To be honest, I didn’t expect us to win Game Two. We had our fun in the afternoon. Winning at Fenway just a few hours later with Ponson starting for us? There’s just no way. Sweeping a double header is hard enough. To do it on the road is even harder. Ponson doesn’t inspire confidence either. And the fatigue level of our bullpen must’ve sky-rocketed off the charts. With that said, I’m overjoyed that I stuck around. 25 runs and 34 hits later, the Yankees have started this series with an exclamation point. And it was a point well made.
Like I expected, Ponson got pummelled. 78 pitches in 3 innings? That’s not good, Sidney. Neither are 9 hits and 7 runs. I can’t believe Villone came in. He’s pitched four straight days now! There’s no way he’ll pitch another game for at least a week. And after pitching 1 2/3 innings in Game One, Proctor inherited runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs in the 7th inning of Game Two, and washed away the threat with a lazy fly ball. He then stayed in and pitched a perfect 8th inning. Incredible. I love you, Proctor. So much of this win is due to the bullpen. Even after our breakout 7th inning, a 4 run lead with 3 innings left for Boston to bat still made me nervous. It just seemed like the odds were against us holding on to win it. Sure, Villone let a few of Ponson’s runners score and then Bruney let a few of Villone’s runners score, but Bruney ended up recording 5 outs for us. He shows up at a moment’s notice for the first time as a Yankee, and pitches a scoreless inning against Baltimore. Then he follows it up with 3 strike outs in 1 2/3 innings against Boston. Way to go man! Let’s not forget Myers who ends up with the win. Only pitched 2/3 of an inning, but it was a valuable 2/3. I hope Farnsworth is okay after that line drive. He’s taken a number of liners off his body in the past and so far hasn’t missed a significant amount of time because of them. To cap off the nightcap, Mariano enters his domain and scoring 4 runs off him is impossible. Maybe a run or two if you’re lucky, but 4 runs? Forget about it. Overall, I was impressed by the bullpen.
I don’t even know where to start with the offense. 8 2-out RBIs. 6 doubles. 8 walks and 17 hits. The Yankees went into October, do-or-die mode. They were playing like it was Game 7 of the ALCS. My two favorite moments of the game were in the 7-run 7th inning. With the bags juiced and 1 out, Melky worked a full count against Timlin. The score was 10-7 in Boston’s favor and Melky, who’s only a year older than me, delivered an RBI single. No way I could handle that pressure. But he did, like a true veteran. It’s one more reason why he must, and I repeat must, remain a Yankee. Then, following a Damon pop out, Jeter was faced with a full count and 2-out situation. So tense! So unbelievably tense! The Fenway Faithful realize how big a batter this is and rise to their feet. They’re a strike away from leaving with the lead, but aided by my shouts and yippies (and yours, too!), Jeter delivered a bases clearing double to give us a lead that we wouldn’t lose. Our Captain kicked some as*! It was his only hit of the night, but boy was it perfect timing. 2-outs, full count, bases loaded, down 2 runs….and Mr. Jeter does it again. Holy cow! Follow that up with an intentional walk to Abreu, a double for A-Rod, and a single for Cano, and the Yankees make their point.
As great as today feels, we have to focus on Games Three, Four and Five now. There’s still a chance we lose the series, but even in that scenario, first place in the East remains ours. I’m not forgetting how good a team these Red Sox are, so I’m ready for anything to happen in the next three games. Let’s just hope Saturday’s game doesn’t go extra innings.