The day has come. The day in which the triumph and tragedy of the 162 grueling games of the regular season justifies the immense work put into it. The Yankees, who were eagerly counted out extremely early in the year after their downright gruesome start to the season, made one of the most thrilling and improbable comebacks most have ever seen. The Yanks are rarely (if ever) referred to as the underdog, but in a season in which at one point the Yanks saw themselves 14 games out of the division lead, the Yanks, for the first time in a long time, had to overcome something this storied franchise is not accustomed to: monstrous adversity.
Though the Yanks are used to reaching the playoffs on a yearly basis (especially in this current 13 post-season berth streak), no team goes an entire season without a challenge. However, the challenges thrown at the Yanks this year were beyond the norm and almost unfair. The starting rotation crumbled. The bullpen diminished. The high caliber offense feared by every team in the Majors battled inconsistency to the point of frustration. The sight of the AL East standings could invoke a plethora of sentiments, none of which involved joy.
Although even the most die hard fans became distressed with the early struggles of the 2007 season, the minute bit of faith left in the hearts of Yankee fans refused to allow them to give in, even after the numerous outrages generated by the heartbreaking defeats. Now that New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s almost comical to look back at the Yanks’ sheer night and day season in which after the first half of disappoint, the Yanks made a complete turn around, becoming the hottest team in baseball since the All-Star break, setting the stage for their miraculous comeback.
The Yanks can attribute the success of this season to both the old and the new. Veterans were the backbone, while the rookies became the igniter when fuel was running low. Each had their own part in piecing this team back together. Although some players had more of an impact, it’s hard to pin an entire team’s success on a few individual players. Some have had their struggles and corrected their mistakes, while others have been at the top of their game all year but together they’ve molded a season that has been full of everything baseball encompasses: frustration, thrill, excitement, disappointment, shock, heartbreak, victory and… drama. Although a better start to the year would’ve been a lot easier, it also would’ve stripped the fear, uncertainty, faith and thrill that September calls upon as teams vie for their ticket to October Baseball.
From rock bottom to top of the heap is nothing short of amazing but, as Yankee fans know all to well, as soon as the calendar reads October, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until that point. It’s all or nothing at all in October and the Yanks and their fans will settle for nothing less than World Series Championship #27.
When announced that Kei Igawa would be starting this game in place of Roger Clemens (who will not ready to make his return for the rest of the regular season) it was pretty much evident that this game wouldn’t be pretty, given the previous performances (or lack there of) by Igawa this year. The game was just that: not pretty. However, this time, it wasn’t due to Igawa’s pitching performance. Igawa pitched an impressive game (not kidding), going 5 innings (though he could’ve gone longer with a pitch count of 87), not giving up a run and allowing only 2 hits (seriously), though he did get into some trouble with walks. After Igawa was pulled, Torre entrusted a solid 5 run lead with Edwar Ramirez and regretably Brian Bruney. Ramirez, who gave up a hit and two walks while recording one out to start the 6th, obviously did not do his job. However, Brian Bruney, who came in to relieve Ramirez, did far worse. After giving up a game winning walk off home run on Friday against Toronto, Torre chose to bring him back out… to watch him fail again. He came in with a 4 run lead to walk two batters and watch a grand slam find its way into the left field seats. To say the least, Bruney shouldn’t punch his ticket to the ALDS just yet.
The offense, which was backed up by a grand slam (home run # 53) by AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, made an effort to overcome the bullpen failure as they tied the game and went into extra innings. However, with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the 10th, the Devil Rays snatched the game from the Yanks’ hands, while the Yankees were forced to walk away from a game (that was well within reach) with the loss with their Magic Number still sitting at 1. Though A-Rod stole the show with yet another home run (in grand fashion) and 4 RBI’s to go with it, the main offensive force tonight was Johnny Damon who went a perfect 5-5 with 2 runs scored. Cano & DJ each had a multi-hit night, with Cano with 3 hits and Jeet with 2 (as well as an RBI and run scored).
