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Saturday Night's Alright
2005-07-03 06:03
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees had six hits through the first four innings last night, but just one run to show for it. Mike Mussina was handling the Tigers well, but in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers struck for four runs, including a three-run shot by Dimitri Young (off a breaking ball).

However, the Yanks managed to slowly come back. In the sixth, with two men out (and Alex Rodriguez, the lead runner having reached on a strikeout/passed ball), Bernie Williams ripped a single to right, scoring two runs and the Yanks were back in it. They tied it in the following inning when Derek Jeter scored on a tomahawk double to left by Gary Sheffield. Both teams had rallys that fizzled in the eighth (Tom Gordon pitched the seventh and eighth for New York). Then the Yanks met their old nemesis Troy Percival, just a grizzly-looking as ever, in the ninth. He might still look mean, but Perival is not nearly as imposing as he was years ago with the Angels.

With one out, Alex Rodriguez slapped a high fastball into right. Magglio Ordonez had to go pretty far to his right to field it, so Rodriguez took a gamble and headed for second, sliding in safely for a double. Hideki Matsui weakly popped out and then Jorge Posada was walked intentionally so that the Tigers could face the pinch-hitter, Tony Womack. Actually, my reaction was that Womack was going to do something good. Percival promptly blazed two fastballs past him, but he couldn't put him away, as Womack lined a single over the second baseman's head. Rodriguez scored and the Yanks had the lead. Bernie Williams then stroked a three-run homer deep into the right field bleachers. It was a no-doubt-about-it shot, which got my fat ass off of the couch, yelling and whooping. Final score: Yanks 8, Tigers 4.

It's always nice to see Percival get tagged, but it is even sweeter to see ol' man Bernie come through. He had four hits in all for the game. Good for him. We've got to cherish these last couple of great Bernie moments while we can, right? Mo went through the Tigers without incident, one-two-three in the ninth, as the Yanks keep pace with the Red Sox and Orioles, who both won as well.

Comments
2005-07-03 09:27:31
1.   JohnnyC
Some tidbits for thought:

Astros, who DFA'd John Franco, supposedly are interested in Mike Stanton.

Is Melky Cabrera the answer in CF? His first few weeks at Columbus will be watched very closely.

David Cone, in The Times, comes to Mel's defense. It's like the thin blue line the way ballplayers close ranks. Also, Cone hints that he'll be working for the Mets' new cable channel next season. I like Coney but he is a piece of work to be sure.

2005-07-03 10:32:02
2.   Cliff Corcoran
It's worth noting that I was absolutely convinced that Torre had blown the game by not hitting Sierra for Womack in the ninth with the game tied, the bases loaded and two outs. I figured Womack would make an out, Torre would then go to Scott Proctor in stead of Mo in the bottom of the inning, and the Tigers would go home happy. Nice to be wrong. Best of all, that hit did not earn Womack a start today. Good stuff.
2005-07-03 12:32:44
3.   Jeff P
My god, the Yankees won scoring less than 4 runs! It's a Christmas miracle!!

Happy birthday, George!

2005-07-03 12:37:28
4.   Simone
Incredible win! A shut out: a rare occurence in the YankeeLand. Great stuff.
2005-07-03 12:41:10
5.   Cliff Corcoran
Shut outs are rare in general, but I'm not so sure they'r that rare in Yankeeland. Moose does have two of them his own self this year.
2005-07-03 14:06:00
6.   Zack
I missed the game today, was Wang as good as it looks, or was it smoke and mirrors? Thats just yet another start where he outpitches the rest of the rotation for how many millions less...

Being is Beantown at the moment, I got to see Halliday dominate the Sox. He is a really fun pitcher to watch. Mutton chops, real intensity, and total nastiness...

2005-07-03 14:54:09
7.   Paul in Boston
I was also at Fenway today. Halliday was indeed impressive, but the game could easily have gone the other way -- the Sox several times were set up to blow the game open.

I kept glancing over at the out of town scoreboard (still manual of course), and was amazed to see the score of the Yankee game stay at 1-0 ...

2005-07-03 15:48:59
8.   BklynBomber
Alex, you are so right! Savor these Bernie moments, man. After Jeter, it may be a long time before we see another career-long pinstriper, especially with the quiet class and graceful play of Bernie.

We take these guys for granted and never realize how fast time flies. Recently watched some game tapes from the '96 postseason — Bernie is flyin' around third in his signature gait, picture perfect slide to the plate, comes up out of the slide in one fluid motion what seemed like 3 feet in the air, clapping his hands. Seemed like yesterday, suddenly he's got streaks of gray in that stubble and we'll never see him run like that again.

Here's a quick trip down memory lane:

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/W/Williams_Bernie.stm

Like a heavyweight boxer, the last thing that goes is the power. I think we'll be seeing a few more big shots from #51 before it's all over. Hopefully in October.

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