Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Another Big Inning Rides Yankees to Victory

Early on it looked grim for the Yankees as the Orioles scored four runs in the fifth inning fueled by an Eduardo Nunez error and a throw that was cut off by Alex Rodriguez on Nick Markakis' sac fly that was followed by a two run homer by Chris Davis, his 49th of the year. The Yankees looked like they were out of the game based on how bad their offense looked last night against Tillman and the bullpen. However, the Yankees had another magical inning in them in the eighth while trailing 4-3 to take a 7-4 lead. The inning started innocently with an Alex Rodriguez double down the left field line. He would score on the Robinson Cano RBI single. Alfonso Soriano who homered earlier in the game belted another home run, this one a two-run shot to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead. A couple of batters later Mark Reynolds took a high pitch into left field for an RBI double that would end up capping the Yankee rally and sealing the win for New York, who desperately needed a win tonight. The offense came alive tonight to score seven runs on three home runs courtesy of Mark Reynolds and two by Soriano who has been the most productive player in the American League since the Yankees acquired him in late July from the Chicago Cubs. His numbers are outstanding, as his fourteen home runs with the Yankees combined with the seventeen with Chicago give him 32 on the season. The only difference is that he hit the seventeen home runs in 93 games with the Cubs and has hit 14 long balls in just 43 games with the Yankees. He also has 47 of his 98 RBI in 43 games with New York. That is some hot streak that Soriano is riding, and without him the Yankees would have long been out of the wild card race.

Ivan Nova had a serviceable start tonight, going six innings and allowing only the one big inning that was fueled by his defense letting him down. He left the game early because of triceps tightness as a precaution and Girardi doesn't think it will be serious enough for Nova to miss his next start against the Red Soc. Nevertheless, the runs he gave up didn't hurt for the Yankees who ended up winning this game rather easily in later innings. Adam Warren got the win in relief of Ivan Nova. Warren only pitched one inning but retired all three batters in order which gave way to Shawn Kelley and ended with Mariano Rivera coming in for another four-out save. Contrary to his last two multi-inning save chances, Mariano Rivera was perfect in 1 1/3 innings for the Yankees as he picked up his 42nd save of the season. The 42 saves are a suitable number for the greatest closer in history.

The Yankees look to continue their offensive outburst in tomorrow night's game against Scott Feldman. Andy Pettitte who has pitched well looks to record a win after leaving his last two starts with leads that the bullpen couldn't hold on to. With the Orioles, Rays and Indians all losing tonight, the Yankees gain ground on all three teams and are now only 2 games behind the Rays for the second wild card spot. Every game matters.

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