Not much words can be said about this disappointing loss. The Yanks unfortunately can’t rely on Joba & Mo every night, which makes it extremely important that everyone else in the bullpen can perform when asked to when the big guns out of the pen aren’t available. There are 5 games left in the regular season. With the Yankees’ almost sure shot chance of making the playoffs, which is extremely remarkable considering how disastrous this season started, the Yanks can ill afford to have any weaknesses going into the post-season, especially not in the bullpen, which normally possesses almost no margin for error. The Yanks have 5 games to get one win. With Wang on the mound tomorrow night and Joba and Mo locked and loaded, be prepared for a celebration.
After two grueling days of punch for punch baseball, the Yanks enjoyed a less dramatic, but just as thrilling win in the Bronx, started off by the Moose, who confirms that his lackluster performance of late August is long gone after giving the Yanks 7 solid innings and the win in today’s matinee. Mussina allowed no more than 3 runs and a mere one walk as he went deep into the ballgame, giving an exhausted bullpen some much needed relief. Mussina and Torre both insist that the Moose has done nothing to alter his mechanics and that his success since being plugged back into the rotation is all the result of his mindset. Someone once said, "It never ceases to amaze me how many of baseball’s wounds are self-inflicted." (Bill Veeck) It never ceases to amaze me either. Baseball has become such a mental sport that players can no longer rely on talent alone. Luckily, the rejuvenated Moose returned to his prior reliable form, giving the Yanks the innings they needed, while keeping the Blue Jay offense to a minimal.
The offense continued to take care of business as they put a total of 7 runs on the board in today’s win. The leader of the pack was Jose Molina, filling in for Jorge who took the day off after catching 202 pitches in yesterday’s five hour marathon. Molina went 3-4, scoring once and driving in three. He was backed up by Cano, who went 3-5, with a RBI and a run scored, while his partner in crime and the other half of the "C&C Crew" had a tough day at the plate, striking out thrice after his heroics in last night’s/day’s game (although he did make a spectacular throw to nail down his 14th outfield assist). Jeter & Abreu also contributed with 2 hits each, as well as an RBI for Jeet and a run scored for Bobby.
Although the offense provided the runs that won the game, the real story lies in the pitching, which revolved around only three pitchers today (shockingly), one of which who wasn’t expected to make an appearance. With Mussina’s solid outing, Torre only needed to pull two rabbits of his hat to finish off the game. The first was Vizcaino, who quickly got the first two outs of the 8th and then lost it, giving up 2 runs on a homer off the bat of Matt Stairs. With every pitcher still heaving after the work of the two previous games and no other reliable option out of the pen, Torre resigned to breaking the Joba rules and brought Chamberlain into the game with 2 outs in the 8th. Joba was dominant as usual, striking out the last batter of the 8th and going on to pitching the next inning, striking out the last two batters of the 9th to pick himself up his first save of his career, on his 22nd birthday no less.
One more game left in this insanely odd series and the Yanks’ Old Reliable Andy Pettitte will finish it off, starting the final home game of the regular season in place of Clemens, who’s start was pushed back yet again. The Yanks are now back at 1 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, who shouldn’t resign themselves to a playoff berth with the Yanks closer to a Division title than they might think.
A game that started with an hour and a half rain delay ends up being a magnificent extra
inning win for the Yanks after the absolutely heart-breaking 14 inning game last night. This game was, by far, the most wild, nerve wrecking, excruciating, mind blowing, nail biting, fist pumping, thrilling games ever played. This game clearly epitomized the title of this blog. However, unlike most games, this game was dramatic beyond belief. This game was enough to incite a heart attack… more than once. This was more than a game. It was the second battle of a war (one in which will end on Monday afternoon in the fourth game of this already fun filled series with Toronto).
