OK).
Cano’s hit (finally).
Marte’s emergence as our premier lefty reliever.
Joba’s strikeouts of Werth and Ibanez.
Joba’s fat pitch to Louise Feliz.
A-Rod’s third plunking in two games.
That last item requires that I ask: Why would the umpires warn both benches when the Yankees hit nobody? I know. They wanted to keep things under control just in case.
The main thing is that the Yankees are now up 3-1 in the series, which means that my lucky pizza worked again tonight. Here’s what it looked like before I ate it.
PIZZA GM. 4.jpg
Here’s what I looked like after I ate it.
Talk about taking one for the team. I’ll be downing another pie tomorrow night. My other lucky ritual will be to pay another visit to Bill, also known in these parts as “Surf Dog.” I stopped by his hot dog cart this afternoon before the game to see if he had any words of wisdom. Here’s what he had to say. He was right on the money until he got to Joba and that last fastball.



    “Does this straight jacket make me look fat” LOL. Are those hot dogs good? I think surf dog is hysterical. Will AJ have his A-game and win it all for us? Stay tuned. And I will be picking up more prilosec tomorrow. It appears I used the last one and with the game tomorrow, I will need it!

  2. Jane Heller

    The hot dogs are so much better than at any stadium I’ve ever been to, ibrenne. Really tasty. He’s got a few different kinds too. Don’t you think he should have his own show? I don’t know what to make of the AJ decision. I wonder if Joe will change his mind now that we’re up 3-1 in the series. Funny about the prilosec. I just put pepcid on the shopping list for tomorrow. πŸ™‚


    Here’s my prescription for Yankee fans tomorrow: 1) premedicate with pepcid and prilosec 30 min prior to eating. Advice is not to eat spicy, oily food. And stay away from too much alcohol. 2) If you must imbibe and eat inappropriately, keep the tums handy for any flareups.

  4. levelboss

    Jane, i tried the ‘music video of a Disney pop star on youtube when the Yankees batted’ again but to no avail. i was ready to change ‘habits’ quickly, because i had an inkling it wouldn’t work again (not that it had anything to do with game 3’s win – i still have a shred of rationality left in me somewhere). And for tonight (or last night i guess), i watched the game in the living room instead of my bedroom.

    i was down when the Phillies tied the game (Joba had been doing so well), and then Johnny put up a TENACIOUS at-bat against Lidge; the stealing of second and third was stunning (i thought Johnny had over-slid second base and was caught in a rundown); a baseball analyst later said that Johnny’s being on third changed the way Lidge pitched from then on – pressure -> HBP for Teixeira -> ARod’s double -> Jorge’s 2-run single -> Mo -> win!

    not sure what will happen when AJ faces Lee tomorrow (tonight)

  5. rocklandyanks


    How in the world do you keep so thin when youre constantly eating whole pizzas, turkey clubs, and hot dogs?? Oh and another thought that the AL East has represented the AL in the WS 12 out of 19 times since 1989 (no 94 postseason), and participated in the ALCS 16 out of 19 times in the last 20 years. Looks like all you need to get to the WS is to play in the AL east, unless youre on the Orioles, sorry 😦

  6. lenn23

    Just one more to go babyyyy!! I just wish I was more confident about this one more coming in Philly against Lee. Was skeptical about the three man and three days rest plan but I had more faith in CC because he’s done it so much recently. Don’t know about A.J. and Andy on this routine. I guess I’m fifty/fifty on whether it should be A.J. or Chad. Hoping for the best in this game but that Lee is one tough s.o.b.! No matter what, we got this series. Pedro is not going to be able to do it again in a game 6 and who would they have for a potential 7? Hamels, Happ, Blanton on three days rest? I hope I’m not getting too cocky here.


