Earlier in the season, I wrote a post
about the most important Yankee. In that article, I said Melky Cabrera was a future captain of this team. Today, he showed us all why.
The kid has been struggling. His slump was stretching into its second week, and he was already 0-4 when he came up in the bottom of the seventh with the Yankees down by two runs. The Melk Man knocked in two runs with a single to tie the game.
When Melky came up in the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks were again down by two. This time, there were two outs. Melky delivered again, with another two-run single. Two innings, two at bats, 4 RBIs. He tied the game up twice.
In the top of the tenth, the Jays put the winning run on first with two out. Aaron Hill hit a booming double off the wall in right center. Melky got to the ball quickly, delivered a strike to Cano in shallow right, who delivered a strike to Posada at the plate to cut down Greg Zaun and stop the go-ahead run from scoring. This was Melky's 15th assist.
In the bottom of the inning, Melky came to the plate with runners on the corners and two outs. The Yankee pen was depleted, battered and worn out. Joe had to turn to Jeff Karstens in the top of the inning, and it was only a matter of time before the Jays put a crooked number on the board and put the Yankees down in extra innings for the second consecutive night. Melky wouldn't let it happen. He delivered a line-drive single to right center, plating the winning run. In the seventh inning, Melky was 0 for 4, after the 10th he was 3 for 7 with 5 RBI. The Yankees lose this game if Melky Cabrera isn't in the lineup, in fact, they lose it twice over.
This game wasn't all roses. The Yankee pen gave up eight runs in only five innings of work. Only Mo and Karstens could manage scoreless innings. Farnsworth looked absolutely putrid in his first outing since being shelved for a stiff neck and/or shoulder. The Viz and Joba weren't available. This game had the makings of a painful hangover loss, last night's game taking too much of a toll on the team for them to outlast the Jays tonight. Melky wouldn't let it happen.
He wasn't alone, though. Last night, I said A-Rod had officially broken out of his slump, tonight he finished 4 for 5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. If I was a betting man, I'd put money on A-Rod going yard tomorrow, and making a serious run at 60 over the last 8 games.
The Sox had a nice comeback win against the D-Rays hapless bullpen. If not for the likes of Al Reyes the Yanks would have a two or three game lead on Boston at this point, but them's the breaks. The Ligers continued their typical late-season slide, moving the Yanks magic number for the Wild Card to 3.Player of The Game:
The Moose will get the call for the Yanks tomorrow against Justin McGowan. Mussina is coming off his best start of the year, in my eyes, and the Yanks are going to need some distance out of him. If there was ever a time for the Joba Rules to be broken, I'd say it's tomorrow. The kid threw two innings on Friday night, meaning according to the rules he's out until Monday. With the extra workload put on the pen, the Yanks really might need him tomorrow. I say go ahead and use him.