Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yankees Get Very Offensive

Lets just say the Yankees pitching was a good offense on Monday. Just like the Yankees season in general, the Yankees hung on by their teeth yesterday for a 13-9 win over the Tigers. The Bombers offensive lived up to its reputation, blasting Justin Verlander en route to an 8-1 lead after an inning and a half.

Sidney Ponson had the good fortune of being on the mound with a big lead early, but wasn't around long enough to figure in the decision. He was charged with seven runs, six of them earned, in three innings before giving way to Edwar Ramirez, who fared no better. K-Ram walked three, gave up a pair of hits, and two runs in just 1.1 innings pitched, before the rest of the pen finally shut the Tigers down.

Verlander has had an up and down season, with more of an emphasis on the latter. He walked Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter to start the game, and gave up a single to Bobby Abreu to load the bases with no one out. Alex Rodriguez singled to center to give the Yankees a quick 2-0 lead. A Jason Giambi sac fly and an RBI single by Hideki Matsui would build the lead to 4-0.

The Tigers picked up a run in their half of the first, but Damon homered with one out in the second to get the run back. Back to back singles by Jeter and Abreu, a Curtis Granderson error, and Abreu's stolen base, put two men in scoring position. A-Rod picked up his third RBI when first baseman Jeff Larish misplayed his grounder for an error. Verlander retired Giambi, but Xavier Nady's RBI single increased the lead to 7-1 and drove the right-hander from the game. Matsui delivered another RBI single against lefty Bobby Seay for the final run of the inning.

A Gary Sheffield second inning home run was countered by RBI singles by Abreu and A-Rod, and a sac fly by Nady built the lead to 11-2. But Ponson met his Waterloo in the fourth. A Brandon Inge 2-run home run got things started. A hit and a walk put two more men aboard, and then, for the second time in three games, Robinson Cano made a crucial error that helped make for a big inning.

Joe Girardi saw enough and sent for Ramirez, who gave up a sac fly to Magglio Ordonez, and a 2-run blast to Miguel Cabrera. A laugher had become a nail biter and Girardi was on the edge of seat when Ramirez then walked the tying runs on base. But the slight right-hander retired Larish on a pop up and struck out Inge to end the inning.

Ordonez's RBI single cut the margin to two, but Derek Jeter gave the Yankees some breathing room with a 2-run single in the sixth. The pen then finally shut the Tigers offense down. It included lefty Phil Coke's major league debut. The rookie, who was rumored to be part of the original Marte-Nady deal, struck out two in his major league debut.

News and Notes

Ivan Rodriguez got a long standing ovation, from his former home crowd, when he stepped to the plate in the second inning.

Gary Sheffield's home run was the 494th of his career, putting ahead of Fred McGriff and Lou Gehrig for 25th on the all-time list.

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