Like I said before the game, the Yanks have to treat every game as a must-win the rest of the way. Tonight
, they played with that in mind. The deficit in the East is down to 7, and 1.5 in the Wild Card (the Mariners are playing in Anaheim as I write this), the Tigers are losing 6-2 to KC, so that gap could widen to 2 games.
Pettitte (now 6-0 in August) came up big, but let Varitek (who still insists on wearing that ridiculous C on his jersey) tie the game with a solo bomb in the top of the seventh. That bomb cost him the player of the game award, sorry Andy.
Joba was dominant (don't fall for the Sox propaganda over at Blue Thoughts
) he walked Youkilis on a 3-2 slider, Ortiz was a day late and a dollar short on a fastball, Lowell was fooled badly but managed a humpback liner over Jeter's head. The next two batters, Hinske and Drew, never stood a chance. Two Ks, and they looked silly doing it.
There was a rumor swirling, according to Michael Kay, that Mussina has been removed from the rotation in favor of Stephen White
or Ian Kennedy. Joe denied the rumor. I'm hoping it wasn't just wishful thinking. When you see this team play this hard, it's really not fair for them to have to back Mussina every fifth day.
Two bombs off Dice K, whose ERA stands at 6.98 vs. the Bombers, made all the difference. Jeter, who doesn't feel the need to wear a "C" on his jersey, even though he's the captain, gave the Bombers the lead with a solo shot in the seventh, and Johnny Damon put the game away with a two-run job to the short porch in the eighth.
In the time it took me to write 5 paragraphs, the Mariners have scored 5 runs on the Angels, so it looks like the Yanks won't gain any ground in the Wild Card. They're going to have to come back out tomorrow and do it all over again. A great game, a great win, but that is all it is, one win. We need several more to get where we want to go. 30 more efforts like tonight's, nothing less.Player of The Game
: Johnny Damon, 2 for 4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 1 HR, and 3 nice catches in left.
One last thought, expect Roger Clemens to retaliate for A-Rod getting plunked. I'm not condoning it, just saying it's gonna happen.UPDATE:
The Mariners blew a 5-0 lead and lost 10-6 to the Angels. The Wild Card deficit is down to 1 game.