Jeff Nelson is the new pitcher for the Yanks. Tony Batista leads off for the O's; he is one of the rare right-handed hitters who does well against Nellie.
Slider outside, 1-0. Fastball, fouled back, 1-1. Another slider, outside, 2-1. Batista hits the next pitch on the screws, but it is right at Matsui in left.
B.J. Surhoff pinch hits for Fordyce. He swings and misses at a slider in the dirt, 0-1. Another slider, coming from a side-arm angle, right over the plate, 0-2. The next pitch is a heater right over the plate. Chalk up a backwards K for Nellie.
Jack Cust is the pinch hitter. Slider, taken for a strike. Fastball, fouled back, 0-2. Fastball up and away for a ball, 1-2. Slider on the outside corner, misses, 2-2. (There are tons of Yankee fans making noise.) Slider on the outside corner. But it's low. Nellie hops off the mound, but the count is full. Slider way outside, ball four.
Now the Orioles fans counter and make some noise of their own.
Looks like a lack of concentration on Nellie's part there. He got a little ahead of himself. Mel comes out to talk.
The first pitch to Larry Bigbie is a slider inside for a ball, 1-0. The next pitch is a fastball, down Broadway, taken for a strike, 1-1. Fastball, outside corner, strike two. He nails the pitch into right center field for a single.
Cust comes rounds third and heads for home. But he falls. Soriano takes the cut off throws and throws low to Boone at third. The ball almost got away. Boone chases him home and throws to Posada. Jorgie runs him back to third and throws back to Boone. Boone then moves towards Cust, but nobody is covering home. Nellie is not there!
But Cust falls again! Only feet away from home, he stumbles again; Boone falls on him and makes the tag and the game is over.
Holy Christ I think I just wet myself.
To paraphrase a famous football call, "Jack Cust must be the sickest man in America." Oh, baby. That's some good ol' fashioned dumb luck.
The Yanks escape with an another ugly win, but remain four ahead of the Sox.