Friday, June 8, 2007

Walk-off Dribbler Beats Bucs

Two years ago Jason Giambi hit a dramatic walk-off 2-run, upper deck HR in the 10th to the beat the Pirates 7-5. Tonight, Derek Jeter only hit the ball about 75 feet, but the results were the same - a Yankees win, the 7th in their last 9 games.

Robinson Cano lead off the bottom of the 10th against Matt Capps (1-1) with a drive off the left-center field wall for a double. Melky Cabrera sacrificed him to 3rd and then the Yankees got a big break on Miguel Cairo's grounder to third. Jose Bautista looked Cano back for too long, allowing Cairo to reach base safely. It's plays like that has Pirates skipper Jim Tracy looking a lot older than his 51 years.

After Cairo took 2nd on defensive indifference, the Pirates elected to intentionally walk Johnny Damon to set up a force at any base. Jeter then hit a tapper to the right of the mound that 2nd Baseman Freddie Sanchez couldn't barehand. It's unlikely there would have been a play on Cano at the plate even if Sanchez were able to field it cleanly.

Andy Pettitte appeared to be the victim of lack of run support after he allowed a fluke 2-run inside the park HR to Chris Duffy. Duffy's 7th inning line drive eluded Cabrera, reminiscent of struggles Cabrera had 2 years ago. But the Yankees came right back in their half of the inning.

Miguel Cairo doubled off of starter Tom Gorzelanny, moved to third on Damon's ground out, and scored on Jeter's RBI single. Lefty John Grabow allowed a single to Bobby Abreu and Salomon Torres hit A-Rod to load the bases. Jorge Posada's line single to right tied the game, before Damaso Marte came in to get Hideki Matsui and Cano to end the threat.

The Yankees rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the 6th when Matsui belted his 6th HR of the year with a man aboard. For the 2nd straight night Mariano Rivera appeared in a pair of innings. He worked the 9th and 10th innings to earn his 2nd win in 5 decisions.

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