    Jane- I am reading this at 6:00 a.m. and the pictures of the pizza and hot dog are just not making me feel great. -too much greasy food! But Bill oh that video is just hilarious. I love it. How about that Johnny D. -playing smart baseball? Who’d have thought? One thing about this series, you just never know what’s going to happen…


    Damon was incredible – that steal of 3rd was something I’ve never seen before and I have been a baseball fan for a very long time. But we have to give big honors as well to A-Rod and Jorge — every run we scored in the 9th was with 2 outs already. We didn’t want to go into extra innings for sure so this was a vital 9th inning production. And once again Mariano not only cleans house in the bottom of the 9th, but he does it on just a few over the minimum # of pitches.

    I feel good with A.J. going tonight. He is very positive and his last outing was almost perfect. Even if he’s a little tired and can’t go 6 or more innings, we can hopefully use a couple of pinch hitters throughout the last few innings, making up for the lack of D.H. in the National League ballpark.

    The announcers once again show their total hatred of the Yankees – hello!!! Can we at least be neutral if we can’t show The Yankees the respect they have earned?

    Jane, I’m glad your pizzas are working – my lucky process is also apparently helping. I must leave the dinner dishes in the sink and if the Yankees win without any major competition issues then I do the dishes after the game — but if we get into trouble, like CC did with 2 on and no one out, then I run and do the dishes and it seems to get us out of trouble. Are all baseball fans this sick or is it just Yankees fans?

    Hope we finish this series tonight even though the fans do deserve a home town win — I don’t want to give Philly any kind of recovery and I don’t want any more issues with starting pitching. GO YANKEES!!!

  9. scofid

    Damon’s throws from the outfield look like they are coming in at slow motion. The problem is that the runners are on fast forward. Still, I am glad that this has been the Year of Implosion for the Phillies closer, Brad Lidge. I was a bit worried when Feliz hit that game-tying HR in the 8th, but the one thing I like about the Yanks is how many times they’ve start rallies with two outs. Today’s game will be tough, but all things considered, it’s great to be playing elimination games from this point forward.


  10. ooaooa

    The highness of confidence is beyond belief! How do you plan your meals after the season ends? Pot Luck? This week will present both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for us Yankee fanatics. The high and the low could both come tonight. If the Yankees win then there will be no more baseball . The leaves have fallen here and the sky is more November gray then Yankee blue. As the great Rogers Hornsby said “when there is no more baseball I stare out my window looking for spring”. It saddens me the think the end, although looking bright. is near. Time to book Tampa for March!


    Ohh-kayy…let’s TRY to not get too excited here, much as we WANNA be!!! Son #2 and I are exhausted from lack of sleep, but so what…Jane, yer so right about Johnny D…ever hear that old joke from his Boston days that he’s like Jesus, Joseph and Mary? Looks like Jesus (well, with the long hair & beard), hits like Joseph (? –well, he gets good wood, like a carpenter), and throws like Mary. Amen to all that. He also runs the bases like Ty Cobb…we were shouting “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” because Fox showed only Johnny, not the whole infield…then, okay, neevermind! Seen that happen in co-ed slo-pitch softball a lot, but in MLB?! And in the SERIES?? And Thanx to Lidge for hitting Tex…no offense, Tex, but I dunno if he drives in Johnny, the way he’s (not) hitting…
    Now, tonite’s another story. Momentum begins & ends with your next starting pitcher. We have to accept the likelihood that Lee will be Lights Out again…but I NEVER dreamed that we’d win two in Philly anyway!! AJ’s already pitched as well as he can, so my expectations are very low…but I’m not exactly Mr. Surf Dog the Optimist, as you well know. And if I’m wrong (and oh how I LOVE to be wrong about this stuff), Diane, ya better crank up the band and let them saints go marchin’ in…that’s an inside message, obviously…hopefully we’ll be dancin’ to it very very soon!!


