Thank goodness! That was horrifying! Blowing a 7 run lead…totally unacceptable. But it is the World Champion White Sox so no big surprise that they’re able to plate 6 runs in about 3 minutes. I never doubt Rivera, but I have tremendous respect for that killer Chicago lineup. That’s a tough bunch. But Rivera has only blown saves in back to back games once in his entire career, and that was last year to the BoSox.
Well, now that the bullpen’s completely burnt, I have a hard time believing we’ll win tomorrow, unless we have a 20-run lead. Luckily Proctor didn’t pitch, so at least he’ll be available. Rivera has pitched a full 3-game series before, so if really necessary, I’m sure Torre would be desperate enough for a win to call in Mo. Since the All-Star break, Farnsworth has been great so I think this was just a blip in the radar. A rough outing that won’t repeat itself soon. Villone was absolutely, positively fantastic, terrific and spectacular. Facing a bases loaded, no out situation in the 7th, he induced two infield pop ups and then an inning ending fly ball. Perfect, man! That’s the game’s pivotal moment, when the Sox could’ve busted down the doors early, but Villone has turned into a pretty good stopper. Very nice. And Rivera, pure magic. The cutter that caused a weakling of a bloop that fell back into #42’s glove totally owned Pierzynski. It crippled him! And then after a rare hit-by-pitch and an Iguchi single, the ChiSox weren’t going quietly and the Sandman was engaged in a stare down with Thome. The choppy grounder Thome hit up the middle was fielded so smoothly by Cano that it looked like Robbie’s mind was elsewhere. I think it was a tougher play than it appeared. At some point in his career, Cano is bound to win a Gold Glove.
That was Rivera’s 29th save on the year and the Yankees’ 67th win. What a thrilling cap to an edge-of-your-seat conclusion. What a great way to begin a game though, a Damon stand up triple, followed by base hits from Jeter and Abreu. Abreu’s been on fire and he’s lighting up pitchers in every game. Tonight he went deep for his first Yankee homer. A-Rod also chipped in 2 hits and an RBI. Way to go A-Rod! Jeter stole a bag, 25th in 28 attempts. And Melky added a solo shot, which you could say is the difference maker considering we won by 1-run. However, the Yankees’ last run was scored in the seventh inning on Posada’s ground out. The inning started with a lead off double from Phillips who advanced to third on a passed ball. Jeter walked and then stole second. That stolen base was probably what made a 7th run possible because A-Rod follwed up with a single, which advanced Jeter to third base instead of just second. Posada then grounded out and Jeter drew no throw home as he crossed the plate. Were it not for stealing second, Jeter could’ve been stranded at third and Crede’s bomb would’ve tied the game at 6 apiece. Way to get that extra run Captain!!! Jeter rocks!!!
That extra run enabled Randy to get his 12th win, a win he so deserved after taking a no-no through 6 innings. I was impressed once again by the Unit who’s been all over the charts this year. He’s had to battle his peaks and valleys, and tonight we saw a peak and we won because of it. He’s pitching like a decent #3 starter, and as long as Moose and Wang precede him with their usual dominance, the effectiveness of the rotation remains intact.
This game reminded me of how powerful and frightening the Chicago White Sox lineup is. All they need is their starters and bullpen to find consistency and they’ll appear in a second straight World Series. I’m not making predictions, only mentioning the possibility. The 3 through 7 slots in the lineup are .300 hitters or better and boy, do they have pop. I don’t know if it’s a Murderer’s Row, but it’s pretty dang close.
Well, tonight was a well fought and hard earned win, but it’s time to turn our gaze to tomorrow. Vazquez hasn’t been the most feared pitcher in the league thus far, but he’s coming off a stellar 8-inning, 1 run outing against none other than the hard hitting Blue Jays. Moose’s performance against Baltimore 5 days ago wasn’t so cool. He needs to refind the touch he so brilliantly displayed when he won 5 straight games earlier in the year. The momentum’s in our favor, so let’s go out there and wrap up another series victory.