This game was started by Phil Hughes, who was substituted for the substitute (Clemens) who was planning to substitute for Ian Kennedy. (Figure that out.) Both Clemens and Kennedy couldn’t start the game due to minor injuries, therefore leaving it up to Hughes to start the game that everyone was hoping would be a bounce back from an awful loss last night. Hughes went 5 innings allowing 3 runs and although Hughes didn’t go far into the ballgame, he did better than his line reveals. The three runs that scored on him were given up on a pitch that was fought off inside for a ground ruled double (which scored one) and a blooper to left-center (which scored the other two). However, bloopers weren’t just harming Hughes. Bloop singles seemed to just keep killing the Yankee bullpen while the Yanks continually attempted to rise from the ashes. Torre made some questionable moves throughout the game as he attempted (time and time again) to search for an answer out of the bullpen, which could not find a way to shut down the Blue Jay offense.
The bullpen performance was so horrendous that a total of 10 pitchers were used in this game by the Yanks, which sets a new franchise record (one I’m sure they didn’t want to break). It got bad enough that Torre dared to bring in the failure Kei Igawa in the 8th to get an out. Igawa gave up the single that tied the game again in the 8th but did manage to get the last out… just kidding; the defense got it for him (by throwing out Zaun at home, who attempted to score while a rundown occurred between 1st and 2nd base). The pitching blunders were too much to list but luckily the offense was the same, battling back after every new setback this game, as well as this season, which has been just as amazing as this game so far.
The Yanks got offensive contribution across the board from Jeter & Mientkiewicz (with two hits each), Abreu (with 3 walks) and Matsui & Jorge (with three hits each), but there were two bats in the lineup that stood above all the rest in this game, one of which that has done so all year. A-Rod & Melky, both of which started the game with slumps, each had more than one big hit in today’s game and some flashes of leather to go along with it. A-Rod, who has been a familiar force all year, got 4 hits that essentially made this win possible. His first hit of the game was a single that put runners on first and second with one out in the 4th. His second (spectacular) hit of the game was a double to right field that scored two and gave the Yanks the lead in the 6th. His third hit was a single to center field which put the Yanks ahead again, doing so for the second time of the game. Lastly, his final hit was a double to put himself in scoring position with 2 outs in the 9th. He also made a nice play at third with split second reactions after a bullet was hit to the hot corner. Rodriguez has been carrying the Yanks on his shoulders from game 1 of this season and I still find it comical that just last year the crowd in the Bronx cringed and eagerly booed this same third baseman (in his own ballpark) every time he stepped up to the plate with the pressure on. Now, the offense is basically built around this loaded bat and the fans continually look for no one other than this ballplayer (if that’s what you call him) with the game on the line. No words can explain it. His number should be retired throughout all of baseball for this season alone. No one else deserves to wear it.
Lastly, the other big bat in the lineup today was Melky Cabrera. The Melk Man went 3-7, with his biggest hit of the night obviously being his 10th inning game winning single. However, his other two hits scored 4 of the 5 runs he drove in on the night. Melky’s hits came in the later innings of the game, after going hitless in his first few at-bats (adding on to 3-38 slump going into the game) but they came just in time. The Yanks needed virtually every hitter in the lineup to contribute in order to win this head scratcher and Melky gladly gave them the most support. He also made an unbelievable throw in the 10th from deep center field to nail the runner at home and keep the score tied at 11. This game should give him more than enough fuel to keep the fire burning.
The Yanks have two more game left in this final series in the Bronx (of the regular season) before going on the road to face Tampa Bay. If the next two games are as dramatic as the first two I might need heart surgery by the time this series is over.
The winning streak extends to 4 in a row (for now) as Andy Pettitte turned in a typical Pettitte Perfect outing, going 7.2 innings, allowing only one run on 7 hits. Sadly, the Yankee offense didn’t give Pettitte much breathing room, but the "Old Reliable", as usual, didn’t need it. Pettitte, with his uncanny ability to wiggle out of pressing innings, took a page out of Wang’s book, using three double plays to his advantage as well as keeping his walk total for tonight at a measly 2 base on balls. With this win, Pettitte increases his career total to 200 wins, a number Clemens would probably consider minor to his colossal total of 354. However, Pettitte’s 200th was more than just another milestone to add to his resume. It was the win that put the Yanks within 1.5 games of the Red Sox, who took another loss to the Blue Jays tonight. Just 1.5 games behind the first place Red Sox from a team that put themselves in a hole of 14 games behind earlier in the season, and 5.5 games back just 5 days ago is simply… unbelievable.
