I’m usually not a fan of Michael Kay’s schtick-y play-by-play calls, but I had to lead off with that quote because it couldn’t be more true. The Yanks dropped another one tonight 10–8 to the D-Rays, but this game will hopefully be where they turn the page.
Why the optimism, you ask? Well, because the Yankees will send Chien-Ming Wang to the hill tomorrow, for the first time this year. Hopefully, Wang will throw about 22 ground-ball outs. Then on Wednesday, it’s Andy Pettitte’s turn. Pettitte has really pushed his old frame early in the season, and gone the extra mile for the team. On Thursday, it’s finally Phil Hughes’ turn.
On top of that, Mariano Rivera pitched a meaningless inning tonight. Meaningless because the Yanks were down 10–6 at the time, meaningful when you consider that he threw 10 pitches: 1 at 92 MPH, 8 at 93 MPH and 1 at 94 MPH. The talking heads at ESPN spent about 5 minutes analyzing why his velocity was down to 88 MPH earlier today. Mo is fine people. He’s started slowly several times in recent years, this year is no different. Still has the cutter, still the best closer in the game, always the best closer in the history of the game.
Now, if the Yanks next three starters can go 7 innings plus (probably a stretch for Hughes, they’re going to be watching his pitch count very closely) the pen will FINALLY get the rest they need.
Oh yeah, the Yanks played tonight. The starter (Kei Igawa) went 4.1 innings and got lit up (anyone think this guy was a good signing?), the pen showed its wear and tear. All told, they gave up 10 runs. Needless to say, that isn’t going to get it done.
The offense was great, as usual, and A-Rod led the way, as usual. Number 13 was 4 for 5 with 2 bombs, 4 runs scored and 3 RBI. The best thing I saw out of A-Rod was the determined look he had on his face when he rounded the bases in the top of the ninth. His two-run blast brought the Yanks to within 2 runs of the D-Rays, and in the past I would’ve expected some kind of self-congratulatory grin on his face. Proud of himself. Not this time. He’s focused, and he’s focused on winning. If the Yanks pitchers can pick up a little of that determination, this team is going to be just fine.
Player of the Game: A-Mazing.