Via the Always Twittering King of Caps, Marc Carig -
The meeting couldn’t have taken more than three minutes, according to people in the clubhouse on Friday night, shortly after the Yankees looked lifeless in a deflating loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Manager Joe Girardi was the only person to speak, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting, who requested anonymity so they could speak candidly. He took on a reassuring tone, appearing to one observer to be “rather relaxed.” He wanted only for his team to follow his lead — to relax.
Perhaps it’s why after the Yankees rallied to beat the Orioles, 4-3, today, Girardi took a deep breath and exhaled as he fist-bumped general manager Brian Cashman in a tunnel beneath the Stadium after the game.
Earlier in the day, Cashman insisted he sensed “no panic” from the team, which has watched a 10-game lead get sliced to almost nothing. A loss this afternoon would have cut their lead to just one game — their slimmest margin since June.
Instead, the Yankees rallied for three runs in the seventh, scoring the go-ahead run when Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy mishandled Nick Swisher’s bases-loaded grounder.
“We need to put together a stretch where we play well,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. “We needed this one.”
Yesterday was a huge win for the Yankees. If they would have allowed Chen and the O’s to stuff another game down their throats, it would have totally messed with their heads and perhaps led to a sweep today. But, now, TODAY is a huge game for New York as well.
If the Yankees lose today, they would have then allowed Baltimore to come in here and take two of three, and shave a game off New York’s lead in the standings. But, with a win today, the Yankees then would have gained another game in the standings over the Orioles – and that’s very important because they next have to play the Rays and the O’s again.
It’s a swing game. And, it’s huge today. Maybe even bigger than yesterday. Let’s see what happens in this one before we start planning any parades in the Bronx.