Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Had A Dream

I was watching the Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Rays. First place in the AL East was on the line. The Yankees had come into the game having lost of 7 of 8 and had dropped out of 1st place the previous night when Tampa won a 1-0 thriller.

The Yankees clung to a one run lead in the 9th. Speedster Carl Crawford was on 2nd base with one out when Mariano Rivera got Matt Joyce to lift a fly near the right field foul line. Greg Golson, playing in place of the injured Nick Swisher, camped under it for what would be the second out. But wait, what was Golson doing? He's firing the ball, flat footed, to 3rd base. And Crawford is out to end the game.

And then I woke up.

No wait, I was awake the whole time. It really happened. When did Greg Golson become Dave Parker, Ellis Valentine, and Ichiro all rolled into one? Golson's laser throw to 3rd cut down Crawford with the help of a nice one hop pick up and tag by Alex Rodriguez. There was much criticism of Crawford for making the last out at 3rd, but it was Crawford running and these are the aggressive Tampa Bay Rays. It was a wild finish to a wild game.

The Yankees had staked Ivan Nova to a 6-0 lead against Matt Garza with the help of a Robinson Cano line drive 2-run home run and a long solo blast by Alex Rodriguez. But in the 5th, things fell apart for the rookie. For the second time in a matter of weeks, he was pulled from the game before getting the final out that would qualify for a win. But he had to be pulled. The Rays had cut the lead to 6-4 and lefty Dan Johnson was due up.

So Joe Girardi went to his red hot lefty specialist Boone Logan, who hadn't allowed an earned run in his last 25 appearances dating back to July 18. Boom end of streak. Pinch-hitting from the right side, Willy Aybar smacked a 3-run home run that erased the Yankees lead completely and put Tampa ahead 7-6.

The Yankees came right back though in the 6th, tying the game on a Cano RBI double. It was the 98th ribbie for Cano, establishing a new career high. Then the real craziness began. Still tied in the bottom of the 9th, Ben Zobrist hit a 2-out drive to deep center that Granderson went vertical on to make a diving, inning ending catch.

In the top of the 10th, the Yankees took the lead when Jorge Posada hit a moon shot to dead center off Dan Wheeler. The ball landed atop the restaurant well beyond the centerfield fence for an 8-7 lead.

Crawford singled off Rivera to start the 10th and Evan Longoria followed with a blast to deep center that seemed ticketed to be a walk off game winner. But the ball landed in Granderson's glove in center for a loud out. It wasn't a game changer, but was nearly an underwear changer.

As expected, you knew Crawford would attempt to steal 2nd base and he did with Joyce at-bat. Then Joyce hit his fly and Golson flashed his skills, and the Yankees were back in 1st place.


Andy Pettitte allowed two earned runs in a five inning stint in the Trenton Thunder's 3-2, extra inning win in the Eastern League championship opener against Altoona. Pettitte is now scheduled to start against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday at Camden Yards.

Andrew Brackman picked up the win for Trenton when he threw five shutout innings in relief of the Yankees veteran.

An MRI of Nick Swisher's troublesome knee showed nothing more than inflammation and he was given a cortisone shot. He could be back in the lineup on Friday.

Brett Gardner also got a cortisone shot in his bad wrist and will be limited for the time being to pinch-running and playing defense.

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