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11/03/09 2:38 AM EST

Yankees, Phillies in it for the long haul

World Series to play Game 6 for first time since 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- After a record five consecutive World Series lasting no more than five games, the 105th Fall Classic is in it for the long haul -- and in the process, this Major League Baseball season has been extended to at least a tie for the latest finish in history.

Did you honestly expect anything less in this matchup?

Game 6 in this powerhouse matchup of the defending champs and the 26-time champs is scheduled for 7:57 p.m. ET on Wednesday back at Yankee Stadium, as the series now shifts to New York following the Phillies' 8-6 Game 5 victory Monday on the last day of 2009 baseball at a National League park. It is going to be the first World Series Game 6 since 2003, when old Yankee Stadium was the scene of Florida's clinching victory. That was the last time a third travel day was required for a World Series.

The last seven-game World Series was in 2002, when the Angels won at home over the Giants in an all-California bash. In '04, the Red Sox reversed the Curse of the Bambino and swept St. Louis in four, starting a run of short-but-sweet World Series. The White Sox swept the Astros in '05, the Cardinals beat the Tigers in five in '06, the Red Sox swept the Rockies in '07, and then last year, these Phillies knocked out the Rays in five here at Citizens Bank Park.

"Definitely what we expected," said Ryan Madson, who retired 2009 American League home run king Mark Teixeira for the final out to earn the Game 5 save -- his first career postseason save. "When we split in New York, they were saying, 'Did you think you were going to go 2-0?' We knew it was going to be a tough series going in -- evenly matched teams in different ways. We're planning on going seven games. That's obviously the goal, and that's the goal for any kid growing up -- to go seven games in a World Series."

Game 6 will be on the same date (Nov. 4) as Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, which was the only previous Fall Classic to go into November. That year, it had been pushed back due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing suspension of the regular season. This year's season was pushed back a week at the start to accommodate the World Baseball Classic in March. If a Game 7 is needed on Thursday, then this would surpass '01 for the latest finish in MLB history.

The five consecutive years marked the longest stretch of World Series finishing in no more than five games.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.