They did it in dramatic fashion
, but still this series amounts to a split.
They beat Papelbon and his kissy face delivery. Seriously, does that intimidate anyone? Brett Gardner was hero for a day, 2/4, 1 run, 1 SB, 1 RBI (the game-winner). A-Rod went deep.
Actually, last night I was much more pumped about this game. When they went down 3-1 I was already counting it as a loss, and in fact any game which has 4 viable candidates for player of the game is a good game, in my book. Still, the Yanks had a four-game set, at home, against a weakened Boston team and they only came away with a split.
Meanwhile, the Rays continue their dominance. Things look much better today than they did yesterday, but still, 9 games out of first is nothing to get excited about. The Yanks are also 4 games out of the Wild Card, which is nothing.
Let's talk about Gardner a little bit. The kid's career has gotten off to a slow start, that's obvious, but one thing he is doing is seeing pitches. He seems to run the count full every time up there. His fateful at bat against Papelbon was a 9-pitch affair and when he finally got Papelbon off his fastball, Gardner put just enough wood on a splitter to get it up the middle to end the game. Gardner has also been a terror on the bases.
It may sound funny to say this, but the Johnny Damon injury may just be responsible for the win last night. If Damon is healthy, Jorge is probably catching and/or Gardner may not be playing. Jose Molina's absolute dominance of the running game was a huge factor in both Yankee wins. I'm not sure I can remember a catcher throwing better than he is right now. If Jorge was behind the plate Boston probably has at least one more run last night and the game never goes to extras. Never gets to Mo.
This quote from Papelbon, courtesy of reader Alex K. cracks me up,
"Seems like that's what's going to happen if you're going to beat me
this year: broken bat or find-your-way-through-the-infield somehow,"
I love it when pitchers use that logic. They don't talk about bombs being caught at the wall. Like the one Abreu hit off him on Friday to end the game. One foot further and Papelbon blows that game. Not to mention the fact that Boston scored its first three runs on a series of broken bats and bleeders. Papelbon is almost as much of a punk as Youkilis, and that's really saying something.
Meanwhile, Mo Rivera bounced back from his shaky save the day before to record 6 outs on 16 pitches for the win. If not for Gardner, he could've been player of the game. Same goes for Robbie Cano, who tied the game up with two-run triple (did anyone see Coco Crisp's throw in from the outfield on that play? Hilarious). Cano also scored the winning run after singling off Papelbon and being moved over by a Melky sac bunt.
The play of the game was a 3-6-3 double play turned by Giambi and Jeter. Giambi successfully made the throw to second for maybe the first time this season. It was offline, but Jeter hung back to give himself more room to maneuver, caught the ball and turned the double play. The best part about it was Joe Morgan praising Giambi for putting the throw on the outfield side of the bag, like Giambi had any idea where it was going. He was just glad Jeter could put a glove on it.
Player of The Game:
On the DL.