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, all the time

I know, I know, it's heresy to classify a loss as good, but some good can come out of dropping a close game. Tonight, the positive to take away was the comeback. Kei Igawa's pitching was nearly as bad as Wilson Betemit's defense at third, and both combined to put the Yankees in a 6-1 hole in the bottom of the fourth. We've all become accustomed to the Yanks falling behind and then playing dead, tonight was a different story.

Jonathan Albaladejo, LaTroy Hawkins and Edwar Ramires (0.00 ERA so far) combined to throw 5 scoreless innings of relief and the Yanks very nearly clawed all the way back. In the 8th and 9th they actually looked alive, like they hadn't accepted the loss as unavoidable. Again, this is something we haven't seen from this team, this year. This is how the Yanks we've come to know and love over the past 12 years conducted business, and I was glad to see it.

The 9th inning was so close to being a thing of beauty. It had all the elements, let's take a look.
  • Betemit leads off with a double, moves to third on a wild pitch
  • Cano drives Betemit in with a grounder to short (6-3, Detroit)
  • Damon pinch hits for Moeller, breaks his bat on the first pitch, but legs out an infield single. Damon moves to second on another wild pitch.
  • Cabrera grounds out to the pitcher, Damon moves to third
  • Jeter singles to left, scoring Damon (6-4, Detroit). Jeter moves to second on defensive indifference.
  • Abreu works the count deep then lines a double down the left field line to score Jeter. (6-5, Detroit)
  • The Tigers intentionally walk Matsui, putting the go-ahead run on base in favor of a righty-righty matchup.
  • Shelley Duncan puts a nice swing on a Todd Jones fastball, lines it to the gap in left-center, but Granderson chases it down relatively easily. Game over.
First of all, one at bat for Damon, one pitch, one swing, one broken bat, one hit. Just awesome production off the bench. Second, I thought Shelley's ball was in the gap, I can only imagine the damage Shelley did to the clubhouse after the game. And finally, this was the first time in a long time that I've had hope late in the game with the Yanks trailing.

Another bright spot. The Yanks lost this game because Wilson Betemit was playing third base (he only had 1 error, but by my count he did not make 6 plays that he should have. Six!!!), and Kei Igawa was the starting pitcher. That's it. Those two things shouldn't happen again in a Yankee game this season.

The vitals are after the jump, as usual.
Player of The Game: The Giambino. Dong and a double, again feasting on pitchers who can't break 85MPH.
Team Record: 18-19
Damon: One broken bat tonight.

by Brian on May 9 2008
Tags: Jason Giambi | Kei Igawa | Tigers | Wilson Betemit |