Title on line as old rivals take mound

NEW YORK --- Andy Pettitte leaned forward in his chair and recounted a recent chat he had with Derek Jeter as soon as they both realized what was next in this World Series.


Pettitte vs. old foe Pedro Martinez, with the Yankees one win from ecstasy.

Still chasing that elusive 27th championship, New York will turn to Pettitte once again in Game 6 tonight, hoping he can pitch them past the Philadelphia Phillies on only three days' rest.

"Me and Derek were talking about it in the clubhouse last night. Just how strange is this?" Pettitte said Tuesday. "I think everybody knew it was going to be a great Series. I think everybody knew it was going to be a tough Series. And it looks like it's living up to that."

After wasting a chance to wrap things up in Game 5 at Philadelphia, the Yankees set their sights on clinching at home. They'd love to christen their $1.5 billion ballpark with a World Series title in its first season and give another championship to 79-year-old owner George Steinbrenner.

They've got two chances to do it. Game 7 would be Thursday, with ace CC Sabathia pitching for New York -- on short rest.

"People expect us to be great all the time. We just need to be great tomorrow night," New York's Johnny Damon said.

Coming off an 8-6 victory Monday night that trimmed their Series deficit to 3-2, the defending champion Phillies took the train up to New York on Tuesday afternoon. They chose not to work out at Yankee Stadium, but their opponents did.

Pettitte and Martinez first faced each other on the mound 11 years ago, but they've never done so in the postseason.

"Two old goats out there doing the best they can and having fun with it," Martinez said. "I don't have enough words to describe how excited I am about being here. This is just a great gift to me."



GAME 1: Phillies 6, Yankees 1

GAME 2: Yankees 3, Phillies 1

GAME 3: Yankees 8, Phillies 5

GAME 4: Yankees 7, Phillies 4

GAME 5: Phillies 8, Yankees 6

TODAY: Phillies (Pedro Martinez 5-1) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte 14-8), 7:57 p.m.

THURSDAY: x-Phillies at Yankees, 7:57 p.m.

x-if necessary; games on Fox-Ch. 54



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