Power billing: Series lives up to hype

Power billing: Series lives up to hype

PHILADELPHIA -- The Yankees and Phillies came into the World Series with the most combined home runs in the history of the Fall Classic. Between them, they boasted six players who had topped 30 home runs and lineups as deep as they were explosive.

Throw in two of the most hitter-friendly stadiums in the Majors, and it's no wonder many fans expected a series of high-scoring games that would turn back and forth on game-changing home runs.

And then Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett decided otherwise. The winning pitchers from Games 1 and 2 at Yankee Stadium each kept the ball in the yard en route to victory. Overall, New York and Philadelphia combined for a relatively meager four home runs in the Bronx Bandbox -- two from Chase Utley in Game 1 for the Phils; one each for Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui in Game 2 for the Yanks.

Game 3, however, more closely resembled the pre-series hype. With neither Andy Pettitte nor Cole Hamels hitting their spots with the consistency of Lee and Burnett, the offenses teed off, putting up 13 runs -- more than the first two games combined -- and hitting five balls out of Citizens Bank Park.

On a unseasonably mild Halloween in Philadelphia, Jayson Werth got the ball flying in the second, launching a 3-2 delivery from Pettitte into the left-field stands. Werth would add an even further solo shot off Pettitte leading off the sixth, bashing it off the façade of the second deck in left.

Flying out in Philly
Most combined home runs in one World Series game
Date Teams HR
10/27/89 A's (5), Giants (2) 7
10/31/09 * Yankees (3), Phillies (3) 6
10/26/08 * Phillies (4), Rays (2) 6
10/20/02 Giants (4), Angels (2) 6
10/14/75 Red Sox (3), Reds (3) 6
10/4/53 Yankees (4), Dodgers (2) 6
10/1/32 Yankees (4), Cubs (2) 6
* -- at Citizens Bank Park

Werth, who finished second on the Phillies with 36 home runs this season, now has a team-leading seven in the postseason -- just one shy of tying a Major League record. Werth is already the Phillies' all-time leader in playoff long balls with nine.

"He can mash," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "I always thought that pound-for-pound he's got the most pop on the team."

A Phillies player has hit two home runs in a World Series game just four times in the franchise's 127-year history. It's happened twice in this series and three times in their last four Series games. (Ryan Howard went deep twice in Game 4 last year against the Rays.)

Unfortunately for the Phillies, the Yankees answered Werth's power with some of their own. Alex Rodriguez got New York on the scoreboard in the fourth with a line drive long ball that bounced off a camera sitting on the right-field fence.

Super sluggers
Most home runs in one postseason
Rank Player Team Year HR
1. Carlos Beltran HOU 2004 8
Barry Bonds SF 2002 8
3. Jayson Werth PHI 2009 7
B.J. Upton TB 2008 7
Troy Glaus ANA 2002 7
6. Alex Rodriguez NYY 2009 6
Evan Longoria TB 2008 6
Albert Pujols STL 2004 6
Larry Walker STL 2004 6
Rich Aurilia SF 2002 6
Jim Thome CLE 1998 6
Bernie Williams NYY 1996 6
Ken Griffey SEA 1995 6
Lenny Dykstra PHI 1993 6
Bob Robertson PIT 1971 6

"It was a big hit. I think it woke our offense up a little bit," Rodriguez said. "It felt really good, and it was a little weird to have the first home run and the replay and the whole nine yards. But two big runs for us early on."

Once the Yankees grabbed the lead and got into the Phillies' suspect bullpen, they added on with two more solo blasts. Nick Swisher, mired in a 4-for-35 slump this postseason, hit his first career postseason homer in the sixth off J.A. Happ. Hideki Matsui added a pinch-hit solo homer in the eighth to left off Brett Myers.

"We felt like our ABs were starting to get better. I think our bats just woke up there," said Johnny Damon, whose two-run fifth-inning double gave the Yankees the lead. "Alex really got us going with that home run. Our team has been pretty successful all year doing that -- hitting home runs."

The ball did seem to be flying out of the park, especially to left, with four of the five homers leaving the yard in that direction -- all with relative ease.

It was a display of power that even impressed some of the pitchers.

"I thought it was a popup," Hamels said of Rodriguez's homer off the Phillies lefty. "He's such a good hitter. The ball just keeps on going."

"It was great. We got our offense going," said Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera, who recorded the last two outs for the save. "It's a good thing for us because we definitely can put some good pitching there, but if the offense gets going, we're really good."

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.