(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
For much of the night the Yankees looked pretty bad and wasted opportunities. Overall it was an ugly one to watch, but luckily, they have a guy named Mariano Rivera and were able to steal one in extras.
Javier Vazquez wasn't sharp over five innings, but he did keep them in the game. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out one. Two two-run singles by Adam LaRoche took care of all of the damage.
Offensively, it was a very frustrating game to watch. They had guys on base all night, drew 13 walks, but time after time they came up short. I won't bore you by going over all of their missed opportunities, but as a team they went 3-for-14, hit into five double plays and left 11 men on base. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter were particularly bad with men on tonight leaving five on base and and hitting into two double plays apiece.
However, they were able push across four along the way and entered the ninth trailing 5-4. Aaron Heilman came on to close for Arizona and got off to a terrible start walking Jeter and Nick Swisher. Mark Teixeira then moved the runners over with a ground out to first. Alex Rodriguez tied the game with a sac fly.
With things all even, Joe Girardi did something he always says he doesn't want to do: use Mariano Rivera on the road with the score tied. But with the day off today and Chan Ho Park's recent ineffectiveness, he had no choice. Mo got through the ninth with ease and then Curtis Granderson led off the top of the tenth with a solo homer to give the Yankees the lead.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, it looked like the Yanks were going to blow it when Mo loaded the bases with nobody out. Mo must have been in a daze because he actually had to swing the bat in the top half, but incredibly, he woke up and mowed down the next three hitters--two weak pop outs by Chris Young and Adam LaRoche, and then a strike out of Mark Reynolds--to end the game and preserve the win for the Yanks. The fact that this Houdini act came on the same night that Jonathan Papelbon blew a save and gave up a walk-off homer to Jason Giambi in Colorado made it even sweeter. Tampa also lost to the Padres, so the Yankees are now 2.5 games ahead of both in the AL East.
Today is an off-day before the Yankees begin a three-game series with Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, and the Dodgers on Friday. CC Sabathia will face Vincente Padilla in the opener. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. eastern time, and it will be on YES.