Monday, June 4, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I hate going to bed mad on a Sunday night. This usually happens after watching the Giants stumble and fumble their way through an NFL contest with the Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, take your pick. But occasionally it also occurs when the Yankees are playing in one of their nationally televised contests on ESPN.

Last night's game was shaping up to be one of those aggrevation fests. The Yankees had blown the 4-0 lead they had built up against Josh "aren't I wonderful" Beckett. Bobby Abreu had misplayed yet another David Ortiz ball in right and Andy Pettitte was suddenly rendered ineffective by back spasms.

But something odd happened, the Yankees got up off the mat, or in this case grass, and rallied against the Sox top 2 relievers. Alex Rodriguez belted his 20th HR of the season off of Jonathan Papelbon to give the Yankees the lead in the 9th and Mariano Rivera looked like vintage Mo, slamming the door shut on a 6-5 win.

The victory game the Yankees a series win, the 2nd straight one they have taken from the Sox. The two teams don't meet again until August.

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead into the 5th, adding 3 runs with some help from a Mike Lowell error. But the wheels came off in the bottom of half of the inning. The Red Sox loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Jason Varitek, Wily Mo Pena, and Coco Crisp. Pettitte struck out Julio Lugo, but Boston's 2-foot- 6 inch 2ndBaseman Dustin Pedroia ripped one of the green monster in left center, clearing the bases.

Down one, David Ortiz hit a humpback liner to right that Bobby Abreu at first thought he could catch. Instead the ball skipped past (which isn't easy to do with Abreu's ever growing girth) for a game tying triple. Two batters later Kevin Youkillis delivered a sac fly off of Luis Vizcaino to give the Sox their first lead of the night.

After stranding a runner at 3rd in the 7th, the Yankees finally had success against Japanese import Hideki Okajima. The Yankees' Hideki, Matsui, lined a single to right off of his former Pacific Rim teammate. Then Robinson Cano followed with a deep drive to center that ricocheted back past Coco Crisp for an RBI triple. The game was tied 5-5, the go-ahead run on 3rd and no one out. And the Yankees did nothing.

Josh Phelps struck out, Melky Cabrera grounded weakly to third, and Johnny Damon bounced out to Youkillis at 1st to keep the game tied.

The Red Sox put two on with two out against Brian Bruney in the 8th and Pedroia hit a gapper to right-center. Somehow Abreu didn't misplay and it made a fine running catch to end the threat.

Papelbon, with ESPN focusing in on his Wes Craven thought up grimace, retired the 1st two batters in the 9th, before A-Rod yelled "HAH" with his bat, giving the Yankees the lead.

Mo got Ortiz on a dangerous liner to Abreu to start the bottom of the 9th. After striking out Manny Ramirez, he nailed Youkillis on the forearm to bring the winning run to the plate in the person of the red hot Lowell. But Mo k'ed him, giving the Yankees the series win.

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