An incredibly exciting game! Bri found it unacceptable for me to be such a big Yankees fan and to never have gone to Yankee Stadium, old or new (my dad never took us). So she got us tickets to tonight's game and arranged the train ride down from Boston, the hotel and everything. Yeah, Bri!! You're awesome!
tonight the Yanks had Phil Hughes on the mound. Even though he had to fight for a place in the starting rotation earlier this year, he turned out to be their best starter and possibly the best pitcher in the whole league. A good guy to have up against Boston with all their tough bitters.
And we were off to a roaring start! We scored five runs in the first inning, and with Hughes pitching it seemed like we would just steamroller to another Boston massacre.
Then Boston kept chipping away, and our pitchers couldn't get the third strike, and our hitters couldn't drive in guys from third base.
The Red Sox pounded five home runs and by the ninth our lead was totally frittered away and we were actually behind 9 to 7. What looked like a sure win in my first game at Yankee stadium now looked like defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
Bottom of the ninth. Yanks up to bat, but down 7 to 9. Brett Gardner comes to bat. I love this guy! He doesn't hit many home runs, but he gets a lot of singles. He gets on base a lot and then he really hustles - really steals a lot of bases. I think that after Jeter retires, Gardner could take over the leadoff spot. I'd love to see Gardner poke out so many singles that he gets to 3000 hits, which would be a surefire oneway ticket to the Hall of Fame. Yup, you heard it here first, folks. Brett Gardner, future Hall of Famer.
Still, you can be awesome, but that doesn't mean that in any given situation you'll succeed. As Captain Kirk once noted, you can't say, today I will be brilliant. Genius does not work on an assembly line.
So here we are, two runs down, three outs from defeat and future Hall of Famer Brett Gardner is at bat. Will he be brilliant? Or will he strike out like Caset at the bat?
Gardner, who hits nothing but singles, blasts out a double! He seems eager to try to go for third, but he'd likely go thrown out so he stays at second.
Now A-Rod is up . A-Rod is something like seventh on the all-time home run list. A mighty slugger, thou this year he seems to be lowering his expectations - going for a lot of RBI singles instead of blasting home runs. Which I think is one of the reasons the Yanks have won a lot this year - you go for the easy run instead of risking striking out.
So ARod hits a lot of home runs, but you can't ask him to hit a home run every time you need one. So ARod is at bat, the tying run with Gardner on second. And ARod...
Blasts a home run!!!!
ARod ties the game!!! We went from the easy win to falling behind and now we're tied.
Now. Robinson Cano is up at bat. A powerful hitter, named after the mighty Jackie Robinson. His uniform number, 24, is the inverse of Jackie Robinsons's 42. Cano is one if my favorite players. A home run from him wins the game.
And Cano hits a ball, a fly ball, towering, going back, back.. And caught. Out 1. Dang.
Now Cervelli is up. He's considered a backup catch to the powerful Jorge Posada. Jorge is one the few Yanks still left from the awesome 1996 team when they started their string of World Series wins. But Jorge's getting old. And hurt. Cervelli has been awesome in his absence. As I see Jeter's replacement in Gardner, I see Posada's replacement in Cervelli. The future of the Yankees in those two guys.
Cervelli's at bat, one out. He represents the winning run.
Poink! Hit by pitch. He walks to first.
Now Marcus Thames is up. A part time player, a fill-in. When we saw him play at Fenway early this year, when his name was called, we all said, Who?
Marcus is at bat. Bang!!! Home run!!!!
And Boston had their best pitcher on the mound - their closer, John Papelbon. A guy with a sandwich named after him in Boston called the Papelbomb. He gave up four runs on two home runs!!! Eat that, Papelbon!