    What a great game! Again, I was feeling confident right from the start. My game routine is to watch the Yankees bat and then get up and do something else in the house and hope by the time I get back to the room that Philly has gotten out. I just get too nervous watching them bat! I did return to the room in time to see Joba give up that home run. Oh Joba!! Yesterday I said I could forgive a solo home run because it’s just one pitch. I’m wasn’t so sure about that last night! They showed a shot of Posada talking to Joba after the game. Wonder what he said? Was he saying “It was only one pitch, you’ll be okay?” OR “You stupid young, arrogant a**- if you’d done what I said, you would have gotten out of the inning. Learn from your mistakes, idiot.”

    Once the Yankees had two outs in the ninth, I was going to go to bed and listen on the radio. I was feeling a little nervous, with the state of the bullpen. But I decided to watch to the end of the at bat and I’m glad I did!

    Damon had an incredible at bat. I kept saying “Be a Yankee, Johnny, be a Yankee.” After he stole second and started toward third, I also thought he’d overrun second or was just being very stupid. Nope, just great instincts. (His post game interview wasn’t very good though. Made him sound like the only smarts he has are baseball ones.)

    And what can you say about Mariano? 13 pitches to get the last 5 outs he’s recorded!!!!! 8 pitches to retire the side last night.

    Went to bed and laid there with a huge grin on my face!




    You’re right about Johnny – not the world’s best arm, but he looked darn good last night! I about had a heart attack when he stole 3rd until I realized there was no one there. And then I thought he was brilliant of course πŸ™‚ Keep eating pizza and hopefully our boys will prevail over the Phillies tonight for win #4!
    Go Yankees!!!
    ~ Bran



    Did you have a hot dog yesterday too? If so, no wonder you are feeling so bad! (I found the little volume button on the YouTube screen and got to hear Bill).

    You just can’t say enough about Damon.

    I”m exhausted and want them to end it tonight. Everybody on MLB TV is saying that AJ should be held back tonight. What do you think? Before I heard that my thought was that Cliff Lee has to pitch nine innings because can he trust the bullpen? And that puts the pressure on him. But then I remembered, he doesn’t know about pressure. I want Johnny to get the winning hit as I’m still pissed about the way he caught his pop up. Do you think CC was affected by short rest? Questions, questions, questions.

  15. Jane Heller

    Thanks for the prescription, Doctor Ibrenne. Much appreciated.

    You see that, levelboss? Watching in the living room won the game for us! Good job! When a superstition no longer works, we just ditch it for another. I think everybody thought Damon had run himself into an out – until they realized no one was covering third. And I agree that it was a pivotal moment for Lidge, who then gave it up to Tex and A-Rod. No clue about AJ versus Lee. It would seem that it’s a foolish move that will end up costing us. But nothing as it seems in this series, so I conceded nothing!

    Rocklandyanks, everybody asks me how I stay so thin eating junk like pizza, etc. The truth is, I never eat this kind of stuff except when the Yanks are in the playoffs. One way or another, this is my last pizza tonight; if we win, no more pizza necessary. If we lose, the pizza is no longer lucky. So tomorrow I will resume my relatively healthy and low-cal diet! Interesting about the AL East stat. We play in the toughest division in baseball, so I guess it stands to reason that whichever team fights its way through the division will end up playing in November.

    No, we can’t get too cocky, Len. Not at all. We’ve been down this road. We know it’s not over until that last pitch. I’m 50-50 on AJ starting too. There are reasons for and against. I’d like to have Posada’s bat in there (especially without Matsui in the lineup), but I also understand not messing with the AJ-Molina success. I’d prefer an AJ on full rest, but I’m not wild about using Gaudin, who’s only pitched an inning and it was quite awhile ago, meaning we’d have to use the pen. So I don’t know. We just have to hope it’s the right move.

    If just seeing the hot dog and pizza is making you queasy, Ellen, think how I feel this morning after having eaten them! Total heartburn. Bill got everything right except that last fastball Joba threw. Not good. But Damon was so smart on that play in the 9th and look what it led to. This series has been wild.

