Has everyone recovered from the emotional rollercoaster of last night? Good. Glad to hear it. Now let’s sit back and savor our victory — but obviously after we delve into this recap.
Damon allowed us to all breathe a sigh of relief; it feels like forever since we scored a run in the first inning, even though it was just a week ago against Boston. A few minutes later, and we’re tacking on run after run. This Jesse Litsch kid may have pitched well against Baltimore, but they’re not the beat that is (or was) the Yankees offense. Fall behind in the count, and you’re meat, rook.
So Giambi hits a sac fly after Alex and Posada walked to load the bases. Then Phelps, who was actually starting against a righty, singled in the two walkees. Cano then slapped a double to left, and all the sudden it’s a five-run inning. Of course, Melky hit a dinker to first to end the inning, but even those of us who were peeved about that were calmed when Clippard sailed through a 10-pitch first inning.
The next inning wasn’t quite as smooth for T-Clip. After retiring the first two batters in an easy manner (struck out Stairs looking and got Big Hurt to pop out to Jorge on the first pitch), he walked Aaron Hill and Howie Clark. How do you walk Howie Clark? Hell, I didn’t even know who the guy was before this game — and I follow the minor leagues! Thankfully, our old buddy
Borat Fasano popped out to end the frame.
I’d skip over the third, because we only sent four hitters to the plate. However, Cano whaled a pitch to right for his second double of the night, and that’s notable. We really need Robbie’s bat if we’re going to have any shot at this. Hell, we’re going to need everyone’s bat, but it’s especially nice to see this from Robbie, a youngster who has the potential to be a doubles machine. Of course, Melky grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning, this time on just two pitches (both of which he swung at).
And there goes T-Clip, issuing a four-pitch walk to start the third. And all the sudden you’re thinking: “time to tack on some more runs, boys. Here comes our starting pitching.” Two pitches later, hair was torn out as Alex Rios bombed one over the left-center field wall, 5-2. Okay, okay. We still have the lead. T-Clip came back to get the next two hitters — Overybay struck out swinging, and Wells popped out to Jorge. Easy end of the inning? No way. Stairs singled on a 2-2 count, Big Hurt walked on six pitches, and Aaron Hill reached on an infield single. Bases loaded, and this Howie Clark character was up again. With the count 2-0, you could smell two more runs crossing the plate. Thankfully, he flied out to center.
Jeter got a hat trick by the fourth inning, striking out for the third time, all against different pitchers (Litsch, Brian Tallet, and now Josh Towers). One, two, three go the Yanks. Toronto almost went 1-2-3 as well, except John McDonald homered with one out. Yay, 5-3.
The fifth passed without harm on either side, and we’re thinking to ourselves: “Uh oh. Haven’t scored since the first inning. Our offense is shitty again.” But up comes Cano with one out, and doubles again. Freakin’ Melky finally came through with a single, and it’s 6-3. And Jeter avoided the Golden Sombrero!
At 98 pitches, Clip was done for the night. Enter Brian Bruney. So, what the hell is going on with this team? Torre uncharacteristically plays Phelps against a righty and actually sits Abreu’s ass on the bench. Now he’s making astute pitching changes? What gives? Anyway, Bruney took care of the Jays, with a McDonald double being the only harm. Jason Frasor did his part against the Yanks in the 7th, striking out the side.
Good managerial move again: Bruney comes out for the 7th. Bad Bruney: he gives up a homer to Matt Stairs, making it a one-run game. And we know that no matter how many uncharacteristic moves Torre makes, he’s never going to abandon that quick hook. Out Bruney, in Proctor. I gotta say, even though Proctor got the results, it looked like he was missing spots. Perhaps it’s time to give him another two days off.
So after the Yanks are retired in the eighth, we’re in a one-run game with only two more chances for the Jays. Unfortunately, one of those chances is against Kyle Farnsworth, who immediately drew our ire by allowing a leadoff single to Clark. He did get the next two, but a single to Rios was cause for another quick hook — this one completely justifiable, though. In comes Mo, and he gets a classic broken-bat groundout to end the inning.
The top of the ninth provided the single most entertaining moment of the season. Scott Downs is in and pitching for the third straight night. Bad Sign No. 1: Melky singled to lead off. Long story short: Melky’s on third and Matsui is on first for A-Rod, who singles to center, driving in Cabrera and giving us a cushion. Now Jorge’s up with two outs — and he pops up to the infield.
And the craziest thing happened: the ball dropped. No one touched it. Oh, but then the fireworks went off. John McDonald wanted a piece of A-Rod (sorry to say, Johnny, but Alex would pummel you until you said “uncle”). The speculation: Alex said “I got it” as he neared third base. He vehemently denied this, but the shit eating grin on his face says otherwise. Bush League? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. I would have been pissed as a Jays fan, but as a Yanks fan, I could do nothing but laugh. Hey, when your team hasn’t won a game in a while, you might try some unorthodox things to make sure you avoid another loss. Sometimes it’s shaking up the lineup. Sometimes it’s dekeing out a fielder. Anyway, Giambi drove in both Alex and Posada (after Posada stole second for the second time in the game), and it was 10-5. Mo came in and cruised through the ninth, and we’re no longer mired in a losing streak.
I’ll cut myself off there, since I’ve already gone on forever (hey, a win at this point is exciting). Make sure to check out RAB later today (or hell, it might be up now) for something special, brought to you by Mike A.
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