"We lucked out. That eighth inning was incredible," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "The only thing predictable in this ballpark is the unpredictable."
..."It came apart in a hurry," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. (AP)
Turgid and tedious, that's what it was, suddenly capped by a burst of joy, a shot of espresso. Hot dog. The Yankees played a sloppy game tonight but scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Red Sox in dramatic fashion, 8-7 at Fenway Park. The game lasted 4 hours and 43 minutes, just two minutes shy of the longest 9 inning game in history--a mark set last year by the Yanks and Sox. Andy Pettitte struggled, the offense left a ton of runners on base through the first six innings, Jason Giambi was a butcher at first base (botching three plays, the last one leading to two runs), and Melky Cabrera inexplicably slid into first base again, costing himself an infield hit in the process. And yet, down 7-2, the Bombers came back against Boston's two best relievers, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Paplebon. Jason Giambi started the comeback with a solo homer, Robinson Cano followed with one of his own, and Bobby Abreu delivered the key hit, a two-run double off the top of the center field wall. Alex Rodriguez drove in the game-winning run--a solid single to left against Paplebon--and Mariano Rivera earned the save in what has to qualify as one of the biggest wins of the season for the Yanks.
It wasn't pretty--in fact, it was downright ugly--but it was sweet. Yanks will have to play a much cleaner game tomorrow against Josh Beckett, who is sure to be fired-up. The Sox have handled Chien-Ming Wang in the past, so the fielding must be sharp. My biggest concern this weekend was the Red Sox sweeping. It'd be great if the Yanks can win at least one of the next two. Here's hoping the Twins offer some help against the Tigers.
But for the moment--stay in the moment, kid, stay in the moment--things feel pretty good.