Kneejerk Reactions: Game 5

November, 2, 2009
11/02/09
11:30
PM ET
Hero: It might have been Cliff Lee if he had escaped the eighth inning -- or perhaps not been allowed to pitch in the eighth at all -- but a pitcher who gives up five runs is nobody's idea of a hero. That honor instead goes to Chase Utley, who hit two more home runs in Game 5, giving him five for the World Series and tying Reggie Jackson for the all-time Series record.

Goat: In Game 2, A.J. Burnett threw one of his best games of the year. In Game 5, Burnett threw his very worst game of the year, getting charged with six runs in only two innings.

Turning Point: Take your pick. Was it the first pitch to Shane Victorino in the bottom of the first inning when Victorino squared around to bunt, but instead was plunked on the hand by Burnett's errant fastball? Or was it the very next pitch, which Chase Utley drove it out of the ballpark for a three-run home run and a 3-1 lead? Either way, it was apparent early that Burnett just wasn't sharp like he had been in Game 2.

Good Move: With a three-run lead in the ninth, Charlie Manuel went with Ryan Madson rather than Brad Lidge. Madson was shaky and gave up a run, but he never seemed to buckle under the pressure and that's probably the best that Manuel can hope for at this point.

Costly Move: In retrospect, it's probably worth mentioning that Chad Gaudin started six games for the Yankees this season, and the Yankees won all of them. Granted, Gaudin pitched moderately well in only two of those six games. But considering Burnett's struggles, one might reasonably ask if Gaudin for four or five innings wouldn't have been better than Burnett for two innings. This time of the year, one of the manager's most difficult jobs is knowing which of his starters can pitch on short rest, and which ones can't. It's worth thinking about, in light of both Burnett's and Lee's performance in Game 5.

Telling Statistic: We don't yet know if Utley's going to wind up in the Hall of Fame, but in just two World Series -- and not even two whole World Series -- he has already set the record for World Series home runs by a second baseman, with two last year and now five this year.

More: It's About the Money on the bad A.J. showing up, and Crashburn Alley on the Phillies' James Bond impression.

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