Unbelievable as the standings are now, tonight’s game itself wasn’t too spectacular, except for the performance by Pettitte… oh and Mariano, who just had to make this game a little more interesting. Mo comes into the game in the 9th to load the bases with two outs for the second time in one week. The stadium erupted, while Posada and Mo chatted on the mound, after seeing the stadium out of town scoreboard lit up with the magnificent sight of Toronto up by 5 on the Sox. The pressure was officially on. The final batter, Scott Moore, stepped up to the plate and Mariano, after throwing the first pitch for a ball, threw three back to back strikes to sit down Moore, end the game, get the save and give every Yankee fan, at home and at Yankee stadium, the chance to scream and cheer like maniacs.
As for everything else in the game… well, there wasn’t much else. Only five hits from the offense, with no batter having more than one. Godzilla, however, had a home run that put the first run on the board for the Yanks. The only other highlight worth noting would be Joba’s minor, but fascinating, appearance. He came in with 2 outs in the 8th (his first time coming into the game in the middle of an inning) and dominated the only batter he faced on three pitches. The three pitches were simple: strike one, strike two, strike three – you’re out. Unbelievable.
As said before, the Yanks are now only 1.5 games behind Boston, a feat that more than enough people wouldn’t have been able to fathom earlier in the year. The Yanks also sit finely cushioned atop in the Wild Card standings, now with a 5.5 game lead over Detroit. It’s kinda sad… the Yanks manage only 5 hits, take the lead on a wild pitch, allow the bases to load in the 9th and still get the win, while the Sox and Detroit can’t buy a win right now. (Ha!) *The "Ha!" is not a re-creation of the now infamous A-Rod "Ha" episode.
Countdown to October Baseball begins. Will the AL East Division or AL Wild Card end up in the Yanks’ hands this year? Whichever one it may be, I think it’s evident that the champagne bottles are ready.
In a game that started off with the Yanks’ #1 pitcher, Andy Pettitte, failing to hold the Sox down, the Yanks come back, pulling off a dramatic win in Beantown. Before the game began, the match-up between the two heavyweights, Andy Pettitte vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka, (who have 27 wins among them) looked to be a sight to see. The game started off slow, with both Dice-K and Pettitte throwing more than enough pitches in the first couple of the innings of the game. However, it didn’t stop there. Both pitchers lasted less than 6 innings in tonight’s game, with Pettitte only lasting 4, while giving up 5 runs on 101 pitches. I guess it was too much to ask of Pettitte to continue to pitch as dominant as he has of late, but luckily the offense picked him up with an incredible late inning comeback win, in Boston no less.
With the Pettitte failure to start the game and a less than loaded bullpen available tonight, the game quickly began to look bleak. It looked even more unappealing as the clock began to tick faster, while game just went slower. This game was actually two minutes from becoming the longest 9 inning game in Major League history. Only two minutes from breaking the record set by… none other than the same two teams playing tonight: the Yanks vs. the Red Sox (who set the record in a game in Boston during the 5 game sweep by the Yanks just last year). Despite the slow pace, the game just got more increasingly out of hand with spotty defense and poor pitching out of the bullpen for the Yanks. By the time the game got into the late innings, it looked as if there wasn’t much left in the Yanks… until the offense showed up.
The man that started the outstanding inning that won the game for the Yanks was Jason Giambi, who probably had some extra initiative after botching some crucial plays at first. Giambi hit a home run to start off the 8th inning, which was quickly followed by another home run by Robinson Cano, which put the Yanks within 3 runs of tying the Red Sox at 7. Some other big hits from the Yanks in that incredible 8th inning include a double by Johnny Damon, who went 4-6 against his former team, a double by Bobby Abreu, that tied the game, and most importantly, a single by soon to be AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, that gave the Yanks the lead and the win (after Vizcaino & Mo nailed it down for the next two innings.)
