Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yankees Steal a Win

The Yankees were in a very precarious position late in tonight's game. They had been shut out for sixteen consecutive innings against the Blue Jays until the eighth inning. Innocently enough, Brendan Ryan doubled off starter JA Happ to start the eighth inning and then John Gibbons went to his bullpen to have lefty Aaron Loup face Curtis Granderson who singled to put runners on the corners. After Alex Rodriguez struck out Robinson Cano singled to score one run. Soriano followed with RBI double to put runners on second and third with one out for Vernon Wells who was kept in to face right handed pitcher Steve Delabar. The Yankees took a 4-3 lead and won a game which looked like they were destined to lose and fall to four games back in the loss column with ten games left. After Robertson allowed allowed a two-out single to Rajai Davis who stole second, Girardi went to Mariano Rivera to a four-out save which was his third of the season. All four-out saves have come in September. Joe Girardi is really going all-out with using Mariano Rivera since he's not returning after this season.

The pitching again was patchwork for Girardi. Phil Hughes started but as assumed, Girardi had a short leash and put David Huff in the game after Hughes allowed a two-run shot to Colby Rasmus. Huff would allow a solo home run of his own to rookie Ryan Goins. The home run was the first of his big league career and the Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead that must have looked like 10-0 to the Yankees at the time. Mariano Rivera was able to put the game away with runners on second and third with two outs and JP Arencibia at the plate. Given Mariano's recent struggles I was waiting for the worst. Instead, I watched Mariano Rivera notch his 44th save of the season.

Winning this game was huge for the Yankees. With the Rangers and Rays playing each other, the Yankees are guaranteed to be 2.5 games in back of the current wildcard teams. Indians are losing to Kansas City and the Red Sox and Orioles are in extra innings. If the Red Sox beat the Orioles, it would obviously help the Yankees since the Yankees are chasing the Orioles. If they lost tonight's game it would be incredibly tough to come back with ten games remaining on the schedule especially since the Rays and Rangers are playing each other and one of the two teams would have won tonight. Now, with the Rays coming into Yankee Stadium with the Yankees currently 2.5 games back, the Yankees have a nice chance of capturing the wildcard spot from the Rays. It will be tough but the Yankees have surprised us before. Look at tonight's game...

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