Yanks lost a close one, 3-2 to the O's last night in the Bronx. I missed most of the game but got home in time for the last three innings. The Yanks had their chance. They even got a lucky call in the ninth. The Stadium was packed and the place was electric in the late innings. In the eighth, Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez singled to open the inning. After Baltimore's closer Chris Ray whiffed Robinson Cano, Bernie Williams--who passed Don Mattingly for second place with the most doubles in team history earlier in the game--lined sharply into a double play. Bad luck and a tough loss. Coupled with a Boston victory, the Bombers' lead in the East is down to two games.
Regardless, it was a wonderful moment for Williams when he passed Mattingly. Bernie had lined a double against the left field wall. He ran hard out of the box and didn't let up until he was close to second. When he reached the bag, he turned his head quickly towards the right field line, in that inimitable, deadpan manner of his, where you don't know exactly what he's doing, if he is just random or if he's doing something on purpose, exposing a private joke. The crowd gave him a sustain round of applause. Eventually, Bernie tipped his cap. The best part of it all was seeing the pride that Williams displayed. He just looked genuinely humbled and grateful for the moment and the accomplishment. It reminded me that Bernie is one of my very favorite Yankees ever because the game hasn't ever come naturally or easily to him. I'm probably as proud of Bernie's career--a borderline Hall of Fame career, when all will be said and done--as I am of any Yankee I've ever rooted for. Even though Williams' good vibes would be stifled by his hard-luck at bat in the eighth, Williams standing on second, acknowledging to himself, his fellow players, and the fans, what a good job he's done all these years, was special.
Octavio Dotel made his Yankee debut and the Yankee bullpen was sharp once again. Melky Cabrera collected his 11th outfield assist of the season and had a good game as well. And there is encouraging news about the injured Gary Sheffield.
Nothing to do but let it slide, come back and pound the O's the rubber match this afternoon. And that's word to Big Bird.