The Bombers Flex Their Muscles Again

In a must win for both teams on Patriot Day, the Yankees flexed their muscles to take their second straight by the final of 5-4.

One team had 11 hits, the other 6.  Just by that, you’d think the first team won. Well, you’d be wrong.  Both starters gave their teams length with Andy Pettitte throwing a season high 109 pitches, going 6.1 innings of 3 run ball. But he seemingly had someone on every inning, allowing 9 hits.  This while   The O’s Scott Feldman followed up a complete game shutout with 7.2 solid innings of just 3 hit, 3 run ball.

Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez both went deep, with Granderson marking his territory in Eutaw Street on an absolute bomb in the 5th.

David Robertson was back after 5 days off with a sore shoulder.  The Yankees setup man allowed two runners on, but hung up a zero in the 8th, and would pick up the win.  Lefty specialist Boone Logan remains out with a sore left arm.  The pen’s been overworked all year, so it’s no surprised they’re banged up here in mid-September.

Tied 3-3 in the 9th, Robinson Cano picked up his 100th RBI in style, with a go-ahead solo shot to lead off the inning. Granderson then hit his first triple of the season, and was driven in on an infield single by Lyle Overbay, giving them a 2-run lead.

Baltimore made things interesting, but Mariano Rivera held them off in the 9th for his 43rd save of the year.

David Huff was scheduled to start the finale of the 4-game set.  But Joe Girardi announced postgame that Phil Hughes will get the start because of his “experience level.”  Huff made just one start in place of the demoted Hughes, a poor outing against the Red Sox.

The win means another day of gaining on everyone ahead of them in the Wild Card chase, as the Indians, Rangers and Rays all lost again.  What does it mean?  Well, the Yankees have leaped over the O’s and Indians once again, and are just a 1 game back of the Rays for the second Wild Card spot, and 3 back for the top spot held by Texas.

September baseball is fun isn’t it?

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Long Ball Propels Yankees to Big Comeback Victory

Just when you think the playoff door is just about to shut, the 2013 Yankees push it back open.

The first half depleted Yankees usually lost games like tonight.  Leading 1-nothing early, the defense betrayed starter Ivan Nova in the 5th, allowing extra runners on, ending in a 4-run inning capped off by Chris Davis’ 49th homer of the year, 2-run shot.  It was just the 7th homer Nova allowed in nearly 120 innings this season.  But it gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead with notorius Yankee Killer Miguel Gonzalez cruising.

But this team has pop now, and that means runs come quick.  And in the very next inning, Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds both went deep to cut the lead to 4-3.

Joe Girardi decided to take Nova out after 6 innings, even though his starter had thrown just 79 pitches.  He instead called upon Adam Warren, who rewarded his managers decision with a shutdown inning.  We would hear after the game that Nova’s triceps tightened up, but Girardi didn’t seem too concerned, more of a precautionary move.

Fast-forward to the top of the 8th.  Alex Rodriguez led off with a double.  Robinson Cano then drove him in with a single, tying the score at 4.  Rodriguez just slid into home ahead of the throw, but was seen grabbing his leg, and was taken out on defense in the bottom half of the inning.   Turns out his left hamstring tightened up.  With the score tied, and Cano on, Soriano stepped to the plate.  And as he’s done time and again since returning to New York, he delivered.  Soriano smacked his second homer of the game to give the Yankees a 2-run lead.  It was the left-fielder’s 4th multi-homer game since coming back, his 7th overall.  Reynolds added an RBI single to cap off the 4-run inning.

And because injuries have been then name of the game in 2013 for New York, Austin Romine, who came in after Chris Stewart was pinch hit for, left the game after taking a foul ball off the mask.  He likely has a concussion.

After Shawn Kelley got the first two outs of the 8th, Girardi decided it was time to go to Mo.  Rivera came in for the second time in 5 days to attempt a save of more than 3 outs.  And the sandman put the O’s and the 7-5 win to bed.

It was of course a huge win in many ways for the Yankees.  It closes the gap between them and Baltimore in the Wild Card race to back to a .5 game.  But it also closed the gap between them and the Indians back to .5 and to 2 games behind the 2nd card holder in the Rays.

Now the bombers have a chance to leapfrog the O’s with a win in game 3 of the 4 game set.  Andy Pettitte looks to continue his recent stretch of great pitching (5 straight quality starts).  Baltimore hands the ball to Scott Feldman, who’s coming off a complete game shutout of Chicago.

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Derek Jeter will be listed as day-to-day for the remainder of the season with his ever recurring ankle problem.  Eduardo Nunez hasn’t been sharp at short in his place, so late tonight a deal was finalized to bring over Mariners sure-handed shortstop Brendan Ryan.