    A-Rod said after the game that his hit in the 9th was the biggest of his career, Diane. And I agree. Posada’s was huge too, which is why I’m nervous that he’ll be out of the lineup tonight. But if you feel good about AJ starting, then I will too. The bullpen will help him out if he needs it. So your lucky ritual was doing the dishes? LOL! I should have picked that one. No artery clogging there. I think Yankee fans would be more than happy if we won it tonight in Philly. But I’m taking nothing for granted. This series could go in any direction and it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Yes, the Yanks have been great with two-out rallies, Scott. That’s what wins championships. And tonight will be especially tough. If Lee is “on” again – and what reason do we have to think otherwise? – it’ll take some aura and mystique to get it done. But hopefully those two will be in attendance. (Maybe they took the train from the Bronx.)

    After the season ends, I go back to eating like a normal person, John. I don’t want to even see pizza for a long, long time when this series is over. And you’re so right about the highs and lows. On Twitter last night, I wrote that once this series is over there will be no more baseball, and I got so sad thinking about it. But you have the perfect antidote: making plans for Tampa. I’m hoping to go in mid-March, to piggyback off a speaking gig I have in another part of FL.

    When Damon was running to third, I didn’t even yell, “What are you doing,” Dave. I was too shocked. I just sat there trying to figure out what was going on. (I’m a little slow, I guess.) And yeah, Lidge did us a favor by hitting Tex and pitching to A-Rod. What a huge break. So your expectations are low? Well, mine are “Let’s just see.” I’m more than willing to be dazzled by AJ, if he feels like throwing another gem. πŸ™‚

    Melissa, you’re just like a friend of mine who only watches the Yankees bat. He switches to a DVD whenever the opposition is up. LOL. I felt awful for Joba on that homer. He did such a good job of striking out the first two in the inning, but he totally telegraphed that pitch to Feliz. I saw Jorge put his arm around him in the dugout and say something. It looked like he was consoling him, but also maybe telling him what not to do in the future. I loved Damon’s post-game interview! He’s not the most polished speaker, but I thought he did a good job of explaining what happened on that play in the 9th. Can’t say enough about Mo. When they showed him holding the heating pad on his side, I was worried he was hurt. I know CC uses one to stay warm, but I’d never seen Mo use one. So glad he was fine. Whew. I hope Melky’s OK. If not, I guess we’ll see him in Tampa.

    Bran, I was too stunned to have a heart attack when Damon broke for third. I really didn’t know what was happening, because the camera angle didn’t give us a wide shot. But I jumped up and down when I saw no one covering third. Still, even then I knew we needed somebody to bring him home – and they did!

    Actually, it was my husband who had the hot dog yesterday, Laurie. I was just the videographer. LOL. Glad you got to hear Bill. He’s one of the biggest Yankee fans I’ve ever met! I watched MLB Network’s post-game and heard their discussion of why AJ should be held back. They made a lot of sense. But the thought of Gaudin out there doesn’t thrill me either, so I guess we just have to hope it works out. I don’t think CC suffered from the short rest. He pitched the same way in Game 1 on full rest, which is to say that he didn’t have his best stuff but found a way to keep us in it. I’ll take it every time!

  16. ladyjane303

    Great, great game and it all came down to Johnny’s at bat. Kind of reminded me of Paul O’Neill in game 1 against the Mets – just kept hanging in there until he got that hit. And then those stolens bases! You know I was there, Jane – but I didn’t see what was (or wasn’t) going on at 3rd until Johnny got there. We were thinking “what the hell?” but he was brillliant. When A-Rod came up I just kept saying “this is what you came to NY for” and boy did he and Jorge deliver. Sucked the air right out of all of the Philly fans, who were pretty cocky by that point. Gayle and I were up and jumping and screaming. It was sweet! CC – gritty. Joba was dealing – made 1 bad pitch at the wrong time. Somehow it doesn’t seem right for him to get the win, but those are the rules. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic for tonight. This could be AJ’s great moment. We don’t need no Phanatic – we don’t need no towels. We have Jete and Johnny and Tex and A-Rod and Jorge and my friend Mo, who tossed me a ball during BP that I will treasure (did you get the picture?). And if we don’t get it done tonight, we’ll get it done at home on Wednesday with Andy. Go Yankees!!!!!!!!!!