This game, although unconventional, was exactly what so many Yankee and Red Sox games are like: dramatic. This game started off grim but ended up being a thrilling comeback win that could be the tone-setter for the 2 upcoming games against the Yanks’ storied rivals. Next up is Wang vs. Beckett, with even more than just the AL East at stake, but the AL Cy Young Award, which is no doubt going to end up in one of these two starter’s hands. Which one, however, could depend on the winner of tomorrow’ game.
Boston vs. New York… I live for this.
*Sorry for the late recap.*
A pitcher’s duel started the game off, as A.J. Burnett and rookie sensation Ian Kennedy each did their part in shutting down the opposing team’s offense in tonight’s game. Mini Moose, making his third start in the Majors, went 7 innings, allowing only one run on an outstanding one hit (which was an inches from being caught by Melky in center). However, despite Kennedy’s great performance, A.J. Burnett was having an equally outstanding night, going 8 innings, also allowing only one run. With the way each pitcher was pitching, it became increasingly more evident that the game wouldn’t really start until each pitcher got pulled from the game. Unfortunately for the Yanks, A.J. Burnett wasn’t pulled until after the 8th, which only gave the Yanks an inning to score some runs or else rely on the bullpen to get them into extras.
Vizcaino, who hadn’t pitched since last Tuesday did his job out of the bullpen, striking out two and not allowing a hit in his inning of work in the 8th. Chris Britton, on the other hand, did not, allowing the winning run to score in the 9th after giving up a hit to Rios, letting him steal, and then giving up another hit to the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas, who drove in both of the Blue Jay’s runs in tonight’s game, officially ending the Yanks’ 7 game winning streak on a sour note.
With a bad pitching performance to end the game and not much offense throughout the game, there isn’t much to say about this letdown, except that it better not happen again tomorrow. The Yanks head off to Boston to face the Red Sox in the last series between these two teams of the season, which in itself, holds high importance. As said in previous posts, with a now 5.5 game deficit in the AL East and less than 20 games left in the season, it is highly unlikely that the Yanks will take the division this year, but with the history of these two teams, a lot of fans (especially this one) will be tuning in to each game with eager eyes, hoping to get their last hoo-rah in the numerous off the field BOS/NYY fan feuds, with each side fighting for team pride.
The highlight of the game goes to JD, who gave a young kid in left field 20 Canadian dollars after receiving it from another fan who handed it to Damon after Johnny gave him a ball. It used to be you only got autographs from ballplayers… how times have changed.
Also, a Yankee fan in Canada had a cap with a toy squirrel on top of it, proving that the squirrel has become, no doubt, a world wide phenomenon. (If not… he should be.) They also showed footage of the squirrel in one the games in (I think) this series, in which the squirrel was still on top of that right field foul pole in Yankee Stadium, even with the Yanks out of town. Talk about dedication.
The wheels keep spinning for the Yanks, who win today’s game (their 5th straight), sweeping the Royals to go on to face Toronto on Tuesday. Wang, who came into the game tied for the league lead in wins, started off strong, having to pitch only 25 pitches through the first three innings. However, things went south in the fourth after he allowed three runners to cross the plate to tie the game. The big hit came off Alex Gordon, who hit a double to clear the bases and credit himself three RBI’s, accounting for all of the Royals’ runs in today’s game. Wang didn’t allow a run in the next three innings he pitched, but got into trouble with his command, allowing more walks then we’re used to seeing from him. Wang gets the win nonetheless, giving him 18 on the year, keeping him tied for the league lead, now only with Beckett who unfortunately also got his 18th win for the Sox today.
The offense continued their current surge scoring 6 runs today.
The man that started it off? None other than the monster that is Alex Rodriguez.
