It wasn’t a perfect, but all things considered, it could have been worse…
The Yankees beat the Texas Rangers, 8-6, while the Boston Red Sox won in Detroit against the Tigers, 6-3. So, the two teams remain deadlocked atop the AL East Standings.
The Yankees survived a less than stellar return to the starting rotation by Chien-Ming Wang.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Johnny Damon home run to right.
Wang looked good for the first couple of innings, but the trouble began in the 3rd. Chris Davis started the inning with a ground rule double. He advanced to third on a sacrifice by Taylor Teagarden. After an by Elvis Andrus, Davis scored on a wild pitch when Wang slipped. The next batters, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young, reached base on a walk and an infield single, respectively. That brought Hank Blalock to the plate who hit a single to left, scoring Kinsler and Young. Nelson Cruz struck out to end the inning, but the Rangers resumed their offensive strike in the 4th.
David Murphy singled, and was followed by Marlon Byrd who doubled, advancing Murphy to third. Chris Davis doubled to right to score the two runners ahead of him. Wang was then able to retire the next three batters to end the inning, but the Rangers had increased their lead to 4-1.
Simmons/NY Daily News
In the 5th, Wang was able to induce the first two batters to hit into ground outs, but the third batter, Nelson Cruz, unloaded a homer to center and Wang’s day was done. He was relieved by Alfredo Aceves, He walked two batters, and an error allowed the lead runner to third. But Chris Davis popped out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Yankee bats came alive against Rangers pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena both singled, and Johnny Damon walked to load the bases. Nick Swisher walked, which scored Cervelli. Mark Teixeira, continuing his offensive surge which began in May, doubled to left with a shot near line past charging third baseman Michael Young, scoring all three base runners to tie the score at 5. Alex Rodriguez singled, scoring Teixeira, and the Yankees had re-captured the lead.
The next inning, Aceves was able to retire the first two batters without much difficulty, but then allowed a home run to left by Ian Kinsler. Once again, the game was tied. It stayed that way until the bottom of the 8th. With C.J. Wilson on the mound for the Rangers, the first batter, Robinson Cano walked. Hideki Matsui flied out, which brought Melky Cabrera to the plate. Granted, it was a bit early for the “Walk Off” king, but Cabrera ignored that it wasn’t the 9th inning and launched a Wilson offering to left, giving the Yankees an 8-6 lead.
Noah K. Murray/The Star-Ledger
“What can you say? He’s always coming through for us,” Mark Teixeira said after the game about Cabrera.
Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th to close out the game. He made it interesting with two hits, and had runners at second and third when he induced David Murphy to pop out to end the game. Bent, but not broken and the Yankees had the win and Rivera had earned his 12th save. David Robertson, 1-0, was the winner after throwing just one pitch (a fly out to retire the Rangers in the 8th). For a change, the Yankee bullpen was able to rescue the starting pitcher, and the Yankees were able to win the series against the Rangers, two games to one. It was disappointing to see the underwhelming performance by Wang, but all things considered, I’ll take the victory.
I was disappointed to hear that Wang’s next start will be against the Boston Red Sox. I am sure that their hitters started salivating when they heard the news. The bad news was further compounded by the fact that A.J. Burnett was suspended for six games for his retaliatory pitch thrown near the head of Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz in the game where Vicente Padilla plunked Mark Teixeira twice. I was surprised that Vicente Padilla was only fined for his actions. Burnett has appealed the suspension.
I wonder if Julia would give me a three run handicap for our wager on the Yankees-Red Sox series next week? Probably not. She’s definitely living the good life, but hopefully there will be a few storm clouds on her Red Sox horizon…
Randy Johnson of my favorite National League team, the San Francisco Giants. He because the sixth left hander and 24th major league player to win 300 games. Johnson, 300-164, won on his first attempt at the milestone, and saved us the agony of watching the media follow him from city to city in his quest for 300 wins. It was a good win for the Giants and a great performance by the Big Unit.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who thoroughly dominated the Orlando Magic, 100-75, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who even the Stanley Cup Finals at 2 games, with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Perhaps yesterday really was the perfect day…
Have a fantastic Friday!