Monday, June 28, 2010

Only In Hollywood Would This Happen...Oh Wait, It Did!

Final 10th12345678910RHE
N.Y. Yankees «00000200428112
L.A. Dodgers00320001006100
WP: M. Rivera (2-1) LP: R. Troncoso (1-2)

Yes, the title is corny, but the game did seem like it was made for Hollywood. The Yankees, up against their former manager, who brought them 4 WS Championships in Mr. Joe Torre, were down 6-2 heading into the 9th with 100-mph flame-thrower Jonathan Broxton in for LA.

(cue dramatic music)

Could they do it?

(cut dramatic music)

Well, before we get into the action-packed conclusion, let's talked about how things unfolded before hand.

Andy Pettitte got the start for the Yankees tonight, and coming into the game I don't know think many Yankees fans were worried about the possibility of loosing this game. I thought this would be a breeze, honestly, with Andy being as great as he's been. As you can probably tell, I was kinda wrong on this one. Maybe I shouldn't have sold Clayton Kershaw so short.

After allowing a leadoff double to Reed Johnson in the bottom of the 3rd, Dodger's starter Kershaw stepped up, and, as predicted, bunted. Pettitte fielded the ball to make the play at 3rd, but the throw was out of A-Rod's reach, and the ball trickled into left field, scoring Johnson. Rafael Furcal then singled, moving Kershaw to 2nd. And then, just like the last play, Ronnie Belliard bunted, Pettitte threw it away, and another run scored to make it 2-0. Andre Ethier then brought home Furcal with a sac fly, but Andy escaped the inning not allowing any more runs to score.

The following inning, Pettitte got into more trouble. Reed Johnson once again lined a lead-off double into left. Then Clayton Kershaw once again bunted. Pettitte made the play, but Reed moved up to 3rd. A sac fly here, a home run there, and it was 5-0 by the time the 4th inning came to a close. Pettitte would leave the game after 5 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned, but he made the error for the other 1), 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Not a great night for Andy, but not a horrific one either.

The Yankees finally broke through against Clayton Kershaw in the 6th. After Derek Jeter singled, Nick Swisher struck out, and Teix got on with a force play at 2nd, Alex Rodriguez stepped up and crushed his 11th home run of the season, a 2 run shot into left to make the score 5-2. It looks like A-Rod may have found his home run stroke again. Only time will tell, but he has been crushing the ball the past couple days.

Both teams got 1-2-3 innings in the 7th, and it was still 5-2 Dodgers heading into the 8th. About now I started to really think this may be it for the Yanks, and that they would loose 2 out of 3 to the Dodgers. Then after Joba Chamberlain allowed LA to tack on another run to make it 6-2, that lowered my hopes even further.

But, here's where the exciting conclusion of the game begins.

(Resume playing dramatic music)

Jonathan Broxton came in in a non-save situation to try to end the game. And right off the bat, he struck out Mark Teixeira. But after that A-Rod singled, and moved to second on a defensive indifference. Robbie Cano then stepped up and doubled home Rodriguez, and the Yankees were now down 6-3. It was good that we scored a run, but either way we were still down by a few with the bottom of our order coming up, so our chances of coming all the way back were still very slim.

But hey, in Hollywood, anything's possible, and Jorge then singled to put runners at the corners for Curtis Granderson. And this is where I started to feel it coming. The Grandy-Man walked, and I was startig to get excited, but then - Chad Huffman. I have nothing against the guy, but being a rookie on the Yankees, facing one of the best closers in baseball, and potentially being the difference in the entire series, must have made him, and a lot of Yankee fans, sweat. Luckily, he didn't disappoint, and laced a two-run single to right to cut the deficit to just 6-5.

So another youngster, Colin Curtis, came up, and after falling behind 0-2 he put together a very impressive at-bat. First, taking the next three pitches to bring the count full. He then fouled off four straight before grounding to first. Instead of immediately throwing home, James Loney made the mistake of stepping on first and then throwing home. That was enough for the speedy Granderson, who raced home and beat the throw to the plate to tie the game up at 6. Mo got a quick 1-2-3 bottom half, and we were going into extras.

With A-Rod on first with one out in the 10th, Robinson Cano came up, and at that moment I knew what was coming. It didn't matter that he was 0-for-11 in his career off George Sherrill. It didn't matter that Sherrill hadn't allowed a homer to a lefty all year. The Yankees had all the momentum in the game and their best hitter at the plate. Sure enough, he blasted the second pitch he saw for an opposite field, two-run homer to give the Yankees the 8-6 lead. Even though I expected it,

Rivera, now in his second inning of work, got the save, to end what was a truly exciting game, so far, the game of the season. New York is now 2 games up on the Red Sox for first place, and 3 up on the Rays, who lost to the Dbacks today. Things are looking good for the Yankees now, let's see if they can keep it up heading into the break.

The Bombers are off today before they start a 3-game series with the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Phil Hughes will get the start for the Bombers, and Cliff Lee, the former Phillie, will get the ball for Seattle. Game starts at 7:05, and can be seen on YES and heard on WCBS 880.

Injury Note: LF Brett Gardner left the game in the 4th inning after he was hit on the right forearm by a pitch from Clayton Kershaw. He was replaced by Chad Huffman and left due to swelling. He'll likely go for X-Rays tomorrow in New York. Should be nothing more than a little bruise.

(Photos by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Box Score

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Robinson Cano (2-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R)
HONORABLE MENTION #1: Yankees Bullpen (5 IP, 1 R, 4 H)
HONORABLE MENTION #2: Chad Huffman (2-3, 2 RBI)

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