Bad legs and all, Alex Rodriguez still hit his record breaking 24th grand slam over the right field wall to break a 1-1 tie in the 7th en route to a 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants,
The slam broke a tie with Lou Gehrig for the most in major league history. This record may have a metaphorical asterisk given Rodriguez’s steroid use and pending suspension, but as it stands, he stands alone atop the grand slam list. ARod had been slumping ever since straining his hammy then hurting his calf, but he still managed to come up big late for the bombers.
CC Sabathia looked like his old self, going 7-plus innings of 1-run baseball. The win lifts his record back over .500 to 14-13. David Robertson came on with one on and no outs and got out of the inning 1-2-3. Mariano Rivera came in to close it out, even though it wasn’t a save situation. The Sandman was just as effective as ever, retiring the side in just 8 pitches.
It was a must win game for many reasons, as there are now just 8 regular season games left. The Rays and Orioles are playing each other, a win guarantees New York of gaining on one of them, and maintaining a gap with the other.
Add to that the Indians are playing the leagues worst team in the Astros, and the Rangers and Royals are also playing each other. Cleveland was able to take advantage, moving into a wild cars spot thanks to losses by card holder Texas. Baltimore also lost. Tampa moved into the top wild card spot. So the yankees are 3 back of Cleveland, who they won the season series against. They’re also just a .5 game back of the o’s and royals. But the Yankees can only focus on themselves, and they did what they needed to do. Take care of your own business and hope for help, a lot of help.
Game 2 of the series pits Ivan Nova agains Ryan Vogelsong for the defending champs.
Andy Pettitte announced before the game that he will be retiring for a second time when the season comes to an end. He’s had a good season, but said it’s one that has left him “mentally and physically” exhausted, so he’s hanging them up for good. The oldest starter in the league will make his final home start Sunday, on Mariano Rivera Day. Seems only right since the two have combined for the most win-saves in MLB history. And his final start, if the yankees can’t find a way into the postseason, fittingly enough will come against the only other team he’s ever played for, the Houston Astros. 255 career wins and a major league record 19 postseason wins for Pettitte to go with 5 World Series wins and 8 appearances.