    wow. what else to say but wow. i just got a call that said hello this is johnny damon –yup it was my happy dad.
    ok i say chad tonight and then aj will win with some rest behind him and if not pettite in game 7 i trust on regular rest. i fear four games in a row with short rest with a less than perfect bullpen to back up when tired. then again maybe aj will win tonight but i’m nervous about this. i liked the extra off days in the prior series to get more rest and have more days to just be happy before the nervous kicks in. this blog is great. i love the blog and all the comments. Barbara

  18. Jane Heller

    That’s hilarious that your dad called and said he was Damon, Barbara. LOL! I think we’re all saying we’d prefer Chad tonight to a not-so-rested AJ. But here’s the thing. Maybe the whole “short rest” discussion is overblown. Maybe these pitchers aren’t as fragile as they’re made out to be. They can rest all winter. And AJ seems very psyched to do this against his best buddy Cliff Lee. (Arkansas hasn’t had this much attention since the Clintons left.) So no nerves until at least four hours till game time! Then we can start to worry in earnest.


    JANE ! ! ! I have watched the last 2 games at Ricks Tavern in Santa Monica ! Yankee Fans Galore.On Halloween, even Jesus showed up to watch. One More Jane, One More ! Lets here it for Damon and the Boys !

  20. Jane Heller

    Ladyjane, when Gayle tweeted that Mo tossed you the ball I wanted her to send a pic, but I never saw it!!! Can you send it or ask her to? I’d LOVE to see it. What a thrill for you. I’m glad you both were there for such an exciting game. I was thinking the same exact thing when A-Rod was up: “This is what you came to NY for, so do it!” And he did. What a moment. Speaking of which, I guess we’ll see if tonight is AJ’s moment. (I thought he already had it in Game 2. LOL.) Can you imagine what a kick it would be for him to outduel his buddy from Arkansas? I know, I know. It’s a long shot, but it’s possible.

    Interesting, Paul. Lidge said in one article I read that it was something he never practiced or talked about, which surprised me. It would make sense that if you’re putting the shift on, you need the catcher or pitcher to cover third. Somebody!

  21. Jane Heller

    Oh, I’m so glad there were Yankee fans at Rick’s Tavern, Brendan. They claimed they were a Yankees bar, and now I know it’s true! Hope you’re going back tonight. One more win. Just one more. Let’s go Yankees. Clap clap clap.

  22. unclemikenj

    I realize the game was nerve-wracking, but come on, a straightjacket? Save that for the lunatics at the Kenmore Square nuthouse. They’re probably losing what’s left of their minds anyway. And, unlike Jack Nicholson in “Cuckoo’s Nest,” they do NOT want to watch the World Series!

    One more. 27 for 27. Twenty-seven more outs for the twenty-seventh World Championship. Then Lisa of Subway Squawkers can serve me and all the other A-Rod doubters a big steaming humble pie with the Number 13 on it. I just hope A.J. Burnett has better stuff than Carol Burnett.

  23. Jane Heller

    The hot dog prophet was great again, Buz. He just went one fastball too long on Joba. LOL. He was right about CC and A-Rod and Cano – a pretty good forecaster. And yeah, Damon’s play was killer.

  24. Jane Heller

    My, aren’t we literal, pacholekenj. I did feel like a lunatic last night. I wanted to put my emotions in a straightjacket! Yes, we need one more for #27. I would love it if Lisa serves you some pie with A-Rod’s number on it. But for now, I’ll join you in hoping AJ does have better stuff than Carol. LOL!!!!!

  25. dj2jd5jm7

    Not sure Joe and Tim are completely Yankee-haters, but I sure am side of listening to them. Not only does Fox care more about promoting Avatar than airing ceremonial first pitches and humanitarian awards, but Mr. Buck lost any credit when he “reviewed” the new Pearl Jam album for us! Man, MLB needs to seriously reconsider its contract with Fox.