All I have to say is: A-Rod is beyond a ballplayer. There simply aren’t any words left in the English language to describe him. Ken Singleton said it best yesterday: “He’s turned the American League into his own personal playground.” He hit another home run, his 52nd and counting, in his first at bat of the game to add on to his 7 total in his last 5 games alone. Right now, the season he’s having is beyond ridiculous. It’s gotten to the point where although every fan quietly expects him to hit more home runs, they’re still utterly shocked when he does (myself included). People said in beginning the year that A-Rod wouldn’t be able to keep up with his mammoth numbers, but A-Rod certainly didn’t agree and, as September arrived, decided to end talks of the AL MVP ending up in anyone else’s hands but his.
Other offensive mention goes out to Cano, who went 2-4 with a run and an RBI and also Jorge Posada, who continues to tack on to his already spectacular numbers for a catcher, let alone one at his age. Jorge has been one of the most consistent forces on the Yankee lineup while having his, no doubt, best season of his career, and it’s almost unfair that it’s been overshadowed by A-Rod’s excellence.
Other pitching mention goes out to Kyle Farnsworth (the good one) who pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, tacking on two strikeouts and not allowing a run. Farnsworth has been a completely different pitcher than the one everyone wanted to hurl something at earlier in the year. Although it took him a while to start pitching like he is now, his better performance couldn’t come at a better time, with the September stretch to the playoffs upon us and October baseball right around the corner. Also, credit to Mariano who was… Mariano.
The Yanks are now 4 atop the Wild Card over Detroit and 5 atop of Seattle. Hughes next on the mound on Tuesday against Toronto. The Yanks need to take care of another second string team before they go on to Boston to face the Red Sox, in a series I can’t wait for. (Who wants another sweep?)
Also, congrats to Curtis Granderson who joined the 20-20-20-20 club today (20 doubles, triples homers & steals.) How he got the 20 triples is beyond me.
Kennedy makes his second Major League start and goes 5, allowing only 2 runs on 7 hits. Mini-Moose (nick-named for his wind-up, which has an almost scary resemblance to that of the Yankee veteran) got into trouble early, losing command of his pitches. He allowed the Royals to tie the game at 2 in the 2nd inning but settled down and didn’t allow another run for the rest of the game. Although Ian’s outing wasn’t outstanding, he kept the Yanks in the game, which is more than enough to ask of the rookie. And, speaking of rookies, Joba “The Man” Chamberlain does what
he does best. He comes into the 7th, with the watchful eyes of his father upon him (who is put to tears at the sight of his boy in the Bigs), and keeps the score at 3-2. He comes back out for the 8th and again, keeps his ERA at a stunning 0.00. It doesn’t get any better than that. The Sandman then comes into the game with the one run lead and… the Yankees win. This Joba-Sandman combo, reminiscent to that of the younger Mariano-Wettland combo of ‘96, has become the winning formula for the Yanks since Chamberlain got the call up. As the quest for October baseball continues, it’s hard not to already picture the great intensity and dominance, that each pitcher shares, on the big stage in the postseason.
The offense wasn’t top notch tonight… actually, it was pretty much not there, but it did however manage to score the 3 runs needed to win this game. The almost only offensive force tonight was the same as it was in the Yanks’ last game: Alex Rodriguez. Fresh off a day’s off of rest, he picks up where he left off and hits a home run that hit the tip of the wall in left, then trickled over, in his first at bat of the game, (shortly followed by another home run off the bat of Posada in the same inning) pushing him one more closer toward 50 on the season. He also racked up two more hits in the game, going 3-4, with a walk, a run and an RBI on the night. The only other hitter besides Rodriguez with a multi-hit game was The Melk Man, who went 2-4, getting some more of his key hits leading off an inning. Bobby Abreu, who had one hit on the night, got the game winner however. The hit came with perfect timing, as the game wore on and it soon became realized that the Yanks weren’t going to pull off another late inning blowout. He doubled to left-center to score Jeter from first and put the Yanks ahead 3-2, which stood as the final score after the bullpen, who was the story of tonight (how often can you say that?), shut down the Royals for the rest of the game.
