No one could have predicted such a night like last night’s.
The game was tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth with two outs and Johnny Damon battled a 9 pitch at-bat to get on base, then stope both second and third. Mark Teixeria was hit by a pitch, bringing up A-Rod. He hits a RBI double into left field to give the Yankees a one run lead. Then Jorge Posada hits a two-RBI single that he gets out on an advance. Just like that, it’s 7-4 Yankees. Cue Mariano Rivera. Game over.
And in all of that was the fact that Rivera only needed 8 pitches to record 3 outs last night. On Halloween night, Rivera only needed five pitches to record 2 outs. So make that 13 pitches to record five outs. And Jimmy Rollins after game 1 said the Phillies had figured out Rivera. Yeah, right. Just like you figured out how to hit lefties, Rollins!
Last night’s game was not the best by both teams. They both gritted it out, made mistakes, and I can sense that the long season is getting to them now. Starter CC Sabathia was not dominant. Just good enough to get the Yankees into the 7th on 6 strikeouts and 3 ER. Joe Blanton from the Phillies was better than expected, striking out 7, and at one point, retiring 11 straight Yankees.
And here’s ESPN’s take. It all focused on A-Rod.
Last night was probably the night A-Rod earned his pinstripes. Seriously. The man has validated past October failures up to this point. Now all he needs to do is help get win #11 of the postseason, then he has redeemed himself.
PeteAbe of the Boston Globe admits that the double-steal by Damon is a brilliant move, one that gave the Yankees their third straight victory over the Phillies.
Finally, Jack Curry brights to light Mariano Rivera. He’s not a one-man bullpen, but he sure looks like one in the 9th inning of the last two games. 13 pitches to get 5 outs. I still can’t get over that.
The Yanks have game #5 tonight against Cliff Lee. I believe he will be good, but not dominant like game #1. AJ Burnett previously is 3-0 on short rest (all three starts with Toronto). All we need is one more high-quality appearance from Burnett plus a strong offensive effort and we will probably come back to NY with something special.