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.