    Can’t say much more than everyone else has. Joe G. must have his reasons for choosing A-J. on short rest. Hopefully it will pan out. If not, it will be all that much sweeter to win at home. GO YANKEES!

    P.S. Everyone keep their “lucky” clothes, food, habits, etc. going strong! I don’t Know if its baseball fans in general or Yankees fans, but so far it’s been working.


    The three days rest really isn’t an issue in my book (and let’s hope my book is right!). I think three days rest becomes a problem when you do it repeatedly. This is the post season. If things don’t go our way, we only have 3 more games to play until April. Wouldn’t you rather have AJ, Andy, and CC than Chad?

    And then there is this tidbit: In four career previous starts on short rest – none in the postseason – Burnett is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA.


  27. Jane Heller

    DJ, I am so with you on how frustrating it is that Fox doesn’t show the pre-game ceremonies but rather their own talking heads. And not to worry about me maintaining my “lucky” everything. I wouldn’t dare tamper with success at this point.

    I guess we’ll find out if three days rest is an issue for AJ, Melissa. But I know one thing: it’s not like he’s being asked to throw with one arm tied behind his back. Sheesh! The whole subject is so overblown. As you say, it’s the World Series. Just get out there and pitch your heart out! And if the stats are any indication, things should go our way.


    I think that would make a great T-shirt, Jane: “It’s the World Series. Just get out there and pitch your heart out.”

    It was great walking around the store today and seeing so many people with Yankee hats, t-shirts, even entire outfits!

  29. Jane Heller

    It would make a great T-shirt, Melissa. You have excellent marketing ideas! Since I won’t see any Yankees stuff in my ‘hood, I’ll have to pay Bill a visit at his hot dog stand later.

  30. Jane Heller

    I don’t care where the Yankees finish it, Babu, as long as they finish it with a win! If they can pull off a “W” tonight, I’d be thrilled.

  31. robinlyn


    I was all set to writing Damon off, then he goes and steals 3rd(which I was not aware it wasn’t guarded and might have said some things about him before I realized it…Sorry Johnny!)

    Very excited about tonight, watching the game with some new she-fans! Aka… my friends that have come to the realization that to hang out with me means watching the game.

    I am torn though between wanting to win, beating Lee and wanting to win in NY.

    Either way it will be a great game…Go Yankees!


  32. behindblueyes

    “Mr. Buck lost any credit when he “reviewed” the new Pearl Jam album for us!”

    Lowest common denominator. I love Pearl Jam, but not Fox!

    Good luck Yankees fans–I didn’t think I’d say that, given I’m an NL fan through and through. But the Yankees are just playing like they want it more and it looks like #27 is there for the taking. I’m sure I will be surrounded by Yankees fans at my regular hangout here in San Diego tonight. No matter who wins it all, it’s bittersweet, because I hate when the World Series comes to an end.

  33. ibleedpinstripes

    This is beyond exciting. One more game and we’re the champs. ONE MORE!!!!! I can hardly contain myself! Would I like to win at home? Yes, of course. But would I like to win, period, no matter where? Absolutely! I’ll take this however it wants to come. Nine years is a long enough wait!

    – Lisa

  34. Jane Heller

    Robin, so glad you got your friends to see the light and are watching the game with you. Maybe you’ll convert them when they realize how much fun baseball is. I’m not torn in the slightest about where the Yankees win. I want them to wrap it up tonight!

    Thanks for the good luck, behindblueyes. I hope the Yankee fans at your hangout tonight get to see an exciting game and, hopefully, an exciting win. I couldn’t agree more about the bittersweet aspect of all this. I wish the season could go on forever and I’ll be soooo depressed when it’s over.

    I hear you, Lisa. I don’t care where it happens. I just want it to happen! The game is starting in a few minutes and the nerves have kicked in. Oh, boy. Here we go.

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