Perfect no more…
The Yankees errorless streak was halted at a major league record 18 games. I had expected Derek Jeter or Robinson Cano to boot a routine grounder to end the streak, but it was a throwing error by catcher Jorge Posada that sailed into center field on a stolen base attempt. Truth be told, I am glad to see the streak come to an end so that it removes the “pressure” of trying to maintain the streak.
During the streak, Yankee players fielded 660 chances without an error.
But the end of the streak was the only negative to an otherwise joyous evening…well, for everyone except Mark Teixeira, who was hit by two Vicente Padilla pitches.
The Yankees won the game, 12-3, over the Texas Rangers, and maintained their one game lead on the Boston Red Sox, who also won, in the AL East Standings. Early on, it looked like the game could go either way. The Yanks had taken an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning, thanks to a run-scoring single by Brett Gardner and a bases loaded balk by Padilla. After Mark Teixeira was hit by a Vicente Padilla pitch for the first time, Alex Rodriguez grounded out with the bags full to prevent further scoring. The next inning, the lead was quickly erased when Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz hit a three-run shot to left.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, both Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter walked. Johnny Damon hit a single which scored Cabrera with the tying run. Teixeira, the next batter, was hit by a pitch from Padilla for the second time. With Jeter at third and the bases loaded, Alex Rodriguez hit into a fielder’s choice. Teixeira was out at 2nd but his slide upended shortstop Elvis Andrus and prevented a double play. However, Jeter scored with his 1,500th career run and the Yankees had forged ahead, 4-3. Robinson Cano singled to right, to bring home Damon and Padilla’s night was finished. Texas reliever Derek Holland entered the game, and promptly surrendered a run scoring single to Jorge Posada. The next batter, Hideki Matsui, cleared the bases with a three-run homer to right center field, his 8th of the season. Cabrera, batting for the second time in the inning, hit a grounder to second for the third out. However, the Yankees had scored 7 runs in the inning, and the 3-2 deficit had become a 9-3 lead.
Jorge Posada closed out the scoring in the 6th with a three run homer to right.
A.J. Burnett (4-2) picked up his first Yankee Stadium win of the year. He went 7 innings, giving up 8 hits and 1 walk. He allowed three runs on the Cruz homer, and struck out 8 batters.
The unsightly duo of Brett Tomko and Jose Veras pitched the final two innings of scoreless relief. When Veras entered the game, I have to admit that I began to feel somewhat uncomfortable…even with a 9 run lead.
Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 16 games. However, Mark Teixeira did not get a hit so his streak ended at 14 games.
The hostility between Teixera and Padilla dates back to June 5, 2005 when Teixeira’s Rangers played Padilla’s Philadelphia Phillies. Tex homered in his first two at-bat’s against Padilla, and when he came to the plate for the third time, Padilla plunked him with a pitch. The two were Texas teammates in 2006-07, however, the ill feelings between the two were never resolved. “That’s not the right way to play the game and, unfortunately, that guy’s been doing that his whole career,” Teixeira said after the game. Padilla, by the way, has hit a major league high 97 batters since 2002.
It was nice to see Tex play with emotion and without losing control.
It was also nice to see my friend Julia stay in second place… 🙂