Sunday, July 6, 2008

Garden Variety Win (Postgame Notes 6 July 2008)

I'll forgive you if you just had a flashback to 17 October 2003.

I mean, sure it wasn't game seven of the ALCS, but try telling that to the Yankees, who played the game as if that was the case.

Down by two in the seventh inning, the Yankees rallied to tie it and then won it with two outs in the bottom of the tenth. It's not just that the Yankees won a thrilling, nail-biting game with not just a few questionable ball/strike calls from home plate umpire Laz Diaz, or that they salvaged a series split with Boston...

...but it's that they played the game as if it was October. Tim Wakefield was good, but Robbie Canò and Brett Gardner--not necessarily the biggest offensive threats--got the right hits in the right situation.

Mariano Rivera, who has been comparatively shaky in tie games this year, pitched two scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth--even striking out Manny Ramirez on three pitches--(Kyle Farnsworth also got the job done in the 8th)--and didn't bother to hide his excitement when Gardner came through in the bottom of the tenth.

Joba cruised through the first four innings, and probably would have gotten out of the fifth with the game still tied if not for a questionable call on what looked like a swing for strike three from Jacoby Ellsbury. Still, three runs through six innings is a quality start, and that's exactly what Joba gave the team.

Without question, though, tonight's win belongs to Brett Gardner, who has as many hits as steals. He worked Johnathan Papelbon as though Papelbon was any run of the mill pitcher, fouling pitches off until he found one he liked and hitting it through a hole in the infield, with just enough on it that Boston could not field it cleanly.

While the jury's still out on Gardner in the long run, tonight belongs to him.

1 comment:

  1. It was Gardner's night, but some big contributions by Robbie, Alex and Mo. Even Kyle pitched a scoreless 8th! Nice job by the Yanks. (Maybe Girardi needs to get ejected more often!)