Major League Baseball’s win rule is something of a funny beast. In yeseterday afternoon’s Yankee game, Edwar Ramirez walked away with the win, but to say he earned it would be a complete fallacy. In fact, when he retired the last batter of the eighth inning and ostensibly left the game, he had just given up a three-run lead, and the Yanks were facing a deficit with six outs to go.
But Sunday was one of those days, and the Yanks had to get Edwar, unhittable in July but less so in August, off the hook. When the dust finally settled after the eighth, the Yanks had scored six runs — five of them unearned — and won a key Sunday split of the four-game set against the Angels.
The day started out rather poorly for the Yanks. After four innings, they were down 5-0, and Darrell Rasner was done for the day and possibly for the starting rotation. Rasner allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings today, and with Ian Kennedy tossing another solid start for Scranton, I would be surprised to see Rasner take the mound next week against this same Angels team.
The Yanks, held to just three hits in the game’s first four innings, weren’t quite finished yet though. Ivan Rodriguez homered in the fifth, and the flood gates opened in the sixth. Xavier Nady plated two on a ground rule double, and after an RBI groundout by Wilson Betemit, the Yanks had cut the Angels’ deficit to one.
In the seventh, things started to fall apart for the Angels. With one out, Jeter hit a ball to center that should have been caught, but Gary Matthews couldn’t handle it. Derek was on second with a clutch error by the other team’s center fielder. After an Abreu RBI single and a completely meaningless single by A-Rod that did nothing to keep the inning alive or help the Yankees win the game since it was a hit by A-Rod, Xavier Nady blasted a three-run home run to give the Yanks a one-run lead.
But this one was far from over, Edwar Ramirez racked up two quick K’s, but a walk, a hit and a walk brought Mark Teixeira to the plate. With one swing, the newest Angel showed the Yanks why they may want to toss around the idea of signing him in the off-season. As the ball sailed over the right field fence, the Angels grabbed a one-run lead.
The eighth would feature more fun times for the Angels’ defense. Erick Aybra would drop a Melky Cabrera ground ball, Jeff Mathis would toss a ball into the outfield and Chone Figgins would boot an A-Rod ground ball while Robinson Cano, Xavier Nady and Justin Christian would all pick up RBI hits. The 14-9 lead would hold up.
Left unmentioned and forgotten would be Dan Giese, the real winner of this game. In relief of Rasner, Giese threw three one-hit innings, and his performance gave the Yanks a chance to get back into the game.
For the Yankees, this win delivered a four-game split of the weekend series with the Angels. More importantly, though, the Yanks showed that they could beat their archnemesis Angels. Had anyone hit on Friday, the Yanks could have walked away winners of three of four against Los Angeles, and next weekend, the Angels will have to face young Mr. Chamberlain.
Sunday’s game also showed what the Yankees could do. They were down, but not out, against a very tough bullpen, and they took advantage of the Angels’ mistakes. The newest Yankees — Nady and Pudge — went a combined 6 for 8 with seven RBIs and two home runs. The Yanks now face a very tough ten-game road trip, but they do so on a very good note. Joba goes later tonight, and there’s a lot of baseball left this year.