Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Saturday in the Park (I think it was the Fourth of July)
2008-06-07 13:45
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Fireworks in the Boogie Down.

The Yankees won a wild one on a scorching hot afternoon in the Bronx. Down 5-1 early, they rallied to tie the game, chasing Brian Bannister in the process. They took the lead in the fifth on a long solo home run, an upper deck job, by Jason Giambi. But Andy Pettitte couldn't hold it. He was Bad Andy early and Bad Andy late today. The Royals tied the game at six in the seventh inning and then Jose Guillen ripped a high fastball off Pettitte for a grand slam.

The Yanks were not done. Alex Rodriguez absolutely crushed a two-run dinger in the bottom of the inning--the ball short-hopped the retaining wall of the left field bleachers, and then Johnny Damon singled home two runs in the eighth to tie the game again, this time at ten. The Yanks still had a chance to go ahead. With two men on, Bobby Abreu hit a long line drive to left center field for the second out before Rodriguez grounded out to end the inning.

So what happens next? David DeJesus smacks the first pitch he sees from Mariano Rivera, a flat cutter that got too much of the plate, for a home run into the right center field bleachers and the air goes out of the Stadium. Silence. It reminded me of when I was at the Garden and Reggie Miller scored seven points in the last twenty seconds against the Knicks. It wasn't that upsetting but it was that quiet. And it was hotter today too.

An unshaven Rivera turned to watch the ball and flexed his right hand open several times. It was the first homer Rivera has allowed since last August, a span of 45 innings. He shook and then bowed his head, came back and retired the next three batters in order.

Joakim Soria got Jason Giambi to line out to start the ninth and then Jorge Posada slammed the first pitch he saw into the right field seats and the game was even one more time. Posada's shot was a liner, only question was if it was going to stay fair.

"Whoever loses this game, that's about as hard a loss to take right there." said David Cone on the YES broadcast.

Soira retired Robbie Cano, walked Wilson Betemit, and then gave up a full-swing, cheap-o, infield single to Melky Cabrera. Damon worked the count in his favor and then lined the 3-1 pitch on a hop to the right field wall, good for the game winner. Oh, it was Damon's sixth hit of the game, giving him a nifty 6-6, 4 RBI line. It was also the first "walk off" hit in Damon's career as a Yank.

That was exhausting, but the final score is sweet:

Yanks 12, Royals 11.

2008-06-07 14:27:58
1.   joe in boston
Great recap. Must have been a great game - Thank God Posada is back. (My kid still loves his "just grind it out" t-shirt....)
2008-06-07 14:40:35
2.   Cliff Corcoran
I had a gaggle of relatives enjoying this game from a variety of locations at the stadium (they all got tickets a bit too late to sit together). For the most part these are folks who get to one game a year tops, but all follow the team daily at home. Glad they got a good one.
2008-06-07 14:40:35
3.   Jeb
Nice to win this game. The added bonus is that Soria probably can't pitch tomorrow. I am worried about Pettitte though because we shouldn't have to get miracle wins over the Royals. I'll take it though -- at least we got some hits.
2008-06-07 15:24:50
4.   mehmattski
Dear Pitching Staff,

Hey, we're back! Where'd you guys go?


The Yankees' offense.

2008-06-07 18:09:31
5.   Yankees Brasil
It was a nice win.

Tomorrow should be a good one. Two great young pitchers. Hopefully Joba is a little bit more economical and he gets through 5.

2008-06-07 19:20:40
6.   Knuckles
You were at the Reggie Miller game?!?! My condolences. He is still my least favorite hoops player ever, and among my top 5 most hated athletes...

6 for 6 is nuts. I can't believe I don't remember Gerald's 6 hit game in 96...bizarre- tho I'm not surprised it was against the O's. Baltimore and NY haven't played a game in less than 7 hours since about 19992...

2008-06-07 19:25:33
7.   flycaster
Yanks are in a process of figuring out what the team needs to look like over the second half of the season. The key to making the tournament is to win games while they are sorting things out. Today was a good example. Ugly, but who's gonna care in September. Pettitte keeps saying he feels great. The results should come eventually, and his history buys him a lot more time than IPK and Phil.
2008-06-08 05:38:38
8.   horace-clarke-era
4 That's about right. Despite the game-thrill of yesterday win, it really does remain worrisome that our two top starters (expected to be the two top, anyhow) have gone south at the same time, and in a big way.

It is pretty common for weak or struggling teams to complain that they can't get hitting and pitching at the same time ... in fact it always happens ... if you have both you win in this game. But Wang and Pettitte have been bad together for awhile now and I can't see any possible way for this team to compete if that doesn't correct. The bullpen WILL be iffy, at best. I think we need to direct whatever karmic credit we've accrued here to those two guys next little while.

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