It took six games, but the Yanks finally pulled one out tonight. The bats woke up, and actually picked up what was shaky pitching. Joe Torre made the right moves in the pen, and pieced together the final 4 innings of the Yanks’ 10–5 win.
Tyler Clippard was underwhelming, walking 5 and giving up 3 earned on 4 hits in five innings, but he was staked to a 5–0 lead in the top of the first, and battled his way through five for his second major league win. I thought Joe was going to yank him in the second, Vizcaino was warming up, but he slithered out of two-out bases-loaded pickle and only gave up one more run. Bruney pitched a scoreless sixth, but was then touched up for a Matt Stairs bomb to cut the lead to 6–5 in the seventh.
Proctor came in to finish off the seventh, then Farnsworth came in for the eighth. He gave up his obligatory two hits while recording two outs, then Mo came in to save his bacon.
In the top of the ninth, A-Rod was involved in a play you’re going to see dissected on SportsCenter (or SportsCentre if you’re in Canada). A-Rod was on first, Matsui was on second and Posada was at the plate with two out. Posada hit a sky-high popup to the third baseman, Howie Clark. Matsui and A-Rod ran the play out, and A-Rod arrived at third right when the ball was coming down. You can’t tell for sure, but it sure looked and sounded like A-Rod yelled, “I got it!” as he ran by Clark. Clark fell for it, and moved out of the way of the ball. Matsui scored, and the Yanks went on to add two more runs and put to rest any hope of a Toronto comeback.
The Blue Jays went crazy, the umps discussed the situation, but the call remained. Of course it did. This isn’t tennis. And this is not a rare occurrence. You can say whatever you want, whenever you want on the field. This was NOT a dirty play, this is just baseball. A-Rod was out of line when he elbowed the diminutive Boston second baseman last week, this time, he did what everyone else has been doing since little league. Toughen up, Blue Jays. You fell for the oral equivalent of the hidden-ball trick. You still took two out of three from the bombers.
Player of the Game: Mo. It sure was nice to see Mo in the game in a situation that meant something. I still can’t believe it’s going to be June and he only has 4 saves.
Roger Clemens was on hand in Bryant Park tonight with a group of Yankee fans who watched the game on a giant screen. I always forget about this, someday I’ll remember and join in.