The heart of order is due up. Manny can still redeem himself. Todd Walker leads off and looks at a strike. He fouls the next pitch, a cutter in on the hands, off, 0-2. Fastball, uncorked ala Nuke Lalooshe, way upstairs. Like the fifth floor. Draws a reaction from the crowd. The next pitch is slashed foul, into the Yankees dugout. The crowd applauds. Still 1-2. Another foul. Another cutter, another foul. Fastball, low, 2-2. Cutter, fouled off to the right side. The next pitch, a fastball high, is chopped to short right field. Sori moves back to his left and makes the catch easily for the first out.
Nomar: Fastball, up and in. Ball one. Fastball, strike. Inside corner. Moans. Fastball, outside, fouled back. Fastball outside, fouled away again. Both times to the right side. That pitch was a little over the plate. Nomar mashes the next pitch off the green monster in left and cruises into second with a double.
Well, this game giveth and it taketh away. And here is Manny, just a single away from a little redemption. The Sox fans are now up in full force. What could be finer than beating Rivera, after all?
Fastball, outside for a ball. (Damn, that was close.) Another fastball, further outside, 2-0. Country hard ball, right down the plate. Manny swings and misses. Wow. Fastball, outside, misses again, 3-1. Fastball upstairs, walked him.
"Semi-intentional," says Kitty Kaat. Gabe Kapler comes in to pinch run for Manny.
Here's that man Millar again. The guy Cossette told me is the leader in the clubhouse. The guy who wasn't shy about getting into it in the papers with Rocket Clemens.
Fastball, outside corner, strike one. Fastball, way upstairs, 1-1. (I'm schvitzin my ass off here. Try to breath, breath.) Fastball, inside. 2-1. Fastball, swung on and missed, fouled back, 2-2. Nice cut, Conan. Millar almost came out of his shoes on that one. Fastball, way upstairs, and Millar swings and misses, strike three. That one was way out of the strike zone. Beauty pitch, eh? Two out.
Jeremy Giambi comes on to pinch hit. Fastball, high. 1-0. Brother Jason is watching from the bench. Posada calls time and walks maybe ten paces towards the mound, and shouts out to Mo and his infielders. Cutter, check swing. No call.
"Borderline," says Kaat.
Fastball, fouled back. 2-1. Posada is out to talk quickly with Rivera. Fastball, inside, 3-1. One pitch away from loading ¡®em up. Cutter fisted softly to Soriano. Everything slows down and suddenly deflates at the Fens. Sori paused, waited, made the catch, and then tossed the ball away. Game over.
YANKS 4. SOX 3
Big win for the Bombers. Exciting and taut. Well, what did you expect?
I'm happy for Bernie and Jorgie. Of course Enrique Wilson played his best game of the year too.
OK, now I can breath. If you've managed to follow this entire acccount, so now, can you.