Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tigers Tie it Against Mo, Gardner Wins it!

This was a big game for the Yankees to win. With a loss today, the Yankees would have been .500 for the first time since going 5-5 to open the season. The Yankees also had some surprise contributions today from a man who has a flare for being the center of attention. Alex Rodriguez finally hit his first home run on the 2013 season, and it came against Justin Verlander in the second inning to tie the score at 1. Later in the inning after a couple of singles and one out, Eduardo Nunez lifted a fly ball into center field for a sac fly that gave the Yankees a permanent lead that they would hold on to until the ninth inning when Mariano Rivera, for the third straight save opportunity, blew the game after two home runs in the ninth with a two run lead to open the inning by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Alex Rodriguez also contributed by hitting an RBI single in the third inning off Verlander who he has owned in his career. Alfonso Soriano would also homer for his 2,000th career hit in the Major Leagues which would cap the Yankees scoring until the Tigers would claw back with three solo home runs to tie the game and send it into the bottom of the ninth inning where Brett Gardner, of all people hit a solo home run into the second deck. Gardner has been responsible for getting both walk-off hits this weekend. The home run was his first game winner of the sort in his career and the fifth walk-off hit in his career. This is the Yankees first series win since winning two of three against the Orioles on July 5-7th.

Andy Pettitte again was unable to give the Yankees length, going 4.1 innings before being lifted after loading the bases. Pettitte threw 101 pitches in that span and allowed only one run to score which was good news for the Yankees. If he allowed another run, Martinez's home run would probably mean the ball game. Fortunately for the Yankees, the bullpen would come in clutch until Rivera came in and blew the save. Back to Rivera, it is difficult to imagine this scenario playing out. You always figure that with a two run lead Rivera will get the job done but his recent funk is coming at the worst time, when the Yankees are desperate for wins. In Rivera's illustrious career, this is the first time he blew three straight save opportunities. That fact that Rivera never did this before this year proves how valuable he has been to the Yankees, and that it is a sign that his career was coming to an end. Still, Mariano is pitching like a 29 year old. He goes through these funks at least once a year and they usually come in August. I have no doubts that Mariano will come back and be the Mo that everyone knows.

The Angels come to Yankee Stadium tomorrow for an extended four game series. Yankees ace Hiroki Kuroda will try to give the Yankees a second straight win as he has been the one constant in the rotation all season long. Garrett Richards will try to get the Angels a win, who have been underperforming all year and are eseentially out of the race with a 53-62 record in mid-July. To make matters worse, Albert Pujols will miss the remainder of the season with

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