Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nady Leads Big Comeback

You knew if you turned on the Yankees game today, you might not be seeing a good game. After all, Darrell Rasner, except for the last start, has been miserable for that last month and a half. And unfortunately, that came to fruition. Rasner put the Yankees into a 5-0 hole by the 4th inning, but the Yankees rallied, not once, but twice to win a crazy 14-9 ball game in the Bronx.

But the Yankees chipped away against John Lackey, who brought a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his last start. Ivan Rodriguez started it with a solo home run in the fifth inning and Xavier Nady's 2-run double highlighted a three run sixth inning as the Yankees cut the deficit to 5-4.

Meanwhile, Dan Giese gave the Yankees what they needed, someone to keep them in the game. He tossed three shutout innings after replacing Rasner to start the fifth inning. In the seventh, the Yankees came all the way back. Jose Arredendo retired Johnny Damon to start the inning and looked like he had Derek Jeter on a routine fly out to left-center field, but center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. dropped it for a two base error.

Red hot Bobby Abreu followed with a single to left to tie the game at 5 apiece. Alex Rodriguez followed with a single through Chone Figgins and one batter later Nady crushed a 3-run home run into the left field seats for an 8-5 Yankees lead.

A suddenly raucous crowd got even louder when Edwar Ramirez struck out Matthews and Jeff Mathis to start the eighth inning, but then the bottom dropped out again. Ramirez walked Reggie Willits, the fourth time he walked in the game. Figgins continued to torment the Yankees with his bat, by singling to left and Ramirez walked Erik Aybar to load the bases.

Girardi decided to stick with Ramirez instead of going with Damaso Marte to face Mark Teixeira, since the the big first baseman was 5-6 lifetime against the left-hander. The non-move turned out to be a mistake when Teixeira belted a grand slam into the right field seats to put the Angels back on top, 9-8.

But maybe some of the magic from Old-Timer's Day was still around, because the Angels did everything they could to ensure a Yankees victory. Mike Scioscia went to his set up man Scot Shields to start the bottom of the 8th and Ivan Rodriguez immediately greeted him with a single. Aybar mishandled Melky Cabrera's grounder to short to put two on with no one out.

Pinch-runner Justin Christian and Cabrera then pulled off a double steal that worked to perfection when Mathis threw the ball away, allowing Christian to score the tying run. A walk to Johnny Damon put runners on the corners, but Derek Jeter grounder to Aybar at short held Cabrera at third. Jeter was retired for the first out as Damon moved up to second base. After a walk to Abreu loaded the bases, A-Rod hit a tailor made double play ball to Figgins, but the third baseman booted the ball. Cabrera scored the go-ahead run and the bases remained loaded.

Darren Oliver replaced Shields to face Robinson Cano, who come into the game as a defensive replacement for Wilson Betemit. Despite a sore and swollen hand, Cano lashed a single to center field to score Damon and Abreu for a 12-9 Yankees lead. Nady then delivered his 4th hit of the day, to left field for his sixth RBI of the game. The final run came across on a Christian single for a 6-run inning and a 14-9 Yankees lead.

Jose Veras sealed things in the 9th after allowing a 1-out double. Incredibly, the Yankees had themselves a split of the four game series.

News and Notes

Xavier Nady is 10-26 (.385) in Pinstripes thus far, with 3 home runs and 10 RBI.

Mariano Rivera was unavailable due to back spasms.

Bobby Abreu is 12-26 (.462) over the last 6 games.

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