Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yanks Rally in Texas, and Mo does his thing

(Photo from the Associated Press)

N.Y. Yankees (70-43) «0001012127120
Texas (65-48)1002300006110
WP: K. Wood (2-4) LP: N. Feliz (3-3)
SV: M. Rivera (24)

After losing the series opener in the 10th with a rare Rivera loss (His first since May 18) the Yankees had a tall order in the final game of a two game set going against Cliff Lee. This series was intense and even though the Yankees weren't sporting their A lineup the fans were into it and so were the players as this was a potential playoff preview. The Yankees earned a series split last night with a 7-6 victory. The way it was accomplished against Cliff Lee was extremely similar to how the Yankees always dealt with Pedro in Boston.

The game did not start out pretty. Cliff Lee seemed to be mowing us down (as usual) and you could tell Javy did not has his best stuff. (First time he has thrown to Posada since May 1st). Michael Young hit a solo shot in the first inning that just scrapped off the right field foul pole. It seemed like a cheapie but it would have been gone at Yankee Stadium too. Then after Alex Rodriguez tied the game with a 4th inning RBI double the Rangers put there foot down and were able to get Cliff Lee some run support scoring 5 more runs by the end of the 5th.

After Derek Jeter scored on a wild pitch in the 6th inning making the score 6-2 the Yankees finally started to get something going in the 7th. With Lee's pitch count rising in the hot Texas night the Yankees were able to put 2 more runs on the board pulling them to within two runs. From there on out it was a battle of the bullpens, and a night after the Yankees bullpen failed it would come through big time.

Marcus Thames who is in the 3 spot of the lineup for Mark Teixeira who stayed behind for the birth of his son would homer in the top of the 8th to pull the Yankees within 1. Finally in the 9th the Rangers would bring in Closer Neftali Feliz who had pitched two innings the previous night. This would prove to be a big mistake as Feliz was wild and clearly fatigued. A lead off Walk to Berkman who was pitch run for by Curtis Granderson. A bloop single by Gardner. A wild pitch. A single that should have been stopped for Derek Jeter which scored Granderson. And finally an RBI single for Marcus "The Man" Thames.

With the Yankees holding a 1 run lead in the bottom of the ninth Mariano Rivera came in to close it out. The night after taking the loss Mariano let up a lead off triple to Elvis Andrus. The crowd was going wild, was the great Mariano going to fail again and possibly leave some demons in Arlington come playoff time? Mariano quickly shut the crowd up recorded three straight outs to end the game.

Keys to the Victory
  1. Yankees got Lee's pitch count up and into the Rangers Bullpen
  2. Yankee bullpen was phenominal. (Mitre, Wood, Rivera) combining for 4.2 scoreless innings.
  3. Marcus Thames tremendous in both games with Tex out.
  4. Austin Kearns with a great shoe string catch with no out and a runner on third in the bottom of the 9th.

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