The player of the game award was up for grab tonight, until the 9th inning. At that point, Melky Cabrera took over, and reinforced my contention that he is, in fact, the most important Yankee
If you missed the game, let me recount the last two innings for you:
- Top of the eighth: Joba Chamberlain comes in, he throws 14 pitches, 9 for strikes, and retires the side in order. Along the way he strikes out Miguel Tejada with a filthy 88-mph slider in the dirt on a 3-2 count, and gets Aubrey Huff to miss another 88-mph slider in the dirt for his second K. Joba holds the score at 6-5, Yanks.
- Bottom of the eighth: Yanks go down in order.
- Top of the ninth: Mo gives up a broken-bat single to Melvin Mora to lead off the inning. Mora advances to second on a dribbler in front of the plate by Ramon Hernandez. Tying run on second, Tike Redman hits a broken-bat Texas leaguer into shallow center, Melky charges, fields and cuts down Mora at the plate. Posada then tries to get Redman going to second on the throw. His throw sails wide and high, but Melky is there to back the play up, holding Redman at second. On the first pitch, Brian Roberts breaks his bat, but the ball lands in front of Abreu in right for a single. Abreu's throw gets to the plate in plenty of time, but it's too high. Redman scores to tie the score at 6-6. (Mo's first blown save since April 20th). Corey Patterson flies out to left to end the inning.
- Bottom of the ninth: Phillips grounds out to second. Melky then gets hit by a pitch. Tying run on first, one out. The Giambino pinch-hits for Shelley Duncan, and maneuvers a single through the shift. Melky never hesitates, going first to third on the single. Tying run on third, one out. Jeter squibs the first pitch from Chad Bradford past the mound, Roberts charges, throws home, but can't get the Melk Man. Yankees win, 7-6.
First, Melky saves the game with his arm. Then he wins it with his legs. This was a monumental win for the Yanks, the Sox had already won today over Tampa, and the last thing the Bombers want to do now is take a step backwards. Not to mention the fact they have Jeff Karstens going tomorrow, and they face Eric Bedard, arguably the best pitcher in the American League, on Wednesday.
Letter to the Skipper:
One last thought...
Did any Yankee fan out there have a single doubt that Jeter would plate that run in the bottom of the ninth? I sure didn't.
Player of The Game
: Melky. 1 for 3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 HBP, 1 double, 1 outfield assist.