Phil Huhges didn't use his change enough, he didn't use his slider enough, but he did have command of his fastball and curve, and that was enough to handle the struggling Mariners through six. Joba came in for a pedestrian 1-2-3 seventh, and then the Yankee bats exploded. A-Rod led the charge with two bombs in the deciding seventh frame, which saw the Yanks hang an eight-spot on the vaunted Seattle bullpen.
Boston is currently locked in a 4-4 tie with the Blue Jays, and crossing their fingers that they won't have to bring Eric Gagne into a tight game. (Fun facts about Gagne: He hasn't pitched in a game since August 26th, and his middle name is Serge, which leaves me wondering if this fictional character is based on the roid-head Canuck.) But enough about the Sawks, let's talk about the Wild Card.
The Mariner run is officially over. This team is in complete free-fall mode. They leave NYC for the unfriendly confines of Detroit with their tail between their legs and a three-game deficit in the Wild Card.
He didn't get the player of the game award, but Shelley Duncan deserves a mention in this here write-up. Frankenstein was 0 for 3 at the plate, but his play with the glove turned momentum and a sacrifice bunt set up that explosive eighth inning. Raul Ibanez hit a rope down the right field line to lead off the sixth, Duncan dug it out of the corner and fired a strike to second to cut down Ibanez. Hughes cruised through the rest of the inning. After A-Rod tied the game with his 47th bomb of the year in the bottom of the seventh, Cano reached on an error. Duncan then moved him into scoring position and the rest is history.
Tomorrow is an off day, Joba will be available for game one of the K.C. series in support of Ian Kennedy. Things are looking good in the Bronx, for the moment. (Friday is the beginning of a 10-game road trip, the Yanks are 4 games under .500 for the season.)
Player of The Game: Alex Rodriguez, 2 for 3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 home runs.
The Gagne/Joba graphic has been updated to reflect tonight's game (I'll add in Gagne's loss later, if Boston actually uses him).