Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I didn’t think there was any way the Yankees were going to win this game. Trailing 6-1 with Cliff Lee on the mound and absolutely dealing, it sure looked bleak, but they were able to chip away to tie and then eventually take the lead in the top of the ninth, with Marcus Thames as the man of the hour thanks to his 8th inning HR that cut the deficit to 6-5 and then his 9th inning single that scored Brett Gardner with the eventual winning run. The Yankees scored runs in each of the 6th-9th innings, against a combination of Lee and six Texas relievers who are all having great seasons.
With Mo coming in, the only thing left to do was count down the outs, until Elvis Andrus decided to lead off the bottom of the ninth with a triple. So yeah, once again it looked bleak. Michael Young hit a flare to shallow RF and Austin Kearns raced in and made a great shoestring catch that saved a run. Kearns had just been shifted to right after Curtis Granderson pinch-ran for Lance Berkman and then was moved into CF. I can’t recall a better Yankee defensive OF than Gardner/Granderson/Kearns.
Rivera then got Josh Hamilton to ground right back to him to hold Andrus at third and get the second out, before finally retiring Vlad Guerrero on a grounder to third to end the game and close out the win.
This win wouldn’t have been possible without Sergio Mitre and Kerry Wood pitching 3.2 scoreless innings after Javier Vazquez crapped the bed again. I haven’t really talked about Wood’s acquisition at all, and I’m not sure how good he really is, but his job description is pretty simple. Be better than Chan Ho Park.
A loss tonight would have cut the Yankees’ lead over the Red Sox to just four games, so avoiding that was also nice.
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