One particular person part of the bullpen that deserves special mention is the old Farnsy himself. Farnsworth comes into the sixth, allowing only one hit and 0 runs. Besides the 2 run 0.2 inning blip against Boston on August 29th, the good Farnsworth has been in full control, sending the bad Farnsworth packing. It may have to do with the innings Farnsworth is being chosen to pitch in now. I don’t think he was particularly meant for the late game pressure situations. Some can handle it and considering the performance he gave when he was the 8th inning man, I doubt he’s one of them. Hopefully the Good Farnsworth is here to stay and the Bad Farnsworth doesn’t make an attempt to rise from his grave.
Pettitte Perfect on the mound tomorrow so it should be a good game on the pitching side for the Yanks. The offense on the other hand, who has become unpredictable as of late (seemingly not being able to get on a constant good hitting streak) is another story.
Someone once said, “When a warrior is wounded is when you better watch out.” That was never more true than today. After A-Rod suffers a scare with a potentially disastrous injury last night, he steps back in the batter’s box tonight and mightily shuts down any chance of the injury taking him out of the lineup. He hits one home run to tie the game at two to start the 7th, then comes back up in the same inning to hit another one to put the game out of reach. A-Rod has had an absolute inhuman year. There’s no doubt that the MVP award will be in his hands again. Although some have come close (specifically the Silent Assassin and Pettitte Perfect) there is no doubt that there has been no one more valuable to this team than Rodriguez. He amazes more than 57,000 night after night to the point of insanity. He’s an outstanding ballplayer and an incredibly hard worker that has overcome such immense adversity (stepping under the burning lights of New York) and criticism not only from the media, but from himself. Hopefully New York will be blessed to see him in pinstripes beyond this year.
Although A-Rod’s heroics will cover the sports section tomorrow morning, many Yanks had a part in tonight’s win. Hughes started it off, allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs in his 6 innings of work, performing a lot better than he has of late. However, he doesn’t get the win because the Yankee offense showed up in the latter part of the game again… but better late than never. The man who get the win is Yankee favorite JOBA Chamberlain, who gets his first career win by going yet another inning without allowing a run.
This rookie has been nearly perfect since being called up to help out the Yankee bullpen, which is a much more spectacular feat than I think most people realize. It’s astonishing that for someone so young and inexperienced at the big league level, that he can dominate in New York (a place in which baseball means baseball and everyone is scrutinized) under such pressure, with Yankee expectations in a year in which success is not an option but a demand and do it with tremendous self certitude. I’m still looking forward to seeing what this rookie can do to start a game.
After Joba shuts down Seattle in the 7th, Ramirez and Mariano come in to shut down the Seattle offense for the rest of the game, which I would imagine was a lot easier with a 7 and 8 run lead. Praise also goes to the Yankee offense tonight who again gave the Yankee pitchers some offensive support. They didn’t exactly come out shooting, as the scoreboard might hint, but they worked their walks, took advantage of extra outs and got some timely hitting against the Seattle bullpen, one of which was so highly talked about. The most shocking thing about the 7th inning that I think got lost in the A-Rod highlights was that 5 of the 8 the runs scored in the 7th were scored with 2 outs. Talk about extending the inning. 10 runs scored tonight in another blowout, and yet Molina is the only one aside Rodriguez with a multi-hit night…weird, but I’ll take it.
This win puts the Yanks 3 games ahead of Seattle in the Wild Card as they now go on to Kansas City to face the Royals in the first game of a three game set and a 9 game road trip. The Yanks definitely need to take care of the lesser teams (in Kansas & Toronto) and hopefully the Red Sox as well, to get as close to the division lead as possible (although taking the division is not likely with a 6 game deficit in September but the Yanks (should) never go down without a fight.)
Lastly, no squirrel tonight… but he may become a new road-tripper.