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Kneejerk Reactions: Game 2

Hero: A.J. Burnett. The Yankees' $16.5 Million Man was good this season, but he was rarely this good. In just his fourth postseason start, Burnett pitched only seven innings but racked up a 72 Game Score, his sixth best of 2009.

Goat: Ryan Howard. With nobody on base in the first, he struck out. With runners on first and second -- after Chase Utley was intentionally walked -- he struck out in the third. He struck out in the sixth. He struck out in the ninth. Granted, the last strikeout climaxed with a called "strike" that was four inches outside. Still, in the record books it will always be four at-bats and the dreaded Golden Sombrero.

Barely Off the Hook: If the Phillies had managed to score a second run, Charlie Manuel would have been the goat for allowing Pedro Martinez to start the bottom of the seventh. And if the Phillies had managed to actually win, Derek Jeter would have been a minor goat for trying to bunt in the seventh with two strikes, while first base umpire Brian Gorman would have been a major goat for ruling that Howard caught Johnny Damon's line drive in the same inning. (In fairness to Gorman, even the super-slow replays were not conclusive, and Gorman couldn't wait to make his call until he saw how Howard reacted to the play. Unfortunately for Gorman's reputation, he missed another call, if by just an eyelash, in the top of the eighth.)

Turning Point: With Martinez already having struck out superstars Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to start the sixth, up came Hideki Matsui, who fell behind 0-2 in the count, took a low changeup for a ball, fouled off a pitch, then drove a shoe-high curveball over the right field fence to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. With Burnett dazzling the Phillies and Mariano Rivera lurking in the bullpen, Game 2 seemed halfway over.

Costly Move: Again, there were any number of moves that could have been costly, but in the end none of them really were. This game was all about the players (and to some degree the umpires).

Smart Move: When Girardi saw a chance to pile on, he took it. First Jerry Hairston Jr. got a lucky hit, and Girardi sent in Brett Gardner to pinch-run. And then, after a fake bunt, Melky Cabrera laced a single to right field with the hit-and-run on. And finally, Girardi sent in Posada to pinch-hit for Jose Molina -- this was of course the obvious move -- and Posada drove home Gardner with the Yankees' third run.

Revealing Statistic: Rivera now has 14 six-out postseason saves. All other closers combined have 11 saves like that since 1996. (Thanks to Jayson Stark for this one.)

More: Crashburn Alley explores the goodness of A.J. Burnett, and It's About the Money (Stupid!) offers his kneejerk reactions.