Wow. Every time you thought the Yankees had a little breathing room in this one…bam…it was back to being a nail-biter.
A-Rod almost gets nailed, pushing it on the bases in the first on the Halladay error, but gets away with it when he kicks the ball (Ha!) out of Rod Barajas’ mitt. And, Johnny Damon gets a hanger from Halladay in the eighth, on a 2-2 pitch with two outs, and lifts it high and far enough for a homer.
To me, those two runs were the margin of victory in this 5-3 game. The RBI double by Rodriguez in the first, the homerun by Teixeira in the eighth, and the bomb from Godzilla in the ninth were all hard hit balls. They were going no matter what…it’s that gift in the first on the kicked ball and that mistake by Halladay to Damon that were the deal breakers here.
On the Yankees pitching side, Andy Pettitte, with the help of some at’em balls, a sweet 3-6-3 DP in the fifth by Teixiera, and a nice running catch by Leche in the seventh, had a heckuva game – banging out round after round with Halladay.
Phil Hughes had his bumps in the eighth – but, that 1-2 curveball that Hughes threw to Jose Bautista, to get him looking, ending the seventh inning, was an absolute work of art. Seriously, send a video of that pitch to the Louvre.
Lastly, we have Mo. Dunno what was up with Rivera today. He got away with that pitch to Jose Bautista in the ninth. And, I was a bit nervous when Aaron Hill came to the plate in that frame as well. Like I said, this one was a nail-biter at times. But, the Sandman closed the door and the Yankees came away with a win against Doc Halladay.
As this is being posted, the Red Sox and Rays are tied at two after eight. But, regardless of whether Boston wins or loses, this win is huge for the Yankees – as it either helps them hold their position (should Boston win) or helps them add a game to their lead (should the Sox lose). The Yankees need to get greedy now…and get the sweep tomorrow.