"I can't expect to win a postseason game giving up five runs," Johnson said. "I got away with one tonight and I'm very grateful."
(Sam Borden, N.Y. Daily News)
Indeed, Johnson was far from terrific last night, allowing five runs in six innings, but the Yankees bailed him out with six runs in the top of the seventh and Johnson earned the win (the 280th of his fine career), matching his win/loss total from 2005 at 17-10. The final score: Yanks 9, O's 6. The critical play came when Fernando Tatis, a third baseman playing left field, misplayed Robinson Cano's fly ball, allowing three runs to score. The Yanks did not look back.
Derek Jeter had two more hits, extending his hitting streak to 21 straight, and is now batting .346. Jeter characteristically remained mum about his chances to win the MVP award, refusing to react to David Ortiz's recentkvetchfest. Alex Rodriguez returned from a nagging stomach virus and collected three hits of his own, including a home run. Rodriguez ended the night with 101 runs scored for the year, and has scored more than 100 runs in 11 consecutive seasons (oh, and he's now driven in 100 plus runs ten times in his career). As Emily said when Rodriguez was rounding the bases in the ninth inning, "Rock on, Pukearella."
The final word in the milestone dept: Joe Torre passed Miller Huggins on the all-time win list for Yankee managers last night. Only Casey and the great Joe McCarthy have won more games for the Bombers. Not bad for a boy from Brooklyn, eh?
The Yanks' return home tonight with their magic number down to ten. The Devil Rays are in for three, with the Red Sox following this weekend for a four-game set. I'm sure we'll hear more from the likes of Pete Abraham as the day moves on, but it's likely that Hideki Matsui will be in the line-up tonight.